Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Realistic Expectations

Welcome to the first of hopefully many..or possibly only off season columns I hope to write to quench your thirst of Flyer basketball information analysis, but really general venting and opinion.

Boys & Girls, today's topic we will discuss:

Realistic Expectations

Ok in an ideal world (or my copy of March Madness 09), the Flyers go 33-0 and win the National Championship. Unfortunately, my PS3 controller doesn't work in real life..plus the world of college basketball is just not set up that way. Dayton has certain disadvantages already inherited in the college basketball landscape, they are in no particular order:

1) Conference - They play in the Atlantic -10, not one of the so-called BCS conferences that each school typically has a vast array of resources and revenue. The Atlantic-10 is very much a confused league..much like Pat from Saturday Night Live.

See the Atlantic-10 isn't quite a mid-major, since the basketball budgets for these schools are more than let's say a George Mason, but less than say an Ohio State.

2) Scheduling - Arenas in the conference range in size from a cardboard box (Fordham) to well..the lovely UD Arena. These are not as attractive for other "bigger" schools to play in, since there's no benefit to them winning, and sheer embarrassment if they lose (see Pitt '07-08 season v. Dayton). Additionally, many schools turn a profit and use their men's programs to fund the other sports programs. Therefore, since they must play more non-conference home games and since those games are not against your Kansas, Duke or UCLA's, they are in turn against your Morgan State's, UC Irvine (GO ANTEATERS!) and XFL All -Star teams (Go Hitmen!). So in order for a team like the Flyers to make the NCAA tournament they have to do either:

A) Win the conference tourney (which doesn't happen unless games are played at UD Arena)

B) Finish the regular season with a remarkable record (23 wins), hope your conference is good and play tougher opponents on the road.

Fortunately, the Flyers have come close to accomplishing B.

With that said, begs the question..what should we as a fan truly expect out of our beloved program?

Here's my conclusion:
An NCAA tourney visit twice every five years. Listen, it would be nice to make the tournament every year (hell Xavier can do it..why can't we?), but based on the caliber of players that we can expect (very good mind you) and the hit or miss of the conference's strength, twice every five years is about where I feel Dayton should be. The facilities are certainly upper echelon and with the renovation of the PAC (yes I know the name is changing, but it's like Cinergy Field..we all knew it was Riverfront), there is plenty attractive to bring in quality talent to accomplish the goal. I also believe that one of those trips should result in a 2nd round appearance and every 10 years a trip to the sweet 16.

Let's hear your thoughts of where the program should be at.

Next week's topic: In-Game Giveaways - Why always Pizza & Chicken?