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

The wild turkey

Historical illustration of the day, because Thanksgiving week: "The Wild Turkey," from Zoology of New York, published in 1844. Or: The New-York Fauna: comprising detailed... (more)

Albany red light camera forums

The Albany Police Department is hosting two public forums on December 2 about the possible locations for red light cameras in the city -- at... (more)

The Trial Before Christmas returns

The Trial Before Christmas -- a mock trial to settle who really wrote "A Visit from Saint Nicholas," first published in the Troy Sentinel --... (more)

The burger at 15 Church

Ever have a cheeseburger change your life? I haven't either -- though I've had plenty of cheeseburgers that remind me why it's good to be... (more)

A Syracuse Billion

Following on a comment from Andrew Cuomo that upstate cities should propose ambitious projects, Syracuse mayor Stephanie Miner took up challenge (dare?) and her administration... (more)

Recent Comments

I am so very thankful for the wonderful people who wandered in and out of my life over the last few years. They have given me the love and support I need to survive and thrive. Last year at this time I was at my lowest. By the grace of all that is good in my life, I have climbed out and I'm happier than I've been in a very, very long time.

Drawing: What are you thankful for this year?

...has 45 comments, most recently from LisaW

A future in plastics and billiard balls

...has 11 comments, most recently from John Cernak

The burger at 15 Church

...has 5 comments, most recently from Lauren Darman

The Best Dozen: Park Side Eatery

...has 3 comments, most recently from julie

New UAlbany president's residence

...has 7 comments, most recently from Joe A