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. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

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    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.
     
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  2. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    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.
     
  3. FartMan69

    FartMan69 I can't believe I ate the whole thing

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    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.
     
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  4. Stairmaster

    Stairmaster Stainmaster?

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    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.
     
  5. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood

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    Not to beat a dead horse but most national powers don't have this beauty
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Letsgohuskies11

    Letsgohuskies11

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    so u believe that we are no longer big time i guess then
     
  7. Tenspro2002

    Tenspro2002

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    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).
     
  8. Ricky S'moore

    Ricky S'moore

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    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.
     
  9. Palatine

    Palatine

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    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.
     
  10. Hi-Low

    Hi-Low

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    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
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  11. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

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    I thought the contract for the AAC is with ESPN and they sell some of their games to CBS. I doubt this game would be on the CBS network if UConn had started out strongly.

    The Big East is hooked up with Fox Sports Network which is comparable to CBS Sports Network. Several teams in the AAC have hired decent coaches so I expect this conference to leap over the SEC and the Big 12 in the near future in basketball. As far as rivalries that's the major loss for UConn with conference realignment. Playing Georgetown, St. Johns, Syracuse, Providence, Boston College, Nova was a lot of fun. Distance kill rivalries without a doubt.

    Totally disagree with you about your assessment of KO. We saw a significant improvement in play with Bazz, Boatright, Kromah, DD and Niels in the two years they played for KO. Jalen has improved significantly last year to this. Same with Kentan. It's too easy to not factor in the apr regarding KO's first years of recruiting. Nor to eliminate bad luck. I'm hoping for a full recovery in Gilbert and Durham. They can be special players. I'm hoping Rodney and Amida build on this last game. Rodney was consistently good the last third of last season. Amida has not demonstrated a long streak of playing consistently well/

    The AAC has had teams in the top twenty in football the past few years. That is critical in separating the AAC from the remainder of the G5. BB only conferences have even less margin of error than the AAC conference.
     
  12. James

    James

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    we've been pretty much viewed the same since 2014, good program in an iffy conference. its not 'getting worst and worst'. Despite what asterisks you add, last year getting to the tourney and winning a game was a big deal. oh and KO is already zeroing in on a number of high end 2018 prospects, his ability to recruit isn't going anywhere. Are you preparing for him to miss out on guys in 2019 or 2020?

    Can't believe this nobody matt burke is getting clicks/views from the pity party boneyarders that agree with him itt.
     
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  13. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

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    Misery loves company.
     
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  14. Tenspro2002

    Tenspro2002

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    Do you think any 2018 recruit gives a s*** that we won the AACT last year?

    They want to go to a program that's consistently drawing eyeballs and buzz. We, increasingly, are not.

    But we'll see. The 2018 recruiting class needs to make a splash. A single top 20-40 guy and a bunch of question marks isn't going to cut it.
     
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  15. UConnDad

    UConnDad

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    I must say that was our best game this year. My fellow fans and I were downright giddy!
     
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  16. Stairmaster

    Stairmaster Stainmaster?

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    I think that recruits see UConn in a fairly different light than any of us Boneyard posters - especially pessimists who over-dramatize and exaggerate situations to the point of near neurosis.
     
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  17. NDakotaHusky

    NDakotaHusky

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    I'm not saying a downward slope is inevitable. I'm saying it's possible. The notion that certain programs are immune isn't true.
     
  18. UCweCONN

    UCweCONN Let's do this!

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    I won't click bait on the article but I have commented on here previously that this year reminds me of the St. John's season in 2011/12 when Lavin was still there when a bunch of players got kicked off the team, flunked out or transferred. They had to play walkons and had a miserable year and the program which seemed to be coming back never recovered. I think they only had six scholarship players. St. John's wasn't close to the program we've been but comparisons could be made at least based on this season. St. John's loses 12 or 13 games each year.
     
  19. champs99and04

    champs99and04

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    Now this is a discussion we haven't had before.

    @Brochacho it is interesting that you bring up UNC (well, I guess somebody else brought it up first). Your point is well made, but there might be more common ground there than you think; Harrison Barnes was really their last big time recruit, and the 2013, '14, and '15 seasons - during which they only won four tournament games and were never considered a legitimate contender - evoked much panic among UNC fans. Kids like Jackson, Meeks, Berry, etc. weren't exactly scrubs, but the North Carolina brand had lost some cache and been supplanted by Duke, Kentucky, and even Kansas as a destination for top ten players.

    Certainly, there is no equivalency there - North Carolina, even during those three years, was nationally relevant, and there is no comparison between them and UConn as far as history and tradition go. It does reflect, though, how college basketball - especially in the one and done era - is cyclical. The Hairston/Tokoto class was a bit of a whiff, relatively speaking, and because they couldn't beat Kentucky or Duke on the trail, it took them a coupe years to return to dominance.

    The same could have been said of 'Nova a few years prior, and they're probably a more attainable model. The Brimah/Purvis/Facey class hasn't worked out, but that happens, even at the best programs, and there is typically a lag period between when poor play starts at a program and when it starts to be recognized by recruits. We've got at least another couple years before we reach that point, IMO.

    The one disclaimer that I think is necessary is that I do not expect UConn to ever be as good, at large, as they were under Calhoun. That's just basic probability, though. You're not supposed to lose one of the greats ever and remain at the same level, and if we did - which is possible - we would be the exception and not the rule. All you can ask of Ollie at this point is that he keep us in the mix, and given the level of parity in college basketball, there is no reason to think he will not do that.
     
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  20. fleudslipcon

    fleudslipcon We are still UConn!!

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    I think KO is closer to being pulled into the NBA than being a coach who keeps UConn in the mix.
     
  21. UCweCONN

    UCweCONN Let's do this!

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    To be fair, a UNC 'slide' still involves making the NCAA tourney and winning a game or two each year. Guthridge was considered unsuccessful and he went to two Final Fours and a title game in his four years. Give me that slide for us any day of the week.
     
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  22. zls44

    zls44 Your #icebus Tour Director

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    1. CBSSN picks the games before the season starts.
    2. They pick as many UConn games as they can because its the only big name draw in the conference.
     
  23. BigErnMcCracken

    BigErnMcCracken

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    And then Matt Doherty was an unmitigated disaster. If it happens at Carolina, it can happen anywhere.
     
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  24. BLUEDOGHOUSE

    BLUEDOGHOUSE

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    What time table have you put on the AAC leaping over the Big 12 in basketball? Give me the over/under on that 1 ok? What is the "near future"?
     
  25. joober jones

    joober jones Finally Non-Fat Guy

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    The article fails to impress.