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TerpZag
04-05-2015, 07:57 AM
In search of opponents, some men’s college hoops coaches try ‘speed-dating’ event at Final Four


INDIANAPOLIS – The matchmaking event didn’t start until 1 p.m., but Al Seibert knew what he was looking for and hoped to find it quickly, so he arrived a few minutes early, found the sticker that described what he needed in a partner, and placed it on the chest of his black track suit, not far from the Iowa Hawkeyes logo. “Nov. 13 – 15,” the gray sticker read.

It only took a few minutes for Seibert, the 52-year-old video coordinator for Iowa’s men’s basketball team, to get his first phone number, from a coach at Colgate. Seibert wasn’t settling for one number, though. He ambled over to two coaches from Saint Francis University and made a compelling offer.

“You guys looking for a game? … We’ll pay 100,” Seibert said, meaning $100,000, a once unheard-of-figure now routinely spent when a big program such as Iowa needs to land a home game with a small program such as Saint Francis, a Catholic university in tiny Loretto, Pa.

Seibert was racing through the 2015 National Association of Basketball Coaches Convention’s Schedule Session, a sort-of “speed dating” event Friday afternoon for coaches who make schedules. Seibert was one of several dozen assistants working the room in the Indiana Convention Center, where the national coaches association held its annual conference, like every year, in conjunction with the Final Four.

The fact this event exists speaks to the convoluted process – some call it a science, others call it an art, all call it a chore – of putting together a Division I men’s college basketball team schedule.

“It is long and tedious, and it’s completely behind the scenes,” said Jerry Krause, director of basketball operations at Gonzaga, where he’s made schedules for 20 years. “It’s one of the biggest things that determines a team’s success, and its really in the background.”...



About halfway through the hour-long event, a man with a green “Nov. 30 – Dec. 6” sticker on his Portland Pilots track suit stood off in a corner by himself. Michael Wolf surveyed the crowd in frustration. He was coming up empty-handed.

“No one wants to travel,” said Wolf, 41, a Portland assistant in search of a home game on Dec. 5. “My D-Day,” he called it.

Portland has a modest budget for nonconference home games, Wolf said, but he’d spent it. He needed a home-and-home series with a team in their competition range. That meant Wolf would have two sets of negotiations – one with the opponent, and another with his head coach, who he’d need to convince the game was winnable.

“It takes massaging on both ends,” Wolf said.

Home-and-home contracts have also become more problematic over the years, as some coaches have reneged after playing their home game.

“It’s been a nightmare,” said Gonzaga’s Krause. “We have gone from something like a non-appearance clause of $10,000 to $100,000, which is an indication of the difficulty of getting people to honor their contractual obligations.”

As the “speed-dating” event ended Friday, Wolf leaned against a wall, catching up with a colleague. He had found a school interested in a home-and-home, he said, but it wasn’t finalized until he had a signed contract.

“The ink is not dry yet,” he said...


The Washington Post Article Link (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/sports/wp/2015/04/04/in-search-of-opponents-some-mens-college-hoops-coaches-try-speed-dating-event/)

DixieZag
04-05-2015, 09:16 AM
Wow, teams pull-out of a deal?

That is near hard to believe. It would seem to me that one incident of that and it would doom that team for the foreseeable future.

I would also be sure to put in a "pull-out" clause whereby the penalty is huge, not something they can easily make up by taking another game whereby they make money.

Of course, I understand that some of those demands up front might make it such that you're standing in a corner with no games and I guess that is where the art comes in, but I'm shocked that goes on. I suppose that makes me naïve.

willandi
04-05-2015, 09:22 AM
How many WCC schools (besides GU and BYU) were in attendance? If they aren't out there looking to upgrade their OCC schedule, they are dragging the conference down.

They need to start with road games that pay, and are broadcast. PSA's see that they are trying AND being televised, and the upgrade(s) start. It should be in the WCC by-laws somehow. Each team has 10-12 OCC games and 1/2 have to be played out of state (or area), 1/2 have to be played against higher RPI teams and so on. Each failure results in diminished payout from tournament revenue and conference profit sharing from televised events.

If the coaches won't do it on their own, some incentive is needed. GU and BUY cannot be the games they build their entire seasons expectations on!

Radbooks
04-05-2015, 09:44 AM
How many WCC schools (besides GU and BYU) were in attendance? If they aren't out there looking to upgrade their OCC schedule, they are dragging the conference down.

If the coaches won't do it on their own, some incentive is needed. GU and BUY cannot be the games they build their entire seasons expectations on!

Portland was there...


About halfway through the hour-long event, a man with a green “Nov. 30 – Dec. 6” sticker on his Portland Pilots track suit stood off in a corner by himself. Michael Wolf surveyed the crowd in frustration. He was coming up empty-handed.

“No one wants to travel,” said Wolf, 41, a Portland assistant in search of a home game on Dec. 5. “My D-Day,” he called it.

Portland has a modest budget for nonconference home games, Wolf said, but he’d spent it. He needed a home-and-home series with a team in their competition range. That meant Wolf would have two sets of negotiations – one with the opponent, and another with his head coach, who he’d need to convince the game was winnable.

“It takes massaging on both ends,” Wolf said.

willandi
04-05-2015, 10:26 AM
Portland was there...

Yes, I saw that. I was thinking more of SMC, but especially ALL the lower tier teams really. It did sound as if Portland was looking for a home and home, and one that the coach thought they could win. You always want to believe that you can win, but at some point, getting harder games, against better teams, on their home floor or a neutral site with no return game, carries its own rewards.

Over the years there have been several threads about the difficulties of scheduling, finding teams willing to play you, especially on your home court, and (for the Zags) made even tougher by the quality of the team you have. There has been a link to the website that Krause has used, soliciting for a game on a particular date etc., but the Battle in Seattle shows just how tough it can be. Finding a quality opponent, willing to travel long distances to play a quasi home game with a perennial top 20 (or better) team is difficult. Didn't we have a high end opponent scheduled, one that backed out, a couple of years ago? That was the rumor on this board, so it does happen.

Hopefully other WCC teams will see the value in scheduling difficult non conference games, to improve their own team, and the conference. If the WCC was the 7th best conference in RPI, it should expect to receive multiple invites to the NCAA field of 64+4, not just one, or two, but three each year. The WCC didn't have enough quality teams last year to supprt that position.

TexasZagFan
04-05-2015, 10:29 AM
Couldn't the WCC President take a more active role in encouraging schools to upgrade their schedules?

willandi
04-05-2015, 10:37 AM
Couldn't the WCC President take a more active role in encouraging schools to upgrade their schedules?

+1 My thoughts exactly. That was my thought when I suggested tieing revenue sharing to scheduling. If you don't play a harder schedule, one that benefits the WCC, you get less of the money from NCAA revenues and television revenue. You would still get games televised because that helps with recruiting, your school just wouldn't get as much money.

Instead of taking from the top schools to feed the bottom, the teams that tried, that worked harder to benefit the WCC, would get more of the money.

Birddog
04-05-2015, 12:05 PM
Couldn't the WCC President take a more active role in encouraging schools to upgrade their schedules?

I assume, that you and others assume, that she doesn't already do this. How do we know what goes on behind the scenes? Furthermore, each member institution has it's own unique problems, money woes, needs, priorities, etc. Gonzaga is very fortunate that nearly 2 decades ago now, the people in charge took some chances and caught lightning in a bottle. It's not easy to replicate what GU did and yesterday's formula probably wouldn't work today. Remember, it wasn't that many years ago that St Mary's fell for that phony benefactor. They nearly couldn't recover and are probably still feeling the $$ pain.

ZagsGoZags
04-05-2015, 11:51 PM
this may explain two years ago when our 'big' opponent in the Battle in Seattle, dropped from the scene and we had to grab anything we could find
I wonder if that 'big' team simply backed out of the agreement and said, we will pay the fine
interesting article....

DixieZag
04-06-2015, 07:53 AM
this may explain two years ago when our 'big' opponent in the Battle in Seattle, dropped from the scene and we had to grab anything we could find
I wonder if that 'big' team simply backed out of the agreement and said, we will pay the fine
interesting article....

That's why I'd put huge pull-out fines into it, though there's likely a reason they don't. It's not like that takes genius creativity.

But, if a big team pulled out of one of our biggest games of the year in bad faith, I'd sure be tempted to walk right up to Jim Meehan and say, "Guess who just reneged on a deal?" Maybe it's just me but on a game that big on our schedule, my temper might lead me to exact some punishment, somehow.

WallaWallaZag
04-06-2015, 08:09 AM
But, if a big team pulled out of one of our biggest games of the year in bad faith, I'd sure be tempted to walk right up to Jim Meehan and say, "Guess who just reneged on a deal?" Maybe it's just me but on a game that big on our schedule, my temper might lead me to exact some punishment, somehow.

you do that and gonzaga might never be able to get a game with a top p5 team again...not gonzaga or few's style...but don't believe for a second that few doesn't hold grudges, so if the team backed out for non-legit reasons, won't be just brushed off and forgotten.