Relatively unrelated, but one of Pepperdine’s all-time greats, Doug Christie, is from Seattle!
Until Pepperdine gets a new gym built, it will remain difficult to recruit, and, by extension, win there. Not impossible, given what SMC has done with McKeon, but still challenging. Same is true at LMU. Those two facilities are downright horrendous. I think that Marty Wilson had bad luck with lots of injuries, and Firestone Fieldhouse certainly didn’t help… I kid you not, 4 of their home games had listed (i.e., often inflated) attendance of 750. SCU can draw twice that, and our arena is largely an empty cavern.
Building modern, on-campus facilities seams challenging for a few of the WCC schools… and the longer they go without success, the harder it surely gets to tap a big doner.
FWIW- Of the 10 School in the Big East, only two play on campus- Butler and Xavier… All the others play in nearby pro arenas (Georgetown, St. Johns, Villanova, Marquette in their city’s NBA arena, and the others in local NHL/AAA hockey or basketball arenas). In my opinion, playing in a facility like that lends legitimacy to the whole thing, and gets non-alumni interested. Heck, it would also get alumni interested too. Like the WCC, the Big East is full of teams in big cities with pro sports and other stuff going on. They are also far better at basketball. It’s a direction I’d love to see this league head, and facing reality, I think, needs to tend toward if GU or BYU are to stay.
If nobody wants to come to Malibu for games, and that’s the current state of things, would they even consider playing in LA somewhere? Anything has to be better than what they’re doing. I know that it isn’t free to do that, but they proposed a renovation plan for their arena that cost $500M…. and failed to get the money. Doesn’t seem hard to figure out why- that’s roughly how much the new, state of the art 17,000 seat Sacramento Kings arena cost. I remember the Pepp plan had some other elements, otherwise that price is nuts… Heck, if they paid that, and continued to be bad, and had another 750 attendance game, their ratio of arena price to fan for that game would be approaching a million dollars.
No college should be playing games somewhere with a wall behind the baskets… LMU, Pepp, USF, and SMC do, and it is totally high school looking on TV.
Anyway, sorry for the off track response, but the new WCC commissioner, coupled with the GU-to-the-MW rumors have got me thinking about the direction of the league and the fate of our band of schools. It seems like a crossroads where we will either rise up and try to be more a Big East of the West, or falter and lose two big brands and be a one bid low major (I think that without GU or BYU, this league falls quite far)…
As you pointed out, we are having post-season success. I think Scholl gets the long term gig, K. Smith has the Dons with back-to-back 20 win seasons, I’m optimistic for SCU long term, SMC may well win the NIT, and GU as well could with the whole damn thing. Still alive to sweep all four post season tournaments (which we were alive to do quite late last year as well) If everyone ante’d up, we have the makings of a strong league. Would love to see Commish Glo be aggresive and look to add programs, even secular, public programs, rather than lose our own. If we look to expand to 12 with Seattle, GCU, or Denver, the predictable path, I’m less convinced.
We just posted such an egregious RPI I still am in disbelief.
Happy watching for the rest of the big dance, and go broncos.