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Will Larranaga Court ever happen at George Mason?

George Mason Basketball: Will Larranaga Court ever happen at George Mason?

Monday, May 09, 2011

Will Larranaga Court ever happen at George Mason?

Eric Angevine of, and big CAA follower talks about the chances of George Mason ever playing on "Larranaga Court". Mason fans have been talking about this since the 2006 Final Four but now with Larranaga's resignation from the green and gold people wonder if it will ever happen.  Angevine cites Corey Schmidt of Halcyon Hoops who made this chart showing that Larranaga falls below the average tenure for what it took for most other schools to name the court after their coach:

Chart by Halcyon Hoops

I agree with what they saying that if Larranaga had retired instead of moving on to Miami this would be closer to a lock but currently the sting is still there from his departure. Most would say his accomplishments at George Mason would merit a court naming but does jumping ship to South Beach overshadow that?  Say he has three subpar seasons at Miami and retires, would the fan base still be bitter?  It's an interesting question because let's face it George Mason doesn't do much to honor former players or coaches.  There is no retired jersey of George Evans hanging in the rafters and the all the Final Four guys got were toy sized bobble-heads



Anonymous GMURULES said...

If he retired from Mason it would have been a lock. Since he left, I don't think it will or should be done. Loved Coach L, but the sting of him leaving is still there.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Ross_williams1 said...

I think the jury will be out for some time on naming the court after Laranaga. If he poaches players then no way.

I never understood why the school does not retire jerseys. It would be great for the program and a pretty good marketing idea as well.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Halcyon Hoops said...

This is the guy from Halcyon Hoops. First, thanks for continuing the discussion on this over here. I was very interested to see more of what the GMU faithful thought about it.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

If Coach L had left for money that would be one thing. He could have gone to Providence or Seton Hall 5 years ago. Fact remains he was at Mason for 14 years, is the CAA all time winning est coach and took the school to our first ever final four. No matter what nobody will ever accomplish that again, period. Why he left is not the issue.

So the question is do we name our court? Coach L has earned it, so that isn't the issue. Personally, if we can slap that ugly "Mason Nation" logo on the court, the least we can do is put "Coach L Court" on there.

I've never understood why we don't retire jerseys. Every school not named Indiana retires jerseys. At a minimum you'd have George Evans (21) and Lamar Butler (22). You could make the argument for Carlos Yates (32), as well. Outside of the final four, we do a very poor job at acknowledging our past.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous gmuhoops said...

@twitter-293892151:disqus There is also a bunch of responses where I posted it on facebook:

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Patotobin said...

Today, the only thing we should name after Coach L is the ticket booth. He sold out, period. It’s a fact. It was a business decision. If it were about emotions, we’d still be planning our next season with him. He chose another girl to go to the dance with. She hangs out with a better click and puts out more, about a half million more per year. Yes, he was courted by his alma mater (Providence) but he turned that offer down. Why? Why was it so different this time? Let’s look at it. I mean, so what… he’s got siblings in Florida. It’s not like its 1886 and we travel by horse and buggy. How about the weather? C’mon now… big time college basketball coaches don’t have time for the weather. Just ask our new head coach who had to cancel his vacation because accepting this job. What else? Was it because of Miami’s rich historic college basketball tradition? Was it because Miami is in a better place to succeed next year? Was it because TOC broke a cross your heart promise to him? LOL C’mon… He cashed in. I don’t blame him. I get it. I’m a realist, but a realist measures costs and benefits. Coach L. is a realist. He knew the benefits; he knew the costs. One of those costs, his mortality here at Mason. He is no God here at Mason. He sold that. Let’s focus on the future, keeping our program alive… not Coach L’s place in time.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Disagree. I am not willing to turn my back on the most glorious 14 years in George Mason basketball history. Why he is no longer the coach at Mason doesn't change any of the accomplishments he had while here. None whatsoever.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

How bout we name it after Alan Merten?

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Patotobin said...

There's a difference between "turning your back on the last 14 glorious seasons" and not giving the ultimate honor to a Coach that is still coaching on another court of his choice, not ours. I respect Coach L. He is a great Coach. I loved his time here. He moved on from us and now it's time for us to move on as well. Naming our court after him is an absurd idea right now. It makes no sense to me to even consider it at this point.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous ChemistCorner1 said...

Kenny "the Chemist" Sanders - #5 should be retired - the guy took us to our first NCAA Tourney and was a beast at 6'5" - 3 straight years of All CAA first team, player of the year and rookie of the year

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Are we to harp on the fact that he is no longer with us? Or are we going to celebrate the time he was here? It really comes down to that. I prefer to pay homage to the past and not hold a grudge at somebody for moving on. Nothing will change what he accomplished while he was here. It's like some just want to forget about it. I agree we have to move on, but you can move on and still celebrate your past. It's not a deal of where you can only have one and not the other. Georgia Tech did it with "Bobby Cremins Court" even after he left and is coaching another D1 school. And Paul Hewitt was the coach that oversaw it. So it's not like its unheard of.

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Alan Merten's influence far outweighs just the basketball arena. I think naming a building (a Johnson Center-type) after him would be more than appropriate.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Patotobin said...

Yes, one vote to harp here. It will take me at least three great seasons to overcome my coach L hangover. It's not the healthiest thing for the mind or body, but feelings are often like that. As for the court being named after him, well... i just don't think it's a grudge at this point and time. I know Bobby Cremins retired. I'm not sure of the time line for that court naming process though. He came out of retirement to coach somewhere in the SCC, S.C? Anyway, I think your point is, if Tech did it, then it's not that absurd. If thousands of people think that, i guess your point has been made, it's not that absurd.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Cremins left tech and coached a school one state away in a different conference. Gmu decided not to step up to the plate for their coach, like CFO did, and coach l is now four states away and coaches in a different conference. It's not like he went to Madison! L did more for mason than Cremona ever did for tech. And obviously Hewitt is secure enough to play on a court with the previous coaches name on it.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

If you think Merten would feel more honored by naming any other building after him, you are seriously mistaken. His best times at Mason were supporting the basketball team. I will never forget the image of him firing the t-shirt cannon. In my 3 years at Mason, I can only remember 1 game that I attended that Merten did not. Also can you name any building at Duke other than Cameron Indoor, any building at Kentucky other than Rupp Arena? I'm not saying the Patriot Center stacks up to those, but still the only building at VCU i can name is the Siegel Center.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Guest said...

Cremins left Tech because he retired and got out of coaching for 5-6 years; Coach L left us to coach somewhere else. There is a big difference there. While Coach L did a lot for this program; he still turned his back on us and left. I compare it to a 20 year marriage where the husband was a great man and father who raised his children to be good kids who excelled in everything they did. For some reason he decides to leave his wife and kids to marry a younger woman. Would his ex wife name her next child after him? I mean he was a great husband and great father for 20 years...

5:53 PM  
Anonymous BatMason said...

Maybe we should name it "Damn you VCU Arena" or "VCU Sniffer Center" haha.

It is interesting to think about whether or not L would still be here if VCU was to have bowed out in the round of 32...or even 16, even though this theory is using hindsight. I'm also left wondering if this VCU salary raise will be a blip on the CAA's radar or if this is a prolonged change in the trajectory of the programs' structures within this conference. Regardless if I could go back I would still root for VCU, because we had 3 teams in the tourney, which has got to be a first for the CAA(I'm not 100% certain). At the end of the day, the more visibility our conference has with the real decision makers within the selection committee, the more at large bids the CAA eventually wins for the tourney, and we should always be in the top 2 or 3 within the CAA. Even if Hewitt slaps Hancock's momma, as long as we can win the regular season or the CAA tourney and rack up a few impressive non-season wins, we should be back in the tourney. Don't get me wrong, I like the ride along the way, but I follow this team in the hopes of of seeing "GMU" in the tourney bracket and on national television.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous dsntsn said...

Geeeez.....what are you thinking considering naming the Patriot Center Court after coach L? He is a quality person, and perhaps he should have left after the Final Four. He had offers from Seton Hall and Providence at that time. But the bottom line is that he left, and he took almost his entire staff and all their goodwill with him. He's a good man, but let's not get overly romantic about the situation. He was an untouchable underpaid icon for sure...but an icon. He cashed all of that in, for the well deserved payday at that gangbanging school from Southbeach.He thought he had lost is chance to cash-in. You don't turn down that "once-in-a-lifetime" chance when it appears. Sorry, there is no storybook ending here. Maybe invite him back after he retires, like they did for Lefty Driesell at Maryland, but Coach "L"Court.........please. I live in the real world. He cashed-in, there's no shame in that...but he has forever lost his icon status in my book.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Why would you NOT name the court after Larranaga? What else does he have to do? Under his watch George Mason became a national university, instead of some school "outside DC." He's the all time winningest CAA coach. Final Four. Pure class. Perfect graduation rate. The court WILL be named "Larranaga Court." The only question is "when will it happen?"

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Taylormade703 said...

Coach L "left us?" When I think "left us" I think of the Mayflower trailer leaving the Baltimore Colts complex in the middle of the night back in the 80s. That's "leaving." Funny, I never saw a video were Larranaga put 2 fingers in the air and yelled "peace out Fairfax, I'm outta here!" He's too classy for something like that.

9:33 PM  

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