Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Interview With the Big Sky Commish

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle has a nice interview with Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton, and the second part of it is up. He had some interesting things to say about the state of Big Sky basketball, including this:

Having said all that, I think that it’s been too easy in the Big Sky Conference to put demands on our coaches, particularly on the men’s side, that causes them to have to go out and play games, not play home games. I’m trying to get the basketball coaches, the basketball administrators, the ADs to adjust how they fund basketball. On the men’s side, I see a huge scheduling issue. On the women’s side, I see a huge recruiting issue. We need to find a way to get talent. How do we do that? That’s going to be a major push over the next few years.
When I looked at attendance in the Big Sky last year, one of the things I talked about was how uninspiring their schedules were, especially at home. This obviously carries over to respect (or lack of) that the conference receives, as well as seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

Fullerton talked about the Big Sky in Bracket Busters, and how the biggest reason Montana got as good of a seed as they did was because they won a return game from Long Beach State (who they played in the Bracket Busters the year before), and I think that is true. Somehow, the Big Sky teams need to find ways to play more quality competition, especially if they can get something at home.

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  1. That's the problem -- getting good teams to come to your place. Idaho State did it a few years ago when they got Utah,
    BYU and Utah State to come to Holt Arena. Unfortunately, they had to give two-for-ones to get the home games -- and attendance was disappointing when the three Utah teams showed up.

  2. Yeah, but you're also talking about an ISU team which started that season 2-10. Even though they were losing, they still drew about 4,300 to the BYU game. Not too bad, when you consider the home average over the past few seasons.

    Point taken, though. It's easy to say that the Big Sky teams just need to schedule harder and better at home. The reality is that most major teams won't come to Big Sky arenas unless there's a 2 for 1, at best. That still puts the Big Sky team in a position where they have two seasons of lots and lots of road games.