Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sense of Urgency?

Grant Mullins

Before I write a bit about the football team, I just have to express my appreciation for the effort the basketball team put in to win the CIT championship last night at Levien Gymnasium.

It was a great game and I was especially glad to see who really made the difference in the contest for the Lions. In the end it was Grant Mullins, the senior who missed most of his chances to attain greatness at Columbia because of a severe concussion his sophomore year. Mullins hit some very important three point shots and completed a traditional three-point-play that was positively stunning. It just happened to be that play that put the Lions ahead for good. Now, Mullins is being recruited by the University of Michigan for his final year of NCAA eligibility, (he can't play in the Ivies next year). I hope he finds a good fit with the Wolverines or a similar program.

Of course, the other big hoops news is that Head Coach Kyle Smith is leaving to take over the top job at USF in the Bay Area. Smith did a very good job, but I think there are better coaches out there. And with a committed administration and proven talent remaining among the undergrads, I think Columbia is in a unique position to attract a better coach than they were just a couple of months ago.

Why No D-Line Panic?

The essential gist I'm getting from the Columbia football coaching staff these days is not to sweat the serious graduation losses from the Lion D-line. But it's hard to do that when you lose guys like Chad Washington, Niko Padilla, Toba Akinleye, and Hunter Little all at once.

One guess I'm making about why the coaches aren't really panicking is because the linebacking crew is 100% returning and they may be planning some formations and stunts that accentuate their talents and will help make up for some holes up front. I also have faith in the continuing improvement of juniors Lord Hyeamang and Dominic Perkovic. 

But am I being impudent if I openly wish for a transfer defensive end or two to show up in the stands at the spring game? It was at the spring game last year when transfer QB Skyler Mornhinweg first appeared and truly confirmed the rumors of his arrival were true.

The spring game is just 17 days away, so we shall see.


DOC said...

We had the privilege of watching a special group of athletes in Men's
Basketball this year. Lo,Rosenberg, Mullins and Cohen will be missed, as well as Coach Smith. Agree completely that the cupboard is far from empty and that the next coach will inherit some fine seasoned players
who got a lot of experience in crunch time situations down the stretch. For those who were fortunate to be there, the atmosphere was electric. I know it was a lesser tournament but for us it was our Super Bowl moment, and the team delivered. Priceless watching the smiles on the faces of the kids,and the alums...

I remain, very truly yours, Richard Szathmary said...

While I agree that the basketball team will have plenty of returning talent, I also believe that, while I can probably name next season's 5 starters barrig a freshman flash, the truth is also that said five never in fact have ever played as a unit. One of this season's core four" was always in attendance too. Perhaps for good reason,

Also, what is up with Kyle Castlin? Seldom used this season, and I heard mutterings that his attitue is "bad." Also, isn't there a 7'1 center from someplace liek Queens we've got tucked away in some prep school for next year?

I disagree, however, that Kyle Smith may not have been all that outstanding a coaach. He was indeed and he will be missed.

So because of the coaching change, I expect next season to be a bit of a rebuilding year. One where we probably make the the initial post-season tournament (especially if we get real lucky and only have to play either Yale or Princeton once). But a rebuilding year nevertheless.

RLB said...

Syracuse and California have also expressed interest in Mullins.

I became a fan of his when I watched some of his HS games. He's a special young man.