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Date Posted: Sun, May 05 2019, 12:28:44
Author: MGE
Subject: Maybe we should do something like this first
In reply to: Eagle 's message, "Time to jettison Ensor as MAAC Commissioner" on Sat, May 04 2019, 9:18:45

MAAC needs to gain more of a long term vision / alignment when it comes to basketball. Quinny & Monmouth don't fit our model, they're waiting for bigger and better things.

Take a look, good read and a very interesting approach. Go Griffs.

How a $1 million investment helped fuel rise of SoCon basketball.


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[> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- BfloGriff, Mon, May 06 2019, 6:26:23

The MAAC needs to do something to snap our conference out of its' nose dive before it's too late to pull out of it. Men's basketball is the driver for all sports, with the possible exception of hockey for the members that have it. Let's hope (and pray)that John Hurley and Bill Maher are paying attention to the situation and taking a big picture view. Will Canisius be competing for students with UB and Bona and NU or with Medaille? D1 sports are important, especially for the public perception of a college our size which hopes to obtain university status. Is there any MAAC school older than Canisius? We should be the leader in addressing this issue.

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[> [> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- MGE, Tue, May 07 2019, 1:30:09

Agree, we need to make this part of our long & short term plan.

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[> [> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- Eagle, Tue, May 07 2019, 7:33:44


A-10 will shake up schedule Conference to regulate opponents
by Andrew Alberg

The Atlantic 10 Conference voted to adopt new criteria for scheduling men's basketball opponents beginning next year, a league official said.

The new policy will divide the conference's 14 teams into "tiers," with each team playing 16 conference games, Assistant Commissioner Ray Cella said. The changes will affect the three remaining games, which will be played against teams in the same tier.

Teams in the top tier will also be forbidden from playing out-of-conference games against teams with Rating Percentage Index of worse than 200.

The RPI, a computer team-ranking formula that heavily factors strength of schedule, has become increasingly important in recent years, Cella said.

"We've looked at data and we've seen the NCAA selection committee thought process, so we've come up with a policy that we think will help us enhance the chances of getting of at-large bids," Cella said. "That's what it all comes down to."

GW played seven of 12 out-of-conference games against teams with worse than a 200 RPI last season.

Cella said the term tier was not accurate, but the conference could not think of a more appropriate word.

A-10 teams will also not be permitted to participate in games in which they are paid to play. "Buy games" are typical in college basketball when a large opponent pays a smaller team to play a game.

Cella would not comment on penalties for breaking these rules. Kvancz said he did not know what the penalty would be. If the penalty is not severe, he said he would consider breaking it and suffering the consequences.

GW and Xavier are upper-tier teams, Kvancz said, but he did not know where other teams were slotted. Cella would not comment on which teams were in what tier. Coaches, athletic directors and school presidents voted the rankings, Cella said.

Hobbs told The Hatchet during a phone interview Wednesday that he believes he was the only coach to abstain during the January vote.

"I don't know how coaches can vote how good teams are going to be in January - I know I can't do it," Hobbs said. He also said he thinks that the process has "some very serious flaws" that will "hurt the league in the long run."

Hobbs said he does not believe GW deserves to be ranked in the top tier considering it lost four of its five starters from the previous year. He said Rhode Island was not in the top tier, despite bringing all of its starters back.

"This vote becomes very, very important because scheduling is becoming more important than recruiting in college basketball," Hobbs said. "It ought to be taken more seriously."

The new policy may also skew season records, making lower-tier teams' records better because they play sub-par teams twice.

The out-of-conference policy will be based on last year's RPI, Cella said, citing the inability to know during the scheduling period how good a potential opponent will be in the upcoming season. The league will allow schools to honor existing contracts with teams that have an RPI above 200.

In the past, GW has been chided for scheduling easy out-of-conference games, sometimes at the expense of its RPI.

The changes will likely increase teams' RPI, but it may have a number of "unintended consequences" that will hurt the league, Kvancz said. For instance, the policy will prevent teams from playing natural rivals if the opponent is not good that particular year.

"Who is the league to dictate who the hell we play?" Kvancz said.

He added that he thought he was the "lone ranger" against the policy because GW's recent success and small gym make it difficult to schedule home-and-home games against good teams.

"It becomes an issue of arenas versus gyms," Kvancz said. "(Playing only teams with an RPI of) 200 is doable, but the problem in my opinion is we may have bitten off more than we can chew."


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[> [> [> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- GoldenGriff32, Wed, May 08 2019, 3:34:34

Somebody should inform Mr. Kvancz that Xavier hasn't played in the A10 for years and GW finished 10th last year. How is that a top tier team. Also would not want that in our league.

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[> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- Counterpoints..., Tue, May 07 2019, 4:31:05

It pains me to defend Ensor, but:
-The cycle of coaches changed and there are more younger, inexperienced coaches. Meaning the programs themselves are in transitions.

-In a period of conference raiding, the MAAC made net gains: lost one member who didn't think they fit the conference anyway (Loyola hated being in the MAAC). Gained two schools who aggressively want to be compete and improve. Those two schools have great budgets, great facilities, and frankly promising coaches. It's a win for the MAAC.

-The MAAC pays its refs well, and despite what people may think of the officiating, it's better than a lot of other mid-major conferences.

-ESPN3 partnerships have helped some of the MAAC members with recruiting future sportscasters and sports journalists. As those students become professionals, it's going to help exposure for the MAAC for decades.

-Finally, where else would Canisius or NU go? A-10 is too expensive, NEC is too far east, Horizon is too far west and not a good peer fit, American East isn't a good peer fit. There's no existing conference that works. You would have to create one with Siena, Fordham, a few Patriot League/NEC schools, Detroit-Mercy, Duquesne, Robert Morris, etc. and good luck with that.

Where the MAAC could improve, and I know some of these things are being considered:
-Pool money and best practices for schools to develop kids' clubs and programs to turn graduating student fans into engaged alumni.

-Drastically change the conference tournament: first round and quarters on-campus, semis and finals at rotating sites (Nassau, Boardwalk Hall, TUC, KBC, Webster Bank, Prudential, Sun Center in Trenton, Mohegan Sun, Westchester, Turning Stone, the specific sites matter less than the idea of moving them; perhaps the highest remaining seed chooses, etc.)

-Figure out TV and streaming - use the ESPN 3 and on-campus partnerships to stream everything that isn't televised; find a regional or national deal to get 1-2 games on weekly. Perhaps work with ESPN 3 to give MAAC season ticket holders, donors, etc. free ESPN 3.

-Partner with other mid-major conferences on a shared media/advertising plan to compete for media dollars in aggregate with larger schools/conferences.

-Add a 12th member to balance the schedule and use them to expand the footprint - Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary's, St. Francis PA, Bryant, Merrimack, maybe Duquense or LaSalle.

-Rework the RPI restrictions in men's basketball. it was a great idea in theory but worked out disastrously this year.

-Come up with an international strategy to get games and/or teams in Canada, Europe, Asia.

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[> [> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- Robert Morris makes sense, Tue, May 07 2019, 17:01:21

Duquesne and LaSalle would never leave the A10 they’re the Canisius & Niagara of their conference.

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[> [> [> [> Re: Maybe we should do something like this first -- LaSalle Might..., Wed, May 08 2019, 5:23:33

LaSalle is having some serious financial challenges. They might not be able to afford the A-10 anymore.

With that said, I agree that Bobby Mo makes the most sense: nice to pick up Pittsburgh in the MAAC footprint for recruiting and media, they're building a fantastic arena (https://www.rmu.edu/athletics/upmc-events-center), their enrollment is consistently solid, and they show a desire to elevate themselves.

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