WBB lose 79-71 Tournament hopes out look bleak

Submitted by manchild56 on February 26th, 2012 at 3:54 PM

In the last game of the regular season we are down 45-34 at halftime at Iowa. Sitiing at 19-10 8-7 in Big Ten play. We have fallen apart again down the stretch to make a certain NCAA Tournament bid, to now probably going to the NIT for the third straight year. 11 points isn't ideal but we need the ladies to dig deep and get this win and make a strong case for the big dance.

Comments

jmblue

February 26th, 2012 at 4:28 PM ^

It seems like the program can't quite get over the hump.  We seem to be stuck on this near-NCAA level.  I know that's still a huge improvement over where we were, but it's frustrating nonetheless.

Raoul

February 26th, 2012 at 6:56 PM ^

The women's program not being able to quite get over the hump under Borseth is, on the surface, similar the men's program under Amaker. But the women's program was in far worse shape when Borseth took it over than the men's program was when Amaker was hired (despite the scandal), the women's program has little history of success to tout on the recruiting trail, and the fan support is laughable.

Add all that to the poor facilities until the recent improvements, and it's hardly surprising that Borseth has had difficulty attracting talent to Ann Arbor. I don't want to be too critical of the players on the current roster, who have played hard all season, but every team ahead of Michigan in the Big Ten standings has a more talented and more highly rated roster of players. That promises to start to change next season with the incoming recruiting class, which is by far Borseth's best class.

The bottom line to me is that the team has had a better season this year than last, and with the infusion of freshman talent they should improve again next year. Borseth has the program on the rise, and it would be a mistake to pull the plug now. By contrast, I thought Martin kept Amaker around a year too long as I had no confidence that Amaker was ever going to get the men's program over the hump.

That being said, this is the final year of Borseth's five-year contract, and rumor has it he won't be brought back if the team doesn't get an NCAA bid. And then it'll be back to square one once again.

Raoul

February 26th, 2012 at 7:29 PM ^

Given the shambles of a program that Borseth inherited, what was a reasonable expectation? This year's squad may still earn an NCAA bid, but if they don't, it doesn't mean you automatically fire the coach.

Michigan's women's program is essentially the equivalent of Northwestern on the men's side. It may not be reasonable to expect a coach to turn around programs like these in five years. Bill Carmody has been Northwestern's coach since 2000, and he still hasn't gotten them into the NCAA tourney.

bacon1431

February 26th, 2012 at 8:05 PM ^

We were actually decent in the late 90s. Went to the NCAA 3 out of 4 years from 98-01. Don't think we're quite on N'W level of all time futility.

Being near Detroit and Flint/Saginaw, there's no reason to expect us to be missing the tournament year-in and year-out. I mean, MSU has been solid for a long time in women's basketball. Borseth has had every opportunity to get over the hump at Michigan. Not saying he should be fired, but I certainly think it's justified if he is.

Raoul

February 26th, 2012 at 8:44 PM ^

The Michigan women's program has the worst Big Ten record of all the teams in the conference--just like Northwestern on the men's side.

Heading into this season, the U-M women had an all-time Big Ten record of 147-347, which translates into a winning percentage of .298. The Northwestern men's all-time record was 466-1,028, or .312.

Borseth didn't inherit the program of the late 1990s. He took over from Cheryl Burnett, who was an absolute disaster. Her overall record was 35-83, and her Big Ten record was even worse, 10-54. In her last three seasons, she won a total of 4 Big Ten games. The team lost something like 30 straight Big Ten road games under her watch.

Good luck getting top players to commit to your program with that record of recent futility plus substandard facilities. It's hardly surprising that MSU would outrecruit U-M when they have long had a successful women's program and could offer better facilities.

Now the facilities have been improved, and Borseth is beginning to compete head on with MSU for the state's top recruits. Two of the top five players in the state have signed with U-M for 2012, and Borseth has two more top recruits already committed for 2013. And as I said in a post above, the team has had a better season this year than last. It makes little sense to change coaches now.

Wolverine Devotee

February 26th, 2012 at 8:51 PM ^

All-Time Records against B1G opponents through the 2011-12 season.

Illinois                           25-39
Indiana                         20-42             
Iowa                             14-43            
State                              15-59      
Minnesota                     25-31
Nebraska                       1-6
Northwestern                28-36
Ohio                                9-47
Penn State                    9-28
Purdue                         15-49             
Wisconsin                    20-39

bacon1431

February 26th, 2012 at 9:59 PM ^

I'm no saying that we should be outrecruiting MSU. But there is obviously some talent in the state and I don't think MSU is taking it all. Heck, EMU has always been decent. Yes, we know about the bad facilities in the past. But we weren't N'W. A program with 4 NCAA appearances in 40 years of existence is hardly a program that hasn't gone to the NCAAs in 60+ years.

I know all about the unmitigated disaster that was Burnett. But Borseth was able to get his first team on the bubble. 2nd year, team took a big dip. Excusable considering the program he took over. 3rd year, bubble. 4th year, bubble. This year, bubble with a worse conference record after only losing one player. Nonconference was also much easier this year.

I'm not in favor of firing him, but if they did, I wouldn't blame them. We are better than what we were 6 years ago. But are we that much better than what we were 5 years ago? Hopefully the recruiting classes you speak of make the difference. Obviously, Borseth knows how to coach because his UWGB teams dominated the conferences they were in. But it's up to Brandon to determine if he can take the program to the next level. I'm sure we could get a quality new coach with the facilities we now have.

Raoul

February 26th, 2012 at 10:32 PM ^

Sorry, but people who follow women's basketball consider Michigan to be historically the worst program in the conference. That's exactly where Northwestern stands on the men's side.

Regardless of the facilities, few top coaches would ever consider coming to Michigan for the women's basketball job given the abysmal history of the program and the complete lack of fan support. The best Brandon will be able to do is hire an assistant coach from one of the major conferences (which he probably won't do as he prefers people with head coaching experience) or--more likely--yet another mid-major head coach. Borseth has a proven track record of success, and he has ties to the state of Michigan. Why throw away the progress he's made--including likely losing at least some of the signed and committed recruits--to hire someone who could end up being Cheryl Burnett II?

Also, although I don't have time to go into the details on this, Michigan has a stronger tournament resume this year than last year.

manchild56

February 26th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

the lady Samantha Logic had a triple double today for Iowa 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists, 2 steals in 38 minutes. Which I dont think happens very often in NCAA ladies games. So I figured that was kinda impressive.

Wolverine Devotee

February 26th, 2012 at 8:13 PM ^

Michigan can't fire Borseth. They have to remember who they are. The program has had very little success. Not one banner in Crisler. This isn't tennessee or uconn. Borseth is building from the absolute rubble he inherited.