I appreciate your opinions on this and don’t disagree totally, and agree with a lot you say, but I will answer them in order.
1) I think Reed’s in game coaching has been suspect at times since he started. This is not exactly John Wooden we are talking about. I think we all know that he got pretty lucky in signing a once in a generation, perhaps lifetime, player. But, I give him all the credit in the world for doing so. But, he has struck out on his fair amount of classes. You can’t recruit 1 class out of 4 and have sustained success. I do like his preaching about the defensive end of the court. But, I question a lot of his in game decisions. In a variety of areas, I think he could do a better job at times. Recruiting has been suspect at times, his defensive approaches can be questioned (refusal to play zone, refusal to press with a team that is small, pretty quick and averages 80 points), and I sometimes question the offensive sets he runs, in particular the lack of touches CJ sometimes get, and Gabe on the block. And, I think an early argument could be made, we will see down the road, that he was shortsighted in setting up CJ’s senior season with the necessary talent.
2) I realize quality big men are very hard to find at the lower echelon of D1 basketball. But, in fairness, we are not looking for Muscala’s and Knutson’s. We are looking for big bodies, period, to take up space, defend and use 5 fouls. If he recruited 3 Manieri’s I would be thrilled.
3) I think it is pretty easy to put 2+2 together and get to 4 when you look at Reed’s potential to leave the program. After the CJ run, and the cupboard pretty bare, after the Big 3 leave, this is no doubt the time to leave the program if you have bigger coaching aspirations. Every mid-major level college coach does it. If Reed makes the Dance again this season, he will never be more marketable than back to back appearances with a win, and a half away from a Sweet 16 appearance. I don’t have the opinion that he is a Lehigh lifer, like Fran O’Hanlon at Lafayette. Just pointing out that this would appear to be the time to jump ship. Last year, was a year too early, due to CJ’s return. But McCaffrey left Lehigh after Queenan/Polaha run, and although he had some lean years, has jumped several levels over the last 20 years, and now finds himself coaching in a premier basketball conference. Billy Taylor left at the first sign of success. When programs hire coaches they tend to look at 3 things (wins/conference titles, NCAA appearances and NCAA wins/success), they don’t necessarily look at how you recruited and what you are leaving behind. It is a fair assumption that a jump to say the A-10 or MAC would increase his recruiting prowess as recruiting gets easier as you jump up levels.
4) As to JG-CB-DC, we can all assume they are not studs. But, you can’t play even medium sized lineups with a frontcourt of Gabe, Holden and take your pick. Gabe can’t rebound the basketball and Holden is 6’7″ and that may be generous, and slight. You have to get minutes for the bigger guys and hope and pray they develop. And, you have to play a recruited player more than 26 minutes over 12 games that don’t really matter. I think you risk upsetting the player and risk his transfer when he plays about the same as unrecruited walk-ons. If DC were to transfer, this class could be in a world of hurt, unless Chuku is a star. And, I do agree with you, that that trio does look shaky and uninspired in warmups and on the court. But, in fairness to them, it is difficult to be mentally prepared to play and pushing yourself when you know you are not getting the warmups off. I do hope Reed is communicating to DC as to why he is not getting minutes. From the SC quotes this year, it sounds like Reed did a good job of communicating with him last season about his lack of minutes. My guess is that DC is a very poor defender, so I hope Reed is working on that with him.