Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's Next Western, Youth YMCA Teams?

Western Carolina defeated Toccoa Falls 141-39 last night. Here is a recap of the game. Toccoa Falls College is a "fully accredited, Christian liberal arts, bible college, located in Toccoa, Georgia." The Eagles (3-6) are a member NCCAA (National Christian College Athletics Association).

The Catamounts jumped on TCC 72-17 by halftime and eased up on them the second half. Nine (that's right, nine) WCU players scored in double figures. Trey Sumler led Western with 18 points in 18 minutes of playing time. Two of the three WCU players that didn't score in double figures were starters. The margin of victory is the 3rd highest ever in D1 basketball (if that is what we are calling this).

While these are some tremendous statistics, Western Carolina should be ashamed of themselves. Why in the world were they even playing this game? For the record, this is WCU's second game against a non-D1 school. Earlier this season, the Catamount defeated Montreat College 109-63. But for this game, who gained anything from it? It didn't boost attendance (1, 431). It isn't an early season game to get your team some traction. Even the press WCU is receiving from winning by 100+ isn't all good. Some outlets are questioning their sportsmanship (and with good reason).

This past week, the Charleston Post & Courier printed a story discussing with the commissioner some steps the SoCon could take become a real mid-major conference like the CAA. If the P&C had waited a week, Western would have served their point on a silver platter.

On the other hand, SoCon teams have played 20 games against non-Division I teams, dotting schedules with mystery teams such as Warren Wilson, Lindsey Wilson, Spalding and Virginia-Wise, an NAIA team that's played three SoCon squads this season.

The CAA? It's 12 teams have played just one game against a lower-division squad.

CAA programs must ask the league for a waiver to schedule any non-Division I squad. In the SoCon, teams must request a waiver only if they play more than two lower division teams.

"We've talked about scheduling issues and how that impacts the RPI rankings," Iamarino said. "But we've not gotten to the point where we have created a mandatory format. I don't personally think that's in the best interest
of each program."

But Iamarino does review each team's schedule, and said teams expected to contend are encouraged to "schedule up and put some good non-conference opponents on there." Conversely, a schedule with three or four lower-division opponents draws scrutiny from the league office.

"With one program this year, I had a long conversation with their athletic director about it," said Iamarino, who declined to name the team. "I just felt it was an upper echelon program that was not testing itself sufficiently."

I'm guessing the school he declined to name was west of Greensboro.

This past week's installment of Scanning the SoCon asked the panel's opinion about that specific article and the responses were very similar. Here are the Davidson and Chattanooga blogger's responses ...

This article from the Post and Courier talks about things the SoCon needs to do to improve. What do you think the Commissioner needs to do to help improve the conference?

DavidsonCats- Conference teams currently need to request a waiver to play more than two non-D1s. I'd like to see this changed. How about this-- you can play one non-D1. If you want to play a second one, you submit a request for a waiver and a check for $100,000 to be divided among the schools who schedule zero non-D1 teams. The commish keeps the check, but only grants the waiver if he can't find you a D1 game. What that would mean is that no school would request the waiver. They'd find D1 opponents, even if it meant playing other Southern Conference teams, or just leave a game off of the schedule.

MocsMania- Personally, I think the commissioner needs to help with the scheduling- namely two sets of conference challenges (how about the Big South and the OVC?) and each team plays at home in one, and on the road in the other during the season. Then, the following year, they play return trips. (I stole that one from ChattanoogaMocs on the MocFans message board.) I also think that requiring teams to play in the BracketBuster (with a return trip the following year) will be huge. That would be four games each year out of conference right there. Put those on the Mocs schedule this year, and they would not have had to play a single non-D1. Same is true for everyone else in the conference. But, there also needs to be an influx of money spent on basketball to up recruiting budgets and to hire better coaching staffs. I don't know where that influx of money comes from. But that is where the biggest deal will be.

In the end, I guess I'll say congratulations to Western Carolina while informing them that my nephew's 6th grade Upward Bound team already has a full schedule for this season (just in case they were wondering).


John B said...

Love it! Shame on Western. What did they gain from that game? Nothing. I've seen numerous articles on yahoo!'s homepage talking about a women's high school basketball game and how one side pounded the other by 80 points or so. It's always the same. It's unsportsmanlike and general the coach of the women's team gets suspended or fired. I'm not saying that should happen in this case but it should be disallowed to schedule that kind of opponent. I honestly and I'm dead serious believe that Western could have played a team out of UNCG's rec and it would have provided more competition. Western don't embarass the SoCon like that.

Dash said...

I mean I understand that when you stepon the court,you play to win. But why in the world even schedule it? I read some where that they have played Toccoa 8 times since 2001 and none have been within 58 points.

David said...

They had to pad their stats somehow.

JohnMoc said...

I'm not sure how unsportsmanlike it was. After all, none of their starters played over 20 minutes.

And yes, I believe that Chattanooga was the team the commissioner was referring to, and if we, as a conference, could do something about raising the scheduling overall, that would be wonderful.

JohnMoc said...

And I agree- why are they scheduling Toccoa Falls eight times since 2001?

Dash said...

Jon ... I think it could very easily be WCU he was talking about. Honestly there area lot of SoCon teams he couldhave taken a swipe at with that one. I just highly doubt it was any of the precious SC private schools.