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U.S. Men in 2017 - articles & latest news

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by Sylvia, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    For the GPF. I think Rippon has a slightly better chance than Brown. But he holds his fate in his hands. Brown has to sit back and watch:

    Based on scores this year, SA could conceivably be:

    1. Chen - 290+
    2. Voronov - 270
    3. Jin - 265
    4. Rippon - 260
    5. Yan - 250 (But he is inconsistent)

    There is a good chance that the top 4 above make the final, squeezing out Jason Brown

    Barring some sort of injury or illness, Chen should make it.

    I am not sure if Voronov has found his stride or NHK was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. But, he only needs to finish 5th to make the GPF. I think even if he drops a bit from his NHK performance, he makes the final. There is a chance Jin or even Rippon (home turf) could beat him at SA.

    Jin could beat Voronov. I am expecting more in this competition because he is a slow starter at the beginning of the season and gets progressively better.

    Rippon performing well should get 4th, but maybe higher if someone like Voronov doesn't do well. He is skating on home turf.

    As to the others at SA, Yan looks good and is the one in my mind who could spoil Rippon's chances. While Mura is top notch on a good day (scored 268 at 2016 4CC), he has been having a whole lot of problems lately, and Kovtun is the Master of inconsistency. I have no idea where he will place or what we will see from him. He must be feeling a ton of pressure in Russia and that is not conducive to great performances. OTOH, he can pack a wallop on a good day. He scored 266 at Euros last year. Hendrickx is a nice performer but I don't think he will figure amongst the top. Miner's top score is 248 from two years ago and he scored 233 at Finlandia. USFSA itself probably has him pegged as #5 or #6 American. I don't think he is going to upset the apple cart. Reynolds hasn't been a real threat for quite a few years, either.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  2. Firedancer

    Firedancer Well-Known Member

    Kovtun also missed his first Grand Prix because of injury so we don’t know what kind of shape he will be in.

    I think Adam’s chances look pretty good.
  3. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Tim's score looks good, as do Alex Johnson and Moeller's SP scores. Great that Jordan landed a quad (?)
  4. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

    I did not watch the competition closely to agree or disagree with the judges, but it seems disconcerting that both US men were blasted in component scores in the free skate. Vincent's PCS is 69+, at the very bottom. Max's PCS is 75+, third lowest, 11 points below Misha Ge and 5 points below Bychenko and even below freshman senior Aymoz. In this pre-Olympic season, we are seeing a wave of rising PCS for top- and second-tier skaters, but clearly neither Vincent nor Max is getting any of it. Isn't this worrisome?
  5. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Worrisome?! It's evidence that the judges are doing their job properly!
    Doggygirl, Marco, mattiecat13 and 7 others like this.
  6. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

    Interesting seeing the spread of Vincent's free skate components

    USA 76.5
    GEO 73
    UZB 72.5
    RUS 65
    ISR 64
    ESP 63
  7. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    I would agree with you Vagabond if everyone who made errors got blasted, but they didn't. Both Javier and Shoma's sloppy FS got over 90. I thought Bychenko and Kvitelashvili were both treated rather kindly by the judges on the PCS front considering neither were clean (though at least Bychenko, like Max, stayed on his feet).

    There just seemed to be a real disconnect between Vincent and Max getting destroyed on that front and the whole second group. Particularly Max given that he did in fact stay upright and had no real "marring" errors - just the hand down on the second quad toe. But as always, he's given no room for error.

    I wonder if it's also to do with the messages the USFS has been putting out there. The USFS has been whining about Max's second mark since the ink wasn't even dry yet on that national title. He certainly didn't get any fluff pieces trying to convince everyone that he was really a good artist. Max is supposed to stay in his box like a good little Max and not bother trying to improve.
  8. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Come on, Bychenko, Morris K, and certainly Samarin are NOT better than Max Aaron on PCS! All 3 of Bychenko, Morris K, and Samarin were overscored on PCS in France. But whatever. It was like booby traps were all over the ice in Grenoble. :drama: As we know, PCS are never scored fairly. What else is new(s)?

    Figure skating apparently needs another embarassing scandal to happen at an Olympic games to shake things up, even though TPTB have proven they never learn anything, nor do they understand the importance of bringing everyone to the table in order to solve problems the sport is facing. Most of all, speed skaters need to be rooted out of controlling the sport of figure skating. There's no understanding of what the sport is or where it's headed. There's a complete absence of vision and leadership.

    Despite some bright spots here and there generally (and good results for U.S. men, aside from Grenoble), the GP season has been fairly lackluster overall for the men's discipline.

    :lol: And the major low-ballers against Vincent on PCS -- Israel, Spain and Russia -- had skaters competing against Vincent at the France GP. Of course, so did Georgia, in Morris K.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
    mtnskater likes this.
  9. Jun Y

    Jun Y Well-Known Member

    Assuming that the judges are doing their jobs properly, which also means that their component scores are not affected by falls (except perhaps Performance), it would mean that 2 of the top 5 US men are worse than Misha Ge in skating skills and worse than Samarin in transitions --- IMO Ge's SS and Samarin's TR are pretty mediocre in the field. Assuming this is true, I find this worrisome as a reflection of the level of their training strategies and as a reflection of the overall competitiveness of US men.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  10. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Aaron's shortcomings are well-known to all except a certain uber. :shuffle:

    I think Zhou can pull a Nathan Chen and boost his PCS when he gets his jumps under control. He is still only seventeen. We shall see.

    As for training strategies, having Tom Zakrajsek as your coach, especially your main coach, isn't going to do much to boost your skating skills or transitions (irrespective of how they are marked). It certainly didn't do so for Rachael Flatt or Ryan Bradley, and it hasn't done so for Mirai Nagasu.
    feraina, BrightSkates and Willin like this.
  11. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Barring injury, Vincent Zhou has a long road ahead of him and I want to see him develop. I believe he is a full year and a half younger than Nathan. I embrace the fact that he is in the spotlight / getting scrutiny now from the judges as a teen and a fresh face on the Sr. circuit, instead of years later when he will face bigger problems trying to correct any deficiencies.
  12. Sylvia

    Sylvia Counting down to U.S. Nationals!

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  13. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    I like Vincent but he really needs to work on his presentation IMO. I feel like he is 100% focused on quads right now and almost 0% on anything else. I get that the quads are essential, but his team seems to be kind of ignoring that the top guys not only have great quads but also, in many cases, great artistry as well. Vincent needs better posture, line, musicality, choreography, skating skills, if he's going to be competitive. Right now he's in danger of slipping into the category of guys like Samarin or Paniot who have quads but really not much else. Sorry to be negative, but I've been disappointed at the level of skating he's putting out artistically this season.

    ETA: Maybe it's especially glaring because we're blessed with so many U.S. men who are really great artistically (Brown, Rippon, Dolensky, Johnson, Hochstein, and Chen with his new programs, etc.). It's hard not to suffer in comparison to some of those guys, I guess.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  14. Firedancer

    Firedancer Well-Known Member

    I think Vincent is trying to do too much and it’s not working. I think he should drop the 4F for this season and do the quads he knows. The 4Lz in the beginning of both programs has mostly looked great and he has 4S. Maybe he could use 4T as well but he can still have a four quad FS without the 4F (five with 4T). But maybe by doing the quads he is most comfortable with and having one less quad to work on, he can spend more time on the PCS, which he needs. I think Vincent is very talented. He just needs more time. And to work with a coach other than Tom Z, who will not give his PCS the attention it needs.
    Doggygirl, Xela M, Willin and 2 others like this.
  15. mtnskater

    mtnskater Well-Known Member

    Vincent may not look ready for prime time yet, but I loved his reaction in the K&C in France after the poor free skate. He was very mad at himself and visibly showing he very much wanted to perform better. Having now just read his instagram post, it's clear that's where his mind was. That is the mind of a champion. I don't see hunger from other talented US skaters in the K&C when they bomb....for example Polina and Amber. I still think Vincent's future is very bright.

    Yes, I agree that Vincent must focus on artistry...and I worry about Tom Z as his coach. Would love to see him work with Lori Nichol or John Kerr. He must be aware that the ISU may be devaluing quads after this season. I remember him in novice..his presentation was great at his age. I know he can get back there. Get into that ballet room Vincent! Tracy Wilson rightly pointed out it takes time for a young skater to get a program with multiple quads that also has artistic impression. I'm actually very excited to watch him develop his skating in the coming years.
    Xela M, skateboy, Willin and 3 others like this.
  16. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Heretofore, most International judges have been focused on completed quads; and less so on Presentation.
    Skaters tend to focus on one, to the detriment of the other.

    I would love to see more "balanced" programs; even if some quads are "sacrificed" to have them.
    Endless sloppy "splatfests" do nothing to raise interest in skating, IMO.
    kwanfan1818 likes this.
  17. wickedwitch

    wickedwitch Well-Known Member

    It's possible to develop ones PCS under Tom Z, (see Camden P. whose last name I need to learn to spell for a recent example) but Tom won't help at all, so the skater has to be internally motivated to do so.
    Vagabond likes this.
  18. Roux

    Roux Member

    Well-written. I just hope that there are some journal pages before these that he wrote for himself, and he didn't feel immediately obligated to explain himself to the world at large.
    skateboy and StitchMonkey like this.
  19. Dobre

    Dobre Well-Known Member

    Vincent, I think, has bounced around over the past two seasons between focuses. Two years ago, he started the season very solidly on the jumps; but no stretch or polish within his programs. He was working with Tom. Last year, he went back to Tammy and I thought the programs and performance were much stronger from the start of the season; but he wasn't landing the jumps (the axel being one of them) and after missing the JGPF, he went back to work with Tom for a while and came to Nationals with everything strong but the lutz. Then to Junior Worlds with it as well. Then started this season just with Tom, loads more difficulty, and again no stretch & polish in the programs. I think Vincent knows he needs both, but is splitting focuses as he tries to master those skills. He's in the learning process and trying to get all the tools it takes to reach the top. He's not there yet, but he's on his way. I feel like the last two seasons show he is capable of both aspects of the sport, and his record shows that he is a very solid competitor.
    Doggygirl likes this.
  20. Willin

    Willin Well-Known Member

    I think one of his biggest problems is the reason he jumps around between coaches and rinks... (Although I wonder if it's still a problem since he was allowed to go back to Tom Z?)

    Either way, I think Tom Z has a long track record of caring exactly 0 about PCS. While that would've worked a couple years ago, when technical content was all you needed, it doesn't work any more. Enough of the top men have both technical content and artistry that having just technical content isn't enough any more. And when you're not ready to meet that technical content, maybe you shouldn't be trying it...
  21. ilovepaydays

    ilovepaydays Well-Known Member

    Tom Z. coached Jeremy Abbott and Joshua Farris for years and they didn’t have these program/PCS problems. Were they just always that fundamentally different skaters? Or did Yuka Sato/Jason Dungjen & Christy Krall/Damon Allen do that much miracle work?
  22. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Vincent writes beautifully (both in terms of content and aesthetically).
    Doggygirl, Jaana, livetoskate and 4 others like this.
  23. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    skateboy, that he does!
    skateboy likes this.
  24. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    And he speaks really well in his Ice Talk interview. He writes in a journal and writes poetry as well.
    Roux, skateboy and skatesindreams like this.
  25. wickedwitch

    wickedwitch Well-Known Member

    Both Abbott and Farris were artistic skaters before leaving Tom Z, especially Abbott. But I think it came from the skaters themselves not from Tom Z.

    Tom has said he lets the skater choose when the skaters develop their musicality and presentation. He framed it as letting the skaters develop at their own pace. But with jumps, he pushes the skater.

    It seemed that for several years (2011-2016-ish) Tom Z. wouldn't encourage any of his skaters to work with Tom Dickson, which, IMO, is unbelievably shortsighted. I think if Tom Z had encouraged Max Aaron to work with Dickson from the beginning, Aaron would be a much better skater in every way.
  26. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

    Do you know what his reason was behind that? Was it because Dickson's choreography was too difficult for skaters to incorporate alongside the technical elements?
  27. misskarne

    misskarne #AustraliaForTheTeamEvent

    Max's shortcomings are acknowledged by said uber, too. :rolleyes: However, said uber also doesn't think they're as dreadful as people like to make out and that the improvement in said areas is pronounced and obvious.

    To listen to some people talk, you'd think Max should never have even passed his Basic Skills tests.

    Only a blind ignorant fool would look at 2013 Max and 2017 Max and see absolutely no difference.

    He was faster with more consistent speed and energy than Ge (not that that's hard, admittedly), cleaner than Kvitelashvili, and stayed with his program better than Bychenko. He literally had two errors in the whole FS - the 2 footed quad toe and the popped Salchow - and that was it. Not even a fall, not even a gigantic marring error. And yet his PCS dropped like a stone. Meanwhile Uno and Fernandez were slopping all over the ice and still getting over 90s - hardly a dent in what their PCS is. Do you not see an issue there? Do you not see why it might rankle that some skaters are punished heavily for minor errors while others get away with major ones with seemingly little consequence in their second mark?
    semogal likes this.
  28. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    I don't know why Vincent continues to do jump layouts that are to much for him to handle at this stage of his career. I'm sure he saw what Nathan did the last couple of seasons but he's not Nathan and lacks not just Nathan's stamina but sheer force of will which is what makes Nathan unique. Even Nathan dropped a quad or two last season when he was skating sloppy early in the season and didn't add them back until he felt he was ready. But seeing that Tom Z was with Vincent now i know why he's so fixated on the jumps but not on his overall skating. I thought Tammy was his coach?
  29. Willin

    Willin Well-Known Member

    @Jammers He tends to switch coaches very frequently. There is a reason for that, but like I have no idea if that reason is still a problem. My crazy conspiracy theory is that he went to Tom Z (2015) to win and was unhappy he wasn't "improving" (read: winning), so he went to Tammy, who doesn't focus as heavily on quad jumps (making him feel like he wasn't going to win), and then returned to Tom Z this year so he could load up on quads to try and win like Nathan.
    What he doesn't understand is that top men's skaters like Nathan, Shoma, Javier, Yuzuru, etc. land quads cleanly and consistently (without UR problems like Zhou), and wait until they are landing each one consistently to add them into their programs. Even now, most of these men aren't going out there and trying a program layout their team doesn't think they'll be able to do cleanly.

    Tom Z may focus way too heavily on the jumps, but he's smart. He wouldn't make a skater try that many quad jumps in a program if he didn't think the skater could do it because he doesn't want his skaters injured and he likes winning. That makes me think that Vincent himself is the one trying to stuff as many quads in as possible as opposed to Tom Z.
  30. BittyBug

    BittyBug And the band played on

    This is pure speculation on my part, but the impression I have of Dickson from comments heard here and there is that he is similar to Philip Mills in that he won't just choreograph and turn over his work to someone else to maintain and perhaps alter. Rather, my impression is that he seems to like to be involved in the continued development of the skaters with whom he works.

    I could be completely wrong in my assessment, but if my theory has merit, then maybe Tom Z. either isn't interested in an ongoing collaboration because that's just not his style, or maybe he's concerned about conflicting approaches to technique. Or maybe he thinks his team is just fine as it is with Calvin, Meekins and whoever else is already in his orbit.
    shine likes this.