Wednesday, December 12, 2012
3-point shot: Gonzaga eying Big East?
By Andy Katz
1. While the Big East's seven non-FBS basketball schools are deciding what course of action to take next, there is one school that would love to be a part of any new conference or conglomerate: Gonzaga. Sources say the Zags would love to part with the West Coast Conference and be a member of a national, branded basketball conference. The theory is that if Boise State and San Diego State can be in the Big East for football, then why couldn’t Gonzaga in a basketball version? Of course, the easy response is that football is played once a week and there is usually a maximum of four or five league road games. Still, the Zags are looking out for themselves and would like to be positioned with fellow national Catholic-based schools instead of regional ones in the WCC. Gonzaga might not have a choice, but is starting to be a bit more proactive if an opportunity arises.
2. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, formerly of Winthrop, had kind words for the BracketBusters when he said the event “was good if you were in contention for the tourney and the national television exposure helped the nation to realize the quality of some non-BCS programs." I was a fan of BracketBusters at the beginning, but wanted more participation, not less. When the Colonial Athletic Association checked out of the event or was not in the event, I didn’t see how it would be able to have long-term success. I can tell you this: These matchups were given a lot of thought, and the conference commissioners and those in ESPN programming didn’t take them lightly. This is ultimately another casualty of conference alignment.
3. The people have spoken. When I gave Seth Greenberg a laundry list of possible player-of-the-year candidates from the first month during our ESPNU College Basketball podcast, we didn’t discuss Louisville’s Russ Smith, Michigan’s Trey Burke or Missouri’s Laurence Bowers. We should have. All three are having All-America seasons and cannot be neglected. I get a mulligan for drawing a blank on a few names. Carry on.