Author Topic: UAA 2018  (Read 29403 times)

Offline WUPHF

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UAA 2018
« on: June 09, 2018, 09:06:02 am »
Missouri is a hotbed for high school talent.  And, the last several Gatorade Missouri Players of the Year have signed with institutions such as Indiana, Furman, Saint Louis, and Wisconsin. 

Not this year...

Kyle Ruark is headed to the University of Chicago.

https://soccerstl.net/2018/06/07/kyle-ruark-named-missouri-gatorade-player-of-the-year/

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2018, 02:37:15 pm »
Missouri is a hotbed for high school talent.  And, the last several Gatorade Missouri Players of the Year have signed with institutions such as Indiana, Furman, Saint Louis, and Wisconsin. 

Not this year...

Kyle Ruark is headed to the University of Chicago.

https://soccerstl.net/2018/06/07/kyle-ruark-named-missouri-gatorade-player-of-the-year/


Wondering if D1's passed because he is 5'9 140 or if he chose Chicago because of academics. If they passed this kid will have a serious chip on his shoulder and Chicago will stand to benefit. Mike Babst is really turning the UAA on its head because he is actually going out and recruiting nationally and using the advantages he has with a school of such prestige like Chicago and BTW playing the right way. Chicago plays some fantastic futbol and are really fun to watch. Besides Brandeis I saw them the most out of the other UAA schools in 2017 and enjoyed every game I tuned into. How former coaches O'Connor and Wiercinski could not figure this out or not go out and recruit the talent that Babst is getting boggles the mind.

Offline truenorth

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2018, 03:16:16 pm »
Mr. Right, I can provide my own observations about U Chicago based on some anecdotal experiences.  First, my niece went there and had a great overall experience.  U Chicago is a top notch academic school on the fringe of a world class city.  That makes it a pretty desirable place for kids who want a great education in an urban environment.

Second, my son was recruited when Wiercinski was coaching.  I made the visit with my son.  We had to go to the athletic department, then get directed to the bowels of the building where the soccer locker room is, and then in turn get directed by an athlete in a whirlpool bath to the site where the team was training, which was a city park you had to walk some distance to get to. 

All in all, the set-up wasn't as convenient or as athlete oriented as many other top notch schools.  It was clear to visitors..mostly for all the right reasons...that athletics play a far distant second fiddle to athletics at U Chicago.  Nonetheless, those kind of impressions can create challenges when recruiting.  The current coach sounds like he's found a way to overcome those challenges...

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2018, 03:51:21 pm »
Wondering if D1's passed because he is 5'9 140 or if he chose Chicago because of academics. If they passed this kid will have a serious chip on his shoulder and Chicago will stand to benefit.

Fully recognizing that I was never a D1 level athlete, if I was in that position getting recruited by mid-level academic D1 institutions like Furman and Indiana as well as a top, top school like Chicago that is D3 I personally would be inclined to choose the latter, all other things (ability to pay/etc.) being equal. I get that many who have professional aspirations might choose D1, as it's a higher level of competition/perhaps there's more exposure/etc., but if athletics doesn't work out at least you have a degree from a place like Chicago, a school which is ranked above all the Ivy Leagues except for Harvard, Yale, and Princeton! I am not trying to slight Columbia/Dartmouth/Brown/Penn/Cornell, they are obviously excellent schools as well, but just trying to put in comparison how good of a school Chicago is, as many know about the prestige of an Ivy without perhaps knowing that Chicago is very much in the same top tier. (I fully recognize that rankings are subjective and don't get you jobs/make you happy/etc., but I think my point is clear.)

Of course, I understand not everyone thinks like this, and I think pragmatically the experience at the school is largely dependent on who the person is. A great school does not necessarily correlate to happiness or success. When I was running high school cross-country, there was a girl in my area who was really talented like, 4th in the nation her senior year in high school. Touted as perhaps the most talented female runner to come out of Maine since Joan Benoit Samuelson (who, incidentally, helped coach my high school track team for a season). Anyway, she was being recruited by Oregon and Princeton. For those who don't know, Oregon is the granddaddy of NCAA Track and Field: Oregon X-C and track is like Alabama football or Duke basketball in terms of prestige. For the reasons above, I personally wondered why she didn't go to Princeton, thinking "at least if she gets injured she has a degree from Princeton!" Ultimately, I think she ran into (no pun intended) some injuries, but she seems to be happy with her experience, and helped the Oregon women win a cross-country title her freshman year, running in the NCAA meet (only 7 runners on each team can run in the NCAA championship), and is now a teacher. If she was happy with her experience and it seems she was who am I to scrutinize her decision? Ultimately the goal is to be happy with the experience, wherever and whatever that is.

Mike Babst is really turning the UAA on its head because he is actually going out and recruiting nationally and using the advantages he has with a school of such prestige like Chicago and BTW playing the right way. Chicago plays some fantastic futbol and are really fun to watch. Besides Brandeis I saw them the most out of the other UAA schools in 2017 and enjoyed every game I tuned into. How former coaches O'Connor and Wiercinski could not figure this out or not go out and recruit the talent that Babst is getting boggles the mind.

I do agree Babst has done a fantastic job with that program. It is certainly not for everyone I believe PaulNewman said at one point something of the effect that Chicago is a masochist's school (or maybe he was talking about Hopkins?), and truenorth rightly pointed out that perhaps athletes do not get the same support as at other institutions but given its academic reputation (and being located in one of America's great cities) I have to believe that UChicago is a very attractive school for prospective student-athletes. The aim is ultimately to maximize that, and clearly Babst has figured out how to do that. I would be curious to know more about Lopez and whether D1 programs were interested as well: perhaps he didn't have his size or physicality back then but I am sure he is a D1-level talent.
He's our center half, he's our number four, watch him defend, and we watch him score, he'll pass the ball, calm as you like, he's Virgil van Dijk, he's Virgil van Dijk.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2018, 03:52:16 pm »
Agreed..Would love to know the back story of Lopez and yes he is a D1 talent. I will say he was taken out of the game in the NCAA Semi's quite well by North Park as he was suffocated all game. That was a big key to North Park's advancement. I acknowledge all the negatives about athletics at Chicago that you and truenorth point out BUT like you said Babst has plowed through them where as O'Connor and Wiercinski did not. Maybe the school is focusing more on athletics than before in admissions or support but other than that I do not see many differences at all. If there have been any changes at Chicago in the last 10 years in Athletics please someone share.

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2018, 03:56:08 pm »
BTW Bloots I love these informative X-C analysis we get out of you every once and awhile. I can honestly say I do not know much at all about X-C but always enjoy learning new stuff. Why is Oregon top dog? Nike?

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2018, 04:06:54 pm »
Mike Babst is really turning the UAA on its head because he is actually going out and recruiting nationally

The University of Chicago recruits nationally in every sport. Always has, always will. Heck, the University of Chicago goes out and recruits nationally for every aspect in which it recruits students.

Whether Mike Babst is spending more time out of his office in the Ratner Center and more time on the road than did his predecessors, I can't say. But he isn't recruiting any differently than them in terms of targeting and geographical footprint. He's simply better at it than they were.

Mr. Right, I can provide my own observations about U Chicago based on some anecdotal experiences.  First, my niece went there and had a great overall experience.

It's a tremendous school, but it's not for everyone. Leaving aside the matter that only the most academically accomplished kids can get admitted into the U of C, there's also the matter of it being a very different sort of learning environment than you see on other campuses. It's extremely tilted in favor of academics over social environment (including athletics). On any given game day or night, you'll find a whole lot more undergraduates in Regenstein Library than you will at Stagg Field or the Ratner Center watching the Maroons play. The slogan on the most popular t-shirt at the campus bookstore puts it succinctly: "The University of Chicago: Where Fun Goes to Die".

  U Chicago is a top notch academic school on the fringe of a world class city.

It's not on the fringe, it's very deep within the city itself. Hyde Park feels like the fringe to those who work or study there because it's surrounded on three sides by the ghetto and on the other side by lakeshore parks and the Museum of Science and Industry. But the economically downtrodden neighborhoods around the U of C are just as much a part of the city as are any of the others.

  That makes it a pretty desirable place for kids who want a great education in an urban environment.

Second, my son was recruited when Wiercinski was coaching.  I made the visit with my son.  We had to go to the athletic department, then get directed to the bowels of the building where the soccer locker room is, and then in turn get directed by an athlete in a whirlpool bath to the site where the team was training, which was a city park you had to walk some distance to get to. 

All in all, the set-up wasn't as convenient or as athlete oriented as many other top notch schools.  It was clear to visitors..mostly for all the right reasons...that athletics play a far distant second fiddle to athletics at U Chicago.  Nonetheless, those kind of impressions can create challenges when recruiting.  The current coach sounds like he's found a way to overcome those challenges...

Yep. Very well said. While it's unlikely that any U of C undergraduates are unaware that the school offers intercollegiate athletics, it's safe to say that nearly all of them don't give Maroons sports a second thought. We're talking about a school with 6,000 undergraduates that in 2017-18 averaged about 900 fans for football home games, slightly less than 300 for home men's basketball games, and about 250 for home men's soccer matches -- and as a frequent visitor to the U of C for athletics contests I can tell you that a very big chunk of the attendees at any given sporting event are alumni and parents.

Maroons sports just isn't on the radar of the vast majority of people at the U of C, resident undergraduates included. If you're going to play sports there, you know that going in -- but, then again, if you're going to play sports there, your primary purpose is to gain a world-class education. Your athletic career is secondary.
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.. -- John Wooden

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2018, 04:15:28 pm »
BTW Bloots I love these informative X-C analysis we get out of you every once and awhile. I can honestly say I do not know much at all about X-C but always enjoy learning new stuff. Why is Oregon top dog? Nike?

Thank you, I am glad they haven't put you to sleep!

You pretty much nailed it. Really started out when Phil Hayward started coaching at Oregon back in 1904. Hayward is the namesake of Oregon's historic Hayward Field, which has hosted many track and field Olympic Trials and incidentally just hosted the NCAA meet this past weekend. (Maine homer alert: Shout out to Isaiah Harris of Lewiston, ME, and Penn State who won the 800 in sub-1:45. Went from longtime bridesmaid to bride, although I'm not sure if he'd enjoy hearing that.) Maybe I am stretching, but I think it actually bears some resemblance of Bowdoin's Whittier Field (home of Polar Bear football, lax, and track) in terms of the old grandstand which sits outside the track.

Anyway, Hayward developed and coached a ton of successful Olympians, including (prior to coaching at Oregon) Olympic pole vault champion A.C. Gilbert, who, fun fact, invented the Erector set. Then came along Bill Bowerman, who was originally a football player, but switched his attention to track at the urging of Hayward. In terms of legacy, Bowerman is like the "Coach K" of track. His athletes and teams won numerous NCAA titles, and Bowerman would go on to co-found Nike with Phil Knight. One of his athletes, Bill Dellinger ('64 Olympics bronze medalist in the 5,000) then took over, and coached the late, great Steve Prefontaine, whom I am sure many have heard of. Anyway, that is essentially how UOregon became the X-C/track and field hotbed that it is. And with Nike exploding as a global brand in the years since its founding, it's tough to see that changing any time soon.
He's our center half, he's our number four, watch him defend, and we watch him score, he'll pass the ball, calm as you like, he's Virgil van Dijk, he's Virgil van Dijk.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2018, 04:27:12 pm »
Agreed..Would love to know the back story of Lopez and yes he is a D1 talent. I will say he was taken out of the game in the NCAA Semi's quite well by North Park as he was suffocated all game. That was a big key to North Park's advancement. I acknowledge all the negatives about athletics at Chicago that you and truenorth point out BUT like you said Babst has plowed through them where as O'Connor and Wiercinski did not. Maybe the school is focusing more on athletics than before in admissions or support but other than that I do not see many differences at all. If there have been any changes at Chicago in the last 10 years in Athletics please someone share.

I don't think that Chicago is focusing more upon athletics than before, because there's no reason for it to do so. We're talking about a school whose endowment is closing in $8 billion dollars. That's "billion" with a 'b'. It has an undergraduate academic profile and acceptance-to-applications ratio that is the envy of just about every other school in the land. So why fix what isn't broken? Sports doesn't matter much there, because there's no need for it to matter much. Besides, the Maroons do alright in various D3 sports, although they're not the across-the-board powerhouse that their archrival, Wash U, is.

Facilities-wise, I don't think that the U of C has added any major athletics upgrades since Ratner was finished in 2003, aside from Stagg Field and Anderson Field being re-turfed.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2018, 06:00:44 pm by Gregory Sager »
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.. -- John Wooden

Offline Mr.Right

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2018, 05:56:56 pm »
Lol...All those words and you have basically regurgitated what others have stated in the past. I was looking for someone to chime in IF anything had changed in the past 10 years to afford Babst a slight advantage that maybe Wiercinski and O'Conner did not have? Nothing to do with endowments or attendance which has all been brought up before. Basically, just curious if the smallest of things might have changed in support or admissions to give Babst a slight advantage or if he is just a better recruiter? My guess was the latter but wasn't 100% sure. Your need to muddy the questions with an abundance of knowledge is a characteristic that is extremely telling. It was a simple question that could have used a simple answer. In case of you an answer of NO would have sufficed. Anyone else familiar with Chicago have anything





Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2018, 06:03:34 pm »
You've never struck me as the type who is happy with a simple "yes" or "no". You've always seemed to be the type of poster who wants a statement to be backed up by facts. If I've misread you in that regard, I apologize, and I promise that in the future you'll just get a simple "yes" or "no" from me, provided that you take it at face value. ;)
"Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.. -- John Wooden

Offline truenorth

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2018, 09:05:11 am »

When I was running high school cross-country, there was a girl in my area who was really talented like, 4th in the nation her senior year in high school. Touted as perhaps the most talented female runner to come out of Maine since Joan Benoit Samuelson (who, incidentally, helped coach my high school track team for a season). Anyway, she was being recruited by Oregon and Princeton. For those who don't know, Oregon is the granddaddy of NCAA Track and Field: Oregon X-C and track is like Alabama football or Duke basketball in terms of prestige. For the reasons above, I personally wondered why she didn't go to Princeton, thinking "at least if she gets injured she has a degree from Princeton!" Ultimately, I think she ran into (no pun intended) some injuries, but she seems to be happy with her experience, and helped the Oregon women win a cross-country title her freshman year, running in the NCAA meet (only 7 runners on each team can run in the NCAA championship), and is now a teacher. If she was happy with her experience and it seems she was who am I to scrutinize her decision? Ultimately the goal is to be happy with the experience, wherever and whatever that is.

Blooter, you're referring to Abby Leonardi, who was indeed a great high school runner here in Maine.  Hopefully she is happy with her choice of Oregon over Princeton in retrospect.  To tie this story back to soccer, her twin sister was a very good high school soccer player who went on to play D1 at Fairfield or some place like that...

Offline truenorth

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2018, 09:10:44 am »
BTW Bloots I love these informative X-C analysis we get out of you every once and awhile. I can honestly say I do not know much at all about X-C but always enjoy learning new stuff. Why is Oregon top dog? Nike?

Thank you, I am glad they haven't put you to sleep!

You pretty much nailed it. Really started out when Phil Hayward started coaching at Oregon back in 1904. Hayward is the namesake of Oregon's historic Hayward Field, which has hosted many track and field Olympic Trials and incidentally just hosted the NCAA meet this past weekend. (Maine homer alert: Shout out to Isaiah Harris of Lewiston, ME, and Penn State who won the 800 in sub-1:45. Went from longtime bridesmaid to bride, although I'm not sure if he'd enjoy hearing that.) Maybe I am stretching, but I think it actually bears some resemblance of Bowdoin's Whittier Field (home of Polar Bear football, lax, and track) in terms of the old grandstand which sits outside the track.

Anyway, Hayward developed and coached a ton of successful Olympians, including (prior to coaching at Oregon) Olympic pole vault champion A.C. Gilbert, who, fun fact, invented the Erector set. Then came along Bill Bowerman, who was originally a football player, but switched his attention to track at the urging of Hayward. In terms of legacy, Bowerman is like the "Coach K" of track. His athletes and teams won numerous NCAA titles, and Bowerman would go on to co-found Nike with Phil Knight. One of his athletes, Bill Dellinger ('64 Olympics bronze medalist in the 5,000) then took over, and coached the late, great Steve Prefontaine, whom I am sure many have heard of. Anyway, that is essentially how UOregon became the X-C/track and field hotbed that it is. And with Nike exploding as a global brand in the years since its founding, it's tough to see that changing any time soon.

Great summary of the history of the Oregon running program and Hayward Field!  To bring this back to Mr. Right's question, the impact of Nike on Oregon's modern day program is undeniable.  Phil Knight has poured a s***load of money into Oregon's athletic programs in recent years, including track & field.  By the way, they're undertaking a complete rebuild and expansion of the stadium over the next three years, as it will be the site of the world track & field championships in 2021!

Offline blooter442

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2018, 10:10:20 am »
With all this talk about Chicago, it's worth mentioning that they return 8 of 11 starters from their Final 4 lineup. Those losses are in goal, outside back, and central midfield, and losing an All-American goalkeeper in particular is always rough, but they will be stacked and I think they have to be the favorites for the UAA once again. They were very good last year who knows what would have happened if the linesman hadn't blown that offsides call in the Final 4 matchup and I think that seeing that they were good enough to make the Final 4 and were a kick away from getting to the championship game (as opposed to getting dumped out by Redlands the year before) will have them hungry to get back there.

Blooter, you're referring to Abby Leonardi, who was indeed a great high school runner here in Maine.  Hopefully she is happy with her choice of Oregon over Princeton in retrospect.  To tie this story back to soccer, her twin sister was a very good high school soccer player who went on to play D1 at Fairfield or some place like that...

Indeed, I did know her sister went D1 in soccer at Stony Brook, and I think she was a great softball player, too. Either way, athletic family!

By the way, they're undertaking a complete rebuild and expansion of the stadium over the next three years, as it will be the site of the world track & field championships in 2021!

Did not know that! Super cool. I tune into some of the big meets (Olympics/Trials/Pre Classic/etc.) and will watch top-class talent when it is in Greater Boston Oregon's Edward Cheserek running 3:49.44 in the indoor mile at BU (on my birthday, incidentally) was the single most impressive athletic feat I've witnessed in person but haven't been great about keeping up with the World Championships. I guess that will have to change.
He's our center half, he's our number four, watch him defend, and we watch him score, he'll pass the ball, calm as you like, he's Virgil van Dijk, he's Virgil van Dijk.

Offline WUPHF

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Re: UAA 2018
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2018, 01:03:56 pm »
Just a note about the University of Chicago...I have a few colleagues who work in enrollment management here and elsewhere who say that UChicago is the hot school among the elite institutions at the moment.

The No. 3 ranking in the latest US News and World Reports certainly helps, but you need to be the hot school to get there (unless you are Harvard, Princeton or Yale).

It's a tremendous school, but it's not for everyone. Leaving aside the matter that only the most academically accomplished kids can get admitted into the U of C, there's also the matter of it being a very different sort of learning environment than you see on other campuses. It's extremely tilted in favor of academics over social environment (including athletics). On any given game day or night, you'll find a whole lot more undergraduates in Regenstein Library than you will at Stagg Field or the Ratner Center watching the Maroons play. The slogan on the most popular t-shirt at the campus bookstore puts it succinctly: "The University of Chicago: Where Fun Goes to Die".

The co-curricular culture at the University of Chicago is changing and changing fast.

I'll be surprised if you can still buy that t-shirt at the bookstore.

Besides, the Maroons do alright in various D3 sports, although they're not the across-the-board powerhouse that their archrival, Wash U, is.

As much as I hate to admit it, Chicago finished 12th in the Director's Cup this season.  15th last season.  14th the season before last.