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DDS:CB3 Dynasty: A Career - Hamish Hutchens

Started By ticktock, Jun 21, 2014 04:51 AM

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#1

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Hamish Hutchens was born and raised in Statesboro, Georgia, son of academics who taught at Georgia Southern. The Eagles were best known for their football prowess, but Hamish had always passionately loved and played basketball and one day dreamed of playing for their varsity side.
 
At the beginning of high school though, his parents transferred to the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. By the time he had finished high school, he had made new friends and though and he happily enrolled in South Alabama so he could stay close to his parents.
 
A feisty point guard on the court, it was during his high school years that his friends started out-growing him physically. Hamish seemed to stop growing at 5'7" while all his friends seemed to hit growth spurts. His court smarts and leadership could only compensate so much however, and he eventually had to admit to himself that playing competitively was no longer in his future.
 
By the time he enrolled in South Alabama, playing for the Jaguars was a pipe dream. He still loved basketball though, and seeing as his high school friend Jules Abraham had made the varsity squad as a small forward, Hamish signed on as an equipment manager so he could still be involved. And hey, at least he'd be getting prime courtside seats in the yearly Sun Belt conference match-up against Georgia Southern!
 
His obvious passion for the game and his ability to understand the minds of the players and to communicate effectively with them led to a unique opportunity in Hamish's junior year. Under the tutelage of legendary South Alabama coach Marek Stanfield, he was given a unique opportunity to sign on as a 3rd assistant coach when ill health forced the long-serving incumbent into retirement at the start of the 2013 season.
 
Coach Stanfield had observed just how effectively Hamish could communicate strategy to the players, but more importantly, how he had earned their respect by replaying the coaching lessons for Jules and a few others after practice. Due to the small size of the program and the limited funds available, both the 2nd and 3rd assistant roles were part-time, so this wouldn't interfere with completing Hamish's degree. If he couldn't play, coaching was the next best thing, and this now represented a dream come true for Hamish.
 
Marek's ability to sniff out talent had always been his strongest trait as a coach, and he saw the chance to mentor Hamish as just such an opportunity. Given his current assistants had always been weak in sniffing out talent for themselves, Marek took Hamish under his wing and gave him his first assignment to help in this area.
 
And so at the tender age of 21, Hamish embarked on what he hoped would now be a career in coaching basketball. While he still didn't really know a lot about the often complex offensive and defensive schemes needed to play ball at a collegiate level, he figured his ability to just understand what made a good player would be enough to make a go of things. And he could always learn the rest!
 

 

2013-CoachCard.jpg

 

 
[To Be Continued...]


#2

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South Alabama (P:19, F:C, A:C)  3rd Assistant (2yr,$17,000)
Stats: (O:6 D:19 R:31 S:7 PD:46) Rep:8 Job Security:10
 
Hamish was fighting back an increasing feeling of being overwhelmed. He sat across from Coach Stanfield who was peering at him intently, waiting for his answer.
 
"Umm... yeah... small forwards I guess."
 
"Right", Marek replied noncommittally.
 
He had asked Hamish for his assessment of recruiting needs for next year. He was right of course, but he also couldn't really be wrong since they needed help at every position. In fact, they had 5 scholarships to fill next year, as 3 starters and the 6th and 7th man were all seniors this year.
 
But he also acknowledged that this was tough for Hamish. He was now being forced to look at the team in a whole new light, especially his friend Jules. Marek was actually impressed that he picked small forwards as the number one need, given that would bring in extra competition for his friend. It showed early signs that he maybe could make the hard decisions when required.
 
He was certainly on to something though. There were currently only two small forwards on the team; Jules and fellow junior Jesse Engstrom. Jesse was probably a bit stronger skills-wise, but had reached the limit of his capability. Jules was the exact opposite. He'd always been a bit hard to get to know and like, and constantly rubbing his team-mates the wrong way had probably contributed to staying well down the depth chart. But he had some great potential. If he didn't establish himself this year though and Hamish brought in some good high school talent next year, Jules might never make the most of his opportunity to play at the collegiate level. That could certainly test the friendship.
 
Hamish sat back and wondered whether recruiting for 5 spots was a blessing or a curse. On the one hand it felt like a mammoth task and was certainly being thrown in the deep end. On the other, it sort of released the pressure a bit since they would have to spread themselves pretty thin, and it wasn't so much about letting some steal get away, but making sure they got decent recruits for all those spots so they could start to rebuild.
 
Coach Stanfield asked Hamish to go away and consider what sort of team he thought they should rebuild into, and what was important to look for in players that would help that type of team. He'd soon start giving Hamish the task of going through the scouting reports, and requesting game tapes for anyone who caught his eye. Coach Stanfield wanted them evaluated, and then put them on a list for his later review. Hamish didn't know it then, but he'd be watching hundreds of game tapes this season...
 
He thought about his philosophy when it came to basketball and the type of team that he wanted to help Coach Stanfield build.
 

 

2013-CoachPhilosophies.jpg

 

 
Mostly he thought about the way he used to play. High intensity, full court pressure, all the time. Force your opponents to panic, make mistakes, and then capitalise. To do this you needed an extremely tight unit who instinctively understood where their team mates would be on the court. Subs were only for when you had to. By extension, this meant you needed extremely fit and energetic players - any sign of tiredness or jadedness and you'd lose your coveted spot to someone younger and hungrier than you. Hamish believed that encouraging this level of competitiveness and hunger within the team was how you built championship calibre teams.
 
So he set himself some rules for how he'd start going through the lists of promising high school players:
 
  • No JUCO players - if you weren't good enough to come straight in at this level, you're probably not hungry enough for this team.
  • The recruit must be able to play average defense, and only if they are exceptional in something else. Everyone else must be able to play above average defense.
  • He'd give preference to those players who had familiarity with full court defenses.
  • Prefer small forwards, but look for the best player available at all positions.
 
Over the following weeks Hamish puts many players on the short list. He's somewhat surprised with how often Coach Stanfield disagrees with his assessments, and as time wears on he notices a number of players appearing on the watch lists that weren't put there by him. Players that he had explicitly ruled out as not being suitable in any way, shape, or form.
 
But he also knows he has to learn, and he's ultimately not sure of what players that Coach Stanfield offers scholarships to. Whoever they are, the test will be when they eventually get into practice and hit the court for the Jaguars. Only then will Hamish know if his or his coaches assessment was better.
 
Ultimately, they recruit PG Ramal Church and SG Jermaine Owens; a duo that Hamish thinks could be a 4 year starting pair for the team. He was extremely excited that Coach Stanfield seemed to listen and go after these two.
 
However, bafflingly, Coach Stanfield also offers a scholarship to another SG called Tory Gladieux. Hamish did not think he would fit in at all and shouldn't have been offered a scholarship. Tory is the only out of state recruit for the entire team (hails from Mountain Home, AR).
 
The two remaining recruits - SF Brett Harris and SF Greg Jackson - also baffled Hamish. Neither could play defense to save their lives, and he wasn't sure what Coach Stanfield saw in either of them. Perhaps these two would provide him with the greatest learning experience of all if they ended up being good contributors?


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2013 - Regular Season, Tournament Season, Post-season
 
It was an extremely tough year for the Jaguars.
 
This was to be expected in some ways due to the rebuilding required, but Hamish got to experience what a 8-19 (3-13) and finishing dead last in the conference season felt like in a way he'd never been exposed to before. To rub salt into the wounds, they lost twice to Georgia Southern who went on to finish the year 23-8 and be ranked #22 in the nation. In previous years that would have made him ecstatic; now it just made him feel hollow.
 
They didn't even qualify for the Sun Belt conference tournament, who only take the 8 highest placed finishers in the conference. Hamish could still only dream about what it felt like to take part in a tournament.
 
The only bright spot was Jules forcing his way into the starting lineup, and he was able to get some really good minutes while starting 26 of the 27 games.
 
After the year was over, Hamish took stock of what he had learnt. He had really only been involved in recruiting in his first year, but he felt like he had learnt a lot [R:31->37, S:7->9, no other attribute increases].
 
He had had limited involvement during practices and game time, but given the move from equipment manager and his age similarity with the players, this was probably a wise move on Marek's part. The incoming recruits next year would see Hamish as more of an authority figure since he was very visible and involved during their recruiting process. Within a year or two, Hamish should be able to do a lot more for the team.
 
On a nice personal end to the season for Hamish, he did field a few enquiries from other small programs to see whether he'd be interested in coming over as a 3rd assistant [no offers better than P:23 schools]. None of them really offered a better opportunity compared to South Alabama, so he politely thanked them for their interest and started preparing for next year...
 

 

2014-CoachCard.jpg

 



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2014 - Pre-season

 

South Alabama (P:15, F:C, A:C)  3rd Assistant (4yr,$17,000)
Stats: (O:6 D:19 R:37 S:9 PD:46) Rep:8 Job Security:10
 
Hamish walked into Marek's office in early May to officially start their 2014 campaign.
 
"I've got some good news and bad news; which did you want first?" asked Marek as Hamish took a seat.
 
"I'll go for the good Coach."
 
"Well, I've recently had a very encouraging meeting with our athletic department. The AD understands that this is a process of rebuilding we started last year, and what we need more than anything is time. So he's decided to extend all our contracts out by 4 years in a show of good faith and support."
 
"Wow, that's fantastic news!"
 
"Yeah, he pretty excited by Church and Owens coming in, and he thinks they could be two of the best players to play for the Jaguars for some time. He's hoping they'll form a potent back court duo for many years."
 
Hamish was quite pleased with this news, and the implicit recognition that he'd done a good job last year even during such a tough season.
 
"Err, so what's the bad news coach?", enquired Hamish.
 
"You got an extension, but no extra pay. He only gave a small increase to the full-timers; myself and Geoff. I tried to wrangle a bit more cash from him to get yourself and Mayce a few extra dollars, but he wasn't in THAT good of a mood".
 

 

2014-Coaches.jpg

 

 
"That's alright coach; you can pay me the big dollars when we win the conference!" joked Hamish as he grinned at Marek.
 
Marek smiled.  "Well, I like your enthusiasm. I think we're going to need it again this year. Though at least the AD also gave us some realistic goals; he just wants us to try and win 10 games and see if we can avoid finishing last again. I really did catch him in a good mood!", grinned Marek back at Hamish.
 
"Anyway, get your head back in the game and start thinking about who we should be going after in recruiting this year. You had a good year last year, but you've still got lots to learn", continued Marek.
 
"Sure thing coach", replied Hamish as he left the office.
 
From a needs perspective, he figured this year was a bit easier. He felt they were looking ok at guards with the recruitment of Church and Owens, and last year freshman C Louvon Swoger turned out to be as good as expected and led the team. With the impending graduation of both starting SFs and two walk-on senior PFs who provide good minutes, the focus must be on SFs and PFs this year for the 3 scholarships available.
 
He also saw no reason to change his basic recruiting criteria that he used last year (no JUCO and must be at least average on Defense), no matter what Marek thought.
 
As the months rolled on, recruiting turns out to be a much more difficult exercise than last year.  Last year's horrendous season is still pretty fresh in everyone's minds and the school's reputation had taken a bit of a battering.
 
Marek continues to apparently ignore candidates that Hamish thinks would be a good fit, and potentially have been misrated by others, but overall does seem to be considering his suggestions more. Hamish can't help but think that the condition of the two questionable SF recruits from last year (Brett Harris and Greg Jackson) might have something to do with it - they really aren't in good shape and Marek decides to redshirt them. Hopefully a year on the practice squad might help.
 
In what Hamish hopes is not a sign of things to come, the Jaguars have no verbal committments leading into the first game of the season...


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2014 - Regular Season, Tournament Season

 

Hamish looks at the schedule that the AD has negotiated for them and looks at Marek. "Is he for real?!"
 
"I'm afraid so son", replies Marek. "I guess he might have regretted being in such a good mood when he extended our contracts, and he figures this is how he might even things up."
 
A very tough first game of the season is scheduled against the Cincinnati Bearcats, and the Jaguars are mauled 79-56. Freshman PG Ramal Church is bewildering stuck at the bottom of the depth chart and does not see any game time, while fellow freshman SG Jermaine Owens is 6th man on the depth charts and is top scorer for the team from limited minutes.
 
Owens is made a starter for the second game against Fresno State, and responds with a 25 point player of the game effort that sees the Jaguars hold on for a 79-74 win. Church is moved up to 6th man, but only sees limited minutes.
 
Owens follows up with another POTG in a win against High Point, and then mounts a huge comeback on the road against Lafayette before ultimately falling short by a single point. Owens had 22 points including 4 from 6 behind the arc.
 
Hamish is starting to feel very vindicated with his scouting of Owens. He's hoping that Church starts blossoming and getting more of an opportunity soon as well, as these were the two that he really did think would make a difference. His friend Jules is also happy; he's still starting and Owens is starting to make his life easier as well.
 
This early surge of confidence brought about by the impact of Owens is translating into some good wins. The rather brutal non-conference schedule rolls on though, and disappointingly, the Jaguars are on a 3 game losing streak as they prepare for their home opener against Troy. Hamish feels like confidence and enthusiasm are ebbing again.
 
Looking at things positively, the Jaguars are entering the conference games with a 6-5  record and only need 4 wins to meet their goal for the year. Those 4 wins should hopefully be enough to also avoid finishing last in the conference, meeting their other goal.
 
Owens proves to be the difference. He almost single-handedly leads the Jaguars to an improved record in conference play (6-10), and they finish 12-15 overall. This is good enough for an 8th place finish out of the 11 teams, and they easily meet the AD's goals for the year.
 
Perhaps more importantly to Hamish, they get to play in the Sun Belt Conference tournament this year! This is just the sort of experience he was looking for to continue his education in being a coach.  When he sees their first round matchup is against Georgia Southern, he can't decide whether this is a good or a bad thing though. He doesn't have to waste too much time contemplating it however, as the  Eagles easily see them on their way out.
 
A disappointing end to the season in some ways, but the entire team is happy with their progress this year and they are looking forward to doing even better next year. The Sun Belt conference is a bit better regarded after the improved showing from a number of teams [P:31->33], but strangely people seem to keep focusing on the overall number of losses rather than the improved record for the Jaguars [P:15->13].
 
But the enthusiasm and energy around campus can't be denied, and it soars again when it comes to the annual conference awards dinner. Jermaine Owens is recognised for the huge impact he has had and is named SBC Freshman of the Year with 17.4ppg, 1.3apg, 3.5rpg, 1.4spg, and 0.3bpg. He's also named to 1st Team All-Conference side. He had 11 POTG and 8 POTW awards during the season.
 
Before the season wraps up, Marek and Hamish receive commitments, and ultimately signed LOIs, from SFs Andy Edwards and Donald Edwards, and C C.J. Murphy. Hamish likes both the SF picks because they are rated as good defenders, and Donald in particular might turn into something decent for the Jaguars.
 

 

2014-DonaldEdwards.jpg

 

 
Both SFs are also from out of state, so this is perhaps a sign of much better recruiting ability displayed than last year. He's still a bit non-plussed with why Marek would offer scholarships to players like Murphy who are scouted so lowly and with no discernible advantages for this team, but he continues to put it down under the category of "still need to watch and learn".
 
Overall though, Hamish thinks he still learnt quite a lot again this year. Again, mostly from his recruiting, but Marek involved him a bit more in training and game day this year and he felt he started to learn and improve in those aspects as well [D:19->21, R:37->43, S:9->11, and PD:46->47]. Mayce Tillman runs the practices, and since he probably knows the most about defense out of all of them, Hamish made an effort to pay close attention while he was helping out this year. He felt like it paid off.
 
And probably no more so at the very end of the year when he realised that he was starting to make a name for himself [R:8->9]. Well, the start of one at least. Other schools were taking a little more notice, and he was gob-smacked at some of the interest he got.
 
Best Offers -
2nd asst Campbell 23-8 (14-4)                  P:24, F:C, A:B-
2nd asst San Francisco 17-14 (10-8)            P:18, F:C, A:B-
3rd asst High Point 19-11 (12-6)               P:20, F:C-, A:C
 
The offer to move to the Big South from Campbell was tempting, as it was a full time offer and a step up in responsibilities at a more prestigious school (albeit a Baptist university that didn't really gel with Hamish's upbringing or view on the world).
 
Other offers by both High Point and Lafayette for 3rd assistant roles showed they appreciated those responsible for signing Jermaine Owens, the player who beat them single-handedly earlier in the season, but weren't really considered as they would be a step sideways.
 
Hamish decided to stay on for at least one more year (even with his friend Jules Abraham graduating and leaving), as he was excited to see what Owens would do next, and how his new recruits would do next year.
 
This would be the best test of all he'd learnt the previous year...
 

 

2015-CoachCard.jpg

 

 



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2015 - Pre-season

 

South Alabama (P:13, F:C, A:C)  3rd Assistant (3yr,$17,000)
Stats: (O:6 D:21 R:43 S:11 PD:47) Rep:9 Job Security:10
 
"Well that's uninspiring," remarked Hamish.
 
"You're telling me," replied Marek. "He only wants us to avoid finishing last again and to win 10 games - same as last year."
 
Marek, Hamish, and 1st and 2nd assistants Geoff Price and Mayce Tillman have met for their first coaching meeting of the new season.
 
"We can do better than that. We need to set our own goals," Geoff volunteered. He had always been just as ambitious as Hamish and the uninspiring goals set by the AD for this season stuck in his craw as well.
 
"Sure, as a group then, what do we want them to be?" asked Marek.
 
"We got an extra 3 conference wins and 4 wins overall last year - I think we should be trying to do that again. If we got to 15 wins overall and aimed to finish in the top 6 of the conference, I think that would be a good result. We'd probably need about 9 wins to finish top 6," suggested Geoff.
 
"I agree," replied Marek. "Objections?"
 
Mayce and Hamish shook their heads.
 
"Right, let's do this then. For team ears only - let's make sure the AD doesn't hear about how much we think of his assessment of us, ok?" said Marek.
 
Hamish threw himself into his recruiting tasks this year, his first without Jules around and actually feeling like a "real" coach now, with more enthusiasm than ever. He continued building upon his recruiting system, and now had very definite ideas on the type of players needed for this program, and not just broad suggestions of the positions they played. He knew for instance that they'd need a PG and a couple of big men this year, but he knew exactly the sorts he'd go after to support PG Owens, C Swoger, and incoming freshman SF Donald Edwards.
 
But as the recruiting efforts for this year wear on, he finds himself more and more at odds with Marek. The guy just won't listen. He keeps wasting time watching and calling recruits that Hamish has already deemed unsuitable, and won't call the guys who he knows will help this program really excel. Hamish decides that he's reaching the first turning point of his career - he either needs Marek to relinquish complete control of recruiting to him or to expand his role on this team. Otherwise, he has to give serious consideration on leaving South Alabama.
 
The nail in the coffin is reached early on in the pre-season when Marek cuts sophomore PG Ramal Church, who is ultimately replaced by a sub-par walk-on freshman. Hamish was still very much a believer in the long-term ability of Church, and feels that this decision is just silly. Within days, he's decided that he will definitely leave at the end of this year no matter what happens.
 
The axing of Church frees up another scholarship, so Hamish has no further time to let it bother him. He needs to crack in and try to fill yet another spot this season.
 
As the difficult pre-season comes to a close, Hamish spirits are lifted somewhat with the early signs shown by Donald Edwards. It looks like he will start, and Donald is another one of what Hamish considers "my guys" - the ones he wanted to go after, and not some of the others that Marek eventually decided to give scholarships to. Fellow freshman SF Andy Edwards has been redshirted by Marek; a decision that Hamish is also disappointed with, but can at least understand given the limited opportunities he will probably see due to how good Donald is looking in early scrimmages.
 
And so Hamish enters their non-conference schedule feeling strangely ambivalent this year. On the one hand, he's excited about his recent recruits and the difference they are making and wants to see them progress even further this year, and on the other, he's getting increasingly frustrated and jaded with Marek. Hamish knows he could do more if only he was given the chance...


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2015 - Regular & Tournament Season

 

Freshman SF Donald Edwards starts in the first non-conference game and has an immediate impact, winning POTG and helping the Jaguars to their first win. Hamish is again very pleased with how "his guys" are turning out. He can't help but ruefully think what he could do if recruiting was left solely up to him...
 
All Sun Belt non-conference schedules look a bit tougher this year, so hopefully that will help the Jaguars RPI later on in the season and increase the chance of scoring a tournament invite somewhere. The Jaguars do ok with their schedule finishing 5-6 (last year 6-5), but due to the stronger schedule they faced again this year due to the AD's continuing "you'll earn the pay rises I gave you" philosophy, they end with a much better RPI than last year of 103. This is the highest RPI in the entire Sun Belt conference entering conference play.
 
The only negative has been the play of freshman sensation Jermaine Owens. His numbers are well down, and the coaching staff are trying to work out whether it's just a case of sophomore blues, or whether he's having a real problem adjusting to emergence of Donald Edwards.
 
The concerns are allayed when the Jaguars win their first two games of the season and sit at 7-6 (2-0); a record that is putting them very much on track to meet their own internal team goals.
 
Until disaster strikes. Owens strains his knee in practice and looks like he will be out for the better part of two weeks. The only positive for the team is that in that period they were playing two of the strongest sides in the SBC (Georgia Southern and Troy), and they were both away games. These weren't 2 of the 9 wins the team was gunning for... which is fortunate, since as expected they go 0-2 during this period without their star player.
 
Owens returns on schedule and the season rolls on. In a sign of their increasing improvement, the Jaguars are also invited to play in a Bracket Breaker Sunday game against the Cleveland St Vikings. This is hugely exciting for the emerging team, and the increased national exposure certainly doesn't hurt their egos, but they are easily accounted for by the Vikings who go on to be Horizon League champions.
 
The improvement continues, and the enthusiasm keeps building, as the Jaguars go on to meet both their internal team goals and finish the season with a 15-13 (10-6) record and finish an incredible 3rd place in the Sun Belt conference. Owens numbers are still down on his first season, but he's managed to find a happy balance with Edwards for the greater good of the team.
 
The Jaguars again lose in the first round of the SBC tournament to the eventual winners the Troy Trojans. They finish the year with a 15-14 (10-6) record with an RPI of 213 (.4841), and Hamish gets to experience a winning season for the first time in his coaching career. Sadly, the conference's early season's schedules didn't end up helping, and only the Trojans get to participate in any tournament play due to their automatic NCAA tournament bid. A tournament invite would have to be a goal for the Jaguars next season...


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2015 - Post-season

 

In another exciting night for the young team, freshman SF Donald Edwards is named to the 2nd Team All-Conference side in the annual Sun Belt Conference Awards dinner. The team focuses on the continuing positives for the side, and choose to overlook the more subdued year by Jermaine Owens.
 
And recognition finally appeared to be happening outside of South Alabama [P:13->14] even in a year when the Sun Belt conference didn't cover itself in any glory [P:31->30]. The AD also finally recognised their improvement and requested that next year he wanted to see a top 3 conference finish again, but he was still only happy with 10 wins.
 
Hamish was sure this meant two things. One, the AD still underestimated what this side could do, and two, he was going to arrange another brutal non-conference schedule in an effort to increase their national exposure. Given how much he had been clashing with Marek this year, so much so that he'd gone back to just primarily doing recruiting work, Hamish was more convinced than ever this was the right time to move on from the Jaguars and take the next step in his career.
 
He wasn't sure what sort of interest he'd attract though. His scaled back role this year left him feeling like he hadn't made the strides of previous years [R:43->49, S:11->12, no other increases], and that he hadn't done anything to establish himself further as a potential up and comer to other teams [reputation stayed at 9].
 
But he shouldn't have been concerned. Very pleasingly, he fielded a lot of interest, and even his first head coaching offer!
 
Best offers:
HC  TX Pan American 8-20 (5-9) WAC:16 (.286)            P:4, F: D, A: D+
1st Portland St 11-17 (7-9) BigSky:29 (.388)            P:11, F:C-, A:C
2nd Campbell 16-15 (8-10) BigSouth:17 (.604)            P:20, F:C, A:B-
2nd Loyola-Maryland 20-12 (13-5) Patriot:24 (.551)      P:23, F:C, A:B+
3rd West Virginia 13-15 (9-9) Big12:72 (.381)           P:44, F:B-, A:C+
3rd Clemson 13-15 (7-11) ACC:88 (.402)                  P:41, F:B-, A:B+
 
The head coaching offer was for perennially struggling minnow Texas Pan-American who were looking to shake up their elderly coaching staff, and Hamish's recruiting and player development prowess had obviously become wider knowledge throughout the association. The year on year improvement of the Jaguars obviously also reflected well on all the coaching staff, but the recruitment of Owens and Edwards was being seen as testament to the emerging ability of Hamish more than anything else.
 
Hamish also had a similar 1st assistant offer from Portland St in Oregon who just had their role open up. Ultimately, Hamish felt like he needed more experience before taking on either role, and particularly at larger schools if he was ever going to get senior roles at big schools.
 
Luckily, in addition to a couple of interesting 2nd assistant roles at similar institutions in lower prestige leagues, Hamish also attracted the attention of Clemson and West Virginia who invited him to apply for their 3rd assistant roles. This was exactly what Hamish had been looking for. All the coaching positions had been spilled at Clemson and Hamish decided to apply there first since coaching in the ACC would truly have been making it in the big time. Sadly, he was not successful. He also applied to West Virginia though, and scored the role!
 
The Mountaineers would be an interesting challenge. All their coaching roles had been spilled too by ex-Gonzaga 1st assistant coach Terrell Buse who was entering his second year as head coach. Deeply experienced and a very good recruiter, this would be a fantastic learning opportunity for Hamish. Buse rounded out his staff by recruiting widely acclaimed high school coach Ryan Westbrooks (42) as his 1st assistant in his first college gig, and added some more deep experience by snaring former Florida St 2nd assistant Phil Radford (66) for at least one more year in a similar role before he retired. Buse was pretty laid back, and all his coaching staff were pretty similar and gelled well.
 
The best part of this role for Hamish was that this would give him a chance to run practices, which is what he had really been looking for at South Alabama. So even though this looked like another part time role for him (with a pay drop of $17K->$11K, though balanced by committing to a 5 year deal to develop him as a coach), this was a learning opportunity too good to pass up. To be asked to be in charge of team practices for this staff was an honour, and due recognition of his achievements so far...
 

 

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ticktock...nice migration of this dynasty over to here.  Hope you are going to continue it...both here and in the Wolverine forums.



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#10

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ticktock...nice migration of this dynasty over to here.  Hope you are going to continue it...both here and in the Wolverine forums.

 

Thanks PG. Will finish migrating the rest of the dynasty over today.

 

I'd love to be able to continue this dynasty, but it will solely depend on whether Gary finds a fix for the attributes of 0 bug and whether my database is corrupted beyond repair (more on that later for those who haven't read about it on the WS forums).  I'm hoping for the best, but I'm also realistic enough that I'm prepared that I'll never be able to play out Hamish's full career.



#11

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Coincidentally, my very next post in the original thread on the WS forums was:

I'll just add that it was at the end of this season that I first encountered the 0 attributes bug. The end of the season actually ended slightly differently (extra loss but won first round SBC game), and Hamish received an offer from the Charlotte 49ers that he accepted.

It was during that end of season changeover that I first noticed the bug. A number of the Charlotte players had 0 attributes even though Hamish was now a 3rd assistant on that side for the 2016 season.

Very reluctantly, I went back to an earlier save and replayed out the the remainder of the 2015 season, changing the history as I went. That end of year changeover to the Mountaineers worked as it should, and I managed to get through the 2016 season until the bug struck again at the end of that season. frown.gif

 

 

For those interested, this is the link to the bug I have encountered.



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2016 - Pre-season

 

Hamish walked into his new job and immediately knew he had made the right decision to leave South Alabama. He needed this to progress his career, but he also clicked with the entire staff Coach Buse had assembled straight away. They were all laid back, but they all had the competitive fire to win and improve both the team and themselves on a daily basis.
 

 

2016-Coaches2.jpg

 

 
And he had to admit, the laid back style seemed to agree with Coach Buse in particular, who was looking fantastic for his 60 years of age!
 
But it was more than just the coaching staff that appealed to Hamish; it was the entire organisation. He found out for instance that the expectations set by their AD were more aligned to his own. Here it was a given to qualify for at least the AIT, and to finish above .500 and in the top half of the conference while improving the prestige of the university.
 
Oral Roberts was also joining the Big 12 from the Summit League for the first time, which should also shake the conference up, and the Mountaineers are only predicted to finish 7th in the conference. This was the sort of challenge Hamish had been looking for!
 
Hamish was also impressed at his first practice. The quality of the players far surpassed anything he had seen before, and encouragingly, he could see even more potential. Only 3 seniors would graduate this year (and only one of those was a scholarship), so he had a real chance to sink his teeth into developing these players into all they could be. He was initially a bit daunted walking into practice, but he decided that "fake it until you make it" was the way to go and decided to act like he had always belonged there.
 
Encouragingly, it seemed to work with the squad and they responded well to the practice regime he put in place. He worked closely with Coach Buse to understand the type of offensive and defensive schemes he wanted to put in place, and he tried to align his practice drills accordingly. He also wanted to keep things fresh for the players, so he also made it a point to mix things up and not let the players get stale. They seemed to appreciate this, and it helped establish Hamish as one of the team quicker than he had ever hoped.
 
Before he knew it, the non-conference games were upon them. In a dream first week, the Mountaineers won their first game, and then travelled to Hawaii for the Hawaiian Shootout and Hamish's first non-conference tournament. Even better, the first round game was against Clemson who passed over Hamish for their 3rd assistant role, and he can't help but feel a bit of smug satisfaction as they lead practically all game and comfortably beat the Tigers 69-56. They then beat Tulsa the next day, and end the week going into the Shootout final against the #11 nationally ranked Iowa St with a 3-0 record and their own #15 national ranking!
 
The dream continues the next week with a thrilling 83-80 win against Iowa St, and the Mountaineers then follow up with wins against Gonzaga and Grambling on their return to the mainland. The Mountaineers finish the week with a 6-0 record, an RPI of 62 (.6144), and a national ranking of #11. The group is abuzz with excitement, and the coaches and players are loving Hamish's practice sessions and he has quickly started earning their respect.
 
The following week brings the Mountaineers back down to earth however. After another great win against #22 Xavier, they faced a #15 ranked North Carolina Tar Heels side that eventually brought them undone. Coach Busel said in some ways it was a good thing to have the unbeaten tag thrown off now. The Mountaineers RPI increased to 41 (.6177) even with the loss, but it did cause them to slip back to a #14 ranking.
 
Unfortunately though, the next few weeks prove difficult for the Mountaineers. They drop games against sides they shouldn't have, and they start suffering a minor injury or two. They enter conference play with a 9-4 record and an RPI of 64 (.5640), and they are no longer nationally rated in the top 25.
 
And yet, Hamish can't keep the smile off his face. This was everything he had hoped to experience by leaving South Alabama, and he was having a ball...


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2016 - Regular & Post-season

 

As the season wears on, the smile starts to fade from Hamish's lips. He finds out just how tough the Big 12 can be, and the Mountaineers appear to get worse and worse as the season grinds them down. By the end, the Mountaineers hold a 14-15 (5-11) record with an RPI of 140 (.5076), and include 6 straight losses to end the season. The overall season win record is marginally better than last year thanks to the great start to the season, but a far worse conference record has left a sour taste in everyone's mouth. There will be a lot of reflection for Coach Buse's staff in the off-season on how it all came undone.
 
They still get to take part in the Big 12 conference tournament though, and the Mountaineers square off against the newcomers Oral Roberts who have finished on an identical conference record. There is more than a touch of pride at stake, and the Mountaineers prevail 67-57, but this puts them into a 2nd round match-up against the nationally ranked #4 Oklahoma St. They are knocked out by the eventual Big 12 tournament champions, and enter post-conference tournament play with a 15-16 (5-11) record and an RPI of 136 (.5042).
 
However, this is nowhere near good enough to be invited to any tournaments, and the Mountaineers fail in all 4 of their pre-season goals for the year. It's pretty close to a disaster of a season, and it's a sobering time for the entire team. Their expectation of excellence demands better.
 
In one of the few pieces of positive news for the season, sophomore C Andre LaRue is named a starter in the Big 12 1st Team All-Conference side. Additionally, no players decide to leave early for the NBA draft, so hopefully next season should build upon this one.
 
On a personal note for Hamish, he probably learnt more in the past season than his previous 3 with South Alabama, and he is very pleased with his accomplishments. He learnt a ton by taking the players through practice and by helping out the other coaches wherever possible, and his skills increased accordingly [O:6->11, D:21->27, S:12->14, PD:47->53] and he felt he continued to establish his reputation as a legitimate coach [R:9->10].
 
Hamish had no idea just how much his reputation had grown however. He was gobsmacked at the interest in him at the end of the season. He had clearly been earmarked as one of the hottest up and coming young coaches in the country, and his phone didn't stop ringing. He had no less than 3 head coaching offers this year, including Loyola-Maryland who had offered the 1st assistant position to him just last season. The two others were from Sam Houston St and Hartford.
Best offers:
HC  Loyola-Maryland 12-16 (8-10) Patriot:22 (.521)      P:16, F:C, A:B+
HC  Sam Houston St 13-14 (6-10) Southland:19 (.455)     P:12, F:C, A:C
HC  Hartford 12-16 (7-11) AEC:18 (.377)                 P:10, F:C, A:C+
1st MD Eastern Shore 28-7 (14-2) MEAC:17 (.546)         P:21, F:C, A:C-
1st San Francisco 13-17 (6-12) WCC:45 (.449)            P:17, F:C, A:B-
1st Jackson St 15-13 (10-8) SWAC:25 (.500)              P:17, F:C, A:C-
1st Rider 16-12 (12-6) MAAC:24 (.544)                   P:17, F:D+, A:C+
1st Maine 14-15 (10-8) AEC:18 (.538)                    P:17, F:C, A:C+
1st Campbell 13-15 (9-9) BigSouth:17 (.571)             P:17, F:C, A:B-
1st Denver 18-10 (8-6) Summit:11 (.588)                 P:17, F:C, A:B-
1st South Alabama 14-15 (11-5) SunBelt:29 (.434)        P:11, F:C, A:C
2nd Wyoming 21-11 (11-5) MWC:51 (.512)                  P:44, F:B-, A:C+
2nd Central Michigan 15-14 (9-7) MAC:44 (.449)          P:39, F:B-, A:C
3rd Ohio St 13-16 (7-9) Big10:79 (.550)                 P:57, F:B, A:B
3rd Providence 18-14 (9-9) BigEast:62 (.500)            P:50, F:B-, A:B+
3rd Wichita St 20-12 (12-6) MVC:39 (.744)               P:50, F:C+, A:C
3rd Georgia Southern 16-15 (8-8) SunBelt:29 (.621)      P:41, F:B-, A:C+
He was offered a number of 1st assistant positions, of which only the San Francisco Dons held any appeal due to the strength of their conference and the chance to work with recruiting legend HC Barry Louis. Hamish didn't want to focus on recruiting again though at this point, and didn't really desire to travel that far away from his family. Campbell also upped their offer from a 2nd assistant role from last year.
 
However, the most interesting call Hamish took was from his old HC at South Alabama, Marek Stanfield. The Jaguars had managed to finish first in the conference this year, and Marek felt that to really take them to the next level they needed Hamish. Marek had kept note and was immensely proud at how Hamish had blossomed this year. He was so convinced of Hamish's potential that he was even willing to fire Geoff Price and give him the 1st assistant role for next season!
 
As tempting as that was for Hamish, he was now far more excited about all the other opportunities that were within his grasp. For example, he had a very tempting offer from Wyoming to come join as a 2nd assistant in a newly formed coaching team after head coach Roman Mayes cleared out his current staff.
 
But most pleasing of all, he got some serious interest from big name schools to come on as a 3rd assistant. The only really tempting offer came from Ohio St, and an opportunity to join a fresh coaching team assembled by one of the finest coaching minds on game night, head coach Marcus Michaels. It would be a step up in both prestige in conference and team if Hamish went to coach at the Buckeyes.
 
To put the cherry on top, he also received a call from Georgia Southern legend head coach Jamie Fuller with an offer of a 3rd assistant role. Even though coaching for Georgia Southern was Hamish's dream job, he now envisaged entering there in a much more senior role. He had growing confidence in his ability and where he was headed, and his goals and standards had evolved. He'd still love to go back to Georgia Southern, but not just yet.
 
With all the interest and after such a tough year, it was a tough call for Hamish. He was torn between staying at West Virginia or moving to Wyoming or Ohio St. Ultimately, Hamish figured he would eke out one more year on his pittance of a salary with the Mountaineers. They should do better next year, and that should help him land an even better job with higher pay the following year. He was hoping his loyalty would pay off...

 

2017-CoachCard.jpg

 

 



#14

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And this is the last post in the thread:

So yeah, just as Hamish was starting to get some interesting offers and it looked like next year might land him a really good one, that damn 0 attributes bug struck again.


The dynasty is stuck in limbo, and as I've mentioned before, at this stage I'm not hopeful it will ever be resolved... frown.gif If you want to see it continue, please feel free to bug Gary in the hope you can convince him to try and fix it for me. biggrin.gif

 






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