THE HOOP GROUP 2015-16 COACH OF THE YEAR

THE HOOP GROUP 2015-16 COACH OF THE YEAR.

Joe Whalen Coach of the Year

This year’s winner has quickly become known as one of the best coaches not just in the Shore Conference, but in the state. JOE WHALEN this year may have done his best job to date.

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St. Rose many believed were done 4 years ago after a SCT title. Today not only are they not dead, but they are considered one the best girls’ basketball team in the state. Like 4 years ago when Coach Whalen took over the helm at St. Rose, some believed this season the Purple Roses powerhouse days were over. Those people clearly don’t know Coach Joe Whalen.

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NOBODY HAD TO REPLACE MORE TALENT LOST

When St. Rose lost two ALL STATE PLAYERS in Jess Louro and Kat Phipps nobody believe they could pull off another dream season. But like I said; many people don’t know Joe Whalen. Coach Whalen is a star maker and a master teacher. He knew replacing two superstars would not  be easy. So what did he do? He just developed another group of stars. He also was not a slave to his system when doing so, yet his team never lost its identity coming into the season. There still would be the best half court defensive team in New Jersey and be in great shape.

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DEVELOPMENT OF NEW SKILLL SETS BY ALL

When you think about a Coach of the Year, you must not just look at wins and losses. The real question is does a coaches team play to its ability? Does the team play the game the right way? Does not the team share the ball? Do the players know what to expect each night? Do parents and  fans respect and enjoy the coaches style of play? Joe Whalen’s team passed all these test with flying colors. When St. Rose suffered an earlier season lost to Top Ten Lenape, many cried overrated. What they didn’t cry was for coach Whalen whose team played without Lucy Thomas and Loving’s Marsicano only playing sparingly.  While others got much attention with injuries to star players. St. Rose injuries were never mentioned other than in passing.

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JOE WHALEN HAS EARNED HIS PLAYERS TRUST

When Lucy Thomas was out with injury early in the season. Many may have believed St. Rose was in real trouble. But great coaches get much done when the spotlight is not shinning. Great coaches develop players and nobody right now is doing it better than Joe Whalen. It’s why Alex Pendergrass was turning into a superstar before she too went down with injury. It’s why when Lucy Thomas returned this year, everyone was shocked to see her knocking down three point shots. It’s the reason Ellyn Stoll has gone from a stand still three point shooter to a triple threat. She can shoot the ball, pass or put it on the deck. Its reason that Jen Louro is now is not one of the best two way players in the shore …but the state. It’s the reason Mikayla Markhan is becoming a future superstar. These players are all stars now, Elizabeth Marsicano has become one of the best swing/post players in the state. But she is also one of the best ball handling front court players in all of New Jersey. It’s nice to be stacked with talent. But here is the dirty secret…NOT ONE OF THESE PLAYERS WERE THOUGHT OF AS STARS COMING INTO HIGH SCHOOL. None of them had these skills sets LAST SEASON.

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IT DIDN’T TAKE LONG TO GET TO 100

This more than any reason why Joe Whalen is our Coach of the Year. NO TEAM LOST MORE IMPORTANT PLAYERS COMING INTO THIS SEASON. His teams suffered injuries and he still was able to masterfully put together a great season. Some people talk about all the St. Rose talent, but folks this talent is not just developed… it used in games. Joe Whalen’s trust in his players is shocking and his players trust in him is just as shocking. No team or coach believes in each other more, they are willing to win or lost TOGETHER… If you think that’s the norm in high school basketball I have a bridge to sell you. Trust players and coaches can turn their back on each other often at the first hint of trouble. He is same Coach every day and most importantly his players respond to him because of this.

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ELLYN STOLL ANOTHER STAR BLEW UP

This season we saw the growth of the St. Rose players. We saw a team made up of most juniors, who were roll players a year ago, take a step up. They played the High School Nation Champions in war. But when they took on super power SJV and gave them all they could handle after a heart breaking lost a week earlier to Manasquan, was real more proof of Whalen’s Genius. Joe Whalen ability to get kids to play and adjust during games is magically. Like having his post players ready to bring the ball up against the SJV press. His turning Ellyn Stoll into his primary shooter and having her 100% ready and confident to be that player, when the time called for it. His coaching performance in this year’s SCT was one of the best these eyes has ever seen. When his team went into East Orange and beat them, it was one of the best wins of the year. Folks a little reminder all this happened after the Lenape lost….Now you know why Joe Whalen right now is a coach almost everyone fears. Yesterday his team knocked off Gil St. Bernard’s in the state tourney. They will take on #2 Rutgers Prep and try to win another state title.

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JOE WHALEN ADJUSTED AGAIN

You don’t lose the senior leadership, the scoring and rebounding that St. Rose lost this year and come back and be a Top 5 team in the state. ..it simple does not happen. Joe Whalen is a lightning rod and not the warm fuzzy teddy bear. It makes his team and him a target at times, but being a target is just find for Coach Whalen. Right now he is one of the best in the business.

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JOE WHALEN ALWAYS GAVE HIS TEAM AN EDGE…

This year he was at best and it had nothing to do with wins and losses. It had everything to do with the development of his players that remained in the program. He has allowed his players to shine. He likes that his players are the stars. But when it comes to his team playing defense nobody did it better. When it came to running offense nobody was more creative or making game adjustments …JOE WHALEN IS A SUPERSTAR on another level…. The ST . ROSE players knew what to expect every time they want walked on the court. It’s makes for confident and happy players. St. Rose players know, as long as Joe Whalen is on the sidelines, They have A CHANCE TO WIN.  The St. Rose team all know, JOE WHALEN means what he says and says what he means. It’s the reason JOE WHALEN is the HOOP GROUP 2015-16 COACH OF THE YEAR

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