Welcome to the Friday Feedback, which, oh, man, what a day for Geno Smith. The New York Jets begin their rookie mini-camp today and Geno’s supposed to wear No. 7, a way around the retired No. 12, an obvious homage to George Costanza and kind of a big deal in New York City.
It’s the end of the beginning for the second-round pick, who easily has more attention on him than the team’s two first-round picks. Combined. He’s been in a defensive position ever since the draft, and honestly, ever since the Pro Football Weekly write-up. He can come out of the corner now and do what he’s been asked to do, which is throw footballs and give the team a reason to move on from the Mark Sanchez era. By doing one or both, he finally gives people something else to talk about when he is the topic of conversation.
It’s not a minor occasion, nor will it be treated like one. He’ll speak to reporters and you better believe that’s going to find its way to television. He’s the latest product of the new cycle, which offers unlimited access to the news, but has to fill all space to justify the limited access. This is how mole hills become mountains. Given the team and the market, he’s not unlike Tim Tebow at this mini-camp — and he ought to hope that comparison ends right there.
The meeting with the media is going to be interesting, for a few reasons. Geno did his requisite press conference upon and after being drafted, but that’s it. People there have tried to get with Geno for a story, but he’s declined, but also taken time to talk to USA Today, which isn’t exactly new. How will that be digested?
And correct me if I’m wrong, but I feel like the cycle has already spun around on Geno. It was popular and easy to pick him apart before, during and then after the draft, but for a few weeks now it’s been popular and easy to prop him up and pick apart the people who picked him apart. That sentiment is oftentimes fleeting, so I wonder if we’re back at the beginning, or on the cusp of it, and people will be looking for something or trying for something. This is football now and, by golly, it’s their job to be aggressive and detailed and opinionated.
Which leads me to this: Geno doesn’t have an agent yet. That’s absolutely going to come up because we’re allowed to believe his former representation surreptitiously sprinkled tidbits about Geno’s alleged behavior on the Jets beat so that writers could pick up and report them. And this week, we’ve been led to believe Geno will sign with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Never mind he reportedly met with them and a few others. The story is Jay-Z, because, come on, Jay-Z, but let’s not ignore the obvious here: The subtle suggestion is it’s potentially another bad decision.
I don’t know that to be true, but I really hope he pulls the trigger and gets with Roc Nation. Listen, Jay-Z is not an agent. He ain’t pass the bar, but he know a little bit, enough that you won’t illegally search his trunk. He has people and Roc Nation is working with CAA, which is a reputable agency. Not that it matters much, though. These rookie contracts are formulaic. Apart from little things, like, I don’t know, preferred parking spaces, where he sits on the charter, so on and so forth, there’s very little to negotiate nowadays. Agents aren’t going to mine a tone of hidden money.
So you subsidize. I think, in theory, that’s the benefit of an affiliation with Roc Nation. I don’t want to compare Geno Smith to Skylar Diggins, but I’m about to compare Geno Smith to Skylar Diggins. She was picked No. 2 in the WNBA draft. Not a lot of money there. But she’s marketable and she can make a lot of money outside the sport. A lot. She’s playing for Tulsa now, a town that is to exposure what lead vests are to exposure. Roc Nation’s task is to make Diggins visible throughout the league and the country, which is to say make Diggins a lucrative, and richly rewarded, commodity.
Geno’s in an exponentially more favorable position, of course. This is the NFL. He has a high profile, never mind the reasons. He’s a quarterback. He’s in New York. The cash register is right there. They just have to press the right buttons to get that drawer to fly open. Do you think Jay-Z, or his nation, knows how to get Geno to the right events and in the right rooms and talking with the right people? We’ll see if Geno sees it that way, and then, for certain, we’ll see what everyone else thinks.
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, maintain a single lane.
I was wondering where Greg Van Zant is, so I googled him and came across http://www.gvz-sucks.com … What a hidden little gem that is.
In all honesty, Van Zant seems to have done what he was supposed to do. Don’t spend any money and don’t embarrass the school. He did it and he was rewarded with a job for, what, 20 years? But the job has changed. The job he had is no longer the job that exists, even though the job title is the same. Now, the first priority is to win.
If Van Zant is a decent coach, and I honestly have no idea, then he will find a similar job to what he had at WVU. As far as I can tell based on the internet machine, he is not currently coaching college baseball.
It’s a weird scenario. I’m firmly of the belief that a coach’s first job is to keep his job. Whether the rhetoric GVZ offered is the same as what was offered to him is debatable, but he was told to do certain things. And he did. And the program suffered. And that was all permitted by other people. That’s not entirely his fault, but he’s certainly not free of blame. I doubt he works in baseball again. He’s got a bad name here and around the game, but he doesn’t need to work in baseball. He’s a smart guy who had a nice business career before he opted for the dugout.
Mack – found that site awhile back which is why I don’t take too much stock in anything GVZ says.
The straw the broke the camel’s back is when he requested a “mercy rule” when playing Oregon last year. He made us a laughing stock. Pathetic.
West Virginia coach Greg Van Zant requested the mercy rule just before the game when the coaches met at home plate.
“I didn’t know what to say to that,’’ Casey said. “I said, ‘Yeah, OK, if that’s what you want to do.’ ‘’
Eh, not a good look, but not unprecedented for the first game in a three-game event. There are worse stories from that trip, namely WVU apparently not touring the Nike factory, even though it was invited to play in the Nike event, and the unexplained whereabouts of certain goodies Nike gave teams.
Which makes Mazey’s turn-around both amazing and expected.
Amazing in that he had to change a cancerous mediocre attitude prevalent for YEARS.
Expected in that these kids – especially the West Virginia ones – were just waiting for someone to believe in them and coach the best out of them.
I think you got the barrel of the bat on that one.
Mazey has given new meaning to the phrase ahead of schedule. This roster is pretty much what GVZ had last year, no? Is there a better referendum on the old coaching regime than how the guys are playing this year?
If you want to measure how relevant the baseball team has become, take note that this, my very first comment on any baseball story Mike has ever placed on the blog.
We’re honored. Also, Mazey has 15 first-year players and seven first-year players, so it’s about half old and half new. His best hitter and two of the four players with an averaged above .300 are junior college transfers. So, too, is his No. 2 starter and his closer while his mid-week starter and one of the first out of the bullpen are freshmen.
Crying dang shame that this story isn’t getting as much run as the basketball team’s roster addition. I’m as guilty as anyone, but this team deserves a lot more of our attention. One heckuva season already and the end of the story is yet to be written!
I can’t say how much I am enjoying the reader contributions . . . Mike, I know you’re above it, but you really should’ve told us about this before:
Probably, but back then I just thought it was unfair for people to be college athletics experts and GVZ critics only because they knew the team wasn’t winning. I still think Bill Stewart’s ouster created an unfair barometer for coaches on campus. I’m not saying it was unfair to get rid of Stewart. I’m saying it’s unfair for people to hold, say, Jason Butts to the same standards. That said, I moved on from GVZ when I knew he’d been essentially fired and that his assistants were told their contracts weren’t being renewed but he still carried on with me about how things aren’t in place for him to succeed.
Oliver reminds me of the Underpants Gnomes.
Phase 1: Get Underpants
Phase 3: Profit
We never know exactly what Phase 2 is, although it involves spending a lot of money in order to create an appreciable asset (such as a baseball program that was of literally no interest to our fan base a year ago). If this investment pays off, Luck comes out of this looking like a genius. He has a formidable (and in our case, fortuitous) ability to see the future value in an entity and to strike while the iron is hot.
He’s over-qualified for this AD position for a reason.
Shame on Luck if he reads this and doesn’t spark a partnership between travel-weary WVU and Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome. You see, it’s a CEO position now. It’s not like it used to be when ex-coaches and jocks were the hand-shakers and money-makers. Colleges are major corporations and you spend money to make money — but you better make money. Deadspin had this story this week about the highest-paid employee in every state. Yes, many are college football or basketball coaches. But they’re all college employees. I know Luck doesn’t oversee the medical school or the law school, but someone does and at some schools a medical school or a law school is not unlike a football program. Colleges are exploding.
Unless I’ve mistaken everything that I’ve ever heard about the athletic department, the only reason it is receiving subsidy now is because of all of the costs associated with leaving the Big East. Ed Pastilong always beat the drum that it was a self-sustaining athletic department. Thus, I would think that in a couple of years it should go back to that, and as JiA said, receive zero subsidies.
I also thought that the athletic department did give back to the school’s general scholarship fund . . . or something.
That’s my understanding of the situation. I think the $100,000 in the state budget to fund the rifle team counts, too. The point is, the number ought to go down in the future.
Jeff in Akron said:
Mike, it seems to me I remember Luck mentioning last year, sometime during WVU’s move, that the Big-12 might look into adding soccer to its list of sports. I never heard anything more, is/were there discussions at the recent meetings, or did I just have too many Nesteas one day and imagined the whole thing?
The move was great overall, it just doesn’t seem right that LeBlanc has to take one for the team. He had a chance to move on, and stayed in Morgantown. I’m not a soccer fan, I’d still like to see things work out better for his program. Gotta root for a good coach that signs on for the long haul, regardless the sport. He and his program deserve better, and wouldn’t it be nice to school our Big-12 brethren in any sport!
No closer now than before, really. Maybe there have been more conversations, but not much movement. I think it can happen, but there are some Title IX things to juggle as well. And you have to endow scholarships across a few years to make it work. The true trouble is the finances. It’s not a money-maker and you’d have a hard time convincing some of these schools it’s worth their while. I don’t think facilities or finding players and coaches and opponents would be an issue, but it’s not as simple as it seems.
Hey, let’s break here. I pulled some comments from the Holton posts and gave them the normal to-and-fro treatment. Then I looked at the status bar below my writing space and saw the draft hadn’t saved in 40 minutes. For some reason, I was signed out, which usually means someone accessed the blog from a second location. So I lost all the Holton comments and replies.
I was three comments into repeating it, but I realized, perhaps fortunately, it was a waste of time. I’m not going to talk anyone out of not wanting the kid around. You’re free to think that about the team you choose to root for every ear. And I’m not going to talk anyone into it, either. Those two opinions, and the one in the middle that will wait and see, are perfectly permissible.
To me, it seems like a waste of breath, or key strokes, to say “Give him a second chance! Maybe he’s reformed! Judge the product!” I know we all know that, and I know we all know we can’t ignore the past, either. I’ve always been a proponent of the recuperative process and I’m confident we can agree on these three things.
1) Bob Huggins knows what you think and he cares what you think, but he also knows more about this than you and I and he knows that if Holton clears his hurdles and helps his team win, it’s justified.
2) There are two stories about Holton. One his is past. It happened. It defines him right now. The other is the future. It’s unwritten and the pen is in his hands. We ought to remember the first story, but we ought to be ready to let him write the second one.
3) He has skills. He can play and he can help WVU, if the reputation matches the presentation. Whether or not that happens is yet unknown, but he’s coming to WVU. Barring a bad outcome May 29, there’s no changing that. And let’s remember that since we started this discussion earlier this week we’ve learned that the laptop theft charge was dropped because he apparently bought that stolen laptop from someone and that when he does the disposition May 29 it’s believed he’ll receive a punishment much lighter than what might come from the two Facebook felonies.
Moving on …
At least Holton wants to be here.
This is true. Can’t say the same about Donte Grantham. Everyone thought he wanted to be here. But he wanted to be at Clemson, too. And maybe at George Mason? Oh, is that Miami on the line now? He might play the whole AAU schedule to open more eyes, too. It just seems it became too tedious for WVU. And nothing against Grantham, who I like and who I think has very nice potential, but I think WVU got better players in the sense Dibo and Holton can play right away and offer greater immediate impact.
so who does Huggs roll out when other teams play small-ball/three guards? both our point guards are listed as 6’1.” true? And Eron is listed at 6’2.” How we gonna match up with 6’4-5″ guards?
it might be time to head up to Syracuse and take some notes on how that 2-3 works with long athletes on the wings
i guess i’m still having a hard time seeing how these parts are going to fit together.
That’s not a huge difference. I think WVU would take its chances with that scenario. I think Holton can hold his own out there. Can’t say the same about Dibo. This is where Miles just has to matter. As for the zone, Huggins will never lead on one, but he has had that point drop/2-3 zone in his pocket for a few seasons now. The 1-3-1 is interesting, too, if the point guard is below the bucket, Beilein style.
Devin Ebanks – 6’9, guarded every position on the floor…………
Height does NOT dictate position in Bob’s motion offense. Dibo, Holton, Adrian will ALL likely play the 3, with Holton primarily at the 4. Add in Miles once his wrist gets healthy (if he stays at WVU). That’s 4 guys with the lateral quickness to guard smaller players, four guys who can ALL handle the ball, and four guys who can hit the long jumper that they can ALWAYS get off due to sheer size over their defender.
Bob’s building an NBA-sized squad. Look at the Heat’s roster. Only 3, maybe 4 players out of 15 that are shorter than 6’6. Doesn’t mean they aren’t guards….
Agreed on the philosophy, but I’m not sold on Adrian. At least not this season. Not sure how he finds a way to get ahead of others at the same spot who have better tools. I’ve seen him play in person a few times and I don’t think he’s quick enough to do what’s needed defensively at the 3 and he’s not big enough to be a 4 — and I should probably add “yet” to both of those. But he has a nice shooting touch, so he offers possibilities.
There aren’t many small lineups WVU can use. I guess Huggins could go with Staten, Browne, Harris and Henderson at once, but that could be a dreadful passing/defending lineup.
Reworded, without changing the meaning those sentences could say:
There aren’t many small lineups WVU can use. I guess Huggins could go with four guys who played 43% of the team’s total minutes this past year, but that could be a dreadful passing/defending lineup.
Your 2012-2013 basketball team, ladies and gentlemen.
This guy looks great. I watched about 45 seconds of a Youtube video on Grantham, and he did not look like he was the calibur of player that would help WVU. I know it’s ridiculous to make a judgment on so little a sample size, but does anyone else know any more about him? Do people think he’s the real deal?
Well, he was headed to Kentucky as part of the 2009 class, but his grades weren’t where they needed to be. Remember when Terrence Jones made the late switch from Washington to Kentucky? Dibo’d. Remi’s coach told me he can really shoot and score, but that his defense needs to improve for what Huggins will ask of him. The coach said the rebounding numbers are misleading and that he’s better than what his averages suggest. He was a shooter who was asked to freelance a bit and move around the perimeter. The Thunderbirds were plus-8.6 in rebounding margin and had other rebounders to do that work.
I’m sure the competition in this video is not Big XII caliber, but wow. I hope this kid is as fun to watch as his highlight reel.
Hope he never, ever misses, too, right?
honestly – I don’t think this class makes sense until Huggs brought in Dibo. He is a 6’9″ guard. Can score off the dribble. Can bring the ball up the court. I earlier questioned why Huggs would bring in 6 power forwards. Dibo is not and he changes everything about what this team can do. I mean HE HAS A CROSSOVER DRIBBLE! I’m trying to rack my brain for any four or five at WVU that had a crossover dribble. It may take awhile for this team to gel as team, but WVU should start making noise halfway through the 2013 season then watch out in 2014.
Yeah, I re-watched the crossovers a few times. That was neat to see. I wonder if he has the faith to do that in the Big 12. He has the ability, for sure, but does he think that’ll fly at this level. I want to see him try. That’s what makes Isaiah Austin so fun to watch. He can do the things he does — fade back on high screens, shoot 3s, cross people up — but he eventually realized he could do those things.
Bobby Heenan said:
He has a better handle than I thought; nice cross over. He’s obviously not going to have his way with defenders in the B12 like he did in CC, but it’s nice to have a guy that can dribble to create his own shot toward the end of the shot clock when the motion offense breaks down. Last year, we only had Staten and Hinds to break guys down, with Harris doing it a little bit as well. It will be nice to have that option at the 3/4.
Honestly, I want to see him shooting more free throws. With his contortions, his long steps, his pumps and hesitations, I can see him shooting six or so a game. He shoots 83 percent there. Why not?
oklahoma mountaineer said:
I’m seeing more Pittsnogle than Butler — can he play any defense?? If he can, Huggs may have gotten a steal…..unless he can’t learn sets like some of the guys that were on last year’s team.
On that note, are the two who transferred the only ones who can’t learn sets?? Yes, I know that there were 3, but the time that Valdy (sp?) got on the floor really doesn’t count, does it????
If they weren’t, you will see the same problems next year as well…..and I swear, you will see Huggs with a heart attack on the sideline.
I have to say, I see no Pittsnogle. They’re both tall and they both shoot, but KP had the quickest release I’d ever seen. Remi needs a moment. And he can move better, and more willingly, too. I don’t think all the absent minded sophomores are gone, either. The greatest offender might be, but Browne blew up his share of plays and Miles couldn’t be trusted after a while.
Dibo gonna be knocking dudes off their bikes next year!
I worry about the competition in the Cancun Classic. Fools on beach cruisers stand no chance. None.
The 25314 said:
One more power forward recruit and Huggins gets a free meal at Subway
Someone at Jimmy Johns corporate just grabbed a telephone.
Does that mean Aaric Murray is Smokey?
Whatever do you mean?
Enjoy the weekend!