Vic Schaefer's Texas-sized task: Returning Longhorns to nation's elite

Carnac

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Mechelle Voepel - ESPN.com June 23, 2020

Schaefer couldn't pass up the chance to be women's basketball coach for the Texas Longhorns. He'd turned the Mississippi State Bulldogs into an unlikely national power, and was beloved by fans there.

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The Bulldogs played in back-to-back national championship games in 2017 and 2018, won their first SEC tournament title and reached the Elite Eight in 2019, went 27-6 this past season and are projected as a top-five team for 2020-21. Why leave? :eek:


For years it's been hard to pry top tier talent out of Texas. Now with native son Vic Schaefer back in the mix at Texas, it's going to be even harder. Schaefer has name recognition and a reputation and persona that attracts players nationwide.

Kim Mulkey at Baylor and Gary Blair at Texas A&M, have had better than average success in attracting the state's elite talent to their respective programs. Now that Schaefer is in the the mix, you know he's going to dig in, and get his share of the local talent. Good luck getting any top ranked players out of Texas now. :confused:
 
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I still remember I was in shock when that alert popped on my phone that he was leaving MSST and going to TX. I figured if he ever left it would be for aTm. I wonder if Karen Aston will Coach again? I still think shes a good Coach, just maybe not elite. She could still help a lot of programs.
 
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I still remember I was in shock when that alert popped on my phone that he was leaving MSST and going to TX. I figured if he ever left it would be for aTm. I wonder if Karen Aston will Coach again? I still think shes a good Coach, just maybe not elite. She could still help a lot of programs.
I think being a good fit and being in the right place at the right time is also a factor in a coaches success. Every person has both strengths and weaknesses and it helps if a program can utilize the former along wiith mitigating the latter.
 

Bigboote

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I'm looking forward to seeing Vic at Texas. I think he's done more with less than any coach in a long time. To go to the national finals twice in a row with no high-school all-Americans is impressive.

I'm curious, though, whether he can have similar success with a team of Aston recruits, and to a lesser extent, with a team that just has more talented kids on it. Some plants just need poor soil.
 

Bigboote

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They had a losing record his first year, and by his third year they were in contention for the SEC crown and made the NCAA tourney each season since.
 

HuskyFan1125

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Vic has a pretty good talent pool at Texas and it will be easy for him to recruit to Austin. I doubt he has a losing 1st season. He could very well have them NCAA bound in season 1. Collier and Taylor are a good nucleus and adding Kyra Lambert gives them a great PG.
 

GoDawgs4

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Timing is everything. He created a niche at State and connected with the fans in a unique way. His players also did as well. People at State are more down to earth people and easy to relate to.

Texas is much more full of prima donnas so I am not sure how well his blue collar work ethic will go over there. I think he will be successful but I am not sure where it will top out.

I think he is a great coach and I am glad he is where he can be closer to his parents. I will always appreciate what he has built at State with the WBB program.
 

southie

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Timing is everything. He created a niche at State and connected with the fans in a unique way. His players also did as well. People at State are more down to earth people and easy to relate to.

Texas is much more full of prima donnas so I am not sure how well his blue collar work ethic will go over there. I think he will be successful but I am not sure where it will top out.

I think he is a great coach and I am glad he is where he can be closer to his parents. I will always appreciate what he has built at State with the WBB program.
Stereotype much?
 

triaddukefan

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Texas is much more full of prima donnas so I am not sure how well his blue collar work ethic will go over there. I think he will be successful but I am not sure where it will top out.

Stereotype much?
GoDawg is commenting as a Land Granter... you know how those Flagship schools are full of prima donnas.... vs the blue collar... hands in the dirt Land Granters

Not that I disagree :p
 

GoDawgs4

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That was just a tongue-in-cheek remark.

UT does have the blue blood image attached to them but I am actually not negative towards Texas. Growing up, my Dad always liked UT because Darrell Royal coached at State back in the 1950’s and was always a friend to us here.

So no harm intended but my original point I do think has some validity. Coach Schaefer created a great niche at State and I am not sure he will be able to duplicate that at UT. Starkvegas is a small city and everything revolves around the University. Austin has grown into a large city and UT is just a small part of it. Still important but the city does not revolve around the university anymore.

It will be interesting to see how it goes. I am pulling for him.
 
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I'm looking forward to seeing Vic at Texas. I think he's done more with less than any coach in a long time. To go to the national finals twice in a row with no high-school all-Americans is impressive.

I'm curious, though, whether he can have similar success with a team of Aston recruits, and to a lesser extent, with a team that just has more talented kids on it. Some plants just need poor soil.
The biggest potential issue this season will be whether the players completely buy in to his program and how hard he requires them to play. He has stated in the past that players have to eat, sleep, breathe, etc basketball. He is also very frank with the players. Don’t be surprised to see some more attrition once practices kick off.
There are plenty of potential attendees for the games and for a core fan base. Coach Schaefer will find them and do everything necessary to connect with them.
He has a fairly good core now that seems hungry to win. I predict they will make the NCAA this coming season and give the other powerhouse programs all they can handle with 3-4 years.
 
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I agree. I got the impression from watching TX and all the drama that Aston wasn't a disciplinarian. I'm sure Vic will be a shock to the system for quite a few of them.
 

Bigboote

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The biggest potential issue this season will be whether the players completely buy in to his program and how hard he requires them to play. He has stated in the past that players have to eat, sleep, breathe, etc basketball. He is also very frank with the players. Don’t be surprised to see some more attrition once practices kick off.
There are plenty of potential attendees for the games and for a core fan base. Coach Schaefer will find them and do everything necessary to connect with them.
He has a fairly good core now that seems hungry to win. I predict they will make the NCAA this coming season and give the other powerhouse programs all they can handle with 3-4 years.
I agree with everything, especially the use of "potential". Their attendance has been abysmal in the last few years, including the years with the exciting backcourt of McCarty and Atkins. They play in a large arena (capacity 16-18000), but seldom half-fill the lower bowl. Aston blamed the low attendance on the arena being off-campus, but it's literally across the street campus, and maybe two blocks from the football stadium.

There are 50k students at the university and 500k in the city. As others have said, there's no way Vic generates the buzz in Austin that he did in Starkvegas, but if he can generate 10% as much, they'll be drawing well by the conference season.
 

southie

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I agree. I got the impression from watching TX and all the drama that Aston wasn't a disciplinarian. I'm sure Vic will be a shock to the system for quite a few of them.
What "drama"? Specific examples, please.

In Coach A's first season at Texas, she suspended her highest scorers (Nneka Enmekpali and Chassidy Fussell) for a game at Kansas; Texas got spanked without them. I think she suspended Imani Mcgee for a game, but not certain. And, she suspended Rellah Boothe multiple times. I'm sure there were more occurrences.

So, I think she "disciplined" her players as she felt necessary, whether for academic or basketball related reasons.
 
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The fact that she let Boothe set foot in her gym was the very definition of drama. She had a history in highschool that was evident. And for that matter, you listed a number of suspensions which should have never happened. A program with structure, discipline, and intelligent recruiting doesn't have incidents where players are needed to be suspended. In my opinion, suspension is not discipline, it is the endpoint failure of not having discipline and structure every day.

You also forgot the drama with Joyner Holmes.

I also saw lots of sloppy out of control play the last couple years. Her players were taking bad shots, not running offense, and turning the ball over with Aston just standing there. Obviously the players felt they could get away with crap like that so in my opinion that is lack of discipline and drama.
 

southie

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The fact that she let Boothe set foot in her gym was the very definition of drama. She had a history in highschool that was evident. And for that matter, you listed a number of suspensions which should have never happened. A program with structure, discipline, and intelligent recruiting doesn't have incidents where players are needed to be suspended. In my opinion, suspension is not discipline, it is the endpoint failure of not having discipline and structure every day.

You also forgot the drama with Joyner Holmes.

I also saw lots of sloppy out of control play the last couple years. Her players were taking bad shots, not running offense, and turning the ball over with Aston just standing there. Obviously the players felt they could get away with crap like that so in my opinion that is lack of discipline and drama.
You're reaching. And, you are re-defining "drama" to fit your own agenda. First you say she's not a disciplinarian; now you're saying she should never have had to discipline her players via suspensions (even though you weren't there to know the in's and out's of her program). You are talking in circles; you can't have it both ways.

There a lot of high school kids with baggage; some mature and turn things around in college. Some don't. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance on a kid; it's a gamble, but giving someone a second chance is their prerogative. Luckily, Boothe's time at Texas was short-lived.

College coaches in all sports suspend players for different reasons. I'd be surprised if any head coach has never had to suspend at least one player; just because we might not hear about it in the media, that doesn't mean it doesn't occur.

What Joyner did has nothing to do with Aston. College kids make mistakes, too. Some learn from them and become mature adults.

What does sloppy play on the court have to do with being a "disciplinarian" (the term you used)?
 
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I can see from your persona that you are a TX fan. I am truly sorry for your pain over the last few years. Therefore I'm not going to take the bait.

I don't believe I am trying to have anything multiple ways. I run a large organization of a few hundred people and in my experience if you recruit/hire the right people, set up a structure for success, exercise leadership/discipline every day with the small things then the big things like high profile suspensions just don't happen.

We may just have different definitions of discipline and drama which is perfectly ok. I'm more in the Chris Daily mold of discipline and structure.

I truly hope Vic brings success to TX and provides a check on Baylor. I'm not your enemy.
 

southie

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I don't believe I am trying to have anything multiple ways. I run a large organization of a few hundred people and in my experience if you recruit/hire the right people, set up a structure for success, exercise leadership/discipline every day with the small things then the big things like high profile suspensions just don't happen.

We may just have different definitions of discipline and drama which is perfectly ok. I'm more in the Chris Daily mold of discipline and structure.

I truly hope Vic brings success to TX and provides a check on Baylor. I'm not your enemy.
Do you recruit 16 -18 year olds, or try to teach/mentor 18-22 year olds yourself? If you don't, then your situation is not comparable to recruiting/evaluating high school athletes, and later coaching them in college.
 
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Leadership is leadership. Whether they are teenagers, millennials, gen xers, etc....It's not as much different as you might think.
 

eebmg

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Hmm. A TX thread having a flareup. Who'd a thunk? :rolleyes:
 

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