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Home » College Baseball Clubhouse » Lance Berkman may retire, return to Rice

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11/17/2012 8:13:43 AM

ASU74
ASU74
Posts: 1039
http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/19477366/2012/09/06/lance-berkman-may-retire-return-to-rice-university

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11/19/2012 7:47:33 AM

HSF
HSF
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Why did Mike Taylor leave the program?
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11/19/2012 1:32:35 PM

weg313
weg313
Posts: 134
Lance coached the final 2 weeks of Rice's Fall Ball, and will continue this Spring as a Volunteer Assistant. Should he decide to retire, he'll enroll in class (toward his degree) and become a "student assistant", which would allow Coach Graham to add another assistant coach.

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11/20/2012 11:25:52 AM

HSF
HSF
Posts: 25
That still doesn’t explain Taylor’s departure.

The guy has had a 20+ year relationship with Graham and now all of the sudden he’s out.

Would love to know the details behind the falling out.

Have to wonder if it has something to do with Rice’s recruiting being down.
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11/20/2012 6:53:16 PM

weg313
weg313
Posts: 134
HSF wrote:
That still doesn’t explain Taylor’s departure.

The guy has had a 20+ year relationship with Graham and now all of the sudden he’s out.

Would love to know the details behind the falling out.

Have to wonder if it has something to do with Rice’s recruiting being down.


1. This has nothing to do with Rice recruiting...whatsoever. And though this year's incoming class appears to be ranked just outside the Top 25, I think that by the time these guys graduate they will prove to be one of Rice's best recruiting classes; perhaps even matching the great 2005 incoming class (Savery, St.Clair, Henley, Friday, Dotson, Lehmann, Zornes, Bell, Bramhall, Tacker).

2. Understand your curiosity, but the circumstances behind Taylor's departure is NEVER going to be made public.

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In Wayne Graham we trust.
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11/27/2012 8:04:08 AM

HSF
HSF
Posts: 25
weg313 wrote:


1. This has nothing to do with Rice recruiting...whatsoever. And though this year's incoming class appears to be ranked just outside the Top 25, I think that by the time these guys graduate they will prove to be one of Rice's best recruiting classes; perhaps even matching the great 2005 incoming class (Savery, St.Clair, Henley, Friday, Dotson, Lehmann, Zornes, Bell, Bramhall, Tacker).

2. Understand your curiosity, but the circumstances behind Taylor's departure is NEVER going to be made public.


Actually Rice’s 2011 and 2012 classes were ranked outside of the Top 25, and the 2013 group isn’t looking too promising with Luna being the only Top 500 player signed so far.

Maybe the guys who have committed will be great and prove they should’ve been ranked higher, but that doesn’t change the fact that right now TCU, A&M, Texas, and now Tech (with Tadlock rolling) are getting the more highly regarded in-state talent.

And with Rice now not having been to Omaha since 2008, and choking away what was seemingly 2 fairly easy Home regionals the last two years, now top assistant leaving, being out recruited in-state…it appears it’s a program on the decline, hopefully Berkman can help reenergize it.
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11/29/2012 7:28:14 AM

weg313
weg313
Posts: 134
HSF wrote:
weg313 wrote:


1. This has nothing to do with Rice recruiting...whatsoever. And though this year's incoming class appears to be ranked just outside the Top 25, I think that by the time these guys graduate they will prove to be one of Rice's best recruiting classes; perhaps even matching the great 2005 incoming class (Savery, St.Clair, Henley, Friday, Dotson, Lehmann, Zornes, Bell, Bramhall, Tacker).

2. Understand your curiosity, but the circumstances behind Taylor's departure is NEVER going to be made public.


Actually Rice’s 2011 and 2012 classes were ranked outside of the Top 25, and the 2013 group isn’t looking too promising with Luna being the only Top 500 player signed so far.

Maybe the guys who have committed will be great and prove they should’ve been ranked higher, but that doesn’t change the fact that right now TCU, A&M, Texas, and now Tech (with Tadlock rolling) are getting the more highly regarded in-state talent.

And with Rice now not having been to Omaha since 2008, and choking away what wa s seemingly 2 fairly easy Home regionals the last two years, now top assistant leaving, being out recruited in-state…it appears it’s a program on the decline, hopefully Berkman can help reenergize it.


1. Rice is in decline, but Texas is not? If I recall, Rice has dramatically out-performed the Longhorns over the past several seasons. Rice may not have been to Omaha since 2008, but they have remained remained a top 15 - 20 ranked program every single year since then, and either earned or competed closely for one of the 8 national seeds every year but one during that time frame. Texas, A&M, Miami, LSU, CSF, UNC and almost every other perennial baseball power cannot make that same claim.

2. UT and A&M have ALWAYS out-recruited Rice in-state, and TCU has for the past decade. (Purke, for example, was recruited by Rice, as well, but it was determined he did not qualify academically.) Also, Rice has NEVER gone after the Top 100 recruit out of high school who have a very high probability of being drafted and never showing up on campus.

3. High school Top 200/400 listings are a total crapshoot, and do not determine how well these guys do in college or how much they develop as players. Where Rice excels under Coach Graham is in finding the diamonds in the rough (particularly amongst pitchers), and developing them into elite-level college players and top draft picks. Jeff Niemann, Wade Townsend, Brian Friday, Rick Hague, Cole St.Clair, David Aardsma, Ryan Berry, Mike Ojala, JT Chargois, Tyler Duffey, Tony Cingrani, Jeremy Rathjen-- none of these guys were even drafted out of high school....and Rendon (who really wanted to go pro immediately) wasn't drafted until the 29th round (ditto Philip Humber).

4. Yes, Coach Pierce was a great recruiter and proved to be (for the players) the ying to Coach Graham's yang...but he deserved to be a head coach somewhere....and, hopefully, he'll be back at the helm at Rice in 10+ years (!) after Coach Graham decides to hang it up. The addition of Lance Berkman to the coaching staff should have an immediate and positive effect-- not only on our offense (as the de facto hitting coach), but in keeping the players loose (he's a notorious jokester/story teller and great clubhouse guy) and, especially, in recruiting.

--
In Wayne Graham we trust.
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11/29/2012 1:30:01 PM

HSF
HSF
Posts: 25
Competing for Top 8 seeds or hosting home Regionals is not the end goal.

Omaha is.

A&M, TCU, Texas (twice)…and I’ll include CSF, LSU, & UNC (since you mentioned them) have all been to Omaha since the last time Rice has in 2008.

Not saying Texas is not in decline, they are – but they have had back to back top 10 recruiting classes (according to Baseball America)

But to say that Rice has outperformed Texas the “last several years” is an overstatement.

From 2009-2011 Texas was a Top-8 seed all three years, averaged 50 wins a year, went to Omaha twice, and won 3 Big 12 Titles, and was a National Runner-up in 2009…compared to Rice who was only a top 8 seed in 2011 and didn’t make it Omaha in any of those 3 years.

If you want to go back even further Texas has been to Omaha the exact same amount of times that Rice has going back to 1997, and has one more National Title.

Also, as terrible as Texas was last year, and they may not be much better this year, they still beat Rice last year.

But if you want to discount recruiting and say that Rice has always recruited poorly and that explains the 3 straight subpar classes, that is fine, and is legitimate because what you say about developing prospects is true, I hope I am wrong, I want Rice to do well, I root for all Texas teams.

The Purke story that you tell is misleading, he never considered Rice.
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11/29/2012 3:26:39 PM

weg313
weg313
Posts: 134
HSF wrote:
Competing for Top 8 seeds or hosting home Regionals is not the end goal.

Omaha is.

A&M, TCU, Texas (twice)…and I’ll include CSF, LSU, & UNC (since you mentioned them) have all been to Omaha since the last time Rice has in 2008.

Not saying Texas is not in decline, they are – but they have had back to back top 10 recruiting classes (according to Baseball America)

But to say that Rice has outperformed Texas the “last several years” is an overstatement.

From 2009-2011 Texas was a Top-8 seed all three years, averaged 50 wins a year, went to Omaha twice, and won 3 Big 12 Titles, and was a National Runner-up in 2009…compared to Rice who was only a top 8 seed in 2011 and didn’t make it Omaha in any of those 3 years.

If you want to go back even further Texas has been to Omaha the exact same amount of times that Rice has going back to 1997, and has one more National Title.

Also, as terrible as Texas was last year, and they may not be much better this year, they still beat Rice last year.

But if you want to discount recruiting and say that Rice has always recruited poorly and that explains the 3 straight subpar classes, that is fine, and is legitimate because what you say about developing prospects is true, I hope I am wrong, I want Rice to do well, I root for all Texas teams.

The Purke story that you tell is misleading, he never considered Rice.


You have a very strange view of what "poor recruiting" and a "sub-par recruiting class" is. It's certainly not having a recruiting class ranked in the Top 30, which Rice has had. Let's not forget that Rice does have much more stringent academic requirements than any other elite program, save for Stanford. (UNC and UVA are top academic schools, but do not hold their scholarship athletes to anywhere near the same academic requirements.) Rice has only had one or two Top 20 ranked recruiting classes EVER, and I do not believe we've ever had a Top 15 class....yet we've somehow managed to do pretty well on the playing field.

--
In Wayne Graham we trust.
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11/30/2012 9:00:39 AM

HSF
HSF
Posts: 25
That is a very good point and I certainly am aware of the obstacles that Rice has when it comes to recruiting to that extent.

And certainly speaks to the level at which Graham, Pierce, Taylor and Co. have been able to develop players over the years.

I do think that Pierce will take over that program one day, after he turns SHSU into a mid-major juggernaut which is very close to happening.
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12/4/2012 3:29:12 PM

ASU74
ASU74
Posts: 1039
weg313
I agree with you on the academic front. The one that got away from Rice was Mark Appel. I'm not sure what the situtation was or if he even considered Rice. He is a Houston boy and went out to Stanford. He is a senior now & may be the the overall #1 next year and return to Houston (farm system anyway) the way the Astros are playing.

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12/5/2012 7:19:10 AM

weg313
weg313
Posts: 134
ASU74 wrote:
weg313
I agree with you on the academic front. The one that got away from Rice was Mark Appel. I'm not sure what the situtation was or if he even considered Rice. He is a Houston boy and went out to Stanford. He is a senior now & may be the the overall #1 next year and return to Houston (farm system anyway) the way the Astros are playing.


Yes, we "lost" Appel, but not due to academics....and from everything I heard he was crushed that the Astros did not draft him after last season, as he very much wanted to return to Texas. Having said that, Rice never really had a strong shot at recruiting him, as his family moved out to California before he entered high school.

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In Wayne Graham we trust.
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12/7/2012 1:24:58 PM

ASU74
ASU74
Posts: 1039
That makes sense.......Houston took ASU's Brady Rodgers who is also from the Houston area. It was fun to watch the 2 Houston bred Friday night starters (Rodgers & Appel) battle it out last year at Stanford.....just like when they played against each other as youngsters......Appel won that night.

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