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Author Topic: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball  (Read 4766 times)

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SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« on: May 29, 2013, 06:55:49 am »

SEC office will start reviewing men's basketball nonconference schedule strength

 SEC athletics directors have agreed to submit their men's basketball nonconference schedules for review by the conference office in an attempt to help the league's NCAA Tournament chances.

The SEC put only three teams in the NCAA Tournament last year. The conference is still developing a process on how to analytically review nonconference schedules through Ratings Percentage Index numbers.

"Think about it like a stop light," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said today. "Some (teams) will be in a green zone, some will be in a yellow zone, and some of them might be in a red zone."

Former NCAA vice president Greg Shaheen visited with SEC basketball coaches to discuss scheduling. The coaches discussed what nonconference schedules should look like if teams are upper tier, middle tier or rebuilding.

"I think what will happen is this is going to shift into (the SEC office saying), 'If you know you're in good shape, run with it; if you have some issues, talk to us,'" Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "I think it's good. There's no the league is going to do our schedule. Good luck with 14 teams trying to do that."

Among the SEC teams with the worst nonconference schedules last year: Auburn and South Carolina.

"Our nonconference strength of schedule last year was 336. That's unacceptable," Gamecocks coach Frank Martin said. "That impacts every team in our league in a negative way. For example, Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky got left out of the NCAA Tournament. They had decent RPIs. If my nonconference strength of schedule would have been 230 instead of 330, then their RPIs are in the 40s and now I think maybe two of the three of them get in."

Playing stronger schedules may not necessarily be the answer for different teams, Georgia coach Mark Fox said.


The conference that was known as the A-10 last season were masters at getting the optimal RPI for their teams through scheduling and improving their perception and chances for landing NCAA bids.



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Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 07:17:27 am »

Altering Auburn's non-conference men's basketball schedule to fit the SEC's push to strengthen conference RPI may be as simple as changing two games, according to Tigers head coach Tony Barbee.

And now that the SEC office is reviewing non-conference slates, Barbee is confident that Auburn's projected slate will hold up under scrutiny, even though the Tigers finished last in the SEC in non-conference strength of schedule last season.

"Our non-conference schedule is as strong as any," Barbee said. "In our case, we had two teams in the 300s that not only hurt us, they hurt the upper-level teams in our conference."

Both of those games came back-to-back in the doldrums of December, a pair of wins over Grambling State (347) and Furman (343) that sunk the Tigers' RPI, regardless of how bad Auburn's overall finish (9-23) ended.

Of course, in building a schedule, a team has no idea where a team will finish in the RPI, but trying to avoid teams that will finish higher than 275 in the RPI can play a huge role in raising the RPI, a fact athletic directors and basketball coaches learned from former NCAA vice president Greg Shaheen's presentation at the SEC spring meetings in Destin this week.

"Now, sometimes, you can look at a team, and you’re always projecting where a team could be, and if a team ends up higher, that just happens," Barbee said. "I think this week was huge for the coaches, understanding how we all affect the schedule and how we can help each other."

Ironically Auburn was removed from the Puerto Rico Tip Off tournament as presumably the field looked at the impact of playing Auburn on their RPI.

Barbee maintains that the tournament agreements were not finalized and Auburn chose to go another way.  The tournament added Northeastern.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 07:26:17 am »

Grant says non-conference schedule has been 'moving target,' but he's 'learned quite a bit'.

Grant was open eyes and open ears for former NCAA vice president Greg Shaheen's presentation this week on how the SEC, which had just three teams make the 2013 NCAA tournament, can put together better non-conference schedules.

"It's probably been a moving target for a lot of years," Grant said Wednesday as he departed from the SEC's spring meetings. "I've probably learned quite a bit. This is really helpful, these meetings here this week, because I think as a league, as a group of coaches, I think it was great to hear the input of different guys and different coaches in the league in terms of what we need to do to improve the perception and the results at the end of the day for our league."

On Tuesday, SEC commissioner Mike Slive said the league's athletics directors agreed to submit their men's basketball non-conference schedules for review by the conference office before they became official. The SEC is working to develop better analytics that it will use to review the schedules in accordance with Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).

The Crimson Tide finished this past season with an RPI of 64, as bad losses to Mercer and Tulane were ultimately too much to overcome. In 2011, Alabama finished 21-11 and won the SEC West but was unable to sneak into the Big Dance.

Alabama has yet to release its 2013-14 schedule...

Asked if he thought the schedule was shaping up to be good enough for the conference's liking, Grant said, "we hope so."

"At the end of the day, it's not just putting it together. You've got to win games," Grant said. "It comes down to that process of making sure our guys are where they need to be to help us do that."

Bama has seen the wide swing of being excluded from the NCAA-T despite "winning" the division formerly known as the SEC-W and then having an inferior overall record the next season in the division-less SEC and getting a bid.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 10:24:11 am »

Jon Solomon ‏@jonsol 2h
Odd seeing many SEC hoops coaches say this week helped them understand how scheduling ties SEC together. RPI has been around for a while.

If so, their understanding did not translate into action.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 01:47:09 pm »

Bama releases its 2013-14 nonconference basketball schedule

Appears to have taken it up a notch or twelve.



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2013, 04:43:59 am »

UT Vols and N.C. State to play home-and-home series

N.C. State joins a 2013-14 UT home slate that includes a visit from Virginia...

The Vols’ road schedule includes games at Xavier, Wichita State and the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Martin said he’s still looking to finalize agreements on “two or three” more non-conference games.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2013, 04:47:49 am »

SC prepares for new bulkier basketball schedule
SEC upset by weak Selection Sunday

Frank Martin admits that when first hearing about the agreement of Southeastern Conference athletics directors to submit their men’s basketball nonconference schedules to the league office for review he wasn’t pleased.

“I like to do my own schedule,” Martin said Monday during an SEC conference call. “I’m not in kindergarten any more. I think I can take care of my responsibilities, but I also understand because South Carolina was part of the problem.

“We – and when I say we, I’m talking about our school – have to schedule better. We have to do a better job of not just scheduling to represent both our institution and the conference we take part in.”

South Carolina’s nonconference schedule ranking was at the bottom of the league last season and No. 336 nationally.

“That impacts every team in our league in a negative way,” Martin said earlier. “Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky got left out of the NCAA Tournament. They had decent RPIs. If my nonconference strength of schedule would have been 230 instead of 330, then their RPIs are in the 40s and I think maybe two of the three of them get in.”

While South Carolina has not released its 2013-14 schedule, Martin promises it is more challenging than a year ago

Georgia’s Mark Fox is also supportive of the league mandate, but says scheduling has become more challenging.

“It is getting harder every year,” Fox said. “I think the league will have to understand that as we all move forward. But I do understand their involvement and it is all-important that we all schedule in a way that helps our RPI numbers.

“It doesn’t mean you schedule all games you can win; you got to schedule the best teams you can beat and also challenge yourself and prepare for conference play.”

Calipari defended the league office, claiming they will serve as a sounding board on whether a certain game is a good call wrt RPI.



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2013, 06:02:56 am »

Is strength of schedule enough to boost SEC hoops?

What they were doing was no longer working, so the SEC told its men’s basketball coaches so.

Last year’s conference RPI placed the SEC ninth, behind not just every other major conference but also the Mountain West, Atlantic 10 and Missouri Valley. Of the nonconference schedules ranked between No. 302-344 by KenPom.com, five were from the SEC: Ole Miss, Mississippi State, LSU, Auburn and South Carolina.

“We have to schedule better,” Martin admitted.

But even with bloated schedules designed to artificially inflate win totals, only six teams could reach the 20-win plateau. All of them made the postseason, but both Kentucky and Tennessee were bounced out of the NIT in the first round.

Two teams, Mississippi State and Texas A&M, lost to SWAC schools. Auburn lost to Winthrop, South Carolina to Elon, Vanderbilt to Marist, and Georgia to Youngstown State.



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2013, 01:59:17 pm »

NBC Sports: State finally releases weak non-conference schedule. Not known if it was cleared with the league office.

Seven of the 13 games feature teams from the SWAC (Prairie View A&M, Mississippi Valley State, and Jackson State), MEAC Florida A&M and Maryland Eastern-Shore), and Atlantic-Sun (Kennesaw State and Florida Gulf Coast — Dunk City projects to be a strong team under first year coach Joe Dooley), it’s “cupcake city” as ESPN’s Dick Vitale would call it.

Perhaps Mississippi State felt like they took their lumps at the Maui Invitation last year and is looking to downside the level of competition in this Rock Ray’s (sic) second season at the helm...

SEC teams that play State twice next season will get to double the RPI impact.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2013, 02:16:41 pm »

English: SEC seeks to boost basketball schedule strength

Breaking down the SEC

The 2012-13 record, nonconference strength of schedule ranking (SOS) and RPI ranking for each SEC men's team among the 347 Division I teams (in bold made the NCAA Tournament):

School Rec. SOS RPI

Alabama 20-12 84 60

Arkansas 19-13 122 88

Auburn 9-23 303 254

Florida 26-7 8 9

Georgia 15-17 145 141

Kentucky 21-11 73 56

LSU 19-12 226 85

Mississippi 26-8 280 48

Mississippi State10-22 298 232

Missouri 23-10 82 35

South Carolina 14-18 322 224

Tennessee 20-12 47 58

Texas A&M 18-15 31 99

Vanderbilt 16-17 61 110

Average 18-14 148.7 107.1


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2013, 01:21:07 pm »

SEC's New Basketball Czar: "I think when you talk to folks at the networks, they would like to see not only the SEC, but probably all of the major conferences create more quality matchups," Whitworth said today. "I think everybody understands you've got to really play a quality schedule, not only from the NCAA Tournament perspective, but from the standpoint of engaging the fans."

ESPN's current agreement requires the network to televise every SEC game, and there's interest to create more compelling nonconference games for inventory and attendance purposes.

Whitworth, a member of the SEC staff for 25 years, was appointed this week as the office's first full-time administrator devoted solely to men's basketball. The SEC is trying to raise its men's basketball profile...

To help analyze schedules based on RPI metrics, the SEC brought in former NCAA vice president Greg Shaheen, who will continue to be a consultant about nonconference schedules. Greg Shaheen will remain a consultant for the SEC.

Whitworth acknowledged that an opponent's RPI can change significantly year by year without knowing how good a team will be when the schedule is made. One of the best measures is looking at RPIs over two-year and five-year averages, Whitworth said.

"You can get a better idea of what kind of consistent program an institution has been able to develop so you can look at who's appropriate to play," he said. "Anything below 200 (RPI) can become problematic. The commissioner has tried to educate our institutions that if you play a softer, less competitive schedule, it impacts the entire league."

Mark Whitworth is a 25-year veteran of the SEC office.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2016, 07:11:59 am »

Paul Finebaum ‏@finebaum Mar 15

NEWS: Mike Tranghese has been named 'Special Advisor' to @GregSankey for @SEC Basketball



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2016, 07:15:16 am »

Mark Bradley ‏@MarkBradleyAJC Mar 15

SEC commissioner Sankey: Three NCAA bids won't cut it. http://sec.news/1UxgEDE

SEC sent three teams to the NCAA tournament, one of those landing in a First Four play-in game. This marked the third time in four years the conference has dispatched only three teams to the Big Dance, and for comparison’s sake we note the representation of other major conferences in the field of 68:

The ACC, the Big Ten, the Big 12 and the Pac-12 — the other four power leagues — sent seven teams apiece. The Big East, which isn’t as big as it was, sent five. The American, cobbled together after rampant realignment, sent four. With its three, the SEC stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Atlantic 10.

Maybe you don’t care about this shabby showing. Maybe you watch the SEC only for its football, which remains mighty —

On Tuesday, the SEC announced that Mike Tranghese, once the commissioner of the really-Big East, has been contracted as a special advisor on men’s basketball. That can’t be a bad thing. But how much difference can a consultant make?

In a statement announcing Tranghese’s role, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said his league “gained positive moment over the last 12 months.” Later, in a telephone conversation, Sankey sought to clarify: “The reality is that we’re back with only three (NCAA teams) for the third time in four years. People read ‘positive momentum’ and ask, ‘What rose-colored glasses are you looking through?’ I’m not.”

Sankey said Tranghese will speak with coaches, athletic directors and league officials: “He has a different eye.” But the commissioner also said something intriguing: “Coaches need to be able to build programs.” That’s really a two-pronged issue: Schools must hire the right coaches, and then those coaches must be given time to work.

Coaching in the SEC this century has wobbled all over creation...


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2016, 07:20:11 am »

Can the SEC ever become a Basketball League?

This correspondent spoke with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey on Tuesday, two hours after the conference had announced it had contracted Mike Tranghese, who served as the commissioner of the Big East when it was really big, as a consultant for basketball. Given that the SEC had — for the third time in four seasons, as Sankey noted without prompting — garnered only three bids to the NCAA tournament, something needed to happen. Tranghese qualifies as something.

I’m not sure, however, that he’ll be enough. Sankey and I spoke for 10 minutes, and he made the points he wanted to make: That he thinks SEC hoops are improving; that coaches must be allowed to build their programs; that the conference keeps urging schools to play tough non-conference schedules — as Georgia and Florida did but South Carolina did not; none of the three made the Big Dance — but that teams must win some of those tough games. And this above all: That three NCAA bids weren’t enough.

I do wonder if SEC basketball will ever be as good at it could/should be. Sankey mentioned the conference’s “resources” — he even cited the weather as a selling point — and he’s not wrong. But I’m not sure money and climate and even ESPN can override human nature.

Having covered the SEC since 1976, I’ve seen schools get excited about basketball. Vanderbilt is second to Kentucky in its enthusiasm for the indoor sport, which is surely no coincidence: Like UK, Vandy stinks at football. Tennessee and Florida fans can be made to care about hoops. LSU was pumped when Dale Brown was coaching. (Not so much when John Brady was.) Arkansas was crazy about hoops when the Hogs were rollin’ with Nolan Richardson.

Mississippi State has had very good teams. Even Auburn has had its moments, and not just when Charles Barkley was an undergrad. The Cliff Ellis teams at the turn of the century were a happening thing in the Loveliest Village. Missouri figured to bring more to the conference in basketball than football, though somehow that got turned around and now Mizzou is lousy at both.

The point being: It can and has happened in basketball at most every SEC outpost — though, at some of them, not for long.

Coaching basketball in the SEC isn’t the same as working in the Big 12 or the ACC or the Pac-12. (Or the NBA.) Here you can’t just coach. The aforementioned Dale Brown traveled the length and breadth of Louisiana handing out purple-and-gold basketball nets. The great Ray Mears had his Tennessee teams take the court behind a guy dribbling a basketball while riding a unicycle. But even if you promote like crazy and have good teams and great players — Brown had Shaq and Chris Jackson; Mears had Bernie & Ernie — eventually you realize: You’re still not football.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2016, 07:25:07 am »

 Kevin Scarbinsky ‏@KevinScarbinsky Mar 15

3 bids for the third time in 4 years? What's the SEC's basketball problem? Coaching, coaching, coaching. http://ow.ly/Zvjkh

Scarblog: SEC has a basketball problem. You know it, I know it and Greg Sankey knows it, too.

When a Power 5 conference sends only three teams to the NCAA Tournament - while the other four Power 5 leagues send seven each - that's a problem.

When a Power 5 conference gets only three NCAA bids - while the Big East gets five and the American Athletic Conference gets four - that's a problem.

Some problems are bigger than others. If this year were an outlier, people who care about SEC basketball could brush it off and do what we usually do in times of trouble -

As Sankey noted Monday, it's the continuation of a troubling trend. It's the third time in the last four years the SEC has sent only three teams into the NCAA Tournament. It also happened in 2013 and 2014.

How to put that swoon in perspective? The previous three times the SEC received only three bids: 2009, 1990 and 1982 - or three times in 28 years.

The SEC's 14 combined NCAA bids since 2013 is the worst four-year stretch since the league also sent 14 teams dancing from 1980-83. [48 team NCAA field]

From 1991-2008, the SEC received at least four bids for 18 straight years. From 1997-2008, the SEC received five or six bids for 12 straight years.

What's changed?

You can't blame the league office. Recently retired SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, with Sankey as his right-hand man, made basketball a renewed priority, in part by making the sport the focus of Associate Commissioner Mark Whitworth. Schools got the message by pouring more money into coaching salaries and facilities and, with a few exceptions - looking at you, South Carolina, getting ready for the NIT - they upgraded their non-conference schedules.

But as Sankey also mentioned Monday, you can't just play quality opponents. You have to beat them. The league went 3-7 in the Jan. 30 Big 12/SEC Challenge. It was a sign of another sorry Selection Sunday to come.

Sankey was quick to take action, hiring former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese as "special advisor to the commissioner for men's basketball." It's a positive step, but it won't resolve a more fundamental issue.

Who's primarily responsible for turning the SEC into a league in which football is bigger than ever and basketball has shrunk in comparison?

It's gotta be the coaches. The SEC has hired too many coaches in the last decade and change who couldn't get it done.

Why couldn't they get it done? Ask Wimp Sanderson. The Alabama legend was one of the best coaches in league history because he was one of the best recruiters, as an assistant and a head coach.

"The answer to all of it is you have to have coaches that have a staff as well as themselves that will burn the midnight oil as far as recruiting," Sanderson said. "The coaches have to understand where success comes from, and success comes from you and your staff recruiting really good players."


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2016, 07:38:38 am »

Hugh Kellenberger ‏@HKellenbergerCL 18h18 hours ago

The SEC's basketball problem is not conference wide. It was about individual schools, and that can change. http://www.clarionledger.com/story/sports/columnists/kellenberger/2016/03/16/kellenberger-secs-basketball-problem-overblown/81856200/

Southeastern Conference does not necessarily have a basketball problem as much as some of its member schools do.

That’s the lesson to take away from the sobering news Sunday that only three SEC teams made this year’s NCAA Tournament, and those left out included 25-win South Carolina. The problem is not the SEC — the problem is with the schools that squandered their talent.

We’re looking at you, LSU. And you too, Vanderbilt — three NBA players and you lose in the First Four? No wonder the headline on The Tennessean’s web site Wednesday morning is that coach Kevin Stallings is in trouble. He should be.

I’ve been critical of SEC basketball when it was warranted, and there’s no doubt the conference was down this year. But all of us were writing the SEC was back just a year ago, when five teams made the NCAA Tournament. So why reverse course so quickly?

Here’s what happened: Billy Donovan bailed out of Florida for the NBA, leaving Mike White with a roster that was already coming apart at the seams. Alabama, Mississippi State and Tennessee all had first-year coaches that, despite impressive resumes, could not turn things around quickly.

Ole Miss made last year’s tournament, but lost six members of its rotation and did not adequately replace them. That’s going to happen at a program on Ole Miss’ level, and a similar situation played out at Arkansas. What’s inexcusable is what happened at LSU, where Johnny Jones turned the potential No. 1 NBA draft pick (Ben Simmons), a five-star guard (Antonio Blakeney) and a handful of key veterans into 19 wins and the most disappointing season in college basketball.

SEC announced the hire of Mike Tranghese as an advisor to commissioner Greg Sankey on Tuesday, the same way it has hired Greg Shaheen as a scheduling consultant. Tranghese is a former Big East commissioner and has spent significant time on the tournament's selection committee, so bringing in his expertise is a sound move.

SEC for several years now has been upgrading its coaching talent — from Ben Howland to Avery Johnson to Rick Barnes to Bruce Pearl. I suspect that’ll continue, because would anyone be surprised if Stallings and Jones are soon canned?

If you hire the right coaches, the rest has a way of taking care of itself — recruiting is easier (13 of the top 100 prospects for next season according to 247Sports are committed to SEC schools) [only five to Kentucky], and they know how to schedule their way into the NCAA Tournament because they’ve done it before.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2016, 08:12:31 am »

In search of more basketball help, the SEC brings in former Big East commissioner

Mike Tranghese headed the league full of basketball powers for 14 years

Just three SEC teams were selected for 2016 NCAA Tournament

High-profile coaches have yet to produced high-profile results

There is no one better than Tranghese. NO ONE!!!

SEC’s push to become more of a factor in men’s college basketball landed with a thud on Sunday night when for the third time in three years just three teams -- this year none higher than a No. 3 seed --

South Carolina, which finished tied for third in the league standings at 11-7 and was 24-8 overall, was left out thanks to a soft non-conference schedule. LSU, which also finished 11-7 in the conference, after a disastrous semifinal loss in the SEC Tournament. Ole Miss and Georgia, each 10-8 in the league, also failed to receive a bid.

So Tuesday, commissioner Greg Sankey announced he is employing additional help...

Will he help? Tranghese sure can’t hurt the league’s efforts. He has done extensive work in basketball scheduling and television contracts. For a time, the Big East was one of if not the most prominent conference in college basketball...

Greg Shaheen, who previously ran the NCAA Tournament, was hired as a scheduling consultant by former commissioner Mike Slive. It was Slive who also appointed Whitworth as his basketball “czar” to spearhead the effort of improving the conference’s efforts in the sport.

There has been some progress. The SEC got five teams in last year’s NCAA field of 68. Moving the SEC/Big 12 Challenge to the last Saturday in January, as a brief respite from the conference season and out of the shadow of football, proved a publicity boom...

The SEC? It’s getting some additional help.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2016, 08:19:37 am »

Ron Higgins ‏@RonHigg Mar 15

Tranghese hired to pump up SEC's deflated basketball persona: Ron Higgins @dandydonlsu  http://www.nola.com/lsu/index.ssf/2016/03/tranghese_hired_to_pump_up_sec.html

Give SEC commissioner Greg Sankey credit.

The last of three SEC teams to eek into this year's 68-team NCAA tournament field, Vanderbilt, hadn't even [lost yet] in Tuesday night's play-in round in Dayton when Sankey announced he's hired former Big East Conference commissioner Mike Tranghese as a special advisor to Sankey for SEC men's basketball...

This comes a couple of years after previous SEC commissioner Mike Slive promoted Mark Whitworth to associate commissioner for men's basketball, and charged him with improving the overall quality of basketball in the league.

Whitworth has done a credible job, especially policing Slive's charge at the SEC spring business meetings two or three years ago that all league members needed to upgrade their non-conference schedules to boost the overall RPI of the league.

Most SEC schools have done that, but the problem is they are still losing a large majority of those games. This season, the SEC is 16-35 against Power 5 conference teams. Five SEC teams – LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri and Tennessee – failed to win a single game against Power 5 opponents.

How do you win those games? The same way SEC usually dominates college football.

Fork over big cash and hire name coaches with track records of national success, coaches that know how recruit and understand how to improve the talent they recruited.

The SEC started down that path two springs ago when Auburn hired Bruce Pearl.

Then last spring, Mississippi State hired former UCLA coach Ben Howland, Tennessee landed former Texas coach Rick Barnes and Alabama enlisted Avery Johnson, a former NBA Coach of the Year.

That trio is all well-known Final Four or NBA Finals caliber coaches who will get their new programs turned back in a positive direction after a couple of recruiting classes.

In basketball, more than any other sport, players and fans feed off the enthusiasm of passionate head coaches who are up off the bench directing players or debating officiating decisions.

Back in the 1980s and especially the 1990s when the SEC had two teams in a Final Four twice in a three-year period (1994 with national champ Arkansas and Florida, 1996 with national champ Kentucky and Mississippi State), the overall talent level was better than today because players were attracted to playing for coaches with big, brassy personalities.

Fans also enjoyed watching the sideline fire from  Alabama's Wimp Sanderson, Arkansas' Nolan Richardson, Auburn's Sonny Smith, Florida's Norm Sloan, Georgia's Hugh Durham, Kentucky's Rick Pitino, LSU's Dale Brown, Ole Miss' Ed Murphy and then Rob Evans, Mississippi State's Richard Williams and South Carolina's Eddie Fogler. [Which one of them is not like the others?]


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2016, 11:13:17 am »

@GrantRamey ‏@GrantRamey 2h2 hours ago
Tennessee basketball schedules home-and-home with North Carolina

So what we know right now re: Tennessee's 2016-17 non-conf schedule: UTC (opener), at ETSU, Gonzaga (Nashville), at UNC, GaTech at home

Then there are the matchups for Maui that are TBD. UNC, Oregon, Wisconsin, Georgetown, UConn, Oklahoma State in the field. And Chaminade.

And the Big 12/SEC Challenge game in Knoxville. With ESPN determining that matchup. No insight/pure speculation: Texas? Would be juicy TV.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2016, 06:38:48 am »

Making Southeastern Conference basketball more relevant nationally must be a Herculean task. But give the SEC credit, they keep giving it the old college try.

The latest try-try again came Tuesday when the league announced it had hired Mike Tranghese to be a “Special Advisor to the Commissioner for Men’s Basketball in the Southeastern Conference.”

Not so incidentally, Tranghese got the job two days after the SEC received only three bids to the NCAA Tournament. It was the third time in the last four years that only three SEC teams got bids.

“Bottom line, it’s absolutely unacceptable for a league like the SEC to have three bids,” Tranghese said later in the week.

Tranghese, who once was commissioner of the Big East Conference for 20 years, recoiled at the thought of that league getting three bids.

“We would have gone off the deep end only getting three teams in,” he said.

The SEC’s version of going off the deep end is to hire outside consultants and repeatedly pledge to do better.

The Tranghese hire comes four years after former commissioner Mike Slive hired former NCAA senior vice president Greg Shaheen. The league called Shaheen an “NCAA Tournament guru.” In hopes of toughening non-conference schedules, the SEC ordered coaches to submit schedules to Shaheen for approval.

All the while, Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball Mark Whitworth continues to promote the sport.

Now, new commissioner Greg Sankey has hired Tranghese. The two long-time friends have been informally talking about this move for almost a year.

Why has SEC basketball languished?

“The SEC is viewed as a — quote — football conference,” Tranghese said.

The many empty seats at SEC games other than those at Rupp Arena can’t be helping.

“If you start to win, people will come out,” Tranghese said. “Inherently, we’re all winners. We want winners. We don’t want to see teams that are losing. That’s the beauty of SEC football. People come out even when they’re losing. But that is a phenomenon.”

Tranghese puts great faith in coaches as the answer.

SEC’s new consultant noted how Jim Larranaga and Ed Cooley made Miami and Providence winners and annual participants in the NCAA Tournament.

Tranghese also supports Kentucky Coach John Calipari’s suggestion that the SEC move its conference tournament championship game to Saturday. That would give the Selection Committee more time to consider the result of the title game when seeding and bracketing.

Tranghese, who once served on the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, said the SEC can be a basketball power.

“The SEC has resources, it has facilities and it has great rivalries,” he said. “And it has its own television network. There is too much going on, in my opinion, to not be more successful.”

To play devil’s advocate, why should the SEC care? The league is raking in record revenues. Its teams are national contenders in multiple sports. So what if your peers — the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 12 — all had seven teams make the NCAA Tournament field?

“It’s in your juices,” Tranghese said. “You never want to be mediocre. I think being mediocre is unacceptable when you have the ability to be better.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2016, 07:06:15 am »

UK’s ideas for improving NCAA selection process not practical

Tranghese on UK’s call for a standardized system for judging teams: I don’t like rigidity

Mitch Barnhart provided a variation on the annual theme of Coach John Calipari being unhappy with seeding or sites or opponents or path to the Final Four or accommodations or scent of hotel soap or something.

Barnhart suggested ways the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee can better do its job.

“It should consider following the lead of the College Football Playoff Committee and release updates prior to Selection Sunday,” Barnhart said in a news release. The idea is this would enable coaches and players to better track a team’s positioning and made necessary adjustments.

Football’s one-game-per-week schedule lends itself to updates.

“You get a whole week to analyze it, digest it and talk about it,” said former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese, who also served on the basketball committee and has been asked to help raise the profile of SEC basketball.

By contrast, basketball’s frenzy of games come at a daily clip. Any update might radically change within 48 hours.

The basketball committee must decide 37 at-large bids from a pool of 90-plus teams, seed them, place them in brackets, send them to one of nine initial sites (counting the First Four in Dayton) that lead to four sites and then lead to the Final Four.

In football, there are only four bids and, say, 10 contending teams. “And,” Tranghese said, “you know ultimately all those teams are going to be playing in a (league) championship game.”

Calipari and Barnhart also suggested that basketball have a standardized way to judge teams. Then, in theory, coaches could tailor their schedules to better meet what the committee views as important. Instead, as Calipari lamented, each committee member is free to measure teams however he or she chooses.

“Different people did look at different things,” Holland said of his time on the Selection Committee. “And that wasn’t bad. In other words, you sort of covered the board in terms of things that should be looked at. If someone felt strongly, their voice would at least be heard and considered before moving on.”

Tranghese also was skeptical of a standardized system of measuring teams. “I don’t like rigidity,” he said.

Calipari has complained about the committee using a shifting set of criteria to evaluate teams. And changes have been made. For instance, the committee no longer uses a team’s performance in the season’s last 10 games as a guide. Hancock found that change “disappointing.”

But, Tranghese said the criteria in judging basketball teams does not change as much as it might appear.

“The problem you have is every year you change who the chair is,” he said. “So you have a different person talking every year. What you hear in 2011 is not what you’re hearing in 2013.

“This year, they talked about top-50 wins. Well, I can tell you top-50 wins have always been important. They just seemed to talk about it more this year.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2016, 07:04:00 am »

The media can be a handy scapegoat for those trying to explain why there are empty seats at Southeastern Conference basketball games

Football stories trend on websites for newspapers in the South throughout the year. But basketball stories can be hard to find, even in the middle of basketball season.

Former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, who has been hired to help raise the profile of SEC basketball, does not point a finger at the media.

“A lot of people blame the media for a lot of things,” he said, “but I’ve just never been one. Win, and there will be more stories.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2016, 07:07:07 am »

SEC Tournament Championship is Meaningless unless, you know, you need it to automatically qualify

In a battle of regular-season co-champions, Kentucky beat Texas A&M in the finals of the SEC Tournament. As UK fans know only too well, Kentucky was a four-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Texas A&M was a three-seed.

“Which, obviously, does look very odd,” said Terry Holland, the former Virginia coach and a former member of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee.

Then, without prompting, Holland asked a pertinent question. “When was that game played?” he said.

To satisfy its TV masters, the SEC plays its tournament championship game on Selection Sunday afternoon. That ties the committee’s hands, making head-to-head competition relatively meaningless, Holland said.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey hired Mike Tranghese to help boost the league’s basketball profile. When he was Big East commissioner, Tranghese got the league to move its tournament finals to Saturday night.

“Probably one of the biggest fights I had,” Tranghese said.

When asked if the SEC might fight this same fight, Tranghese said, “Greg is open-minded to talk about everything. He told me that.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2016, 06:50:50 am »

AL.com sports ‏@aldotcomSports 17h17 hours ago

Greg Sankey speaks on satellite camps, basketball, and more http://ow.ly/10xKft

On improving SEC men's basketball:
"If we can just kinda bottom-line it: We have a greater level of expectation of ourselves than three teams playing in the NCAA Tournament. You might say, why do you feel that way. Well, look at every other sport that we sponsor. Women's basketball had nine; I think there are 10 in baseball that are viable for postseason, probably the same in softball; volleyball, soccer, go down the list. So, if that's the bottom line and I don't think that's the only determinate of success but that's certainly a key factor: we have not met our own expectations. So, let's take a step back and say what's happening? Well, early in September I go to Arkansas and they have a brand new practice facility for its men's and women's basketball programs; Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, those facilities are being built. I forget where I was where they're talking about renovating their practice facility. So, you want to make the facility commitment and make that a piece of how you improve.

"We had four notable coaching hires, which I think can be overshadowed. Last year we added Bryce Drew, who established a track record at Valparaiso and comes from a family with great basketball success. And so I think there are five additions in the last 12 months viewed positive. I also look at the coaches presently in place in the conference and a piece of the puzzle, I think, is selecting the right coach, having them continue for a long period of time because stability can promote success. Sometimes you have to have patience initially and allow that program to be built, so that it can sustain success over time. And so I think the combination of our coaches is very much positive for the future of this conference, where very shortly I expect to not be talking about having only three in, but a much more significant number. We saw incoming freshmen from a talent level progress. The trend was positive as far as how those young people are perceived athletically, basketball skill wise and hopefully that's an incoming student-athlete trend we see.

"I think those are indicators of success. And then you look at the scheduling piece I referenced. We had some programs play remarkable non-conference schedules, which has been the mantra Mike (Slive) had started three or four years ago. Particularly Florida, Georgia. Vanderbilt benefited from its selection from a tough non-conference schedule. We need to continue that improvement appropriately across the conference but we also need not just schedule those games, we have to win those tough non-conference games. Those are all elements of continuing to improve the men's basketball success, which, again, I think it's into a bottom-line discussion about NCAA Tournament access."

On the role of Mike Tranghese as a consultant for men's basketball...
"I just felt it necessary to broaden our conversation, particularly for myself and Mark Whitworth, the associate commissioner for men's basketball, and Mike has a breath of experience. He sat in the commissioner's chair. It's been a while but he's been on the NCAA committee. He's kept his finger on the pulse of men's basketball. When you're kind of cycling through things, it's been three out of four years where we've had three teams selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament, sometimes you just need to shift the conversation. I think Mike will help us shift the conversation. My goal is to see improvement, which is already there in men's basketball, but the conversation can help facilitate that improvement in an even greater way."

What do you mean by change the conversation?
"Well, we've talked a lot about scheduling. But college basketball is not about schedule. It's about recruiting. It's about how we think about our officiating programs. It is about how we communicate with our coaches. It is about scheduling and how we set those expectations. Those are elements of how you just communicate the conversation beyond simply selection to the NCAA Tournament."


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2016, 07:10:05 am »

Kyle Tucker ‏@KyleTucker_CJ 14h14 hours ago

New Story || SEC commissioner Greg Sankey says three NCAA tournament teams not good enough. How will he fix it? http://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/college/kentucky/2016/04/11/sankey-sec-needs-more-than-three-ncaa-tourney/82911734/

Sankey notes that "one-and-done" is the NBA's rule, not college basketball's. Says both veteran and young teams have won it all recently.

Sankey: "It would be nice to maybe go back to the mid-80s where everybody stayed four years ... but that's not the reality now."

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – If a tree falls in a forest, err, if the final three rounds of the NCAA tournament happen without a representative from the Southeastern Conference, can it really be called a serious men’s basketball league?

This year, for the third time in four seasons, the SEC had only three teams invited to the Big Dance. Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Texas A&M were all bounced by the Sweet 16. So continued a frustrating trend for a conference that is the king of college football and routinely experiences top-to-bottom success in nearly every other sport.

“I think we could just kind of bottom-line it: We have a greater level of expectation of ourselves than three teams playing in the NCAA tournament,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said during a question-and-answer session at the annual Associated Press Sports Editors’ southeast regional meeting. “Look at every other sport that we sponsor: Women’s basketball had nine; I think there are 10 in baseball that are viable for postseason; probably the same in softball. Volleyball, soccer, go down the list.

“So if that’s the bottom line – and I don’t think that’s the only determinant of success, but that’s certainly a key factor – we have not met our own expectations.”

Enter Mike Tranghese, the Big East commissioner from 1990 to 2009 and a five-year member of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee, who Sankey hired last month as his special adviser for hoops. He’ll work alongside Mark Whitworth, whose associate commissioner for men’s basketball title was created in 2013, when the SEC first launched an offensive to improve its product on the court.

That same year, the league hired Greg Shaheen – a former NCAA vice president who was heavily involved in the tournament selection process – to address scheduling issues and boost the conference’s all-important RPI numbers. Both moves helped, Sankey said, but “I just felt it necessary to broaden our conversation.”

“We’ve talked a lot about scheduling, but college basketball is not just about scheduling. It’s about recruiting, it’s about how we think about our officiating programs, it’s about how we communicate with our coaches.”

To those ends, Sankey said he’s excited about the level of talent that has come and is coming into the league (the five-star influx has rarely been higher); he plans to continue luring and developing top-notch officials; and he’s seen several programs make a critical commitment to upgrading facilities in recent years.

He believes the SEC added five strong new coaches in the last 12 months – Rick Barnes at Tennessee, Avery Johnson at Alabama, Mike White at Florida, Ben Howland at Mississippi State and most recently Bryce Drew at Vanderbilt – and along with existing bosses “the combination of our coaches is very much positive for the future of this conference, where I expect very shortly not to be talking about having only three (in the NCAA tournament), but a much more significant number.”

Sankey is proud of the way many teams in the league stepped up their non-conference schedules – although South Carolina failing to do so likely cost the Gamecocks on Selection Sunday – while acknowledging the obvious: “We have to win those tough non-conference games.”

And back to that officiating: Was the commissioner happy with the whistles in SEC play this season? It was a much buzzed-about – complained-about, more like it – topic that actually influenced the regular-season conference championship race. Kentucky fans don’t need reminding that a bizarre technical in overtime at Texas A&M led to the Wildcats sharing the SEC crown with the Aggies.

“Based on my experience, every piece of officiating is much buzzed-about,” Sankey said, launching into a speech about how much harsher judgments of officials have become thanks to hi-definition, super-slow-motion replays. “They’re not going to be perfect – we’ll start from there – but how can we continue to improve? The right leadership is important. Developmental programs for officials are important.

“I think one of the challenges long-term in each sport is how do you continue to attract people into officiating? Because it is a difficult and demanding role. And then how do you help them develop and stay with it so that they can officiate at the highest levels in incredibly intense environments?”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2016, 10:34:53 pm »

Jay Bilas ‏@JayBilas 14h14 hours ago

Jay Bilas Retweeted Kyle Tucker

Why is the SEC office hiring so many paid consultants? Isn't this supposed to be the SEC's job?



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2016, 08:31:20 am »

In hopes of raising the league’s basketball profile, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey hired former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese as a consultant this spring.

For anyone who might question whether the SEC basketball profile needed raising, here’s something to consider. In the last three NCAA tournaments, the SEC received the least amount of at-large bids among the five major conferences.

Here are the numbers: the Big 12 had 18 at-large bids in the last three NCAA tournaments, the Big Ten had 17, the Atlantic Coast Conference had 16, the Pacific 12 had 14 and the SEC had eight.
‘Just guessing’

Every NCAA Tournament seems to follow the same pattern: Selection Sunday followed by Militant Monday, Testy Tuesday and Worrisome Wednesday. In the days after the bracket is announced, there’s second guessing by fans, media and coaches about bids, seeding and sites.

Why can’t the Selection Committee ever get it “right?”

Former Virginia Coach Terry Holland, who served on the Selection Committee in the 1990s, offered a reason: With more than 90 teams under consideration, second-guessing is inevitable.

“Once you get past a certain point in the bracket, you are just guessing, to be honest,” Holland said. “Because those teams begin to all look alike. All have flaws.

“So somebody who wants to say they should have taken that team can make a case for that.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2016, 08:49:45 am »

Dan Wolken ‏@DanWolken 16h16 hours ago

Dan Wolken Retweeted Knight Eady

Longtime SEC associate commissioner leaving for Birmingham event firm

Mike Slive had appointed Whitworth as his basketball “czar” to spearhead the effort of improving the conference’s efforts in the sport

Knight Eady

We are excited to welcome Mark Whitworth to our team as Chief Operating Officer! Read more: http://knighteady.com/blog/whitworth



Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2016, 06:12:12 pm »

NBA Combine provided further evidence for why the Southeastern Conference hired Mike Tranghese to help bolster the league’s basketball profile.

Aside from four players from Kentucky, the rest of the SEC was represented at the NBA Combine by four players: Wade Baldwin IV and Damian Jones of Vandy, Dorian Finney-Smith of Florida and Malik Newman of Mississippi State.

“There’s not a lot there for the SEC at the moment,” ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said.

Most conspicuous by his absence was Mississippi guard Stefan Moody, who led the SEC in scoring at 23.6 points per game.

“Very good college player,” Fraschilla said. “Explosive scorer. But not the size or kind of game I think translates for a scoring guard.

“Having said that, he’s a kid that probably gets signed right after the draft. He has a chance to prove we’re all wrong. It happens every year.”

Chad Ford, ESPN’s NBA Draft analyst, said Moody’s shoot-first play at the Portsmouth Invitational this spring “left a very sour taste in the mouth of a lot of GMs.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2016, 10:27:41 am »

Scarblog: What does the SEC do best right now - baseball, softball or football?

There are eight teams playing in the first double-elimination round of the SEC Baseball Tournament today at the Hoover Met. Seven of them are ranked in the top 10 in at least one national poll.

Meanwhile, six ranked SEC softball teams will be competing this weekend in the super regionals. Only five can advance to the Women's College World Series because No. 1 Florida is playing No. 16 Georgia. Otherwise, No. 4 Auburn and No. 6 Alabama are at home, and No. 10 LSU and No. 15 Missouri are on the road.

What does the conference of champions, scholars and leaders do best right now - baseball, softball or football?

The knee-jerk answer is football because four different SEC teams (Alabama, Auburn, Florida and LSU) have combined to win eight of the last 10 national titles. Football's big picture looks even better because SEC teams have filled 10 of the last 20 spots in the national championship game. Once, in 2011, Alabama beat LSU in the title game.

That compares to six different SEC baseball programs (Vandy, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Florida, LSU and Georgia) making nine appearances in the championship series and winning four of the last eight national titles.

For SEC softball, a relative newcomer as a national power, three programs (Alabama, Florida and Tennessee) have played in seven of the last nine championship series...

In the '90's SEC basketball could have been in this discussion.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2016, 09:18:04 am »

Ken Pomeroy ‏@kenpomeroy May 25 Salt Lake City, UT

Top 10 conferences:
10) MAC,
9) WCC


Eight) AAC,
7) A-10


6) SEC


5) Pac12, 4) B1G, 3) Big East, 2) Big 12, 1) ACC


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #34 on: May 31, 2016, 06:37:20 pm »

Robbie Andreu ‏@RobbieAndreu 41m41 minutes ago

New SEC consultant Mike Tranghese met with the league's basketball coaches Tuesday to talk about getting more teams into the NCAA Tournament

Tranghese said it was a positive meeting and the 14 coaches were very engaged.

Tranghese said the new coaches in the league, including Florida's Mike White, will help turn things around for SEC hoops.

Tranghese said White is a very talented young coach. He said Ben Howland and Rick Barnes are proven coaches who plan to win games.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #35 on: June 01, 2016, 06:12:13 am »

Marc Weiszer

SEC requiring hoops teams to schedule nonconference opponents with three-year RPI average of 175 or better.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2016, 12:44:11 pm »


DESTIN, Fla. – Mike Tranghese’s message to the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball coaches was simple: If you don’t like the message, change the conversation.

Just days after getting a disappointing three bids in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey named Tranghese, the former Big East Conference commissioner, to a position the conference office is calling a “Special Advisor to the Commissioner for Men’s Basketball in the Southeastern Conference”. Tranghese’s hire is supposed to bring excitement and new ideas in the hope of reviving a league that was ranked as the worst Power 5 conference school in the sport.

“I wanted to broaden the conversation, that’s the phrase I’ve been using,” Sankey said Tuesday. “From a basketball standpoint, we’ve added another voice to the conversation and I don’t know how tangible that is going to be. I think the tangible thing is he takes my phone calls and we have deep conversations about men’s basketball.”

In the last three seasons, the SEC has had 11 total bids to the NCAA Tournament – one less than the non-FBS conference Atlantic 10, which has no national TV contract, has produced. The SEC is dead last among Power 5 conference schools in NCAA bids by a large margin. Auburn has not qualified for the NCAA Tournament since 2003 -


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #37 on: June 01, 2016, 12:46:57 pm »

Jon Solomon ‏@JonSolomonCBS 51m51 minutes ago

Calipari: Promote the league early because the SEC tourney doesn't matter for seeding.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2016, 04:45:45 pm »

What can the SEC do to improve in basketball?

DESTIN, Fla. – When most of the world last saw Frank Martin, the South Carolina men’s basketball coach was angry, and seemingly justified in it. Angry that his team had been left out of the NCAA tournament, and angry that a miscommunication made the Gamecocks think they had gotten in.

But as Martin left SEC meetings this week, he was happy. Quite happy, thanks to what he’d heard about what the conference was going to do to try to get better in his sport.

“I think it’s the best meeting we’ve had in the five years I’ve been in the league,” Martin said.


Sankey made the case that the league is close, pointing out that in mid-February about a half-dozen SEC teams were set up to make the NCAA tournament, then half of them lost too many games down the stretch. South Carolina among them, as well as Florida and Alabama, while Georgia finished hot after a too-slow start.

“We talked about: We’re actually quite good. We’re just not quite there yet,” Sankey said,


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #39 on: June 04, 2016, 04:52:52 pm »

Jimmy Hyams ‏@JimmyHyams Jun 3

SEC discussed moving SEC men's tournament final to Saturday but Sankey said SEC has contracts with TV, motels and arena that would interfer[e]


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2016, 07:43:16 am »

Jerry Tipton: Don’t hold your breath on the Southeastern Conference acting anytime soon on John Calipari’s latest brainstorm — moving the SEC Tournament to November.

Mike Tranghese, the man hired this year to help raise the profile of SEC basketball, said such a move is much more complicated than simply flipping back four pages of a calendar.

“The devil is in the detail,” Tranghese said, “because there are unintended consequences.”

For instance, postseason conference tournaments count as one game against the NCAA rule limiting schedules. But the three games in a preseason tournament as conceived by Calipari would take away three potential home games, Tranghese said.

So NCAA legislation would need to be proposed and passed making such an event count as one game. That would take time.

Then the television masters must be satisfied. ESPN has the television rights through 2034.

Of TV executives in general, Tranghese said, “They don’t want to go up against college football.”

Ditto the National Football League. Rather than November, the eve of the NCAA Tournament is a better time to draw a basketball audience.

Then there are existing contracts for already scheduled SEC tournaments through 2025...

What exactly did Calipari suggest? He tweeted that the tournament be played in a “football stadium in Atlanta” or at two sites in Atlanta.

Either way, simultaneous action would take place on two courts. That sounds like AAU basketball, which made sportswriter Jackie MacMullan shudder.

“I coached AAU basketball,” she said on the ESPN program Around the Horn. “It was the biggest nightmare ever. You’re trying to yell at your players. You’re trying to call timeout.”

So might a coach on the next court. “This makes absolutely no sense,” MacMullan said of the multiple courts idea.

During an appearance on the SEC Network, Calipari said each team would be guaranteed three games.

“That’s your November,” he said. “‘We’re going to Atlanta. We’re going to have a ball.’”

South Carolina Coach Frank Martin gushed about Calipari’s suggestion because it would give SEC basketball, the perpetual butt of jokes, a niche. That no other conference plays a preseason tournament makes it all the better.

“We’re trying to find an identity for SEC basketball,” Martin said, “and I think that would definitely create an identity.”

Tranghese asked Calipari to send him his notions, concepts and ideas.

“Let me just really look at it and let me have some time,” Tranghese said he told the UK coach. “I’ll call you someday and we’ll talk our way through all these things. If we think they make sense, we’ll bring them forward together.”

Don't call us...






Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2016, 11:40:33 am »

David Cloninger ‏@DCTheState Jun 8

NCAA men's basketball attendance figures were released. USC was No. 31, averaging a hair under 12,000 per game. http://i.turner.ncaa.com/sites/default/files/external/gametool/brackets/2016_release_mens_basketball_attendance_final1.pdf


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #45 on: June 13, 2016, 01:43:58 pm »

College basketball has lots of issues. Too many good teams playing too many bad games is one of them.

There are lots of things that limit the popularity of college basketball -- among them the reality that the top players rarely return to school after they establish themselves as top players, as well as the fact that a good chunk of the season is overshadowed by football. But another issue is scheduling -- specifically how the majority of good teams spend much of their non-league schedules playing absolute mismatches.

Absolute. Mismatches.

Take almost any school ranked in the preseason of almost any college basketball poll, and what you'll find is that they're going to be double-digit favorites throughout their non-league schedule way more often than not.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #46 on: June 13, 2016, 02:51:04 pm »

SEC basketball coaches hoping to change perception of conference

Mark Fox said he would like to know certain benchmarks to hit from the selection committee

Sankey believes it could take some time before recently hired coaches build their programs. Would know.


Perception and reality aren’t always aligned.

When it comes to SEC basketball, the conference is trying to prove its standing while feeling outsiders don’t respect the on-court product.

SEC basketball coaches were all in agreement last week at the conference’s spring meetings that perception is hurting the brand quite a bit. In 2016, only three SEC teams received NCAA Tournament bids, even though each conference coach believed more programs deserved entry.

The SEC hired Mike Tranghese, the former Big East commissioner who led his old conference to great basketball heights, to consult his new conference on how to improve its image and reputation. But that’s just a start. At the end of the day, there are still numbers and benchmarks conference teams need to hit.

As Georgia head coach Mark Fox said, the SEC would like additional clarity from the NCAA selection committee on what the conference needs to do to cement itself in the at-large process. Multiple SEC coaches agreed that the committee has had a habit of changing requirements every so often.

“It’s been somewhat of a moving target,” Fox said. “We have to get some transparency with the selection committee and find out what they’re looking for and work to hit those targets.”

Kentucky and Texas A&M met in the SEC Tournament’s championship game following seasons in which both programs hung around the top 15 to 20 nationally. Even though Kentucky won, Texas A&M received a No. 3 seed compared to Kentucky’s No. 4. Vanderbilt was the only other team to earn admission as a play-in No. 11 seed. South Carolina, which lost to Georgia three times, went 11-7 in conference play but was left out of the big dance.

Both Kentucky and Texas A&M ended the year in the RIP (sic) top 20. From there, it got dicey.


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #47 on: June 16, 2016, 12:59:12 pm »

On Thursday, the SEC announced the hiring of Dan Leibovitz to be the SEC’s new Associate Commissioner for Men’s Basketball

“I am excited about the addition of Dan to our staff because he brings the experience and expertise we need in the Southeastern Conference to address issues critical to the growth and future success of men’s basketball in this league,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said, per the conference’s press release. “His diverse background and extensive relationships, plus his knowledge and enthusiasm will bring a new level of energy to men’s basketball in the SEC.”

Leibovitz spent the last two seasons serving in the same role for the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes with some high praise from some prominent officials within the game, including Dan Gavitt, who serves as the Vice President of Men’s Basketball Championships:

“Dan Leibovitz is a terrific hire for the Southeastern Conference. He brings to the SEC a wealth of coaching experience along with more recent success as a conference basketball administrator. I have been impressed with Dan’s intellect, character and perspective when dealing with national college basketball initiatives. Dan is a rising leader in our game, and I believe he will serve the SEC membership well in men’s basketball. Congratulations to Commissioner Greg Sankey on making an excellent choice in Dan Leibovitz.”


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2016, 01:21:33 pm »


As the SEC's Associate Commissioner for Men's Basketball, Leibovitz will ensure ongoing communication related to the sport between the SEC Office and its member institutions and coaches; develop and enact strategies for enhancing and promoting men's basketball in the SEC; prepare the Conference men's basketball schedules and collaborate with the Special Advisor to the Commissioner for Men's Basketball, Mike Tranghese, to ensure continuous improvement of the sport in the SEC.

"The SEC made a great call hiring Dan Leibovitz. Dan has extensive basketball experience, from the coaching box on up, and he has studied the game from every vantage point. He is very smart and thoroughly examines every issue before making an informed judgment. Dan is a difference maker." -- Jay Bilas, ESPN

"Dan is one of the brightest and hardest working individuals in college athletics. He is a fabulous addition to SEC basketball." - Mike Tranghese, former Big East Conference Commissioner; Special Advisor to SEC Commissioner for Men's Basketball


Re: SEC will push to improve Mens Basketball
« Reply #49 on: June 19, 2016, 07:07:58 am »

National Association of Basketball Coaches announced last week it had formed an ad hoc committee to provide input to the NCAA Tournament selecting, seeding and bracketing process

John Calipari was named to this committee. Other familiar coaching names to serve include Mark Few (Gonzaga), Bob Huggins (West Virginia) and Mark Gottfried (N.C. State). Former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive is a co-chair.

By the way, ad hoc is Latin for serving a specific purpose. This committee will concentrate solely on the NCAA Tournament.

Bill Hancock, who served as an NCAA liaison to the Selection Committee, welcomed the NABC’s move.

“Every entity should be its own harshest critic,” he said. “I think it’s a good step.”

About 20 years ago, it was suggested that the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee could benefit from having more coaches — more “basketball people” — as members.
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