Blog Entry

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

Posted on: January 30, 2009 8:02 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2009 11:22 pm

There is good news and bad news for Saint Mary's.

The bad is that Patrick Mills is out for a month with a broken right hand. That's really bad. But the good news is that as long as Mills returns by the NCAA tournament, any losses incurred during his absence should be recorded with an asterisk, including Thursday's loss at Gonzaga, and I hope that's something the NCAA tournament committee remembers on Selection Sunday.

Put another way: Saint Mary's should be judged by what it does with Mills, not what it will do without him. That's the fair way to grade a team, the way the selection committee should judge a team. So while losing Mills for a month is unfortunate, the development shouldn't hinder the Gaels' hopes of earning a high seed, because Saint Mary's shouldn't be penalized for losing games without its point guard provided its point guard is projected to be healthy for the postseason.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 22, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2009 11:54 pm

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

yeh i heard about that game

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: February 3, 2009 5:02 pm

19-4 UNLV didn't get a pass when Adams was out

UNLV has beaten Arizona, Louisville on the road, BYU on the road, Utep on the road, and 8 wins over top 100 rpi teams, and two of those wins vs. top 15 RPI teams......The Rebels have proven themselves over and over, but are dinged for playing A FEW games inconsistent when their leading scorer and best player was out.  Screw St. Mary's, they don't deserve it if we don't deserve it. Every team has to live with injuries. If you can't win without Mills, you're team isn't that good...HECK, UNLV BEAT LOUISVILLE AT LOUISVILLE WITHOUT OUR BEST PLAYER. 

St. Mary's doesn't deserve a pass...its ludicrous to say otherwise.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2009 3:20 pm

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

"provided its point guard is projected to be healthy for the postseason"

What if the projections are wrong? What if the injury has lingering effects?  What if, like so often occurs, he's not the same for a while after he comes back? 

This team, like every other team, needs to prove they are tounament worthy even while dealing with an injury.  Dozens of teams deal with the same issue every year.  Some win IN SPITE of their injuries.  UNLV lost it's best player and beat Louisville in Freedom Hall without him.  Should St. Mary's get their spot?

Tournament calibur teams are not one man shows.  Tournament calibur teams are deep.  Tournament calibur teams figure out a way to get the job done. 

Parrish doesn't deserve to be taken very seriously. 

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2009 7:15 pm

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

Bull----if a team is that dependent on one player-----they are not playoff or tournament quality.

Since: Oct 4, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2009 9:26 am

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

Gary, this post is rediculous.  While St. Marys has been a decent team this season (although having played next to nobody), they should have to suffer the same fate as a number of teams have in the past when it comes to injuries to key players.  Last year, both Dayton and Pittsburgh suffered because of injuries to key players, leaving the Flyers in the NIT and Pitt with a lower seed than they deserved.  As one poster already mentioned, Dayton didn't get a pass when Chris Wright broke his foot last year, missed the entire A-10 season, but returned for the postseason.  UD was 14-1 and ranked #14 in the country when he went down, and finished 23-10 with an RPI of 32, yet still got shafted to the NIT because they played poorly down the stretch (9-9).  St. Marys deserves no "asterisk" or any other pass by the committee.  If they are that good, they should be able to withstand the injury.

The point is that you CANNOT just throw out a handful of games because of an injury.  Injuries are part of the season and teams that are truly deserving of a shot at the national title play through them.  While I feel truly sorry for Mills and the Gaels, that's the way it should be done.  Sports analysts like yourself that make these kinds of comments scare me because it truly shows that you have little to no idea what you are talking about.  I'm glad for one that you aren't on the selection committee.

Since: Dec 20, 2007
Posted on: February 1, 2009 11:01 am

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

Wow, I wish I would've known about this last year.

Pitt loses two starters in two games last year.  So since they should not be judged by this, Pitt either went undefeated (since they never lost a game with both Levance Fields and Mike Cook playing), or instead of their 22-9 record, they really went 28-3.  They only lost three games with Fields as a starter (Dayton, Louisville, and West Virginia).

I'm sorry Gary, but this ridiculous love the media has for the Mid-Low major teams has got to go.  If you don't play in a power conference with a "real" possibility of losing a few games here and there in-conference, I really doubt the legitimacy of the team.  You stated a few days ago that Gonzaga's "good" wins were 2 against Tennessee, and also Oklahoma State and Maryland.  I'll give you the Tennessee wins, as they are a good team having a down year compared to what everyone thought they would do.  BUT, Oklahoma State and Maryland?  Give me a break.  Are you going to say that Duke is having a great year because they beat Maryland?  Is Maryland even a thought when looking at the real top teams?  Are you really going to use Oklahoma State as a reason a team is good and should be highly ranked?  The only reason you are using those teams as "good" wins is because Gonzaga plays in a small conference with little to no threats in losing.

Any team can beat any team (just about) given that they match up well, the better team has an off-night, and the lesser team has an on-night.  But that doesn't mean that the lesser team should be ranked, or that they are going to the Final Four (as Len Elmore stated about Gonzaga yesterday).  I think that it is great when a small school can shock the world and play out of their mind, but why do we grant those teams legendary status when they do it?  George Mason went nuts a couple of years ago in the tournament, but where are they now?  Where most small schools end up, forgotten by the national media.  How about the awesome MVC?  They were all the media could talk about a few years back (i.e. will they get 4-5 teams in the big dance?).  How's that mid-major conference doing this year?

Is Saint Mary's a good team?  Sure, they're good.  But they are only good in the context of the teams that they have played and in the conference they are in.  Nationally?  I don't think they would last three weeks in a conference like the ACC, Big East, or any power conference.

So please, realize the bigger picture when giving the undying love to Saint Mary's, Gonzaga, Davidson, etc.

I enjoy reading most of what you write, but I hate rolling my eyes as much as I do when reading your thoughts on the smaller schools and their players.

Since: Dec 12, 2007
Posted on: January 31, 2009 5:06 pm

Bradley in 2006

I think Bradley in 2006 is a good example, when Patrick O'Bryant missed the 1st half of the season and when he came in Bradley started to dominate the MVC.

Since: Jan 27, 2009
Posted on: January 31, 2009 10:31 am

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

Gary where were you last year when Dayton was 13-1, with wins over Pittsburg, Loisville, and URI?  It was at that point that they lost talented freshman Chris Wright to a broken foot, at which point they went 5-8.  Once Wright returned the Flyers finished up the regular season and A-10 tourney at 3-1 (they procedded to go 2-1 in the NIT as well).  So their record with Wright, prior to selection Sunday,  last season was a sparkling 16-1 (in fact in Wright's two seasons to date they are 37-4 when he is healthy).  I don't recall Gary, or anyone for that matter, pulling for the 21-10 Dayton Flyers on selection Sunday last year.  Let's be honest Gary, you have fallen in love with a new mid-major (St. Mary's) and you are hoping for some magical fairy tale run in the NCAA tournament ala George Mason.  But you need to be realistic and if St. Mary's is going to be judged only on pre-injury play then you need to afford every team this same luxury, every year.  Injury, unfortunately, is a part of the game of basketball and you cannot use that as a factor when determining a teams qualifications because there is no way to tell what would have happened if a player stayed healthy.  Who knows maybe Patrick Mills would have gone into a slump and St. Mary's would have gone on a losing streak, or maybe they would have continued to tear it up and earn a high seed in the tournament.  So there really is no way to tell so injury needs to be left out of the equation.  Sorry to say but your little love-in with St. Mary's might not have that fairy tale ending you were looking for Gary.  You'll just have to find another mid-major to root for...hey Dayton is available and they are 19-2!  

Since: Apr 2, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2009 8:55 pm

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

Saint Mary's should be judged overall. The committee should rate them with him before the injury, without him during injury, and after he returns. I agree that it should be held against them, but as already stated, it is a team game. He may not be the same player with the same results personally or as a team. The committee should look at a team such as this with an overall view. If Mills comes back at a level nowhere near as he left and the team results are not the same, the weight of "who's hot at the end of year" could unbalance the scale of his or the team's performance at the beginning.

You can't just disregard or not judge the time when he is gone or time after he comes back. Whether it's an injury or not the team as a whole should be judged. I realize Mills is a major factor in their wins so far, but you can't just say....well, Notre Dame played okay the first month and a half so they can go to the dance even though they lost 10 games in a row or something. The whole season has to be weighed and judged, with injuries included.

Since: Dec 15, 2008
Posted on: January 30, 2009 8:17 pm

Saint Mary's deserves a pass until Mills returns

If this is how Saint Mary's is to be judged, then they also should not be praised for winning games without Mills.  Mills' injury shouldn't be used as a crutch for any failure/success that Saint Mary's experiences.  This is still a team game...

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