Whose line is it anyways?
Some tout the victory as an example of Coach Mike Hopkins relevance to the team. They embraced the coaching change as good news. In their corner, they cite Coach Hopkin’s passion and basketball instincts. Both of which showed up in his very strategically designed game plan. The rule was simple: no uncontested dunks nor three point shots. That game plan was brilliance incarnate.
Others point to the roster filled with young men attracted to the team by former coach Lorenzo Romar. They cite how receptive this roster is with accepting a new coach’s scheme. Likewise they point to the raw talent pool on this roster, and how brilliant Coach Romar was at attracting players. Not just raw talent, but players whose skillsets fit into a roster. Once there, he served as a living example of class, dignity, integrity, and sportsmanship. Each player brought to his team was touched by his leadership and example.
Sum of the parts
Contrary to popular belief, both sides are correct. The Washington Basketball team is not suddenly void of all the experience and leadership infused by Coach Romar. Nor is it void of the passion and discipline of Coach Hopkins. Right now, this team is benefiting from both coaches. And they are benefiting in a huge way.
When Coach Romar was dismissed, he encouraged players to remain with the program. Each player matured under his watch. They arrived as nervous adolescents from wide ranging high school basketball programs. It was the joint “We are staying!” announcements from David Crisp and Carlos Johnson where I began to understand the depth of Coach Romar’s influence.
But it was the decision of Noah Dickerson to remain with the program which truly punctuated the transition. From that moment on, the team roster was okay. The core compiled by Coach Romar was intact. And that set the stage for….