NESCAC Freshman

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    • #12908

      NESCAC fan has a nice analysis of the conference and I agree, Williams is unbeatable this year and the real battle will be for second with Amherst, Tufts and Middlebury (subject for a new thread). I don’t see Connecticut with the depth to compete for the runner-up slot this year.

      But what about the future? Who will be the next one to de-throne Williams (along the lines of the Kenyon discussion on the main board)?

      I see Williams and Amherst each with 3 solid freshmen point getters this year … but I see Tufts with more overall depth. I haven’t done any detailed analysis, plus the season is only a month old … but it will be interesting to see which school gets the most points from their freshman class at the NESCAC’s.

      Any other opinions?

    • #42224
      Nescacfan
      Member

      If any NESCAC school has a chance to put pressure on the Williams men in the long run [greater than 5 years], I think it’s Tufts. Tufts is a first-class academic institution located in the suburbs of an attractive metropolitan area. For certain recruits, this is a real plus. Tufts has proven , for both women and men, it can atttact and develop quality divers and a few quality swimmers. If Tufts can attract just a couple more quailty swimmers each year [with one every other year or so with “top 8” national potential], they could be battling Williams by 2012.

      Also if Coach Kuster were to leave Williams for greener pastures, that might open up a window of opportunity for a school like Tufts. However, I don’t see that happening soon.

    • #42225
      griz
      Member

      And if that new pool is built, Tufts will be able to recruit more high-end talent.

      I’m interested to see if Conn Coll can continue its ascent in the conference as well as what Casares at Bates can do after seeing what he did for the Wabash program.

    • #42226

      Nescacfan:

      Almost agree 100% with your analysis … I’ll make a (gentleman’s) wager that Mr. Kuster is gone within 5 years. Here is my argument:

      1) He’s clearly a great coach and is a great representative for his college (young, bright, enthusiastic, great motivator) and has no “baggage” … this will make him very attractive to another college/university. So, the offers will (and are I assume) be coming .. and I’m sure they would involve more $$$, especially at the D1 level.

      2) Because of the foolish NESCAC rules about practice start dates, I do not see a NESCAC mens swim team making a serious run for the NCAA Championship (I would love to see it … but I just can’t). So I’ve got to believe he sees these rules as holding him back from achieving his full potential.

      3) The longer he stays at Williams, the less attractive he will be to a major program (D1).

      The only negatives I see are that he has no D1 recruiting experience … but I think his intelligence (UPenn grad) and charisma could overcome this.

      Of course, this could all be a mute point if he really enjoys the small town western Massachusetts lifestyle. I went to prep school in that area and was climbing the walls to get out after 2 years … but there were some 30 year teachers (great educators) who were perfectly content with that lifestyle.

      I should add that I do not know Mr. Kuster and have never met him … so all my opinions are pure (educated) speculation.

    • #42227
      Colbybr
      Member

      @d3swimmeranddad wrote:

      Nescacfan:

      Almost agree 100% with your analysis … I’ll make a (gentleman’s) wager that Mr. Kuster is gone within 5 years. Here is my argument:

      1) He’s clearly a great coach and is a great representative for his college (young, bright, enthusiastic, great motivator) and has no “baggage” … this will make him very attractive to another college/university. So, the offers will (and are I assume) be coming .. and I’m sure they would involve more $$$, especially at the D1 level.

      2) Because of the foolish NESCAC rules about practice start dates, I do not see a NESCAC mens swim team making a serious run for the NCAA Championship (I would love to see it … but I just can’t). So I’ve got to believe he sees these rules as holding him back from achieving his full potential.

      3) The longer he stays at Williams, the less attractive he will be to a major program (D1).

      The only negatives I see are that he has no D1 recruiting experience … but I think his intelligence (UPenn grad) and charisma could overcome this.

      Of course, this could all be a mute point if he really enjoys the small town western Massachusetts lifestyle. I went to prep school in that area and was climbing the walls to get out after 2 years … but there were some 30 year teachers (great educators) who were perfectly content with that lifestyle.

      I should add that I do not know Mr. Kuster and have never met him … so all my opinions are pure (educated) speculation.

      A few things. A lot of people assume that it is easier to move up from coaching D3 to D1. Kuster is somewhat of a unique case because he has previous D1 coaching experience. However, there is somewhat of a glass ceiling for D3 coaches, no matter what they have accomplished.

      Re: Tufts. I think they are one of the few teams with any chance of unseating Williams. In fact they probably have a better chance than anybody else if they get a new facility. That is their only limiting factor in my opinion. There has always been a strong degree of institutional support in admissions, they have a good coach and they have by far the largest undergraduate population in the nescac (i think they are at least twice the size of any other school in the league)

    • #42228

      Colbybr:

      Good points about D3 to D1 … but remember, Mr. Kuster is a young guy so I don’t think that this would be as big an impediment as if remained in the D3 ranks for another 5 to 10 years (and became a “D3 Coach”) … and as you pointed out, he does have some D1 experience.

      I agree with all your points about Tufts … and as Nescacfan pointed out they have the selling point of being a “Boston School” which I believe is a plus in the recruiting game. After all, who would want to go to school in the middle of Maine? Just kidding, Colby is a great school. I swam one of my HS Championship meets there (I won’t tell you when) and my nephew is currently a student there (non-swimmer).

      So, lets agree that Tufts has the best shot at de-throning Williams and see if their freshmen can outscore Williams’ freshmen this year to begin the ascent.

    • #42229
      Colbybr
      Member

      Yes. I think the pool remains their biggest impediment. They have that massive men’s team, but only a 6 lane pool. There might be some residual talent there that just doesn’t get the opportunity to get into the water a lot.

      I have all the faith in Kuster, its definitely ignorance on AD’s part when they ignore d3 coaches. I think often D1 AD’s fail to recognize the level at which high end division 3 schools compete at in comparison to other d3 sports.

    • #42230
      Nescacfan
      Member

      @Colbybr wrote:

      [“they have by far the largest undergraduate population in the nescac (i think they are at least twice the size of any other school in the league)

      You’re right. I think Tufts FY undergraduate class is just a little smaller than the total enrollment of Williams

    • #42231
      E0M8S
      Member

      @d3swimmeranddad wrote:

      Colbybr:

      Good points about D3 to D1 … but remember, Mr. Kuster is a young guy so I don’t think that this would be as big an impediment as if remained in the D3 ranks for another 5 to 10 years (and became a “D3 Coach”) … and as you pointed out, he does have some D1 experience.

      I agree with all your points about Tufts … and as Nescacfan pointed out they have the selling point of being a “Boston School” which I believe is a plus in the recruiting game. After all, who would want to go to school in the middle of Maine? Just kidding, Colby is a great school. I swam one of my HS Championship meets there (I won’t tell you when) and my nephew is currently a student there (non-swimmer).

      So, lets agree that Tufts has the best shot at de-throning Williams and see if their freshmen can outscore Williams’ freshmen this year to begin the ascent.

      I don’t see that outscoring happening. Despite the fact that the Williams FY class is smaller than Tufts, Williams recruiting classes have always been about quality over quantity. Roberson will be Top 4 in the 500, 1000, and 1650. Wampler will win the 50 and be Top 8 in the 100. MacDonald will be Top 8 50, 100, & 200 back. Williams doesn’t need massive recruiting classes to do what they do. They simply bring 24 men to the conference meet, the majority of whom score Top 8 in all three of their events (don’t quote me on that statistic, though I would like to see if more than 12 of their swimmers actually do accomplish that feat). Off the top of my head, I can name Spinelli, McManic, Millen, Bullitt, Kirwan, Felker, Wentworth-Ping, Scott, Bonewell, and Hannigan. Though three of those names are gone this year, I think three of the Eph frosh have triple-Top 8 potential, especially if Wampler can pull off a 50 of stroke.

    • #42232
      silentp
      Member

      Any chance Middlebury freshmen outscore those of Williams and Tufts?

    • #42233
      jota
      Member

      tufts will never beat williams. middlebury and amherst have the best shot. tufts never gets the talent. numbers alone don’t win championships. talent does. tufts’ frosh class won’t outscore williams’.

    • #42234
      Colbybr
      Member

      @jota wrote:

      tufts will never beat williams. middlebury and amherst have the best shot. tufts never gets the talent. numbers alone don’t win championships. talent does. tufts’ frosh class won’t outscore williams’.

      Hey we get your point! Jk. But there is no reason Tufts cant bring in that talent.

    • #42235
      Nescacfan
      Member

      @jota wrote:

      tufts will never beat williams. middlebury and amherst have the best shot. tufts never gets the talent. numbers alone don’t win championships. talent does. tufts’ frosh class won’t outscore williams’.

      The question was which team in the long run has a chance to unseat the Williams men. I think, with a new aquatic center and continued admissions support, Tufts in the best position of the men NESCAC competitors to attract the quality swimmers necessary to compete with Williams. They already are attracting high quality divers. It will take a numder of years for this to happen, For example, watch as MIT improves each year with their new swimming and diving complex.

    • #42236

      Nescacfan:

      I agree with your point about the new pool at Tufts, but as I said in another post, I don’t see this pool coming anytime soon … unless they can find a sugardaddy who wants his name on a building (a’la’ MIT).

      Jota: here’s some preliminary numbers to chew on:

      1) Williams has 5 freshmen swimmers total. 3 are “studs” and will score big at NESCAC’s as you pointed out.
      2) Tufts has 13 freshmen swimmers total. I could see 6 as “solid scorers” at NESCAC’s (meaning one A final and a couple of B finals each).
      3) Tufts has a freshman diver that should score top 8 on both boards.
      4) NESCAC’s score 24 deep … so 2 “mid-B finals” can score almost as much as the winner. So, quality over quantity is not as important as it would be at the NCAA’s (16 deep scoring).

      So, I would not be so quick to conclude that Tufts’ freshmen will not outscore the Williams’ freshmen. I think it all depends on how their respective freshmen will develop over the season and how well their respective coaches taper them.

      But one thing I can say for sure is that if Williams continues with 5 swimmers per class, in 4 years they will have a difficult time retaining their title … but no doubt, this year they will grind out another title (but since everyone agrees on that point … why discuss it?).

    • #42237
      Colbybr
      Member

      People are also discounting the third swimmer Williams picked up, David Thompson. He has been 9:45 in the 100 and 16:30 in the mile. He doesn’t look great right now but he is going to score some points

    • #42238
      swim5599
      Member

      I am sure that Thompson will make noise by the end of the year, will he be the next Spinelli? Who knows but everyone gets better swimming under Kuster.

    • #42239
      3 6 Mafia
      Member

      its nice to see Tufts picking up so many freshmen, but their 2010 class was much bigger- well, 17 strong… and i use the word “strong” very lightly. As of today, i only count 13 swimmers from 2010 on their roster, probably just weeding out the weak ones. I think that Tufts freshmen class can only be a big impact if they decide to swim all four years. Im not saying williams wont see people quitting, but its easier when youre a swimmer who trains all year and you barely score in one event- the C heat, whereas Williams will send most if not all of the freshmen class (eventually) to NCAAs. Tufts class 2011 will send kids to NCAAs, i think its the most talented class ever, but keeping those mid-B heat scorers for Nescacs in (arbitrary date) 2010 will be a harder challenge.

    • #42240
      Colbybr
      Member

      I will get a good look at Thompson next week. We attended the same high school and will be having an alumni function. I’ll let you know a prognosis after that.

    • #42241

      Colbybr:

      I think you mean the FOURTH Williams freshman who will be a solid point getter at the NESCACs.

      I still stand behind my earlier comment that it will all depend on how the freshmen develop, but I believe that the Tufts’ freshmen have the best potential in the NESCAC to outscore the Williams’ freshmen … better than Amherst and Middlebury. It’ll be interesting to watch performances unfold up to the NESCAC’s.

      3 6 Mafia:

      I agree with your comment about 17 swimmers which means almost nothing (in fact, in Tufts’ case it could be a negative because of the small pool). What really matters (if you want to win the championship with the numbers) is to have 6 or so solid point getters per class. If you are taking six guys who are scoring one C final each … you probably aren’t competing for the championship.

    • #42242
      Colbybr
      Member

      Yeah I definitely meant 4th. Oops! I agree that the Tufts class is better. I think however, the ideal class for this league has 8 swimmers in it. I think on a lot of college swim teams you see a fairly healthy attrition rate. 8 People in allows for a couple kids messing up, losing motivation, or being involved in a gasoline fight accident.

    • #42243
      griz
      Member

      I was kind of curious about all this (and I had some extra time at work). I figured out each class’ contribution to the team at NESCACs (for 2007 championships and including the class of 2007, and including relay contributions). Interestingly enough, Williams had the top three best classes in the conference, but the only other school to have three classes in the top ten is Tufts.

      As far as predicting when Williams will lose again, it’s interesting. The Williams class of 2010 was the weakest by far compared to its other classes. When you consider that Rob Hannigan is gone (and may not be coming back?), that class becomes the 10th worst class at the conference meet last year. The class of 2011 will most likely contribute a lot of points but might be a bit lower than because of its size, though. However, it may be the weakness of the class of 2010 that gives Tufts an edge down the line.

      Adam Hoyt (Tufts) seems to be doing a great job recruiting solid swimmers. The Tufts class of 2007 was their best class last year, but the incoming freshmen this year will do a nice job replacing that talent. However, the class of 2008 was third worst class in the conference (probably because this was the first year for Hoyt after Meagerle stopped coaching). It looks like Hoyt will continue to recruit large classes.

      That said, I could see Tufts becoming a real threat to Williams at the 2009 championships (and beyond).

      And I probably had way too much time on my hands.

    • #42244
      N Dynamite
      Member

      @3 6 Mafia wrote:

      …whereas Williams will send most if not all of the freshmen class (eventually) to NCAAs.

      That’s a pretty bold statement, especially considering their NCAA roster was “only” 11. Do they use this type of statement during the recruiting process? I can hear it now – “if you swim at Williams you will (eventually) make NCAAs.”

    • #42245

      N Dynamite: You are right … that is a pretty bold statement … and a longshot as well. Of course, only time will tell.

      Griz: Your right about the Tufts 2008 class (always glad to see numbers back up my quick assessments … thanks). The most significant variables to see who will be the next one to overtake Williams will be continuity (who stays with the program) and how they develop. Williams has 4 solid scoring freshmen. If they all stay with the program and develop nicely, they will probobly continue to hang onto the title for some time. But, as I’m sure you all know … the motivation can start to run low by the end of the Junior year … especially at the D3 level. A strong program (program heritage and coach … which both Williams and Tufts have) can help, but you never know until you are there.

      But I can say with some degree of confidence that Tufts does have the POTENTIAL to knock Williams off in 3 or 4 years.

      Stay tuned …

    • #42246
      Colbybr
      Member

      Saw David Thompson this weekend. He looks like he’s definitely improving as a swimmer under Kuster. Also he confirmed Hannigan is out for the whole year but likely to come back the next year. I guess he was trying to make a bomb in his room, not in a malicious way, but under our current climate not a great idea.

    • #42247
      Derek
      Member

      @Colbybr wrote:

      I guess he was trying to make a bomb in his room, not in a malicious way, but under our current climate not a great idea.

      I’m not sure that it is ever a good idea to try and make a bomb in your room, but it is sad that his offense was due to political danger and not the danger of having an explosive in your room.

    • #42248
      Colbybr
      Member

      @Derek wrote:

      @Colbybr wrote:

      I guess he was trying to make a bomb in his room, not in a malicious way, but under our current climate not a great idea.

      I’m not sure that it is ever a good idea to try and make a bomb in your room, but it is sad that his offense was due to political danger and not the danger of having an explosive in your room.

      Yeah probably not good to try and make a bomb. Ever

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