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DDS:CB3 Dynasty Jake Marlow: All I Ever Wanted [Retired]

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Author’s Note: The point of playing DDS:CB3 for me is not to duplicate reality. It is to create my own reality, my own alternate universe. I play to escape. Here, within the limits of what is possible with the game, I live and coach in my own world. This first dynasty will take place in a universe in some ways very similar to ours, and in other ways quite different. Let’s begin!


Jake Marlow: All I Ever Wanted

All I ever wanted was to be a Division I head basketball coach- well, after I got done being a Division I college hoops player that is. There’s a lot to tell and I want you to hear the whole story. From what I hear about you and where you’re from and who you are, well, let’s just do it.


I was born in 2060 C. E. It was not a happy time in the U. S. or in the world at large. 2029 had brought the greatest plague in history. It wiped out ¾ of the population, I mean the WORLD population, and everything went to hell. That was too bad because things had been looking up in a lot of ways, mostly due to technological advances.


I’ll get to those as we go but the one I want to tell you about right here and now is what they called “PathWays.” PathWays was a completely new way to travel which got you where you were going pretty much instantly. I’m no scientist so I can’t tell you how it works. I learned in school that a way had been found to twist the space/time continuum. Okay, right, whatever.


In any case, you pile into a room, take all the stuff you want to bring. Somebody sets the controls and pushes a button. That’s it. You’re in the city and country where you want to be, or out in the woods, or at the foot of a mountain- yeah. Get out of the room and go where you’re going. Huge changes resulted because of this. Keep it in mind.


One more for now. They’d been working on 3D copiers for a while and finally they perfected the device. You could make about anything, all from the atoms in the atmosphere around the copier, at practically no cost. It ended poverty, hunger, want- all of that. They put some restrictions on what it could do before releasing it to the public (Tell the truth they never did officially release it. It went black market but WITH the restrictions.), made it so people couldn’t print money, hoard- crazy things like that. They also found a way to 100% recycle everything- basically they reversed the 3D copier process. When you didn’t want something any more you brought it to the recycle center (or had it picked up if that made more sense) and they got rid of it- completely and perfectly.


So there’s no need to work. People can do what they want all the time. Turns out lots of them do want to work- just not as much. People started businesses, restaurants that were open two days a week, things like that. The restaurants advertised that “We 3D ingredients, the best in the world and WE do the cooking, not some machine. Give us a try!”


Then the plague hit and everything changed again.


After the plague, once things actually started working and making sense again, people were different somehow. All that unbelievably massive amount of death got folks thinking about what was important and what wasn’t, and most people decided to figure out what it was they loved. Then, since they had all the time in the world, they figured out how to do what they loved. The world became a much better, happier place. At least that’s what they tell me, this is the only world I’ve ever known and I like it just fine. I got here after the changes.

So by the time I got myself born things had settled down quite a bit. Just figure where there used to be four people, now there was one. Some things went back to more or less the way they were before. Other things never did. Schooling changed completely in the early grades. Lots of people kept the kids home and taught them at home; others sent their kids to school like before. But by the time the kids got to the adolescent stage most everybody shipped them to the schools and kept them there through high school. I guess adolescence is what it is and shipping kids off for some of it will always seem like a good idea.


College and graduate school hardly changed at all except it got cheaper.


And that’s a good place to start talking about college basketball.

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For my eighth birthday dad bought me a basketball. He set up a hoop at the end of the driveway (nobody used them anymore but most folks still had them).

Dad had played ball in high school and at the very small college he went to. He was a Small Forward and a terrific shooter. He was only 6’ 2”, not big enough to play the three spot at a good school, but he had talent. I never could beat him at “horse” except by luck every now and then.


Anyway, after the cake and presents and stuff dad took me outside and taught me how to shoot. He started with how to hold the ball. Took it from zero all the way through- lock the wrist, elbow in, where to aim, follow through, shoot with the legs, and on and on. He was patient and he didn’t do it all in one session. He made minor corrections to my form from time to time- right through high school. He reviewed regularly. He encouraged me to shoot and to shoot and to shoot, which I did, taking hundreds of shots every single day, outside when the weather permitted, indoors at other times. He kept up a family membership at a local gym just to have a place for me to shoot during the cold weather and when it rained. And here in Eastern Connecticut the winters are cold, and during the rest of the year there’s plenty of rain.


I haven’t told this part but it was just dad and me. Mom died when I was three. One of the down sides of all the societal changes was the high number of people who suffered from depression. The “experts” said things were too easy for some folks, which made them feel that they had no use, no purpose, no challenge. That led to suicide in a certain number. Mom was one of that number. I have no memory of her at all. I have no brothers or sisters, no cousins, aunts or uncles.


Once dad had taught me the fundamentals we practiced. I loved it right from the start- slept with the basketball! Spent every free moment on shoot and dribble and pass (we rigged up a contraption), and whatever else. Dad was around most days so we worked together. I loved my dad. He was great with me. I’ve never had a better friend or a better teacher. He taught me to dribble, eventually how to pass the ball properly under different situations, how to play D (“The FEET! It’s all about the FEET!”), how to rebound (“Box OUT!”), how to anticipate on D, which led to my getting more steals than you would believe, at every level I ever played. He taught me about transition. He encouraged questions about everything related to the subject of basketball. Put it all together and I got a lot more playing time, at every level, than my talent alone would have gotten me, all thanks to dad.


Right from the start I was a student of the game- that was dad’s doing as well. I had a coach’s eye and a coach’s interest. I wanted to know strategy and tactics. We’d scour the internet looking for books written by coaches. We asked high school and college coaches about their favorite hoops related books. We talked strategy and tactics for endless hours. I emailed many of the best college coaches. Many answered, more than you would think. They usually complimented me on the quality and sophistication of my questions.


The years passed. I grew, to 6’ 6” eventually. But long before that I finally started to actually play on a team. Dad didn’t allow me to play little kid league basketball. Said it only encouraged bad habits.


When I got to grade seven I tried out for the school team. Dad was the coach. No surprise that I made the team! He would wind up coaching me in high school as well. Now dad wasn’t a teacher. He was a man who got what he wanted though, at least most of the time. He started lobbying for the middle school coaching job a couple of years in advance and when the time came he got it. He wanted to coach me because he knew any other coach would play me at Center. I’m not a Center, it’s just not me. But at my height what coach could resist putting me there? Dad resisted. He played me at the three in both seventh and eighth grade. The team did fine, playing for the title the first year, and winning it the second.


When it was time for high school dad wanted to coach me at that level as well. It wasn’t going to happen in our town, the coach was a local legend. So dad again shopped around, actually starting the process when I was in seventh grade. He found a town that needed a high school head coach, applied for the job, got it, and we moved. I reached my full 6’ 6” by the end of my freshman year, and I was the tallest (and thinnest) kid in our league. I played Small Forward again in high school.


My numbers were good. My senior year I averaged 12.4 points (As hard as I worked I simply never developed dad’s shooting touch. “Shooters are born, not made,” said dad- often.), 8.2 RBs, 2.4 assists, and 4.9 steals. I was known as a very good defender. I was named to the first team all stars for the state of CT, and I am still really proud of that. They recognized that I was an “all around player,” which I was. Our team got to the semifinals in the state tourney in each of my last two years. We won our conference title in each of my last three years.

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UConn came calling. Since it was where I wanted to go, and dad wanted me to go, we jumped at the chance for me to play there. The UConn program was not at its height when I was there. They played in a mid-major conference and had been middle of the pack or worse during the past few seasons. The coach was highly respected though. Dad, as usual, had found a way to get to know Coach Frey, and had found him to be a passionate student of the game. Coach was kid friendly and was a great strategic coach. He saw coaching as teaching and loved to teach his players. Dad felt that Coach would take me under his wing and bring me to the next step, as a player, as a future coach, and as a student of the game.


And that’s the way it worked out, but sadly, not the way we would have liked.


Dad died of a massive stroke on the third day of practice during my freshman year at UConn. He was 46 years old. When I got the news I was devastated. I wanted to quit. I just wanted to go home, go to my room, sit and veg. Coach Frey would have none of it. He became my second father. I will be forever grateful to him for that. He was there through the most awful time of my life, and he’s been there ever since. He taught me everything dad didn’t teach me about coaching, and really, about life.


One of the great sadnesses of my life is that dad never got to see me play a single game at UConn.


I was no star in college. I played, even started as a senior (mostly because the guy ahead of me at Small Forward blew out a knee), but I finally reached the point where I simply didn’t have enough talent. Everything I’d learned along the way made me far better than my talent alone could account for, but still, I was marginal at best, certainly the weakest of my team’s five starters. Still, I played and it was fun, a great, unforgettable experience.


The four years at UConn flew past. I played, I learned, I picked Coach Frey’s brain on a daily basis. We did okay, won lots more games than we lost, made it to the “Big Dance” all four years, the Sweet Sixteen twice, which was better than UConn had done for some time. Now I was about to graduate. It was time to find that high school head coaching job.


Except it didn’t work out that way. Coach invited me to stay at UConn, get my M.A., and become his graduate assistant coach. I jumped at the chance.


That was an incredible year for me. I learned more than I would have thought it possible to learn. Coach rotated me through the various assistant coach jobs, recruiting, scouting, bench coach. I worked with his assistants in charge of each of those areas, as well as spending a huge amount of time one on one with Coach Frey. Our team missed the Final Four when a Duke player hit a 35 footer at the buzzer.


After the Elite Eight game it became obvious that one of the assistants was going to move on. He did, and Coach offered me the job. I took it.


I spent a total of six years as an assistant coach at UConn, working for an amazing teacher. Last year, 2087, I knew I was ready, and I thought I might land a job as a head coach. I made the final interview for two jobs but lost out in both cases. Not this year. I just signed a three year contract as head coach of the SIU Edwardsville Jaguars. The salary isn’t that great, but money doesn’t mean a whole lot any more, it’s way more money than I need, and I know I’ll save at least ¼ of it. Edwardsville, Illinois, here I come.

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May 1, 2088: The entire SIU staff left so I need to hire some coaches. Given our budget they won’t be world beaters but I am hopeful that we can get some decent guys. I’m looking at retirees mostly.


I sign Carl Rock, a 59 year old. He has experience in all aspects of coaching, he’s been a recruiter, a scout and a bench coach. He was out of coaching for five years after spending 25 years as an assistant with small Div. I schools. He says he’s really happy to be back. I’ll assign him to a specific job after I hire my other two coaches.


Adam Hart, age 61, is in the fold. Like Carl, he spent lots of years as an assistant at small Div. I schools. He retired two years ago. When I called he said that he’s missed the game and would love to jump back in. He spent a lot of years as a recruiter. I’m pretty sure that’s what he’ll do for me, but I’m not committing until I hire my last guy.


Reggie Branch, 40, is my #3. He called me. He was unhappy in his situation, looking for a change. I did some checking. He had a right to be unhappy, and he has a good reputation.


Adam will be my recruiter (recruiting rating 26, reputation 9), Carl my scouting coach (scouting rating 25, reputation 9), and Reggie will be my bench coach (player development 24, reputation 9). I got Carl and Adam for three years. Reggie wanted one year. He said that given his recent experiences he thought it would be good for both of us to not be committed. If things work out we can extend. Sounds good to me.


This leaves me with a recruiting budget of $77,000. I’ll get the local region Gold Report and have $47,000 left.


Staff meeting. I will go with motion and flex on offense, a little more of the former. We’ll run sets about ¾ of the time. I favor inside play. On D it will be about 50% man, 50% 2-3. I won’t press much. When I do, 50% man, 50% 1-2-1-1.


As to Coach/Set up, Philosophy is 5 in most areas but 8 in Off. RB, 10 in Def. RB, 2 in FC Press, 10 in Player Rotation. Coach Marlow is 28 years old. I decided to make him amateur level, which means 200 total points in current ratings. BUT, I did it as follows: Recruit 70, Scout 70, Offense 15, Defense 20, Player Development 25. He is very high in ambition and integrity, high in academics, average in discipline and temper.


My association does not allow cheating, does not allow players to leave early, and I can be fired. Conference changes are allowed. Recruiting is set to Easy, for now.


Oh, this is a Promotion/Relegation Dynasty. We’re in V, the lowest conference. I preset Team Prestige at 0, but it came up as 2 when we started.


Getting to know my staff. Carl doesn’t say much but when he does it makes a lot of sense. I already trust his judgment and he's the one I feel closest to. I think his will be the brain I pick about things as the season progresses.


Adam is a talker. I’m going to need to discuss picking his spots more. He has some good things to say but he talks too much. Still, I value his advice and I want to hear it... just not so much of it.


Reggie… Reggie may have been a mistake. I’m seeing a lot of negativity. That’s not my approach and it certainly won’t be my approach with the players. It won’t be his either- one way or the other. I need to deal with this- sooner, rather than later.


My A.D., Franklin Drake, is a “don’t make waves” kind of guy. It’s a small school, there isn’t a lot of money, he’s a lifer here. I guess I get that but I also guess he won’t be much help when the chips are down. Hopefully he’ll work on getting us a decent schedule. I’ll work with him, and try to push for just a bit more than he's comfortable giving me. Underneath it all he is definitely a good guy, just not a lot of fire.

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Jake is on hiatus until 1.2, the next build of DDS:CB3, drops. If Buddy Boy reaches that point he will be as well. Since it looks like the game is pretty stable I'm not sure that there will be a long series of 1.x... AND... since I always do full install there's no point in starting UNTIL 1.2 drops because I would lose the association and need to start from the beginning. I'm guessing the drop will be this weekend, but it's a pure guess.

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