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I guess Saint Louis U. should move to the Valley (long


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(I thought that would get your attention! If this board had a something like tigerboard's "mob rule," I'm sure I'd be kicked off the board for a week by 8:00 this evening just for that title. Well, read on before you cybershoot me.)

I have and will continue to vehemently argue with anyone who mentions SLU in the same (inhale... exhale,,,) breath as the Missouri Valley! But it seems to me that many basketball fans (not necessarily SLU fans) in St. Louis really want SLU to be there. These folks want SLU to be a repository for this metro area's mid-level players. Rather than see their favorite sons go a few hours away to play for a Missouri Valley school, they want to sit home and watch them play at Savvis or watch them on Charter. That is why it seems that many area basketball fans (including Bernie Miklasz and Lonnie Wheeler, who now scribes in Cincinnati) "wouldn't mind" seeing SLU in the MVC or think that the Valley would be "a good fit" for SLU.

These people are completely ignoring what Saint Louis University and its LOYAL fans want and envision. SLU plays in Conference USA and is building a $70 million arena because it wants to win with the big dogs of college basketball. The university (and I) want the Billikens to compete year in and year out for a conference championship in a conference that will get three or more AT-LARGE bids to the NCAA Tournament and get at least one team seeded to reach the Sweet Sixteen. They want to play in a conference that has a television contract with a national network. Most importantly, they want to play in a conference that sends MULTIPLE representatives to the NCAA governing committees, rather than just one.

But people are getting MAD when SLU fails to recruit the Missouri Valley-caliber of player that is in their family or goes to their school. They want to either watch the sweet-shooting-but-too-short-too-slow-and-too-grounded players they demand SLU sign constantly get their shots blocked, get their balls stolen, and get dunked on by the country's best players or see them play similarly mediocre athletes in an arena filled to 10 percent of capacity. As for me, if I want to watch the second- and third-tier area players play, I'll go watch my alma mater, UMSL. I want SLU to be the SHOW. I want to watch players like Larry Hughes, Justin Love, Maurice Jeffers, Marque Perry, Erwin Claggett, and Anthony Bonner go toe-to-toe with the Lou Roes, Marcus Cambys, Dwayne Wades, and Kenyon Martins of the college basketball world -- only I want a roster stocked with them, rather than one or two along with a bunch of Joel Sheltons. I don't want to go to games where the thoughts in the fans' minds are "leave him alone, you big bully!"

Yes, I know that occasionally SLU passes on a player that puts up big numbers at a mid-major school, but if the same player played at Kentucky, Syracuse, or Michigan State, would he even get off the bench? I want SLU to get players who can compete for three or four years at an NCAA Sweet Sixteen level, not just when they're seniors. I will admit that SLU hasn't been getting enough of that caliber of player so far, but where will they have a better chance to do it, Conference USA (or a new league consisting of the non-football schools from the Big East and C-USA) or the Missouri Valley? You don't even need to think about it, do you? It sure ain't the Valley.

But some fans disregard SLU's (and SLU fans') aspirations and are stuck on what SLU has been. Wheeler told me, "While those of us who follow certain schools would like to accommodate the aspirations of those schools, that's not the criteria when considering realignment in a sweeping and objective manner. The issue isn't what the program wants to be, but what it is. St. Louis has fielded some nice teams, but I'd have to say that its level is probably somewhere between the Big East and Missouri Valley -- probably closer to Southwest Missouri than Syracuse." **The issue isn't what the program wants to be, but what it is.** Okay, let me tell you what SLU *IS*. Saint Louis is competitive in a conference that yearly sends multiple representatives to the NCAA Tournament and sent a team to the Final Four this past year. Furthermore, SLU is a program that has appeared at least once on national television DURING THE REGULAR SEASON for quite a few years now. It's also a program that earned a bye to its conference tournament this past season. And it's a program that regularly brings name coaches like Rick Pitino, John Calipari, and Bob Huggins into its arena. SLU may be far from what Syracuse was as the National Champion this past year, but it's still CLOSER to Syracuse than it is to SMS! People who want SLU to move to the Valley or fill its roster with mid-major caliber players would make all that go away.

Folks, SLU is the ONLY Div. I school in the city. If it wants to make money and be a primary source of sports entertainment, then it has to represent St. Louis like the best. Wheeler's Cincinnati has the luxury of being able to send its marquee players to Cincinnati, its really good players to Xavier, and its mid-level players to Miami (Ohio). Metropolitan Cincinnati basketball fans have all the bases covered. But St. Louis doesn't have that luxury. When (or if) the St. Louis area ratchets up the talent level of its basketball players to near the level of Chicago, New York, Detroit, or Memphis, then SLU could get away with taking in the city's mid-level talent, because the mid-level would be closer to the current top-tier. But right now the area is nowhere near that level.

Ok, rant over. You can pile on now.

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Good post, let me add a little to it if I may.

I think there is another agenda among the people who are always wishing SLU "give up" and join the valley.

Namely it is Mizzou and to a lesser extent Illinois fans and supporters. Conciously or not there are people who just give lip service to SLU, but try to keep them down because they don't want another elite program in the area competing with the big boys not only for recruits but also media attention. They only think of us as little brother and beleive SLU has its place below the two big schools and it should stay there. Lets face it even though SLU is the only hoops game in a large metropolitan area SLU fans are very outnumbered by their Mizzou and Illinois counterparts in the area. To these people SLU is nothing more than a diversion if that. Pushing for SLU to sign mediocre area players just because they are from the area serves several purposes for them. One it keeps the pressure of of them to sign these players. Two it effectively keeps SLU below them in terms of on the court play. And three it enables their programs to recruit more effectively if a local recruit ever becomes big enough to warrant a look from Mizzou or Illinois. Upsetting this would, depsite Mizzou and Illinois fans objections, have a huge effect on their programs. If SLU can become a program on par with Illinois and Mizzou it means there is another mouth to feed and the available talent in the area becomes more spread out. It will always be in there best interests to keep SLU's program down. SLU joining the Valley would be their dream scenario, we become a virtual non-player in the area and they get their pick of recruits, get more fans and more funds, and more media exposure.

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Thicks - I liked your post. No matter what conference we play in, we must make this $70 million investment payoff in at least two ways -better student support at games and better recruiting. If this occurs, we will have taken a step in the right direction with the program no matter what conference we end up playing in. That said, I too would rather run with the big dogs.

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Being a SLU fan & alum as well as an MVC fan(Creighton being my other team), I agree that I want SLU in the best possible conference. I have heard people in the local media also say they would like SLU in the MVC and will see if I can guess some reasons as to why.

1. I think it was Bernie and others I heard say something to the effect of I am a fan of the MVC and would like to see SLU play there, it would be a good fit. I think part of the reason the local media are fans of the MVC is because of the tournament here each year. It is a great event and I am guessing they would like to see SLU in this tournament. I also think that the teams SLU has had the last few years are similar to MVC style of teams.

2. Good regional matchups. For the same reason the MVC comes to Saint Louis each year, SLU would be a team right in the middle of the MVC. Just about each team is driving distance away which could start other rivalries. Also most schools have a good number of local fans that would also like to see SLU be part of the MVC.

3. The third reason for why I think people say they would like to see SLU in the MVC is that they don't think SLU will ever be a national powerhouse. They just don't see SLU getting into the top 10 and getting the high seeds. Sure they can compete with some top schools like Cincinnati and Louisville but overall SLU's program will never be at their level.

I far as how I see it. I hope SLU ends up in a midwest type conference with teams like DePaul, Marquette, Dayton, Xaiver, etc. But I also have my doubts on this. As I have stated in earlier posts, I don't see SLU being part of an east coast conference. Again the other point I have tried to make in earlier posts is that if SLU does end up in the MVC it will not be as bad as everyone on this board thinks. The MVC is a good conference and if it can keep its talented coaches I think could rise to close to CUSA standards. The MVC has good coaches like Altman, Turgeon, Merfield and just brought in Dr Tom Davis at Drake. The MVC has been getting at least two teams to the NCAAs for the last several years. I think the addition of SLU and maybe a DePaul could bring the conference up to where three teams could be the norm and maybe even better.

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I second your stance and endorse your "wants" as SLU's wants as you describe them. I don't know how much of these "wants" are the actual wants of the adminsitration but why go there. But your perceptions of the SLU program may not be others' perceptions and when perception is reality, the majority (mob) rules.

When you described "what SLU *IS*", I cringed when I read it. Why? Because I don't believe those *IS'S* do much for us as a stand along situations. You said "Saint Louis is competitive in a conference that yearly sends multiple representatives to the NCAA Tournament and sent a team to the Final Four this past year." This isn't so much Saint Louis as it is the other members of our conference. Are you riding onthe coattails of Marquette? Couldn't Penn State do that on the coattails of Michigan State? Florida State with Duke? As "big daddy conference formation demigod," you score no points with me.

Secondly, you state "Furthermore, SLU is a program that has appeared at least once on national television DURING THE REGULAR SEASON for quite a few years now." I would challenge that by saying "is it us or is it Memorex?" I think we get that national spot because of who wea re playing, not necessarily who we are. For example, I think it would be great to see us play SIU, or Dayton or Mizzou/Illinois. But we always seem to be on against Cincinnati or Lousiville. Is it us or them? Plus, we have had a recent history of upsetting those big bad boys so it makes for calculated drama. The demigod is again not impressed.

You then say "It's also a program that earned a bye to its conference tournament this past season." So too did some pissant team in the Southwestern BeeJeezus League. The counter could be that the conference had a donw year. The demigod calls for demonstrated longevity.

And I'm crying on this one, thicks, "And it's a program that regularly brings name coaches like Rick Pitino, John Calipari, and Bob Huggins into its arena." BECAUSE THEY COACH OUR OPPONENTS!!!! What's your point? Huggins could go to WVU or the pros at any time. Cali and Slick are moving men extraordinairres. Does that mean that the SLU program suffers when Mick Cronin gets the job at UofL when Slick carpetbags away?

I do tend to agree with your assessment on this one: "SLU may be far from what Syracuse was as the National Champion this past year, but it's still CLOSER to Syracuse than it is to SMS!" But you are about the most passionate Billiken defender I have seen on this board short of the Belligerent Bellevillian. I don't think you are in a position to give an OBJECTIVE take on things. I don't know that anyone on this board is .... why the hell are we on this board to begin with? We are (for the most part) all fans of the Bills and SLU. I would love to defer to an independent assessment of this program from a truly outside source and see what they come up with.

There is nothing wrong with being zealous and enthused, which you, my friend, always are. I would not want to come up in a debate with you on the beloved Bills as a matter of fact because I would surely get thrashed .. which is sad when you consider I graduated from SLU and you did not.

Sitting here on the East Coast and getting ACC 'ball slammed into my viewing eye all season long, I do know what the standard may be for being one of those top programs. We are not it .... your defense showed some things, yes? I am way too leery of just what will happen to us in the long run because we, in my opinion, bring little to the table right now.

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excellent, excellent, excellent post. thicks.

if people think that slu has not been competitive in their major conference great midwest/conference usa, they are either

a. drunk

b. smoking crack

c. just not paying attention

in the past 10 years, slu has been to six postseason tournaments. they have been to the ncaa tournament four times and nit twice. a seventh team (2001) finished 17-14 and could have easily earned an NIT bid.

there is a conference usa championship banner hanging from the savvis center rafters.

national power louisville has lost six consecutive games to slu in the savvis center. that includes the great rick pitino's no. 2 ranked team in 2003.

in the past two years, slu has finished fifth and fourth in the league regular season standings after being picked to finish near the bottom.

charlotte has never won in St. Louis.

and slu has been able to do this despite several recruiting mistakes by all three of the coaches who have been here.

the valley is an excellent league, but the people who constantly want slu there are just playa-hatas who think slu has been wallowing near the bottom of the great midwest/conference usa for the past decade. bernis m. is clueless because he hasn't been to a game in two years. i heard him say on kmox radio a few weeks back that slu would finish fifth or sixth in the valley. earl austin was on the same show responded to bernie. "slu finished fourth in the c-usa, which is a much better league. what makes you think they would finish fifth or sixth in the valley. that's just clueless..

although, slu will probably never dominate the league like a cincinnati, they have been more than competitive in the league that constantly recruits top-shelf talent, sends multiple teams to the NCAA tournament and sends players to the nba. just look at the past season. slu defeated very talented teams in louisville (pitino), memphis (calipari) and cincinnati (Huggins) on the road while playing a final four marquette team to the final minutes twice.

if the billikens were finishing at the bottom of the conference year after year like east carolina and getting our brains beat out with no hopes of ever moving up, then I would join the argument of moving to the valley. However, that has not been the case and frankly the argument got old years ago.

i still love playing the siucs and smsus of the world because they are great regional rivalries and the games are always good intense, regardless of the records or conference affiliations.

but, i just don't get this lower our standards stuff.

bad boyz for life

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I think many of you are either missing or ignoring the point...Yes, I agree, no question, that C-USA is a better conference than the Valley right now. Right now being the operative words. If you do, in fact, lose Cinci, Louiville, Marquette, and DePaul as one poster intimated, you will NOT be the same conference and you will no longer be head and shoulders above the "upper" mid-majors...especially if (for instance) the Valley were to add two very good teams. Plug in two of Tulsa (should they give up on their delusion of a football program), SLU, Butler, or West. Kent. and you would find the MVC knocking on the door of C-USA/A10 in terms of power rankings and at large bids.

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Thats very wishful thinking ... even if you add Tulsa and anyone else available, the MVC will not be at the level that Conference USA has been at since it's inception. You make it sound as if the MVC will be SLU's only option. What we are saying is that we hope to have better options and over the last 10 years have put ourselves in a position that we feel warrants inclusion in a better conference.

What conference? With who? That is still to be played out depending on who else goes where.

The MVC is a very good Mid major conference .. I don't know the answer to this question maybe a MVC fan does ... what were the seedings of the MVC tourney teams over the last few years as compared to Conference USA. What SLU fans want is to be in a conference at least equal to what we are in now

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is that if Cincy, Marquette, and Memphis left CUSA then the watered down CUSA would be comparable if not worse than the Missouri Valley. I would happen to concur with that. However, I agree with most of the posters here in that SLU should be proactive in gaining membership to a realigned Big East. If SLU can't get into the Big East or some derivative conference similar to CUSA, then I would opt to go to the Missouri Valley rather than stay in a severely weakened CUSA.

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Exactly...if you all can get into the "new" Big East, more power to ya! Much better option then the Valley. I suspect, due to geography, that will be a difficult proposition.

I think that leaves you (currently) with about 3 options: stay put, Valley, or A10 (and where or what they're going to be in a couple of years is a whole different discussion).

When you look at C-USA's tourney representation, it's great overall but only twice in the last 8 years did you send more than one team OTHER THAN Cinci, Marquette, Louisville, or DePaul. Charlotte went 5 times, Memphis twice, SLU twice and UAB once. Six of the teams you would be left with (should those four leave) have not made the tourney in the last 8 years.

The Valley HAS had lower seeds in the tourney in recent years but they have come up and would continue to do so should we add stronger teams. CU's 6 seed last year would have been higher if we had a couple more strong teams to play in conference.

One last thought...the Valley is a basketball conference...this turmoil currently is all FB driven. Wouldn't be an issue with us! :)

Besides, I would love to have SLU in our conference for Soccer! The Valley is already strong (CU, SMU, and Bradley are all ranked preseason), adding SLU would just make it that much better...

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That's like saying the Big 12 isn't that strong because besides UT,OU,KU,OSU,AND MU they've only sent more than one other team so many times ... Sorry I appreciate that you are a Creighton fan and look favorably upon the MVC as do I, but there is no way it is not a huge step down for SLU. If the Cinci's and all leave ... we would be better off trying to stay with Marquette and Depaul and recruit acouple of A-10 schools such as Xavier and Dayton .... maybe even steal a couple of the stronger MVC schools ..such as Creighton and SIUC and form a new conference. That would be an upgrade over the current MVC. I just can't see us stepping back ... I'm sure we are being proactive and will move forward when and if the time comes.

That would also be a good soccer conference

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First of all, I did not say that C-USA was not strong.

Second, according to another poster, the word is that those four schools are likely to leave. That poster may not know what they're talking about but if they are gone, you're not left with much. That's my point. It will be a huge step down for you even if you DON'T leave. Personally, I find it highly unlikely that a Valley school would leave for C-USA at this time...things are too unstable. Why join a Div I football conference that could potentially get raided again at anytime?

If you think C-USA would still have the same cache without those schools you need to think again, IMHO. To use your example, let's say those Big 12 schools you mentioned bolted leaving Baylor, Texas A&M, Colorado, Nebraska, KSU, Texas Tech, and Iowa State. Do you REALLY think they would still be one of the top two or three conferences in basketball?

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...this "geographic integrity" myth.

>>if you all can get into the "new" Big East, more power to ya! Much better option then the Valley. I suspect, due to geography, that will be a difficult proposition.

I know I've expressed this misgiving before myself in relation to SLU's getting in to play in a conference with East Coast schools, and many other people have been saying similar things. So I've done some research. My conclusion is that "geographic integrity" is a myth.

In the current Big East conference, Providence has to travel 1216 miles to play Miami. It would have to travel 1013 miles to SLU, 844 miles to Marquette, and 834 miles to DePaul. Also in the current Big East, Boston College travels 1258 miles to Miami. It would have to travel 823 miles to play Louisville.

In the Pac 10, Washington (Seattle) travels 1220 miles to Arizona (Tucson) and 1121 to Arizona St. (Tempe).

Now get a load of this. In the Mid-Continent Conference, a low-major conference, Youngstown St. travels 1737 miles to play Southern Utah. In the Sun Belt, a mid-major, Florida International travels 1724 miles to play Denver. And I'm leaving out New Mexico State out of this equation. I'm also leaving out the travel the teams in the Western Athletic Conference go through to play Hawaii.

To summarize. The distance from Providence (furthest northeast of the Big East non-football schools) to SLU (1013 mi.) is less than the distance between:

Providence and Miami

Boston College and Miami

Washington and Arizona

Washington and Arizona St.

Youngstown St. and Southern Utah

Florida International and Denver

Tell me again why Saint Louis couldn't be part of a basketball conference with the Big East non-football schools?

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Hey, sign me up on the bandwagon for that one!

I think that would be great if it could come to fruition...I'm just pessimistic that all the "powers that be" would be able to pull it off.

I bet the conf. tourney for that league would definitely do great in the tv ratings, all of us (SLU, CU, Xavier, Marquette, etc...) have alumni spread all over the country...

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Because perception is more important than reality.

I'm not saying it's reasonable, I just think that will be the excuse.

If they decide they "have" to have Marquette (what have you done for me lately, yada yada...) adding DePaul would be easy for a Chicago/Milwaukee road trip to the "hinterlands" but (in my opinion) they won't also add SLU...Not saying it's fair or logical but conferences do stupid things all the time...

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>Because perception is more important than reality.

>

>I'm not saying it's reasonable, I just think that will be

>the excuse.

>

>If they decide they "have" to have Marquette (what have you

>done for me lately, yada yada...) adding DePaul would be

>easy for a Chicago/Milwaukee road trip to the "hinterlands"

>but (in my opinion) they won't also add SLU...Not saying

>it's fair or logical but conferences do stupid things all

>the time...

If the Big East football schools and non-football schools split, the five disenfranchised non-football schools won't be in a position of a raider. Rather, they will be desperate to rebuild a prominent conference, and they will have to NEGOTIATE. If they want Marquette and DePaul, SLU's brethren will be in position to say, we should also really add Saint Louis and Charlotte. Add one other school (preferably western), say, Creighton or Butler, and you've got a darn good 10-team conference. Then if you can draw Xavier and Dayton away from the Atlantic 10, you've got a very good 12-team conference with an eastern division and a western division.

Come on Father Biondi, MAKE IT HAPPEN.

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If something of that nature could come to pass, it would be ideal...particularly for SLU. You are, however, placing a whole lot of trust in your brethren...as we've recently seen those you thought would be by your side forever can just as easily give you the bird.

Remember Virginia Tech was a plaintiff in the lawsuit against BC and Miami.....

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>If something of that nature could come to pass, it would be

>ideal...particularly for SLU. You are, however, placing a

>whole lot of trust in your brethren...as we've recently seen

>those you thought would be by your side forever can just as

>easily give you the bird.

>

>Remember Virginia Tech was a plaintiff in the lawsuit

>against BC and Miami.....

I don't think Virginia Tech has as much philosophically in common with Pitt, UConn, Rutgers, and West Virginia as SLU does with Marquette and DePaul.

Remember Marquette and DePaul are more in position to call shots than Virginia Tech, which was along for the ride (and benefitted from Virginia's governor). The ACC already had a conference and was looking to expand. If the Big East football and non-football schools split, the five disenfranchised Big East non-football schools won't be in so much of a driver's seat. If the conference is just Georgetown, St. John's, Villanova, Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette, and DePaul, is that really great for Marquette or DePaul? I don't see why Marquette and DePaul would be quick to leave SLU out of the scenario.

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I understood your statement to basically say if Cinci, Louisville, Marquette and Depaul left SLU would do well to join the MVC. My point was that joining the MVC is a very last option that I doubt will ever come to be. There are many other options to consider first. Secondly any talk of Marq. and Depaul going to the Big East usually includes us. We are building a very expensive new arena ... not so that we can step backwards. I don't pretend to know what is in the works or may come to be in the future but I'd be willing to give very good odds that we don't end up in the MVC

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Let's compare.

City of Cincinnati:

Cincinnati 

Xavier 

Miami (Ohio) 

Kentucky 

Ohio State

City of Louisville:

Louisville

Kentucky

Indiana

City of St. Louis:

Saint Louis

Missouri

Illinois

If Cincinnati has enough room for four high-major Div. I schools and Louisville has room for three of the most prestigious schools in the *history* of basketball, then I have no sympathy for the Missouri and Illinois fans who think SLU can't be equals with their schools. Let's not even throw Philadelphia into the mix.

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>Being a SLU fan & alum as well as an MVC fan(Creighton being

>my other team), I agree that I want SLU in the best possible

>conference. I have heard people in the local media also say

>they would like SLU in the MVC and will see if I can guess

>some reasons as to why.

>

>1. I think it was Bernie and others I heard say something to

>the effect of I am a fan of the MVC and would like to see

>SLU play there, it would be a good fit. I think part of the

>reason the local media are fans of the MVC is because of the

>tournament here each year. It is a great event and I am

>guessing they would like to see SLU in this tournament. I

>also think that the teams SLU has had the last few years are

>similar to MVC style of teams.

I can't agree that the Billikens are similar to MVC teams. Or do you you think that lowly of Conference USA, in which the Bills have fared pretty doggone well in the last few years?

>2. Good regional matchups. For the same reason the MVC

>comes to Saint Louis each year, SLU would be a team right in

>the middle of the MVC. Just about each team is driving

>distance away which could start other rivalries. Also most

>schools have a good number of local fans that would also

>like to see SLU be part of the MVC.

Regional matchups for SLU that are better than SLU-SMS and SLU-SIUC are SLU-Mizzou and SLU-Illinois. Which ones made for better attendance and media coverage?

>3. The third reason for why I think people say they would

>like to see SLU in the MVC is that they don't think SLU will

>ever be a national powerhouse. They just don't see SLU

>getting into the top 10 and getting the high seeds. Sure

>they can compete with some top schools like Cincinnati and

>Louisville but overall SLU's program will never be at their

>level.

How many people thought Marquette would return to being a national powerhouse after 30 years? How many people thought Gonzaga would become a national powerhouse? The doubters have some other reason for their doubt, like they don't want SLU to take away from the successes Missouri and/or Illinois experience (as thetorch argued eloquently). The doubters "just don't see SLU getting into the top 10 and getting the high seeds" because they don't WANT to see it happen. I see no reason why SLU's program can't be at the level of schools like Cincinnati and Louisville -- other than the doubts of locals holding the program back and being content with mediocrity.

>I far as how I see it. I hope SLU ends up in a midwest type

>conference with teams like DePaul, Marquette, Dayton,

>Xaiver, etc. But I also have my doubts on this. As I have

>stated in earlier posts, I don't see SLU being part of an

>east coast conference. Again the other point I have tried

>to make in earlier posts is that if SLU does end up in the

>MVC it will not be as bad as everyone on this board thinks.

>The MVC is a good conference and if it can keep its talented

>coaches I think could rise to close to CUSA standards. The

>MVC has good coaches like Altman, Turgeon, Merfield and just

>brought in Dr Tom Davis at Drake. The MVC has been getting

>at least two teams to the NCAAs for the last several years.

>I think the addition of SLU and maybe a DePaul could bring

>the conference up to where three teams could be the norm and

>maybe even better.

The coaches in the MVC are NOWHERE NEAR as heralded as the coaches in C-USA. Furthermore, nearly every coach in the MVC is using the school as a steppingstone or is looking for a break from the heavy stresses of a high-major conference. If Memphis had to settle for the MVC, John Calipari would be gone on the next thing smoking. If SLU got stuck in the Valley, Brad Soderberg will be gone at the earliest opportunity. Lastly, SLU and DePaul couldn't elevate the MVC enough to make it regularly get more than one at-large NCAA Tournament bid, and what's more likely to happen is that the conference affiliation would bring SLU and DePaul down.

There's no getting around it; dropping in the Valley would be a disaster for the SLU program.

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