Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Way back machine

Because it's always interesting to remember Black Bears from yesteryear ... and it's fun to work one of my favorite Black Bears into the discussion whenever possible ... let's take a look at the America East all-conference team from 1992-93. The '93 awards are significant because, until this season, that was the last time the Black Bears did not land a player on the all-league squad.

The '93 team featured four of the best players in the history of America East: Vin Baker, Hartford, Malik Rose, Drexel, Eddie Benton, Vermont and Spencer Dunkley, Delaware. Also on the first team was Brian Holden of Drexel.
Second team: David Stiff, Boston U., Anthony Wright, Delaware, Brian Pearl, Delaware, Anthony Brown, Northeastern, Dan Callahan, Northeastern.

UMaine's Marty Higgins and Derrick Hodge made second team all-conference in '92.

Francois Bouchard (No. 1 draft choice on my all-time Black Bears team) was picked to the second team in '94, starting a 15-year streak of at least one Black Bear being honored.

Who will begin a new streak next year?


MattT said...

McNally and McLemore should definitely make the all-conference squad next season. Maine better hope so anyway or it's more of the same. McNally and Barnies made some progression between their freshman and sophomore years. They need to continue that development and get meaner, tougher, and more assertive. McLemore I believe needs to be the go-to guy of this team next season. I think he potentially could be the leader Maine has been lacking on the court. He definitely plays with passion and I can tell he hates to lose.
Mark Socoby and Junior Bernal seem to be playing out the string, so to speak. If anything they regressed this season and from what I've seen don't care if they win or lose. Mark shot a terrible percentage and commited way too many turnovers. Instead of trying to drive, post and find other ways to score he continued hoisting bombs and shot 30%. Junior lost his aggressive nature of ndriving to the hoop and creating transition offense through his defense. You'd think he'd work on his shot too but he has no mechanics and it's painful to watch. Any coach in their right mind would change that release. At any rate, they are not leaders. It almost seems like Maine has players going in different directions, some making strides and others who seemed resigned to losing. From what I've heard Woodward will be back next season. How many chances is he going to get? He has made more excuses than any coach in recent memory. These are all players he recruited. He has got to coach them and make them better or Maine has to move on and start over. I don't think this team is lacking talent as some suggest. They may be missing a few pieces but I know at least 4 games this year that Maine threw away because the coaching staff could not counter the opponents 2nd half adjustments. That's a frustrating thing thing to watch. Don't you agree?
Here's some nostalgia: My all time team (1986 thru present: point- Andy Bedard, 2 guard- Kevin Reed, small forward- Derrick Hodge, Power Forward- Allen Ledbetter, Center- Nate Fox. 2nd team: Point- Marty Higgins, 2 guard- Jim Boylen, Small forward- Terry Hunt, Power Forward- Julian Dunkley, Center- Francois Bouchard.
Favorites regardless of production: Ed Jones, Kenny Barnes, Deonte Hursey, Matt Rossignol, Ramone Jones, Greg Logan, Chris Collins, Kevin Reed, Dean Smith, Reggie Banks, TJ Forester, Eric Dobson, Carvell Ammons and last but not least "The Fat Albert Character"- Reggie Smith. The biggest waste of 6 feet 10 inches. My favorite guy to make fun of during warm ups.
All-Time Frustration Team: Casey "I'm the only one in the" Arena, Mark Flavor Flavin (split personality), Justin "Butter Fingers" Rowe, Junior "I hope to god i hit the rim" Bernal, and Curtis "The Giant Tomato" Robertson.

thepit said...

The seasons from Junior and Mark are perplexing, no doubt. They appear to continue a trend of upperclassmen who regress (Mark Flavin, Ollie Ahviniemmi, Ernest Turner to name a few who struggled after showing promise). Junior just isn't a point guard. I'd like to see him closer to the basket, off the ball on the wing, using his slashing skills and strength. Mark shoots well when his feet are set, not when he's on the move. But he takes most of his shots on the move, coming off screens. Too much movement, no balance. They need strong senior years for Bears to turn a corner.

And I agree, McLemore and McNally were clearly our best players the second half of the season.

The frustrating thing is that Black Bears seemed close to making a breakthrough midway through the season and then just slid so far so fast. So, are Bears the team that had double digit leads on the top three in the league or the team that dropped 10 of its last 11, including a play-in loss to a club that had lost 14 straight?

Another item that gets ignored by the local media is the home record. There will be no improvement until Black Bears first begin to take care of business at home. It's hard to develop a following when people come out and all they do is see you lose. UMaine finished seventh in the league in home attendance, ahead of only UNH (by less than a 100) and BU. That's a big drop off from five, six years ago.