Monson will not be renewed. too many people have this 'fear', which yeah I get but it's a 'worry'; the Athletic Dept & University have had 5 years on the poorly structured contract extension, and there is one irrefutable fact: Attendance is in the toilet relative to where it should have been and needs to be is in the toilet and Monson doesn't promote anything. That's ALL on Monson for how he let the program slide. Even a title last year didn't renew enough interest.
End of story. Monson is GONE after next year.
the question is in the coming weeks, what the AD rolls out if anything. hopefully he lays out a clear plan/vison. Monson never had a vision after 2012 which was some fuzzy "I hope we become like Gonzaga" bullshit and pay me a lot by running around the country playing great programs for cash because it does this and that which was all BS. I think an extension of Monson would not be the right decision. There needs to be certainty of the end of this.
I'm on the side of make it clear what will happen next.
1) new AD after July 1, 2023
2) I would prefer to give the assistants and Scholl an extension of 3 years, so Scholl is given a shot as Interim HC in waiting, with continuity with the core of players we have now. With Monson hopefully delegating even more.
3) I just think waiting until April 2024 will throw the program into 2 years of absolute uncertainty, and since Caveness came on the supporting cast has proven to be effective recruiters and coaches, plus Scholl projects a very solid academic profile for the University, granted being a head coach who knows, it'd be a risk. I think the last two years have a correlation with 'better' success with some slight changes in the recruiting/coaching positives due to this crew under Monson.
now does that put the potential new AD in a position of not putting their 'stamp; on MBB immediately? sure, but so what? It gives them time to assess the program. there will always be 25-50 interested candidates no matter when a transition occurs anyway
part of it is we have a really good core of players for the next two years, and hopefully a clear plan maintains that, knowing they'll play not only for Monson, but for the assistants.
I hope history doesn't repeat itself. Weren't these the circumstances when the last A.D. (Fee) was hired? He was new and had to make a decision regarding Monson's future in his first year. I'm afraid Monson might be able to talk his way into another extension. If it was me, I'd rather take that decision out of the new A.D.'s hands by reassigning Monson to something else after the end of this season and giving someone like Caveness the title of "interim coach" for one year.
in short. next year will be Monson's last
no extension. to argue about whether he should or should not is counter-productive.
the next step is the plan for succession.
& what will be the structure of next year's 'interim' year, it's critical because laying that structure out will start in likely about 10-20 days
it won't or shouldn't wait for a permanent AD
he's not going to be renewed any more
Monson's performance grades:
Discipline & Off-Court Issues: A
Non-Conference Performance: C or C+
Seton Hall, UCLA, K-State, BYU, Pitt
given the number of chances though over 16 years, and particularly over the first 10 years, there were too many times not closing out. Going into conference if I went back my guess is we've had about 3-4 times a winning record before conference, maybe 1-2 if you just count D1 games. that doesn't build enthusiasm.
conference regular season: B+.
have to give some credit, 4 titles in 16 years is decent, not the best, mostly a top 4 seed going into the tournament. I think desirement was that would be better by 1 or 2 more titles
we've got to 5 BWCT finals. before we get to the record in BWCT finals, there were a number of missed chances to just get to the finals, or semis even. The IRvine semi loss in 2013, the Northridge (a 5th seed) loss in semis in 2014 when Cal Poly had opened the door knocking out Irv & SB both. granted the 2016 semi win over Irvine was nice, but we weren't some big underdog and 2010 was maybe a nice surprise to get to teh final as well.
& then.... that 1-4 thud of a record in BWCT finals, including having a big lead last year & the 2011 can't hit a lay-up loss to SB.
Post-Season: 0-5 C-
only reason not to give a D is we weren't favorites in any of the games. couldn't close out Wash & New Mexico in the two best chances & having leads down the stretch.
there's nothing to rate, the performance above is the story/rating. so why bother with the anecdotes about his methods. the results on the court reflect the reality of the three aspects listed.
Promoting the University: F+
this is the one that just galls me to no end about Monson. when has he ever lifted a finger to go out and promote not just Beach MBB, but the University? I get maybe he's an introvert, but part of the job as the maybe the highest or next highest paid employee is to do, for lack of a better description, the door-to-door salesman routine to the business and people of Long Beach (the city and the Unversity). I get the way he stammers maybe he's reluctance. If someone can show me what significant effort Monson put in over the years (especially 2013 to 2021 when attendance dropped like a rock), please do. He gets an F+ I guess because of nice ring of MOnson Maniacs, but that's like been OBE since 2012. the program has reflected MOnson's marketing malaise.
there have been three Monson 'eras' to rate:
#1) 2008 to mid-conf. 2013 & the tip-off for the 2013 SFA game. Grade = A
2 titles, 1 BWCT title, and the 9-0 start to the season to the King/Freeland fiasco. The official 'demarcation' came in the 2013 bracket buster game vs. SFA, where Monson and the team got schooled by a fundamentally sound SFA team, like a bad dream that then began repeating itself. From that moment on it was a drip, drip, drip atrophy in team performance and attendance.
#2) SFA 2013 game to 2000/Covid. C-
the aforementioned SFA game was in hindsight an eye-opener. That 2013 team started 9-0 with five guys who'd never played a D1 game together starting out that way, and then just became dysfunctional, finishing 5-4 the rest of conference, getting smoked up at UOP on the last game, and then the dual ignomy of losing to Irvine in the semis (and letting in the Turner era of the Big West) with King making mistakes, but wait! there's more! they went to Baylor and got destroyed in the NIT.
2016 was a bright spot. had Bibbins well-planned 3 to win the game that spun out gone in, maybe that would have stemmed the tide. mostly though it was an era and just a stream of some individual highlights of great play (Caffey, Bibbins, Faust, Dei-Dei) exhibited with an inability to be more than Big West mediocre as Massey ratings slipped from 100 to 200 range.
the last two season have been fun actually. injuries forced the team into a different spread the court style and a mature team won close games and a title. This year with more injuries, team has actually done a lot of good things with player improvement, and for me, seeing some adaptation (even if by necessity) is interesting. Still, the Massey rating for both years is about 150-175 range, so have excelled more in a 'worse' Big West. But clearly have got some strong defensive minded players and bigs showing immense potential.
overall, Monson is and has been about a B- coach for what is/was expected. Or at least what I would expect.
If I'm the AD and/or Pres, is this what I want for the future?
hopefully a successful last week, and a good run, maybe just maybe a BWCT titel (with hope for a sound Jones ankle). But either way, it won't change the rating of him other than half a grade at best.
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