Mike Aresco

Could the Big East’s non-FBS football schools form an all-basketball conference?

Leave a comment

The question was asked before when West Virginia left the Big East for the Big 12. Then Pittsburgh and Syracuse bolted for the ACC. Then Notre Dame did the same. Then Rutgers to the Big Ten. Then Louisville joined its former Big East peers in the ACC, too.

Could the non-football schools in the Big East, those without an FBS football program, vote to leave the Big East, break off, and form their own conference centered around basketball?

According to multiple reports, those schools met with Big East commissioner Mike Aresco Sunday to discuss options. According to ESPN.com, no formal plan of action came out of the meeting. The Sporting News also pointed out that the idea of Catholic schools breaking away from the league is less feasible, considering the wave of exit fee cash that is about to crash ashore for remaining schools after so many departures.

But exit fees aside, could St. John’s, DePaul, Georgetown, Villanova, Providence, Marquette, and Seton Hall build a stable and lucrative conference with basketball at its center?

The landscape has changed drastically since the founding of the Big East, a conference that many of the above schools were integral in the creation of. Football has been the engine behind realignment because, despite the popularity of college hoops, the money still remains on the football side of things.

Because of that, any television deal the new conference would make (and that’s assuming the conference comes about at all) would likely be worth less than what the Big East is going to pull in with Aresco’s help.

If the schools were to break away, they would likely need some reinforcements, as many outlets have pointed out, with possible schools joining that could include Creighton, Dayton, Butler, Saint Louis, Xavier, George Mason, and Virginia Commonwealth.

Could it happen? Will it happen? We’ll see.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Rick Pitino: ‘We should be penalized … but not this team’

Rick Pitino
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Leave a comment

One of the biggest storylines of Saturday’s college basketball schedule had everything to do with a team that no longer matters in the championship picture.

Less than 24 hours after being informed that the school would be imposing a postseason ban that will leave the Cardinals out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments, No. 19 Louisville tipped off against Boston College, and they did so without leading scorer Damion Lee, who is battling a knee issue.

How would the team respond to the decision — the despicable, shameful decision — that the university’s president made?

Well, it seems.

The Cardinals jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 79-47 win over an overmatched Boston College team in the Yum! Center.

And head coach Rick Pitino, after the quote, said exactly what everyone is thinking.

“We should be penalized, no question about it,” he said. “But not this team. But the NCAA didn’t make that decision. We made that decision.”

He’s totally right. The school sacrificed the season — and the only shot that a pair of fifth-year seniors would get to play in the NCAA tournament — to protect the school, the brand and the bottom-line moving forward. Like I said earlier, it’s despicable.

But credit the Cardinals for responding.

Because they still have something on the line. They’re just a game out of first place in the ACC, and while an ACC regular season title isn’t a shot to play in the ACC or NCAA tournament, it’s still a banner that would probably mean more to Damion Lee and Trey Lewis than any league title has meant to a Louisville player before.

Oklahoma State without Jawun Evans, questionable moving forward

Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans (1) goes up for a shot between Kansas forward Jamari Traylor (31) and forward Perry Ellis (34) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla., Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016. Oklahoma State won 86-67. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Leave a comment

Oklahoma State’s star point guard was not in the lineup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa State.

Evans injured his shoulder in the Cowboys’ loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday and was ruled out of Saturday’s game.

According to the school, his official status moving forward is questionable. The Pokes are just 11-11 on the season and likely need to earn the Big 12’s at-large bid to get into the NCAA tournament. It makes sense to let him get healthy.

Evans was averaging 12.9 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 boards this season, but he had been arguably the best point guard in the Big 12 during league play, averaging 15.6 points and 5.6 assists.