Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Problems I Wish We Had

Ray Tellier

Donahue Gets Poached

Cornell's basketball success will not go unpunished.

Miracle worker head Head Coach Steve Donahue is heading to Boston College, and that's to be expected considering his stock is at an all-time high right now.

It's also not a surprise since Cornell does not figure to be much of a factor next year in bball with all those talented seniors graduating. And... I heard Donahue's wife is not too happy with Ithaca.

Now the intriguing story out there is that Donahue has contacted one Ivy head basketball coach with an offer to be one of his assistants on Chestnut Hill. Is that unknown coach Columbia's own Joe Jones? We'll have to wait and see. I haven't seen or heard one iota of evidence either way.

But the Donahue story gets me thinking of the kind of troubles I wouldn't necessarily mind having as a Columbia fan.

By that I mean what if one of our major Lion teams became so successful that the head coach of that team would become extremley likely "poaching material?"

The last time I heard a little chatter about this was when Ray Tellier was guiding football to some successful seasons in the mid-1990's. I'm not sure if Tellier ever got any offers from other schools, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Because of his age and his pre-Columbia resume, you can bet that if we started putting together some winning seasons, Head Coach Norries Wilson would be highly sought after by other programs.

Hey if that's the price of success, I think all Columbia fans would be willing to at least worry about losing the coach. We'd also demand that everything reasonable be done to keep such a coach in the fold.

But again, as my grandmother would say: "we should only have such 'problems.'"

Roster Rising

Speaking of "such problems" consider the Columbia roster size and its implications for the 2010 season:

1) Even with the near-record 26 graduations this spring, assuming we bring in 30 frosh and other newcomers this August there will be 121 players on the football team in 2010.

2) Did you think it was impressive that the Lions had 26 seniors last season? Try this, next season there will be 27. And by my estimates, about 15 of them are truly "impact" seniors who will either definitely be starters or can be listed as "likely starters" for 2010.

3) Some units on the team will be hard-pressed to replace some key graduation losses, (I would count wide receivers and the defensive line in that category), but when I look at areas like the offensive line and the secondary, I see a historically rich level of talent and depth that I have never seen before.

On the OL, I predict we will have first-time starters from the senior class who will be first-time starters because the seniors before them were just a hair better and that's it. Gone are the days, at least for now, when sophomores and even freshmen were pushed into the front five starting slots because there was literally no one else ahead of them who was ready to play.


At Thu Apr 08, 07:52:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jake, you probably already know this but I heard last night that Joe Jones, is in fact the guy Donahue is bringing from the Ivies

At Thu Apr 08, 08:26:00 PM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

That's what the NY Daily News is reporting but that's not confirmed at all.

At Thu Apr 08, 09:12:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but, I think the OL replacements will be predominately juniors next year. Most of the backups this year were sophomores.

As far as depth on the DL is concern it does make you wonder with Frasher and Groth being juniors in the fall. In 2 years that is a couple of big holes to be filled. Last year when they were both out it was very apparent (Dartmouth).

At Fri Apr 09, 12:02:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed many of the "big" schools are using the spring game as fund raisers for local charities. Hint hint to any coaches or administrtors reading this blog, maybe Columbia could do something too?

At Fri Apr 09, 01:38:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger cathar said...

Coach Jones is a man of immense personal charm, and his players (similar to Norries' own relationship with his charges) clearly like him A LOT.

That said, his coaching style has its critics, and even in possession of the Ivy's then-best player, Jon Baumann, he's never delivered a championship and his teams clearly have suffered from decidedly spotty play.

I'd wish him well if the rumors currently circulating are true. I'd also note that, faced with a mighty job of rebuilding, he at least returned Columbia to consistent basketball crediblity.

And I suspect his charm and drive will prove very, very hard indeed to replace if he really leaves. So let us all be careful what we wish for here.

At Fri Apr 09, 11:03:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger DOC said...

Couldn't we win at least one Ivy title before they start raiding our coaches? If the rumor mill is true you certainly can't blame Joe Jones. He has to do what he feels is right for his career. It would be a major setback for CU Basketball however.


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