Mslacat’s Theorem #I
In conference coaches count less and player talent counts more:
Over the past 30 or so years I have always noticed that certain teams every year do not do as nearly well in conference play as they do in non-conference. This seems to affect a certain type of team more than any other. That type of team is a “system team”, meaning a team that relies running a particular offensive system to a tee to be successful. This could be the newest coaching trend or a gimmicky offence design to hide a team’s weakness. In the non-conference they seem to work much better than in conference for the simple reasons the teams are much less familiar with each other, in conference the coaches know each other, they know what the other coaches like to run and they have a game plan to beat that coach even before conference starts. By the time the second half of the conference comes around and the league coaches have seen all the players and new wrinkles the other coaches have in their system the league coaches really gets tunes in to each other. This is why some teams will also do much better in the first half of the season and then tank it the second half. Essentially you could also say that the coaches tend to cancel each other out and talent takes over.
Teams who have the talent in the non-conference have the same talent in the conference. Talent is the one thing that coaches can not affect once the season begins, you have what you have and in the end with the coaches matching each other in this chess match that is what rises to the surface.
Now I do not want to totally disregard the effect Big Sky coaches can have on the conference out come, because they can have a big impact on it, but the most bucketful coaches are the coaches who can make game adjustment DURING the game or half time. This is the key to Big Sky success your first ideas may not work, can you recognize what is not working and make the adjustment on the fly, which is what separates a good coaching job from a bad one. In my opinion the best in the league has always been Robin Selvig. I don’t know how many times I have seen his teams’ just look terrible in the first half of the game but come out at half time doing something different and blow the doors off of a team.
I am going to follow this post up with preview prediction of men’s and women’s conference season. I do not know how correct my predictions will be but you should remember this post when reading them.
BTW: This theorem also applies to a certain degree to first season coaches in the league who may do better with less talent their first year (or even first go around) than they do the second year with a little more talent. Once the league coaches get narrowed in a fellow coach the honeymoon is over.