The new Big East has retained the rights to Madison Square Garden for the Big East tournament, which means that the old Big East — the aptly named American Athletic Conference — will be forced to find a place to play their conference tournament.
According to a report over the weekend from The New London Day, Mohegan Sun is putting together an offer to try and land the new conference. The report says that they have already made a pitch to land the women’s tournament, and that at some point this week, an offer should come rolling in for the men’s tournament.
It would be interesting to see how this plays out. The AAC is quite spread out — it’s comprised of the other half of the Big East, schools like Memphis, UConn, Cincinnati, Temple, South Florida, Central Florida, etc. — but that could actually be a benefit to Mohegan’s bid. The arena that the event would be held in holds 10,000 but seems smaller than that. It wouldn’t take much to make it feel full, and with UConn being in-state — the Storrs campus is 45 minutes away — there shouldn’t be an issue of tickets being sold.
One of the biggest knocks when it comes to conference tournaments is a stale environment, and that shouldn’t be the case.
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An interesting recruiting development hit on Friday as Josh Gershon of Scout.com reported that four-star center Jayce Johnson is reclassifying to the Class of 2015 and looking to join a program at semester break.
The 7-foot native of California is down to Cal, Colorado and Utah and Johnson is on an official visit to Utah this weekend after transferring to a charter school this week. As Gershon notes, only Cal has a scholarship to offer Johnson this season, but the family is willing to pay a semester at the other programs if it’s the right fit. Johnson would like to redshirt and train with his future college while playing against more mature players.
But if Johnson is persuaded not to redshirt, he could be an intriguing big man off the bench later in the season for a couple of teams looking to make a postseason appearance. As the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson is a talented prospect and he isn’t afraid to score with either hand. With some time to fill out, Johnson can turn into a talented Pac-12 player down the road.
New Utah Valley head coach Mark Pope made quite an impression on fans at the team’s Midnight Madness celebration last night. That’s because Pope did a dance and lip sync routine with his four daughters that turned out to be pretty impressive.
The former BYU assistant looks to be the leader in the clubhouse for best coach dance so far this preseason. We’ll see if any other coaches pull out elaborate routines at madness celebrations the next few weeks.