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View Full Version : Good Article in Tennis Magazine about Luke Jensen and College tennis


eeytennis
02-25-2010, 11:24 AM
Have you guys read it? He doesn't recruit any foreigners to Syracuse University and claims that foreign recruits are essentially hurting American tennis. Strong words, but I think he has some good points. Any insight?

LSStringing
02-25-2010, 02:24 PM
I think it is funny that the same week the article in Tennis magazine comes out, Coach Jensen gets caught cheating. He had been playing C.C. at line 5 and she is by far the best player on that squad. He ended up forfeiting the match versus Eastern Michigan. I wonder if Tennis magazine will put up an article about that?

eeytennis
02-25-2010, 03:40 PM
That is very interesting and I was not aware of that. Too bad, I wonder what his explanation for this was.

ClarkC
02-25-2010, 04:14 PM
I think it is funny that the same week the article in Tennis magazine comes out, Coach Jensen gets caught cheating. He had been playing C.C. at line 5 and she is by far the best player on that squad. He ended up forfeiting the match versus Eastern Michigan. I wonder if Tennis magazine will put up an article about that?

How does it help to play your #1 player at position 5, forcing 4 other players to move up a spot?

goran_ace
02-26-2010, 06:19 AM
Moving up or down one spot is not that big of a deal, especially if the teams are of relatively equal strength. In theory, the stack at #5 is a guaranteed point and your 2-5 players can still challenge for wins at slots 1-4.

goran_ace
02-26-2010, 06:22 AM
Playing 1 at the 5 is pretty bold though - did he really think no one would notice? Normally in a stacked lineup you move the 2 or the 3 down in the lineup, or you have the opposite where you move the 4 or 5 up and everyone else slides down a slot.

ClarkC
02-26-2010, 06:33 AM
Moving up or down one spot is not that big of a deal, especially if the teams are of relatively equal strength. In theory, the stack at #5 is a guaranteed point and your 2-5 players can still challenge for wins at slots 1-4.

Still makes no sense. They cannot challenge for wins at 1-4 as well as they could have at 2-5.

The term stack originated from the idea of putting something on top of a stack, like putting a plate on top of a stack of plates. Take your #6 player and put him on top of the stack, i.e. at #1. He will lose, of course, but 5 other players get to move down a position. Obvious benefit.

The other lineup trick is to seek out particular matchups based on style of play. My #3 is a baseliner who likes to play against serve and volley players. He is not as good of a baseliner as the opposing #3, so he will probably lose that match. But the opposing #1 is a serve and volley player, so I will move him there because he has a better chance at 1 than at 3 just for this particular match.

To prevent all sorts of such tricks, the NCAA rule is that players must play in order of ability. If Jensen did not do that, he violated the rule. But that still does not mean that his team would do better with the top player at #5, so it still makes no sense to me.

How did the match actually turn out?

ClarkC
02-26-2010, 06:37 AM
Here is the Syracuse story (http://suathletics.syr.edu/news/2010/2/6/TENNIS_0206100812.aspx) on the Eastern Michigan match. It says that Syracuse lost the top 3 matches, and that the #5 player moved UP from playing #6 in previous matches. So, I am supposed to believe that their best player was playing #6 in the first few matches, which hurts the team at 5 positions and only helps at 1 position?

goran_ace
02-26-2010, 06:47 AM
Still makes no sense. They cannot challenge for wins at 1-4 as well as they could have at 2-5.

I agree with you. In theory that's how its supposed to go, but in reality more often than not it doesn't work out that way an will more likely end up with a win at 5 and losses at 1-4.

eeytennis
02-26-2010, 06:52 AM
Here is the Syracuse story (http://suathletics.syr.edu/news/2010/2/6/TENNIS_0206100812.aspx) on the Eastern Michigan match. It says that Syracuse lost the top 3 matches, and that the #5 player moved UP from playing #6 in previous matches. So, I am supposed to believe that their best player was playing #6 in the first few matches, which hurts the team at 5 positions and only helps at 1 position?

Well, Syracuse has a pretty decent team and Jensen got C.C. and Eleanor Peters for this season so they are pretty deep. So, while the other players may have struggled more to win, they still could've pulled off wins anyway and 5 and 6 and 2nd or 3rd doubles would have been shoo-ins. However, like i said earlier, it would be interesting to hear Jensen's explanation on this. Peters and Sardinha are both very strong players who were both ranked #1 in the US during their junior years and he has Peters playing #4.

JRstriker12
02-26-2010, 08:10 AM
I read it. Thought it was an interesting story. I like how he kind of makes the bad weather a positive factor in thier training. I still wonder if his goal of producing players who can compete on tour (players who want to win grand slams) is they way to go for players looking to turn pro. Seems like on the WTA, the women who can compete on the pro level are on the tour instead of in college at that age.

Also, kind of a shame, but it looks like Syracuse doesn't have a mens tennis team??? (maybe I'm wrong??).

eeytennis
02-26-2010, 08:18 AM
I read it. Thought it was an interesting story. I like how he kind of makes the bad weather a positive factor in thier training. I still wonder if his goal of producing players who can compete on tour (players who want to win grand slams) is they way to go for players looking to turn pro. Seems like on the WTA, the women who can compete on the pro level are on the tour instead of in college at that age.

Also, kind of a shame, but it looks like Syracuse doesn't have a mens tennis team??? (maybe I'm wrong??).

Syracuse does not have a men's team unfortunately. They should though, but I am not sure if anything is in the works for it. But you make a good point about women by that time are competing on the pro tour if they are good enough. But with players like John Isner, for example, he played college tennis and went pro after...so maybe the same situation for women is to follow??

cmb
02-26-2010, 08:56 AM
^^^^ I would not count on it. The only reason Isner stayed 4 years is because he was lazy and did not want to play the tour full time when he still had the college option. With his serve he could have broke through after his second year of school if not his first.

90 percent of college players are undersize grinders with no weapons...hence the reason they are in college.

dont worry, breaking into the top 50 after college is about 1 every 6 or 7 years.

athiker
02-26-2010, 10:07 AM
Here is the Syracuse story (http://suathletics.syr.edu/news/2010/2/6/TENNIS_0206100812.aspx) on the Eastern Michigan match. It says that Syracuse lost the top 3 matches, and that the #5 player moved UP from playing #6 in previous matches. So, I am supposed to believe that their best player was playing #6 in the first few matches, which hurts the team at 5 positions and only helps at 1 position?

I'm no expert in this area but looking at the article and the players past records it looks a little grey to me as well, except for one player.

Vs. Eastern Michigan, the match in question, Syracuse lost the top 3 singles and won the bottom 3. Certainly on the surface that looks suspicious, but going through the line-up a little less so.

#1 Harman - Sophomore, All Big East in 2009, team MVP 2009, 9-4 Big East singles as a freshman 2009
#2 Parra - Sophomore, undefeated at the #2 spot this year, looks like there have been 4 matches, 6-2 #3 singles spot 2009, 7-3 in Big East singles 2009
#3 Tan - Finished 2009 with most overall wins on team, 15-8 singles, best Big East singles record at 11-3
#4 Peters - Junior, was not on the team last year, played 2 matches for Maryland last year before injury, was 4-10 at Maryland in spring season her freshman year.
#5 Sardinha - Freshman but was a top junior player, was a #1 in 12 and under. She was the one that moved up from #6 to #5 this match.
#6 Kalhorn - Junior and had team best overall singles record 2009 at 16-6, 10-3 Big East singles. Moved up the ladder to play #3 slot by end of season. Was 9-15 singles as a Freshman playing at #2 spot!...so must have bumped her down at the start of 2009.

So what say you? I would say it all looks fine till you get down to Kalhorn. You could justify Sardinha starting low at beginning of season since she is a Freshman and move her up the ladder through the season if she shows success. The others all look fine to me except for Kalhorn. Why would your best 2009 overall singles player, who has played both #2 and #3 in previous years be #6? She's only 5' 4" so maybe they thought no one would notice!?

In doubles they paired:

#1 Court: #1 & #3
#2 Court: #5 and Jones (Senior who did not play singles)
#3 Court: #4 & #6

athiker
02-26-2010, 10:12 AM
Really, looking at it, they just have a solid winning team. But I guess a case could be made that they flipped the lineup and stacked the bottom 3. Kalhorn seemingly obviously out of place base on class level and past results. Sardinha evidently a top player even though she is a freshman. Peters at #4 is a bit of a wildcard, experience and skill may be obscured by fact that she was off a year due to injury.

But its not like they put scrubs at #1 through #3...they don't seem to have any scrubs!

eeytennis
02-26-2010, 10:14 AM
So what say you? I would say it all looks fine till you get down to Kalhorn. You could justify Sardinha starting low at beginning of season since she is a Freshman and move her up the ladder through the season if she shows success. The others all look fine to me except for Kalhorn. Why would your best 2009 overall singles player, who has played both #2 and #3 in previous years be #6? She's only 5' 4" so maybe they thought no one would notice!?


Yeah that's what I was thinking. She's a newbie (to SU), often times veterans are given first priority in the beginning of the season over new players. So maybe Jensen didn't do his research.

raging
02-26-2010, 12:43 PM
Yeah that's what I was thinking. She's a newbie (to SU), often times veterans are given first priority in the beginning of the season over new players. So maybe Jensen didn't do his research.

wow, old "cool hand" is still alive?!? he was a player!...sounds like he pulled a fast one or maybe he didn't know the rules? Is this his first year coaching college? I have a bit of research to do.
nice story.

raging
02-26-2010, 01:09 PM
ok did the background, looks like he has a pretty level team, would be hard to
know who goes where unless he has head to head results amongst team. Maybe Kalhorn lost to other girls.
If they don't have a WTA or National ranking rule in college tennis (like they do in germany in league tennis) then he can play them how he wants them, each singles is only worth one point?? Correct me if I'm wrong, I didn't play college.

I think his goal of getting girls to WTA level will be tougher, they are mostly formed technically by 18, 19 and mature physically earlier than the guys. Despite this, why not if he has scholarships and has got them for 4 years then why can't they start at 22, 23 in the pro ranks...it would be tough but not impossible.
Some might have their minds and bodies ready for the strain of losing matches for 4, 5 years! It is a tough tour but maybe he can toughen them up for it!

He certainly has the experience.

Good stuff!

jgravagna
02-26-2010, 06:44 PM
Jensen got busted. He moved cc to 1st singles a match later.

athiker
02-26-2010, 07:08 PM
Well, I'm not sure why I find this story so interesting but the whole "stacking" thing is fairly new to me. So I decided to head over to the Eastern Michigan website to see what their take on the whole thing was. Tough finding any other outside news articles on the forced forfeit, but there were a few things on the university website.

EM's coach obviously knew what was what going into the match b/c in the original match result article he is already complaining.

http://www.emueagles.com/news/2010/2/5/WTEN_0205103721.aspx

Jensen claims his order was set by a pre-match intersquad round robin, but obviously the ITA wasn't convinced or felt that was not the best way to rank his players.

http://www.emueagles.com/news/2010/2/18/WTEN_0218105418.aspx

EM's joy was short-lived as they got blanked 7-0 last week by Nebraska.

http://www.emueagles.com/news/2010/2/20/WTEN_0220103158.aspx

Have you guys read it? He doesn't recruit any foreigners to Syracuse University and claims that foreign recruits are essentially hurting American tennis. Strong words, but I think he has some good points. Any insight?

Finally, EM obviously has a different take on foreign players. The 8 players on their squad hail from 8 different countries, none of which is the U.S.

ClarkC
02-27-2010, 05:55 PM
Jensen got busted. He moved cc to 1st singles a match later.

After the ITA ruling, he had to move her to #1. That does not mean he agrees with their ruling or admits doing anything wrong.

papatenis
02-27-2010, 07:07 PM
After the ITA ruling, he had to move her to #1. That does not mean he agrees with their ruling or admits doing anything wrong.

If you know who cc is, then she should of played #1 for Jensen. She is by far the best player on the team.

eeytennis
02-28-2010, 09:19 AM
If you know who cc is, then she should of played #1 for Jensen. She is by far the best player on the team.

I was aware of CC's level but being a freshman and coming onto a team with some very talented players, it could've just been that Jensen didn't feel she was experienced or ready enough to play at the #1 spot. Or maybe she was beaten by a few of the other girls. I don't think this was an intentional mistake.

EP1998
02-28-2010, 09:22 AM
^^^^ I would not count on it. The only reason Isner stayed 4 years is because he was lazy and did not want to play the tour full time when he still had the college option. With his serve he could have broke through after his second year of school if not his first.

90 percent of college players are undersize grinders with no weapons...hence the reason they are in college.

dont worry, breaking into the top 50 after college is about 1 every 6 or 7 years.


+1. There is no way I would advise a player with legitimate pro potential to go to college. College tennis does not prepare you for the pros - it just a lot of wear and tear on the body playing hard court tennis against, yes, grinders with no weapons in a lot of cases. If its matches the player needs get them a club spot in Europe. College is best for players who dont want to play the tour or dont have the money to play it. I think the doubles specialist can do okay too going to college.

EP1998
02-28-2010, 09:29 AM
I read it. Thought it was an interesting story. I like how he kind of makes the bad weather a positive factor in thier training. I still wonder if his goal of producing players who can compete on tour (players who want to win grand slams) is they way to go for players looking to turn pro. Seems like on the WTA, the women who can compete on the pro level are on the tour instead of in college at that age.

Also, kind of a shame, but it looks like Syracuse doesn't have a mens tennis team??? (maybe I'm wrong??).

Yeah, you need to be on the circuit and not in college if you want to win a slam in today's world. Kind of sad but that is just the way it is. I personally think tennis would be more interesting if the players were more mature - if the whole system were set up to encourage players to play college or club and go pro at say 21, but I suppose it will never be that way.