As Ray Allen said in his interview with the Go-To-Guy, we might be seeing those long flights across the country interrupted with “Have you guys seen this one?…..a slight of hand……nothing up my sleeve……and here’s your card!”
Actually I think Weiss is a decent hire. I’m not wild about it, I don’t hate it, it’s just a solid hire. Given that this is Ray Allen’s team, might as well have a guy that he likes.
That said, there are some real good things about Weiss, namely he’s been an assistant here for-EVER, even serving under George if you can believe it. A lot of others have written and said that Weiss was really a great gameday coach, especially with offensive ideas, and was a huge reason why Nate wanted him to go down to Portland with him.
Overall, I think when you look at the core today, you realize that the team is about 4 players – Ray, Rashard, Luke, and then Nick. I wouldn’t even count the Swift-n-Petro combo yet, they are too young and untested. You take that core, that 4/5ths of the starting lineup, and you compliment it. As Weiss said in an interview today, you look back at San Antonio the last 3-4 years, and they’ve had 4 constants – Duncan, Ginobli, Parker and Bowen. Those have been the core guys, and everyone else is there to feed off the “big 4”. This will be the same thing here, and like it or not, the next 3 years, it’s all about Ray, Rashard, Luke and Nick.
Why do I talk about the core? Because you want that core to be HAPPY, you want them to lead, and best of all, you want them to buy in to what the head man is doing! From EVERY account from these guys, no doubt about it, Weiss IS the choice of the Fantastic 4, so you go with it.
I also like this for one big reason – Had a new coach with new assistants walked in the door, it might have taken too long to mesh. This is a very delicate time for this team, and even wasting 1/2 to 1 full season trying to get familiar with each other would have been too much. The window of opportunity in the NBA is something that you MUST take advantage of, as we saw in the mid-90’s with the Sonics, when the window is open you go for it. When that window gets slammed shut, it’s a long climb back. With Weiss, things will be more of the same in regards to what happens on the floor and the attitude will be “let’s build off the huge steps forward we took last year”, not “I have to go out of my way to earn minutes from the new guy, and if that means more one-on-one offense, putting up better numbers, so be it. My family’s gotta eat Dawg!”
Hopefully it’ll be better off the court as well. As Ray alluded to, in the first post-McMillan interview, that Nate isn’t exactly sunshine and lollipops off the floor. Does that really matter? To some guys, sure. Not that they want to be best buddies with the head coach, but they certainly want a connection. I know in business, every manager I’ve had, the ones that are professional 100% of the time aren’t exactly comfortable to be around, and I’ve always responded better to a manager that actually shows they care about my family, or whatever. The focus doesn’t always have to be on work 100% of the time, and things still can be done at an extremely high level.
That said, let’s hope Weiss doesn’t transform into Westphal or Bo-Mel, with the country-club atmosphere and all. Let’s hope Weiss can show some backbone and put some guys in their places when it’s needed. Otherwise you’ll read lots of quotes come training camp of how “much more relaxed” everything is, how there is a lot less pressure, etc. When you see that, it’s “uh-oh, better start the pool of when he gets fired. Will it be when they are 12-18 after 30 games?? Or will it be at the all-star break?”
Some bad news for the Cougs – Backup o-lineman Eddie Vickers is withdrawing from school, which is a bummer, to go to a JC and get his grades up. The plan is for him to come back in January of ’06, but anything can happen. Once he leaves school, he’s a recruitable athlete again. A LOT of high hopes for this young OL prospect, and you better believe he’ll get some attention this fall.
In recruiting, things are somewhat quiet. The Cougs have offered, but the thought was there would be a handful of verbals after camp. Well, that didn’t exactly happen. Granted a lot of guys are probably pretty sure now that WSU is for them, but they aren’t announcing anything at the moment. I had heard/read that two campers in particular were expecting to commit, but for one reason or another, are holding off a little while longer. Both would be nice gets, and they hail from the east side of the state. They need to strike back a little after losing both Elisara and that elephant from Pasco.
Finally, COME ON MAN! Please leave some comments on these posts! I know you have thoughts you want to share. This was set up in the beginning to be two-three-way dialogue and avoid clogging up work e-mails with all things Cougs, but it’s been pretty one-sided. Even if it’s just an anonymous quote, I’d love to hear from you. Just put in the body of your quote who you are, that’s all.