Love the Tourney

Best time of the year, but watching North Texas, Abilene Christian, Ohio, Oral Roberts, Rutgers is a reminder that you don’t need to be Duke, Carolina, Kansas etc. and also that Sendek has achieved squat in 5 years.

Need Gonzaga and BYU out of the league for that to happen. For more reasons than one. How many of those teams would have been able to finish top 2 in the WCC? Probably none. Maybe Ohio.

North Texas had the 5th best record in CUSA. But CUSA doesn’t have a dumb tournament rigged for the benefit of 2 teams.

Ohio also finished with the 5th best record in the MAC. But they had 11 postponed or cancelled games, 2 covid pauses, and Jason Preston was out for like 6 games. Obviously a better team than that, just as SCU was a better team than their record on account of their covid related hardships.

This season we played one game vs Gonzaga and BYU instead of the usual 3 or 4 and still finished in 7th place, losing to teams that finished 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th Unfortunately we can’t get the league to change the tournament format so let’s hope the team looks within for ways to improve.

We didn’t finish 7th. We were assigned 7th.

Fact of the matter is that until Gonzaga and BYU are out of this league, most years no one else is going to the NCAA tournament. St. Mary’s on the way down with their pipeline to Australia shut down by COVID.

Fortunate assigned 7Th and not lower considering we were 1-2 vs teams assigned 8 and 9.
There is hope for teams other then Gonzaga and BYU, I don’t think SCU would invest almost a million $ in their coach if they felt there was no chance

LOL, SCU was actually higher in the incomplete standings. We also beat the teams assigned as the 2 and 3 if you want to play that game. And if we had gotten to play Portland the last matchday we would have finished a spot higher. So you can play this game all day. In the end, the schedule was not completed. Not even close. Gonzaga got enough games in that they would have won the regular season even if they had lost the games they didn’t get to play, but most of the spots in the rest of the league were inconclusive.

But it doesn’t matter. The league has been molded to benefit the top two teams, two teams that don’t belong in a mid-major conference, and so it does. And as long as those programs are ducking better competition in the WCC, they’ll continue to dominate it. Gonzaga may get two top 10 recruits in the country. No one in the league can come close to competing with that, including BYU.

Sorry, didn’t realize we beat BYU this season

Sorry, 3 and 4. Whatever they were. It doesn’t matter. You know the teams I’m talking about. St. Mary’s and Pepperdine.

BYU has most of a roster that probably doesn’t even know where Santa Clara is. That’s how messed up this league is.

Maybe that’s one reason SCU made the investment in Herb, he got NC St. to the dance when the ACC was, is dominated by Duke and NC.

That’s 1 thing he did at NC State. Another was they knew he would run a clean program at the same time as restoring them to competitiveness. But their reputation was in the trash after Valvano and the next coach was charged with cleaning it up at all costs, and all costs was any semblance of competitive basketball.

And it wasn’t just Duke and NC at that time. Maryland was really good. Tim Duncan was the consensus national player of the year in Herb’s first year at State. And NC State was the worst team in the conference.

But the thing about being in a major conference is you don’t have to finish top 2 to get into the NCAA tournament. But even at that, it took quite a while.

And I’m sure Sendek isn’t telling people they can’t make the tournament, but for me I don’t see the path. Gonzaga is what they are, and BYU is going to get keep getting 21 year old freshmen coming back off “missionary” duty, one of which recently consisted of doing 2 hard years in Kennewick, Washington. And they’re going to have more money than God (get it?) and someday again fill a stadium of 20k religious devotees.

Without Covid, we probably finish 3rd to 5th, which I think is pretty much what it’s realistic to expect from SCU basketball under any coach for the forseeable future. Getting to that level would represent improvement over the previous 20 years.

Hopefully, unlike NC State and Arizona State, they’ll be smart enough to recognize that is progress for them, and that it’s not realistic for them to expect to be higher anytime soon.

FYI, Ohio has 4 NCAA tournament wins since 2010. The same number as Creighton. And more than St. Mary’s. They have an on campus arena seating 13,000. Even in a down year in 2019, they averaged more attendance than Leavey’s capacity. Thinking a coach should be able to just show up and get to their level with a program that has been moribund for two decades is just not realistic and not understanding where you are and where they are.

I, for one, will not concede that SCU needs BYU to go anywhere to be a winning program. Gonzaga is a tougher call because I think that the monopoly on the auto-bid has caused issues in the past, and the Zags seem very willing to throw their weight around in ways that hurt the WCC overall (unbalanced schedule being a huge one). But those are less relevant now that the WCC has shown itself capable of three bids in a good year.

BYU has some considerable advantages over SCU, but their recruiting is highly restricted. SMC has easily been better than BYU all but a few seasons since the Cougars joined the WCC. If SCU needs a team to leave the league to be successful, then Santa Clara has much bigger problems than who it competes against.


Restricted in what way? They’re allowed to recruit non-Mormons.

BYU has been at worst 11-7 every year since joining the WCC. Most years, they win 2/3 or more. They’re certainly the 2nd most potent program in the conference. It’s just a matter of if they finish 2nd or 3rd. They haven’t finished lower than 3rd since joining. SMC has. The WCC getting 3 bids will be exceedingly rare and probably requires beating Gonzaga, which doesn’t look likely anytime soon for much of anyone unless the officiating situation changes.

I think SMC is slipping. This year wasn’t a fluke, they just were not that good. They would have lost more games. They were 4-2 in games not against BYU or Zags, all decided by 5 or fewer. 2-2 by 4 or fewer. So basically they were playing close games against everyone other than them, winning some and losing some, as you do unless you’re getting very lucky. They needed help out of their freshman class and didn’t get it. Jabe Mullins was a zero. They might be better next year, but none of their returners looks like a star.

Gonzaga has just outgrown the WCC. BYU should never have been in it. They don’t fit at all and are just here to have a place to park their non-revs somewhere that won’t give them a hard time about not wanting to play on Sunday.

Well stated. We are not that far off. Although slowly, we are moving in the right direction with Coach Sendek.

1 Like

It might sound bad, but it’s right. I take the example of the Horizon League. From 1986-1995, Xavier won 7 titles. Then they left the league. Then Butler won 9 from 2000 to 2011. They left in 2012. Then Valpo won 5 times from 2012-2017. Then they left the league. Now Wright State has won it the last 3 years. Northern Kentucky 2, and Cleveland State got share this year and won the tournament. None of those have a chance if Evansville (who won 5 titles from 1980 to 1993 before leaving in 1994), Xavier, Butler and Valparaiso are still in the league.

In college football, the Southern Conference has had a similar experience. Georgia Southern and Appalachian State won at least a share of the conference title every year from 1997 (when Marshall left the league) to 2013, when they both left the league. Since then, 6 of 9 members have won a share of the conference title.

In D3, the University of St. Thomas actually got ousted from their conference for winning too much. That might sound bad but it was pretty ridiculous, they were by far the best program in pretty much every sport, bc they were the biggest school, with the most money and the best recruiting circumstances. That UST is going D3 to D1 would seem to suggest the conference membership was right.

It’s time for Gonzaga to move up to its level. That’s the natural order of college sports. Western Kentucky moved up from OVC to Sun Belt to CUSA where they are now. They don’t win as much as they did in the OVC, but they’re still a good program. Them leaving the OVC gave rise to Murray State.

Wichita could still be in the Valley beating them up, but they’re not, bc they could do better.

Tahj’s USC squad advances to the Sweet 16. Tahj played solid tonight, 12pts, a couple of made 3’s, 4 rebounds, 3 assists vs. 1 TO; and he posted 10 assists to 1 turnover on Saturday vs. Drake.
Wish he would have stuck around but glad it has worked out well for him. Starter, 2nd leading scorer, 2nd team All-Pac 12 for a Sweet 16 team…couldn’t ask for much more.

I think Tahj transferred so he could get more playing time. So it only makes sense that he go from SCU to USC and gets to taste the tourney and be a starter and big part of a sweet 16 team.
Sendek in his infinite wisdom had Tahj coming off the bench.

Put 21 year old me on a team with the mobleys and I might make a couple 3s.

Eaddy shot like crap, is a mediocre defender and not a great distributor. If he had been kept as starter, you would have complained about that.

My guess is he got a reality check, and started working harder than he did at scu. As the folk music philosopher Sheryl crow said, a change will do you good.

Those are some interesting examples. But they don’t account for two things:

(1) Gonzaga has nowhere else to go. The MWC is a lateral move at best. The Pac-12 won’t have them. Everything else is either a big step down or prohibitive due to travel times. So Santa Clara doesn’t have the luxury of entertaining a Gonzaga-free future even if it wanted to. The Zags have been restless for five years, but they are here to stay.

(2) Gonzaga isn’t a mismatch for the other WCC schools in any way except for how good they are. Santa Clara now has a comparable training facility. Santa Clara has several times the financial resources of Gonzaga. The problem is that resources do not equal basketball success. If it did, we would be fighting it out with Pepperdine and BYU each year at the top while Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s barely float along.

And again, what connection is there between Gonzaga being in the league and SCU losing to San Diego? SMC and BYU do just fine losing to Gonzaga most years but having successful seasons. What they do not do is lose with nearly our frequency to bad teams. SCU recruiting has seemingly gotten significantly better. Facilities have improved. Either the results follow or they don’t, but that would seemingly have nothing to do with Gonzaga (or BYU) being in the WCC.

Unless your point is that SCU could sometimes get the autobid as a 130ish KenPom team without the aforementioned giants. Which seems likely to be true (and sure, maybe it provides some momentum for long-term improvement) but I just don’t think the fanbase wants to be a 16-seed offered up as a sacrificial lamb once every five or six years.


It’s not the WCC membership’s problem where Gonzaga goes. The MIAC wasn’t bothered by that with St. Thomas. They found somewhere to go that was better than they would have ever considered had they not been forced out. Gonzaga obviously claims there is interest, or they wouldn’t be able to play billy big b*lls with the conference. So call their bluff, and we’ll see where the interest is. If they stay, then they’re forced to admit they don’t have a better option and they have to be a team player. If they go, they go. Win for 80+% of the league either way.

SMC and BYU have a 20 year head start (BYU much longer than that, they’ve basically always had a pretty good program). They’ve also both given themselves a further advantage by cheating. Which is another reason to want the misfits out. But Bennett took over in a very different WCC than the one that exists now, and still in years 5 and 6 he went 8-6. Every team in the conference had 10 losses or more in year 6. In year 5, they tied for 2nd with a team that went 12-18 overall. If the league was then as it is now, SMC would have had a lot harder time and may not have ever gotten over the hump from those years. But there was basically nothing in their way then.

As for what it has to do with SCU having issues in general, well I go back to the example of the MWC/Horizon and start with Xavier. They went 34-4 the their last 3 years in the MWC. UIC and Green Bay were 2nd in 1995, but Butler was only middle of the pack and had never won a title. Green Bay went unbeaten in 1996 but faded and it was Butler who emerged under Barry Collier, winning his first conf title in his 8th year at the school then going to the NCAA tournament 3 times out of 4. That would have never happened if Xavier had still been in the league. Xavier and Evansville leaving gave Butler a chance, something new to sell. 5 of their top 6 scorers in 1997 were juniors that were recruited in 1994 with the view that they could win the new MWC.

Similar happened for Valpo when Butler left. They were only middle of the conference and obviously Homer Drew had been there a long time, so it’s not a new coach came in and turned them around. He was 23-12 his last year. They just got the chance and had a good group of players recruited by Homer ready to take advantage. We know now that Bryce is nothing special as a coach. So the day when Gonzaga and BYU are gone, then coaches in the league can say with a straight face “you’ve got every chance to win the league and play in the big dance if you come to ()” which right now, come on. That’s the difference.

Finally, SCU wouldn’t be a 16 if they won the WCC tournament as like a 4 seed or something. They wouldn’t be a 15. Probably 13, maybe 14. Maybe 12 if they beat Gonzaga. But we have seen plenty of teams in all of those seeds win. A 15 is still alive. Getting there for a minute is a lot better for a program than not getting there at all.