The Big East Tournament is one of the best events of the college basketball season. Sure, some programs take it more seriously than others, and some schools need a good showing to feel good on Selection Sunday (we aren't one of those yet, are we?). But for basketball fans, it doesn't get much better. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday should now be known as 'I'm a male and calling in sick to work for 3 days' Day.
Time to go on a basketball binge, even if the unthinkable happens and we go down in Round 1. Speaking of the team that will try to do it, we caught up with Ken DeCelles of Voodoo Five to get some thoughts on how their season has transpired, and what the future holds for USF. Let's see what he had to say:
It's been a while since our game early in the year, has USF gotten better or worse since that matchup?
Its pretty much the same team except Shaun Noriega is more confident in shooting now. We still have turnover issues, Augustus Gilchrist still takes a majority of the shots, we rebound the ball well still, and Jawanza Poland still gets into foul trouble too quickly. We're also still good about hanging around against ranked teams until the Under-8 timeout and then falling apart.
At least we're consistent.
Are you a fan of the bye and double-bye in the Big East Tournament, or should it just be set up that 1 plays 16, 2 plays 15, and so on?
If they're going to have all 16 teams play, I like the double bye format. It rewards teams who took care of business in that 18 team gauntlet. If they played 1 vs 16, could you imagine MSG with 8 games during the day? They'd have to head over to the Prudential Center for a couple of games to get everyone in for one game.
What was the most memorable moment of the season (good or bad)?
Not a lot of good moments this year. Just from a memorable standpoint, it was our 16 point chokejob against Marquette. We couldn't figure out their press to save our lives, and sometimes it was 2 or 3 possessions before we could get past the half court line.
Then down 2 with 3 seconds to go, Toarlyn Fitzpatrick had to miss his 2nd FT intentionally for a chance to grab the offensive rebound (which we did really well that night) and he banked it in.
USF's season in a nutshell.
What's your favorite moment in Big East Tournament history?
For USF fans, there aren't many memories good or bad with the BET. Just from a USF perspective, it was our win over DePaul last year where we scored all our points from inside 10 feet.
Just all together, it has to be the 6 OT game between Syracuse and UConn. I drank a pot of coffee that next morning and it was worth it. Just a fantastic game.
What does USF have to do in the coming years to be more competitive in the toughest conference in the country?
We don't have a history of the other 15 schools, so we have to build the facilities to entice players to come. The 50,000 sq ft. Muma Basketball Center is under construction right now and should be ready for fall practice. The Sun Dome will be undergoing a complete renovation starting at the end of the month. If you throw in the weather, and the Florida girls it sounds like a winning combination.
Hopefully these are the pieces that a kid from New York, Philly, or Chicago wants to see when choosing a school. His parents will be able to see a couple of games a year when USF travels north, and he won't have to break out the parka when he goes outside 5 months out of the year.
Thanks again to Ken for the time. Make sure to head over to Voodoo Five to check out my answers to his questions as well!