This is the first of five season recaps that will appear this week. There will be one each day in reverse order of current KenPom ranking.
It was also going to be like this during Tracy Dildy's
first season at Chicago State
. Benjy Taylor wouldn't have left the job for an assistant coach position at Hawaii
if it wasn't going to be a challenge. Dildy came into a situation that had few talented players and needed a massive rebuilding job. At time this season the Cougars just seemed disinterested.
Well, Dildy worked with the cards he was dealt and concentrated on Great West Conference play. The Cougars went 3-9, down one game from a season ago. They also finished 344th, second to last in the KenPom rankings, and last in defense.
Next season Dildy will have some of his own players and hopefully they'll be able to make a difference on the court and the team can hopefully move towards .500 in the Great West Conference.
Season Statistical Snapshot:
- Final KenPom: 344
- KenPom Offense: 340
- KenPom Defense: 345
- Final Record: 6-26
- Conference Record: 3-9
Season Highlights: The victory at Texas-Pan American on February 5 was probably the Cougars' best victory. A close loss to South Dakota in the conference tournament at Utah Valley State was also commendable. The other good loss was a two-point overtime defeat against Liberty during non-conference play.
Season Lowlights: There were a few down moments this season, but the worst was probably the loss on senior night against Olivet Nazarene. It was the second time in two seasons that the NAIA Division I Tigers have come in and beaten the Cougars on their home court. Chicago State also had some really bad losses in non-conference play, but the worst was a 93-38 defeat to Stephen F. Austin in the Lumberjacks' own tournament.
Player to Remember: Carl Montgomery - Sr, F: 2nd Team All-Chicago and amongst the national leaders in a number of tempo-free statistical categories.
Next Year: It's tough to tell what the future holds for the Cougars right now. Chicago State isn't the type of school that lines up a whole bunch of recruits, but Dildy has a lot of spots to fill. Right now two junior college players - shooting guard Oscar Macias and power forward Jonathan Mills have committed. With at least seven seniors leaving the program there is a lot of room to add players. Expect Dildy to work hard to try and get some former Chicago high school players to transfer back to the city and for him to try and sell recruits on a new Chicago State. It'll be interesting to see how well that tactic works.