Someone asked me the other day, “what was harder? For a Maine High School Boys basketball team to win a state championship or for the UMaine men’s college basketball team to win the America East Tournament and win it’s first trip ever to the NCAA’ “Big Dance”?
I thought for a minute and said, “let me think about that and I will post the answer and the reasons on my BLOG.
Here are my comparisons of both.
1. A high school team has to make the tournament-Maine makes it If they don’t finish 9th in final regular season America East Conference standings
2. A high school team has to win 4 games-Maine has to win 3 to win a championship.
3. A high school team cannot recruit players-Maine can
4. A high school varsity team usually has 1 paid varsity coach-Maine has 1 head coach, 3 paid assistant coaches an one paid Director of Basketball Operations
5. A high school coach if has an assistant coach he/she is usually a volunteer-Maine’s 3 assistants, DOBO, are paid, plus they have a paid office staff high school coaches do not
6. A high school team plays a 18 regular season games and 5 exhibition dates-Maine usually has 2 exhibition games, 14 non-conference games and 16 conference games for a total of 32 games
7. A High school team plays their tournament on a college size floor which is 10 feet longer then their high school court and Maine plays on a regular 94 foot court and if they are the high seed team they play on their home court
8. A high school team does not have scholarships-Maine has 13
9. A high school head coach has to play the hand he is dealt-the Maine head coach can deal his own hand and pick his own cards and can go after his definite position needs
10. Most high school teams have to play at a neutral site on a college size court that is 10 feet longer then their high school court-If Maine is a higher seeded team for each tournament game they get to play the tourney game at home.
11. A high school head coach cannot coach his team during the non basketball season during the school year-Maine head coach and assistants can coach some during the non-basketball season during the school year
12. A high school head coach is part time-Maine head coach is full time
13. A high school head coach makes under 5 figures a year-Maine head coach makes over 6 figures
14. A high school head coach’s contract is just year to year- Maine head coach has a 5 year contract
15. A High school head coach usually has to deal with parents-Maine head coach doesn’t
In all of these 15 factors they favor UMaine, so shouldn’t they be the answer to this question? That is to win the America East Tournament easier than for a Maine high school to win a state championship. However, Maine has never won an America East Conference Tournament in the school’s history and they have never, ever have made March Madness.
I can remember back in the 80’s when I was at a basketball clinic as a presenter at the Bangor Auditorium and the featured speaker was an outstanding D-1 head coach . I followed him in the presentations and afterwards we went out to supper together.
He told me and I’m paraphrasing since it was so long ago, “that if a successful high school coach and he swapped jobs the high school coach would do a better job coaching at college then he would as a college coach coaching the high school team.”
Many of the reasons this would happen are presented in many of the 15 factors from above which came from the D-1 coach He said.again paraphrasing “because many of those reasons the college coach has the advantage over a high school coach”.
He continued on and said again paraphrasing “it is harder to be a successful high school coach then it is a successful college D-1 coach”.
HOWEVER, HISTORY IS MORE RELEVANT THAN THE 15 FACTORS LISTED IN THIS SITUATION SO I BELIEVE AND THINK THAT IT IS NOW MUCH HARDER EACH YEAR FOR UMAINE TO WIN A MEN’S AMERICA EAST CONFERENCE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIP THAN FOR A MAINE HIGH SCHOOL BOY’S TEAM TO WIN A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP.
REMEMBER, NOW THAT THERE ARE 5 STATE CHAMPIONS NOW EACH YEAR IN MAINE HIGH SCHOOL BALL TO JUST ONE UMAINE MEN’S TEAM.
MAINE’S SITUATION COVERS 7 STATES WHILE MAINE HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONS COVER JUST 1 STATE.
ALSO, THE FACT THAT MAINE HAS NEVER BEEN OR HAVE NEVER QUALIFIED FOR THE NCAA’S MARCH MADNESS TOURNAMENT UNDER 8 DIFFERENT HEAD COACHES SINCE 1949 SHOWS THAT HISTORY IS ON THE SIDE OF MAINE FOR IT TO BE HARDER TO WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP IN BASKETBALL THEN ANY MAINE HIGH SCHOOL TEAM TO DO SO. EVEN IF MAINE HAS THE ADVANTAGE IN ALL 15 FACTORS STATED IN THIS BLOG.
MAINE’S BIGGEST MEN’S BASKETBALL PROBLEMS ARE:
- LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.!!!!!!!!!!.HARD TO GET RECRUITS
- POPULATION, POPULATION, POPULATION!!!!!!!!!!!
- SO MANY TRANSFERS BY OUT-OF STATE USA RECRUITS
- HISTORY OF WIN-LOSS RECORD & NEVER BEEN TO NCAA ‘BIG DANCE
- LOW PAY SCALE COMPARED TO MANY OTHER D-1 PROGRAMS
- NOT GETTING THE TWO BEST MAINE HIGH SCHOOL D-1 POTENTIAL RECRUITS EACH RECRUITING SEASON. BECAUSE IF MAINE CAN’T WIN THE WAY THEY HAVE DONE FOR THE PAST 9 YEARS THEN THEY MIGHT AS WELL BE USING HOMEGROWN MAINE TALENT AT LEAST THE FANS COULD IDENTIFY WITH THEM INSTEAD OF WITH INTERNATIONAL, CANADIAN OR USA RECRUITS. THIS WOULD AT LEAST PUT FOR MAINE MEN’S BASKETBALL FANS IN THE SEATS.
AFTER ALL THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE IS A PUBLIC, LAND GRANT INSTITUTION PAID FOR AN SUPPORTED BY MAINE’S TAXPAYERS.
Answers to last week’s questions.
Which 3 coaches had a career winning percentage using mostly Maine players and which won had the most career wins?
Dr. Jon Giannini 8 years 1996-04 125-111 52.9%.
Brian McCall…. 10 years 1958-68 117-107 51.6%
Skip Chappelle 17 years 1971-88 217-226 48.9%
and Chappelle has the most career wins with 217