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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