Even with home court advantage, Siena to the "Catholic 7" seems like a long shot

times union center overhead

Attractive because of its ample... seating.

Surprising bit from a recent John Feinstein report in the Washington Post about plans for the new college basketball conference being formed by the seven Catholic schools exiting the crumbling Big East: Siena is in the conversation for the new conference. From the article:

The conference leaders want six eastern and six western -- really, midwestern -- schools. The eastern division of the league will consist of Georgetown, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova, Providence and either Richmond (also a non-Catholic school) or Siena -- a late entry but a potentially appealing one because it's a Catholic school that (more importantly) plays in a 15,500-seat arena in Albany, N.Y.

Being picked for your gym probably isn't the reason most schools hope they'll draw suitors -- though, hey, if you got it, flaunt it. Also: it's nice to be considered.

But Siena's athletic director has already poured cold water on the speculation. [TU]

And that's not surprising, because the move would be a stretch, for a few reasons...

+ The first and foremost reason, as it with most big-time college sports: money. A move to the Big Catholic (or whatever it ends being called) would probably mean a big jump in the amount of money Siena would have to spend on athletics. Siena spent about $12 million on all its teams during the last reported year -- about $2.3 million of that on basketball. Here's how its spending compares with the other schools that are said to be sure bets for the new conference:


That said, a look at the some of the schools coming from the A-10 -- such as Xavier and St. Louis -- points to the move maybe not being a totally crazy idea... if the basketball team ends up generating more money in the process.

But it's not just for basketball -- the travel costs of all the other school's teams would probably also increase because the geographic footprint of the new conference would be much larger than Siena's current conference, the MAAC. (Travel costs are a real consideration -- Feinstein reports Creighton, which has a strong basketball program, isn't being considered because it would stretch the conference too far.)

+ Second: this would be a big jump up in competition. The Big East and Atlantic 10 -- the conferences from which the bulk of the teams will be drawn -- are ranked #3 and #7 in conference RPI (basically a collective rating of the teams in a conference based on their records and strength of schedule.) Siena's conference is #16 this year. And Siena's been having a rough go of it the last few seasons (including 6-21 this year, ouch). And though there's no reason the Saints can't get things back together eventually -- it's one thing to pull some upsets in the NCAA tournament, it's another to compete year in and year out in a conference stacked with formidable opponents.

But it's a fun idea to think about. This new conference is shaping up to be a very good basketball league. It'd be great to see teams such as Georgetown and Butler come through here.

Comments

That info is great and all but you forgot one major obstacle...asking the Ten Broeck neighborhood whether they want it or not.

For a conference name, I'd go with the Big 12 Apostles.

How can DePaul spend so much money on their basketball team and still be so terrible?

Haha @ Brendan. Well played!

Let's talk about the real problem with Siena basketball. The swag troops throw t-shirts into the crowds when Siena scores a three pointer. None of the throwers have the arm necessary to reach the upper deck where my nose-bleed season tickets are.

Siena must invest in a t-shirt cannon!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Today's moment of autumn

From a parking lot in Albany's University Heights neighborhood on Friday. It looks like we're headed for more splendid September sun this week.... (more)

Albany » Hartford » Landon's last game

The US men's national soccer team is playing a friendly in Hartford October 10 against Ecuador, and the American Outlaws Albany chapter has organized a... (more)

"I have no idea what we're going to play. I won't be able to tell you until it's about to happen."

Jazz vibraphonist Stefon Harris -- an Albany High School grad -- is playing at Proctors this Thursday. And while doing a little bit of... (more)

Saint Rose adjuncts vote to unionize

Adjuncts at the College of Saint Rose have voted to unionize with SEIU Local 200 by a tally of 175-61. In a statement, Saint Rose... (more)

Margination: An attempt to create a different sort of local economy

In North Troy there's a group of nine individuals trying to promote economic development and social change with very different approach. This collective, working under... (more)

Recent Comments

Dutchfest. Dutch food, Dutch beer, wooden shoes, Vincent van Gogh lookalike contest. Everybody pays their own way (goes Dutch) and arrives by bicycle...

Drawing: Oktoberfest

...has 53 comments, most recently from Tyler W

Saint Rose adjuncts vote to unionize

...has 2 comments, most recently from LB

Margination: An attempt to create a different sort of local economy

...has 2 comments, most recently from Harold

The latest One Monument Square plan evolves

...has 12 comments, most recently from ace

Help with kitchen renovation design?

...has 8 comments, most recently from Elisabeth