Here are few little nuggets, which you may or may not have heard about west coast college basketball.
Erik Spoelstra----Rising star in the NBA coaching ranks for the Miami Heat, right now is one of the top five coaches in the NBA. But did you know Erik was the freshman of the year in the West Coast Conference when he played for U of Portland in 1989. Sadly Erik was also guarding the great basketball star at Loyola Marymount, Hank Gathers, when he fell to the floor and died, on March 4th, 1990 of heart failure.
Bob Thomason----Did you know that Thomason is the dean of west coast college D-1 coaches. This year will be his 24th season as the head coach at Pacific University. Six times he has been named Big West coach of the year, has won 401 games and at one time was close to taking the Oregon State job in the 90s. Beavers, you should have closed the deal.
UCLA-----While Pauley Pavilion is being remodeled next year, the Bruins will play their 2011-12 basketball schedule in two different locations. They will play 14 games in the Sports Arena and 4 games in the Honda Center, which up to a month ago was to be the new home for the Sacramento Kings, which is now, not going to happen. Look for the Bruins to have a below average year, it is really hard in basketball to play all your games on the road and very few teams have had success, when being out of their home arena for a year or longer.
Seattle U.-----If you took the average attendance for all the Redhawks men's home games last year, it would have ranked second to only Gonzaga, when you rank all Big Sky and West Coast Conference teams in home attendance. WCC get off your high horse and invite the Redhawks to join the WCC.
Big Sky---In 2012 for basketball, the league will expand to 11 teams, with the addition of Southern Utah and North Dakota. Even more reason to hold the Big Sky post season basketball tournaments for men and women in Portland, Oregon. Get out of the dark ages Big Sky and get away from the season's regular season champion hosting the tournament. Creative thinking has never a strong point of the Big Sky home office.
WCC----You may or may not know that Brigham Young will join the league for basketball starting this coming season. STICKER SHOCK, when the Cougars visit Pepperdine and play before 700 people after averaging 18,000 plus this last year for their home games. The WCC is also considering playing league games on Wednesday night, because of having 9 members now as compared to the easy to schedule 8. BYU will not be a member of the WCC for long, they will get real tired of playing before small crowds and in 2017 will join the Pac-12.
Pac 12---To almost everyone's disappointment, the Pac-12, will not play a round robin schedule in basketball. They have decided stupidly, for some reason, to stick to an 18 game conference schedule thus depriving home fans of not seeing every team in the league on a rotating basis. In a conference that is getting rave reviews for its upgraded marketing, this grades out as an F for Marketing101.
EDITOR'S NOTE: In my first tidbit, I mentioned Erik Spoelstra. I have also written extensively about low attendance for west coast basketball teams. Marketing is key, so with that said, I strongly suggest all athletic departments on the west coast buy the book "Marketing Outrageously", written by Erik's dad, Jon. I will guarantee it will help increase your attendance.
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