Big East M5: 11.29.12 EditionPosted by mlemaire on November 29th, 2012
- While fans are rejoicing in Louisville, the Connecticut fan base is not taking it nearly as well and for good reason. The decision to grab the Cards, while potentially only one of a few moves the ACC may make in coming years, leaves the Huskies as the premier athletic program in the Big East. The problem is, they really, really don’t want to be in the Big East anymore, because being the premier athletic program doesn’t exactly speak well to the programs left over and the programs coming in. Now UConn is left to pick up the pieces and console a fan base that sees the writing on the wall as long as their favorite team remains in the slowly decaying Big East. At the end of the day, the fact that Louisville has not one but two excellent money-making programs on its roster probably shifted the balance in their favor. The Huskies have some time to figure out their next move, but the people in charge better start thinking about it right now.
- Good news for Marquette today as coach Buzz Williams announced that junior guard Vander Blue would be ready to go when the Golden Eagles square off with No. 7 Florida in the SEC/Big East Challenge. The once-highly touted recruit sprained his knee in the Maui Invitational and luckily for Williams’ club, the injury wasn’t serious and he will return to action immediately. The Golden Eagles are going to need Blue’s athleticism, defensive and scoring ability against the Gators’ ballyhooed backcourt. Blue has been the team’s second-leading scorer thus far (11.4 PPG) and while he has contributed much category juice elsewhere, he is undoubtedly one of the team’s most talented players, and they will need his steady hand if they expect to beat Florida.
- Syracuse really couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season from its sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams. Buried on the bench last season because the Orange were incredibly deep in the backcourt, Williams has embraced his new starting role and has burst out of the gate, leading the nation in assists and nearly leading in steals as well. Of course Jim Boeheim’s club hasn’t exactly played a murderer’s row of opponents yet, so Carter-Williams’ numbers will likely regress some. But even so, the sophomore has proven he is plenty talented enough to hold his own once conference play begins and it is not exactly a secret how important he is to Syracuse’s success this season. He still turns the ball over a little more often than Boeheim would probably like, but that will even itself out as he gets more experience running the team. For now, the Orange and its fan base should feel pretty good about its new point guard.
- I am entirely too lazy to look back through my Morning Fives from last season but I seem to remember highlighting a very similar article last season, one in which a reporter highlights that Cincinnati has an excellent basketball team that struggles to draw fans to watch them play. The good news is that coach Mick Cronin and the program’s administration are well aware of the attendance issues, but the bad news is that there isn’t really a definitive plan on what to do about the problem. Cronin has a whole bag of excuses that includes lack of quality seating at his home arena and the fact that Cincinnati is a pro city and not a college town, but the fact of the matter is that crosstown rival Xavier isn’t drawing well either. It’s a real shame too because the Bearcats have the look of an excellent team and should be a real contender once March rolls around. There is no doubt the team will draw better when it plays higher-profile opponents, but hey, folks in Cincinnati, your local college has an excellent product to view, so go view it.
- The Bearcats aren’t the only team with attendance issues as Providence coach Ed Cooley has resorted to basically groveling to fans to get them to come out and watch the Friars play. Of course it would be a lot easier to convince oneself to go watch Providence if they were as good as Cincinnati, or even if Kris Dunn or Ricardo Ledo were suiting up. But the Friars have only a few scholarship players and while watching Bryce Cotton shoot the lights out is entertaining, Providence is not going to be very good this year, and fans don’t usually turn out to watch crappy teams lose to conference foes. Of course this is also another case where Providence has played exciting competition, and while Mississippi State rolls into town this weekend, fans probably won’t really turn out in earnest until conference play begins.