FanPost

Mirror, Mirror on the wall . . .

Teams are reflection of their coach, no matter the sport. It's almost an organic process, from recruiting to practice to performance on the field or court, you see the coach's fingerprints on his players. I was at the game in Raleigh, center court, lower level. It gave me some perspective on this team that I could not get by watching them on television. Granted, what I am about to say is not statistically quantifiable, but I believe it has some validity.

Sitting in PNC Arena got me thinking about the State teams that Herb Sendek coached. He was what you get if you had an engineer/philosopher coach a basketball team - his teams clearly reflected his personality and approach to the game. They won games, but not enough for the State fan base to overlook the fact that he was a bad DNA match for them (State fans are a rah rah group by nature and Sendek was anything but rah rah). Gary Williams was a bird of a completely different feather, yet there are few that would argue that his teams (the good and the average) did not reflect their coach's tenacity and chip on the shoulder attitude.

What I witnessed in Raleigh was a team that was not having fun and knew it was on a short leash. Such a short leash that no one (with the possible exception of Dez) was empowered to be a leader. Heck, they don't even seem like they have the freedom to fail or succeed, for that matter. I compared them to the Juan Dixon and GV teams. You knew exactly who the leaders were from the time they came out to warm-up to the final buzzer. Those teams were loose and clearly had fun playing with each other. This team, from warm up to final buzzer, was like watching a rudderless ship without a captain on a windy day. I suspect that Turgeon is a bit of a perfectionist. Couple that with being in a basketball first university, with high expectations and resulting underperformance leads to an apparent vicious cycle where the pressure ratchets up with each disappointing loss. For better or worse, the team that Turgeon sees on the court each game is a reflection of his personality, leadership, and coaching acumen. These are the times that will reveal how good of a coach he is at this point in his career.

For those who claim that he doesn't have the talent to compete on this roster, I would say this: Life is often about what you do with less than ideal circumstances. Some people fold up like lawn chairs and claim that life dealt them a bad hand in this particular instance, while others make the absolute most of what they have. These are his players, his team, his reflection in the mirror.

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