Column: Matt Burke: UConn men's basketball is no longer 'big-time'

Discussion in 'UConn Men's Basketball' started by gwhuskyfan, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Stairmaster

    Stairmaster Stainmaster?

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8,047
    Likes Received:
    11,721
    Because so, so many top 10 guys gave Calhoun the time of day! He was practically rolling in them, right?
     
    Huskies4ever likes this.
  2. NDakotaHusky

    NDakotaHusky

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    909
    What the author does not realized is, all the major programs are 1 retired coach away from a downward slope. Most of those programs have very large budgets, but budget is not everything. We saw both Kentucky and UNC slide with the wrong coach. None of these programs are immune. Most of them just haven't had their long time coach retire yet....many of those coaches are about to retire. We'll see what happens when they do.
     
  3. Deepster

    Deepster

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,578
    Likes Received:
    3,378
    Let's approach this from another angle.

    Let's agree he's not right in his statement that UConn is no longer big-time. Done.

    How far off is he in that statement?

    • The success of the men's program was in great part a very Calhoun-centric thing. Ollie came on strong (with Calhoun's players) and got a title, but we've seen chinks in the armor since then in player development and his in-game X&O's.
    • We don't have the conference. And we're not getting a conference affiliation that provides any palpable boost in the foreseeable future.
    • The NBA pipeline is drying up. Shabazz in 2014 and he's yet to make a mark. Lamb and Drummond in 2012 and Drummond really can't point to UConn for that. Kemba in 2011. That's it dating back to Thabeet and AJ Price in 2009.
    • Attendance. The crowds are bad. You look at a fanbase like Indiana? In 2013, they were 17-15 and 7-11 in conference. They got 17,472 for a home game on 12/22 against Kennesaw State.
    So, I'm not saying he's right....yet. But how far off is he?
     
  4. Tenspro2002

    Tenspro2002

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,866
    Likes Received:
    4,407
    My point was actually the second half of the sentence.

    You may say "eh, we never needed top 10 guys anyway", and to an extent that may be true. But if we fall further off the map, it won't just be the Diallo's of the world who turn us down, it'll be guys in the Hamilton/Adams/Gilbert/MAL class. Without recruits even of that caliber, we'd be dead with no hope of recovery.
     
  5. BUConn10

    BUConn10 Artist formerly known as BUHusky10

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,791
    Likes Received:
    3,269
    I bet if he was praising us everyone in this thread would be happy with his writing and would have zero issues with his credentials.
     
    Huskies4ever likes this.
  6. Stairmaster

    Stairmaster Stainmaster?

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8,047
    Likes Received:
    11,721
    You're saying that because we missed out on top 10 guys, we'll be missing on top 20-40 guys in the near future because of it. If that's the case, how come Calhoun was able to reel in top 20-40 guys while bringing in only 3 or so top-10 guys over the course of his entire career here? Could it be that...*gasp* they aren't related?

    I know you like to traffic in outlandish scenarios predicting the implosion of the program, but this one needs work.
     
    Huskies4ever likes this.
  7. HooperScooper

    HooperScooper

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Messages:
    3,199
    Likes Received:
    3,700
    You knew this stuff was coming. If the team continues the rest of the season like they have done so far this season then there will be more of it in the offseason from national writers. But they said the same thing when JC retired and then they won a national championship.

    I think most rationale people said there would either be a drop off or an adjustment period when JC retired. JC did what probably 99.9% of coaches couldn't do. I think people need to give it more time before declaring the death of UConn as a national power. But I will admit that if you take the last 5 years, besides that great run to the NC in 2013 (remember that they weren't a dominant team that whole season), that this period hasn't been as good as any 5 year period that JC coached the team (maybe the first 5 years, but not after that). Just need to give it more time though.
     
    SouthBayHusky and Huskies4ever like this.
  8. BlueDogs

    BlueDogs

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,105
    Likes Received:
    2,799
    The truth is usually in between the lines. The program is in a precarious spot and obviously tending in the wrong direction, but the course is not irreversible nor fatal. The systematic challenge is the AAC which is like anchor pulling us down in recruiting, fan interest, revenue, etc. Yet, we see that in terms of conference alignment nobody places a premium on basketball. So, basketball ultimately goes as football goes and the only solution is getting hell out of the ACC and into a power conference. The new BE is not the answer unless UConn can find a football only conference affiliation.
     
  9. pj

    pj

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Messages:
    5,206
    Likes Received:
    4,790
  10. QDOG5

    QDOG5

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    135
    And if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle.
     
  11. 7774

    7774

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,769
    Likes Received:
    2,455
    I don't think we're trending in the wrong direction at all. Our recruiting has finally moved past the sanctions, and our freshman and sophomore classes are full of good players. I think we really trended down a few years ago, and now you're seeing the results of that on the court.
     
    intlzncster likes this.
  12. QDOG5

    QDOG5

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    135
    Does anyone have year over year attendance numbers for Gampel and XL?
     
  13. Stairmaster

    Stairmaster Stainmaster?

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8,047
    Likes Received:
    11,721
    An interesting exercise...

    Calhoun's last three seasons:
    1. 2009-10: NIT
    2. 2010-11: National Champions
    3. 2011-12: 1st Round
    Ban season is a wash.

    Ollie's first three (legitimate) seasons:
    1. 2013-14: National Champions
    2. 2014-15: NIT
    3. 2015-16: 2nd Round
     
    WideRight!, KSC94, UCFan1513 and 6 others like this.
  14. HuskyHawk

    HuskyHawk I'm tryin' real hard to be the shepherd.

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    7,003
    Likes Received:
    5,844
    Other than Duke, this isn't true. They all had long time, very successful coaches retire. Wooden, Smith, Knight, Rupp, Allen those guys are gone. Larry Brown won a title a KU. Williams left KU for UNC, and Self came in and both UNC and KU are better as a result. That's how you become one of those teams. You do it despite the coach, or through several coaches.

    UConn isn't out yet...that 2014 Ollie NC bought us a little time. But KO needs to start dominating this mediocre conference the way Kansas dominates its much better one. I'm pissed about it largely because this was the year I thought they'd finally do that. They have under-performed their talent every year since 2014.
     
  15. pj

    pj

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Messages:
    5,206
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    PS - I did that search because I'm pretty sure I remember some highly controversial anti-UConn mbb articles by Matt Burke when he wrote for the Daily Campus that generated some heated threads on the Boneyard 12-13 years ago.
     
  16. pj

    pj

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Messages:
    5,206
    Likes Received:
    4,790
    If Ollie at the beginning of his career is as good as JC at the end of his career, then we have a lot of good things to look forward to.
     
    Huskies4ever likes this.
  17. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    228
    I bought 3 tickets to the UCF lower section row J the Tuesday before the game directly through UConn that type of thing wouldn't happen in previous years. The program is not as in as bad of shape as this year would indicate but right now we are not a national power and in the current conference that is not likely going to change. I'm not saying the fandom on the Boneyard is any less radically insane but the general public is not following the team as much as they were in the 90s up to Kemba's title.
     
    Huskies4ever likes this.
  18. UCFan1513

    UCFan1513

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2014
    Messages:
    285
    Likes Received:
    168
    Got to the second paragraph where he said we were turning into St. John's and closed it. Utter garbage lol
     
  19. Stairmaster

    Stairmaster Stainmaster?

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8,047
    Likes Received:
    11,721
    The program didn't have any modicum of widespread fan support until the NIT run and the Dream Season. People are frontrunners, plain and simple.
     
    Okafour rings and lange10 like this.
  20. BUConn10

    BUConn10 Artist formerly known as BUHusky10

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Messages:
    2,791
    Likes Received:
    3,269
    What does this even argue or prove?

    I can't help but feel like you are constantly trying to make sure everyone knows you are the one, truest fan. Referencing an event from 27 years ago and saying everyone since is front running? What?
     
  21. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    Messages:
    10,567
    Likes Received:
    8,061
    Rationally thought out although I don't believe it's currently as fragile as you are pointing out. Two things would have to happen. UConn can no longer pay to get a decent coach and media exposure is reduced. That is a potential for any program but the salient point is the revenue stream is significantly better for a P5 school than a G5 school which is you're argument.

    So you are correct that the potential for problems is greater for G5 schools. I'd argue this is far more the case for football because of the playoff structure in that sport. The current media exposure for the AAC is on par with the P5. And the conference had some decent product in football (the silver lining with the Big 12 not taking any schools for now) so unless that product deteriorates between now and the time of the next media negotiations, or if the P5 goes it's separate way, the AAC should get a decent bump in revenue and retain decent media exposure. For once UConn can ride the coat tails of the other members of the conference unless RE turns things around quickly.

    And even if the P5 separates, the increased competition by entities such as Netflix and Amazon could necessitate the media bidding up monies to fill content.

    Additionally, if the P5 heads their own way that precedent can be a nightmare for all of college sports including the P5. For example, let's say it happens and sixteen or so of the programs left behind have enough monies which they can get from boosters (the NCAA premise of amateurism is already on thin ice and a P5 move would break the ice) to use that precedent to start their own minor league with their own financial structures and incentives that turned out to be greater than the P5 were getting. The P5 would gripe and insist on matching funds. They certainly would be at an advantage with named programs but they would have a lot more programs that aren't producing which under their current contracts the media would need to support. It would be an interesting development to say the least.

    Bottom line is the future is unknown. A lot can go wrong but things may turn out well. None of us know the future. Main stream media didn't prepare for cable allowing a little company to become the leader in sports. ESPN could not have foreseen that universities would look at their model and demand a far greater piece of the pie. I'm with the group that has confidence in KO so I'll watch the present with cautious optimism.
     
    David 76 likes this.
  22. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    228
    I completely agree I was born just before the start of the dream season so I don't have a great frame of reference but we are in a market flooded with options. We are never going to have the only show in town staying power of Kentucky, Duke, or UNC people will follow when/if we are really good.
     
  23. FartMan69

    FartMan69 I can't believe I ate the whole thing

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    2,009
    You're really surprised about the outside view of our program? Most of the critics remember the late 90's-00's UConn teams who were constantly top 25 wire to wire playing in the top conference on Big Monday or Super Tuesday's. None of that is true anymore and despite most of that being out of our control rival fan bases and sports writers don't really care. They'll see NIT berths or low NCAA seeds coupled with a poor conference affiliation and quickly forget our past dominance and National titles. Until we can return to what we were there will always be critics fair or not.
     
    SouthBayHusky and Tenspro2002 like this.
  24. Stairmaster

    Stairmaster Stainmaster?

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2014
    Messages:
    8,047
    Likes Received:
    11,721
    I'm basically saying that frontrunning and apathy outside of championship seasons is to be expected with the UConn fanbase.

    You can ask the people you know who were living in the state during the 1980s. Compared to its heyday, the fanbase was peanuts under Perno and the first two Calhoun years. Other comparable "blue blood" programs have long-standing traditions of robust fanbases dating back generations, filling arenas since before both of our parents were alive. UConn does not have that particular tradition. There was such little support for UConn athletics that there were literally no copyright restrictions on AD branding materials until after the NIT run. Think about it; there wasn't even enough fan support for the university to think it was worthwhile to exercise their right to control the market on merchandise.

    Conference affiliation plays into this (look at where the current Yankee Conference schools who stayed at that level are now). So does the longtime dominance of private institutions in CT as opposed to Indiana, UNC, Kentucky, etc. While CT was still being dominated by private colleges in terms of desirability for in-state residents, those other areas had just as many people flocking to attend their state flagships as they do now. Additionally, Indiana, UNC, and Kentucky have pretty much always been the most prominent schools in their states in terms of name recognition. UConn had to contend with Yale, Wes, Conn College, any of the other elite academic privates for much of the 20th century. Connecticut residents looking at UConn as a big-name school with prestige is a fairly recent thing. All of that considered, it makes sense that very few people outside of alums and multi-generational diehards have a strong connection to UConn athletics, and thus only drop by when championships are being won.
     
  25. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2015
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    228
    Not to beat a dead horse but most national powers don't have this beauty
    [​IMG]
     
    HuskyHawk and SouthBayHusky like this.
  26. Letsgohuskies11

    Letsgohuskies11

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,436
    Likes Received:
    979
    so u believe that we are no longer big time i guess then
     
  27. Tenspro2002

    Tenspro2002

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4,866
    Likes Received:
    4,407
    No, I said that if our program continues falling off the map nationally, we will struggle to land the top 20-40 guys in addition to having no shot at the top 10.

    I did not say that failing to land top 10 guys means we'll soon fail to land top 20-40 (though it is undeniably true that landing top 10 guys, e.g. Diallo, would have buoyed our national reputation).
     
  28. Ricky S'moore

    Ricky S'moore

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    15
    The AAC is what is killing us. This guy alerts to it's presence in the article...

    The Big East was our life blood. Not only was it quality competition, with ranked or quality teams usually compromising 1/2-3/4 the conference, but they were also storied rivalries which got people excited. PC may not have been great every year, but they always played us well and made for exciting basketball. Not only are the AAC teams mostly trash, there is no other emotional connection to the match ups to get fans in the stands. In the past I may have picked a Syracuse game over the Giants, but certainly not to watch us play UCF. Burke is absolutely right on that respect.

    Even worse than being in the AAC may be having our games broadcast by CBS Sports Network. I live in NYC and the channel is not carried by TWC or Fios in their standard package. You have to either buy up to their overall sports package and pay for like the Longhorn Network, hope a friend actually has said package, or go to a bar and watch it. Casual college basketball fans are not 1) paying for that , 2) schlep it however far it is to their friends' place to watch it, or 3) being at/spending money at a bar at 9pm to watch UConn/Temple. I'll admit there are times I do not care for any of the three options on a Monday night and I'll flick on whatever game is on ESPN/ESPN2 (getting the updates on Twitter of course). Imagine how many non-UConn fans are doing this exact same thing and never getting to see one of our games/our brand.

    KO has his faults for sure. The players seem to barely improve as the year(s?) goes on and flat out don't come ready to play way more often than not; however I think even if we brought in a Brad Stevens (at the time) or an Archie Miller (now) that our conference affiliation is much more of a drag on the program than the coach's coaching ability.

    NoEscalators or A Dime Back would slap me for this, but I'd gladly euthanize football to get back to the Big East - these days we're left begging the Big 12 for acceptance or hoping Louisville get's it's accreditation stripped. At the very least, get our basketball out of the AAC.
     
  29. Palatine

    Palatine

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Messages:
    15,319
    Likes Received:
    9,596
    We lost to Belmont and Northeastern. That's reality. If we want to be big time, don't lose those games and go under .500.

    Sit back, relax, because it's going to get worse. There is no way to combat these attacks except on the court and to bounce back next year.
     
  30. Hi-Low

    Hi-Low Free as a bird

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    816
    We lost to a horse racing track?.....missed that game I guess.

    As far as the article it's utter nonsense to compare UConn to St. John's, a team that has 0 titles. How about comparing us to UCLA with the down years?

    ps.....yes I realize Belmont is also a college but we didn't play them either.....guess you are reminding us we lost to Wagner. Also was Northeastern a horrible loss in reality this year, look like a conf winning tourney team possibly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    crazyUCfan23 and fleudslipcon like this.