As usual, Carolina laid an egg in Hoover, Alabama. Looking back on this season, something has to change during this off-season. Whether it be the philosophy of the coaching staff, the coaching staff itself, or the types of recruits we're going after, this program cannot afford to continue to flounder.
Holbrook should get one more year, BUT: Look, Holbrook is a good baseball coach. He wouldn't be the head coach at USC if he didn't know what he was doing, but he has got to do something different. At times this team looked flat out unmotivated, clueless, and unprepared. Maybe they weren't all three of these things at the same time, but throughout the year they consistently displayed at least one of those negative traits. A few years ago I would have put our coaching staff up against anybody in the country. But now, I don't think our coaching staff would rank in the top half of the SEC and maybe even the country. According to 247Sports, Holbrook is a great offensive baseball coach, and ever since being named head coach, he has been less involved in both recruiting and coaching the offense. This needs to change. Somebody in the program needs to be let go (not Holbrook, yet) or reassigned, because whatever we are doing obviously isn't working.
Jimmy's and Joe's: A few years ago, Holbrook was named a top 10 recruiter by ESPN in all of college sports. Not just college baseball, but in the entire NCAA. Obviously this program has seen nothing but a downturn in production since Holbrook was named the head man. Now that he is three years into his tenure as HC, he has all of "his guys" on the roster and playing every day. It's pretty apparent that our roster from top to bottom does not stack up against the elite programs in the country. We have some great players (Kmart, Schrock, Caldwell, Wynkoop, Wil Crowe), but other than those guys, I don't think there's anybody else on the roster that would have a significant impact or even get playing time on a team like Vanderbilt, Florida or LSU. This offseason, Coach Holbrook needs to prove that he deserved that top ten recruiter ranking. Go get us some players, Coach.
Hope: It's hard to see as of right now, but there is some immediate hope for this program. We have a recruiting class that is in the top 10 for 2015 and the top 5 for 2016. Programs that are on the downward trend typically don't have elite recruiting classes. There are players in the 2015 class that should be able to make an immediate impact; combine that with the maturation of the freshmen and sophomores from this years team, and hopefully the return of Wynkoop and Schrock, will make for a far more competitive team next season.