Big East M5: Columbus Day EditionPosted by mlemaire on October 8th, 2012
- Today is the rare double holiday and no offense to Columbus Day, which is great and all, but let’s face it, the first day of the 2012-13 Big East Microsite is a far bigger deal across the country. If you read Will’s opening post, you know that we have a solid group of folks this year and we are aiming to be bigger and better this season. So let’s dive right in, shall we? It seems only fitting that we should lead off with a note involving new commissioner Mike Aresco, who spoke to reporters about the state of the conference this weekend and had some interesting things to say about basketball in particular. The jist of his chat was that he isn’t worried about weak football teams dragging down the brand because Big East basketball is “legendary.” I guess we shouldn’t tell him that some of the conference’s most “legendary” programs are leaving soon enough for greener pastures and one has already left. We will cut him some slack since its his job to make the conference sound good and because the basketball will remain pretty darn good. Frankly, we have always thought of the Big East as a basketball conference, I am sorry, but Syracuse v. Connecticut just doesn’t hold the same allure on the gridiron as it does on the hardwood.
- Well, that was quick. Facing a rather grim season outlook, UConn fans got a surge of hope in September when the nation’s No. 1 prospect, Jabari Parker, took an in-home visit from the Huskies after new head coach Kevin Ollie was promoted last month. But just as quickly as it began, it has ended, as Parker has announced his five finalists and UConn is not among them. UConn was hardly a favorite at any point in the race so it shouldn’t be too disappointing. And in some sense, just the fact that Ollie has enough influence to get through Parker’s doorway after the Huskies had already been cut from the list means that the program’s recruiting is in capable hands.
- I don’t have any idea how far away the “very near future” is but it sure sounds like Georgetown and coach John Thompson, III, are very close to getting a new, on-campus, athletic facility that would help Georgetown’s athletic teams stay competitive in the conference’s ongoing facilities race. The new building will cost $60 million dollars and basically only needs a final round of fundraising before the school can get started on its construction. The facility is going to house multiple sports teams, but make no mistake about it, Georgetown knows where its bread is buttered, and this move is designed to help the basketball teams stay competitive. The conference is full of programs with glimmering, shiny, multi-million dollar facilities, and it is high time that Georgetown got its own. It is far too early to see what type of impact the facility will have on recruiting, but needless to say, it won’t hurt.
- The good folks over at CBS Sports examined the question of whether Madison Square Garden is better-suited to host the ACC Tournament than the Big East Tournament, especially in the wake of all the defections. There are a lot of angles to analyze here but it does seem surprising Madison Square Garden didn’t at least take a shot at landing the ACC, which figures to feature better altogether basketball programs and programs like Syracuse and Pittsburgh that always draw well in New York City. It is also pretty clear that while the Big East has done an admirable job of patching up its basketball holes, the tournament isn’t going to have the same aura about it. I would explain more but frankly they do a better job, so just go read the article.
- We end with something fluffy and really there is nothing fluffier than a nice “top list.” Taking a break from its excellent coverage of the local Orange, Syracuse.com ranked the top five transfers coming into the Big East this season and the list is pretty excellent. Personally I would have said Luke Hancock will make more of an impact for Louisville than Tony Chennault will for Villanova but that is the beauty of these lists. They are pointless and fun-to-read at the same time. We will try to stay away from these for the most part and deliver some actual news. But it’s the first day, and this post is already late. So enjoy and welcome back for what should be another excellent season of college basketball.