This game only proves that we will finish in the bottom tier again in the Big West. The only radical change that might positively affect that outcome is finding a way to transfer the head coach to some other position. No other way out.
Talked a lot early on with a players pops who shows up to every game. He agreed wholeheartedly with my assessment that Monson coaches and prepares his teams not to lose, he has low confidence in them, poor body language during games and forces them into playing what he thinks is 'safe' I guess. We both think it stinks and team confidence is lower because of it. But what do we know. He doesn't talk to his son about the interworkings of the team that's his son's business...my kinda guy. His view of the team is strictly from what he sees at games just like a fan.
The Mid started out with about 500 in attendance but over the first 10 minutes doubled in size. Given circumstances a crowd of 1,000 for a Saturday afternoon game in December against a so so opponent, and the home team floundering in its head coaches boring archaic game plans, is impressive.
I saw some regular booster types in attendance, but a lot of them were also no shows. Didn't see Gramamma Conoley or Mr. Fee. I'm sure they had more pressing appointments
Slater had a nice game and willed us to a 3 point loss otherwise it would have been around 20 points, he seemed to right the ship when it was sinking, and gave us momentum a couple times. Hampton had two excellent passes for assists. Murray played well for most the game. Cobb hit a 3. Roberts had his moments down then up. Irish didn't suit up but did his best to fire up the bench.
Watching the coaches closely, this is my impression:
Monson: was up a lot and fairly animated but in a disheveled, defeatist kind of way. Better then head down in hands scratching dome Monson, but still a million miles from inspiring confidence.
Scholl: Almost mute. Like he has seen enough and knows this season is going down the trash chute and he should be looking for another gig.
Carey: Works a lot with the team, some with the refs. Rarely with Monson. Given what I see, I think he's most in charge of the team.
Caveness: Animated, into it...yeah its his first year, but I like his style. He and Carey seem to have formed a team.
Bottom Line: a hard fought, 3 pt loss to an less than impressive LMU team at home = bottom third of the Big West, no question. The next game that will solidify that clue is at USD.
Extra Bottom Line: Monson looked toasted tonight. Trying, but not able to go beyond 2nd gear. In comparison, LMUs coach had a very good demeanor on the sideline, in charge, looked professional.
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