22-23 Opponent Tracking Thread

RowdyPkunk

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I’m not sure why people here think Loyola is going to be immediately competitive in the A10.
Because they're very similar to what we were jumping from the CAA to the A10. They're now 2 seasons removed from a very good NCAA Tourney run (2021 they went to the Sweet 16... after their F4 run in 2018). Last year they won their conference tournament (just as we did in 2012)... only difference is they got bounced in the Round of 64 where as we got bounced in the round of 32 in 2012.

They've def made a name for themselves.... just as we did in 2011 & 2012... so they're prob getting decent recruits.

And while they got a new HC for last season after Porter Moser left (the one who led them to the Final 4 in 2018 & Sweet 16 in 2021)..he got them back to the NCAA tournament again last year.

There's no reason to think they won't come in & be a force right away. Heck look at us coming into the A10. And right away we came in and made our presence known... there's no reason to think Loyola cant do the same possibly.
 

Mercury

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I’m not sure why people here think Loyola is going to be immediately competitive in the A10.

Mostly because the A-10 isn't that good. Both VCU and Davidson maintained their level when jumping into the A-10 from lesser leagues. I'd be surprised if Loyola doesn't finish top 5 barring injuries. They are also travel partners with St. Joes and George Mason which should boost their wins.
 

VCU Heel

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Because they're very similar to what we were jumping from the CAA to the A10. They're now 2 seasons removed from a very good NCAA Tourney run (2021 they went to the Sweet 16... after their F4 run in 2018). Last year they won their conference tournament (just as we did in 2012)... only difference is they got bounced in the Round of 64 where as we got bounced in the round of 32 in 2012.

They've def made a name for themselves.... just as we did in 2011 & 2012... so they're prob getting decent recruits.

And while they got a new HC for last season after Porter Moser left (the one who led them to the Final 4 in 2018 & Sweet 16 in 2021)..he got them back to the NCAA tournament again last year.

There's no reason to think they won't come in & be a force right away. Heck look at us coming into the A10. And right away we came in and made our presence known... there's no reason to think Loyola cant do the same possibly.
They lost 5 of their top 7 players from last year and will have to put together a new team while stepping up to a higher level of competition.
 

AlienAiden

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They lost 5 of their top 7 players from last year and will have to put together a new team while stepping up to a higher level of competition.
They have a good culture as people like to say. Ha! They brought in some transfers. One of them is Grant Golden's brother Bryce from Butler. They will be competitive. I just hope VCU gets the win in Chicago.
 

theyaintwantit

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Because they're very similar to what we were jumping from the CAA to the A10. They're now 2 seasons removed from a very good NCAA Tourney run (2021 they went to the Sweet 16... after their F4 run in 2018). Last year they won their conference tournament (just as we did in 2012)... only difference is they got bounced in the Round of 64 where as we got bounced in the round of 32 in 2012.

They've def made a name for themselves.... just as we did in 2011 & 2012... so they're prob getting decent recruits.

And while they got a new HC for last season after Porter Moser left (the one who led them to the Final 4 in 2018 & Sweet 16 in 2021)..he got them back to the NCAA tournament again last year.

There's no reason to think they won't come in & be a force right away. Heck look at us coming into the A10. And right away we came in and made our presence known... there's no reason to think Loyola cant do the same possibly.
While I do think Loyola was a good add to the A10, I don't love comparing Loyola to VCU & Davidson.

Loyola's 2018 F4, 2021 S16, and NCAA appearance in 2022 is VERY good and a higher high than what VCU and Davidson had prior to joining the A10. But................. after making the S16 in 1985, Loyola did not make the NCAAs again until 2018 and their lone postseason appearance was the CBI in 2015. Over half of their seasons in the 90s and 2000s ended up with a losing record.

In VCUs first 5 seasons in the A10, their conference final standings went: 2nd, 2nd, 5th, T-1st, 2nd.
4/5 teams received at-large bids, the 2015 team received an auto bid (would have received an at-large bid) and the only team really close to the bubble was the 2016 team when we were essentially told we were the very last team on the S-Curve in front of the First Four.

In Davidson's first 5 season in the A10, their conference final standings went: 1st, 6th, 9th, 3rd, 2nd.
The 2015 team (Year 1) reached an at-large bid, the 2018 team (Year 4) received an auto bid, and the 2016 & 2019 team went to the NIT.

I think Loyola being what Davidson has been is a better bet than what VCU has been.
 

VCU Heel

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While I do think Loyola was a good add to the A10, I don't love comparing Loyola to VCU & Davidson.

Loyola's 2018 F4, 2021 S16, and NCAA appearance in 2022 is VERY good and a higher high than what VCU and Davidson had prior to joining the A10. But................. after making the S16 in 1985, Loyola did not make the NCAAs again until 2018 and their lone postseason appearance was the CBI in 2015. Over half of their seasons in the 90s and 2000s ended up with a losing record.

In VCUs first 5 seasons in the A10, their conference final standings went: 2nd, 2nd, 5th, T-1st, 2nd.
4/5 teams received at-large bids, the 2015 team received an auto bid (would have received an at-large bid) and the only team really close to the bubble was the 2016 team when we were essentially told we were the very last team on the S-Curve in front of the First Four.

In Davidson's first 5 season in the A10, their conference final standings went: 1st, 6th, 9th, 3rd, 2nd.
The 2015 team (Year 1) reached an at-large bid, the 2018 team (Year 4) received an auto bid, and the 2016 & 2019 team went to the NIT.

I think Loyola being what Davidson has been is a better bet than what VCU has been.
As you point out, VCU and Davidson had a much longer history of success prior to entering the A10 than Loyola has had. Prior to their 2017-18 Final Four season, they had just TWO 20 win seasons in the previous 32 years. In 23 of those 32 seasons, they had a losing record. They don’t have a strong basketball history.

Porter Moser did a great job building them into a solid program and parlayed that into the Oklahoma job. He left Drew Valentine with a junior/senior laden team that had a nice season in his first year on the job. Their top 7 players last year were 5 seniors and 2 juniors. Those 5 seniors are all gone now. The next few years will show whether they‘re success was based on one coach or if it’s something Valentine can sustain.

Loyola may do well, but there seems to be this idea that it’s a lock that they’ll immediately be one of the better teams in the A10. I think there’s a very good chance that they’ll get a dose of reality very quickly. I’m not a huge proponent of the A10 being a super strong conference these days. IMO, it’s taken a step back over the last several years. But it’s definitely a step up from the MVC and they have to play 5 games against Dayton, St. Louis, and VCU. And their OOC has a few possibly challenging games too.
 

HBK

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i dont think that our schedule is all that bad. In fact, its been pretty good ever since the F4. I believe removing ODU was a mistake. But all in all, the staff seems to put together a big MTE, a game or 2 against a brand name team, some really clever , lesser heard teams that usually finish with a higher than expected net and a couple of cupcakes. All this with 8 or 9 home games.
Now as to relationships, i think you are missing the mark. Getting a better schedule is probably 95% about relationships for VCU. That is why we pull UVA so often for a H/H. We have a good relationship with Bennett. Opposing coaches and teams arent employing some AI algorithm when selecting teams. VCU has a certain profile that is shared by several other schools (rank/ high mid major/...). To land the big games in the non conference you need to have strong enough relationships to convince the school to sign the papers (not just a wink and a handshake). The same does for conference jumping.
That said, I think our coaches do a much better than average job on scheduling and a top notch job on recruiting (which is also relationships). As in all fields, the longer you are in the your position and the longer you have a reputation of being fair and honest, then you will have stronger relationships. If MR stays here 10 years longer, then VCU will be selected more often than not for some of these games we are being elbowed out of now. Why? Because our relationships will be stronger.
Its not because of the style of play and we keep the ball "hot" and try to get downhill.
Mike and his entire staff have been in college basketball for a long time. They have more than enough good relationships for scheduling purposes. Just because you have a good relationship doesn't mean you can get a game with someone. You underestimate the style of play argument. That is a real thing. I know our staff has a very good relationship with the Baylor staff, but they refused to play us in Dallas. We've pulled UVA for two home and home series in 12 years, in part because Tony Bennett is a good guy who understands the larger benefits of playing state schools. (See UVA at JMU last season. Bennett and JMU's coach, Mark Byington, don't have some long-term relationship.) Here is a Bennett quote about playing that game: "I came from Green Bay, a mid-major, there's so much parody, and I always hoped we'd get to play some of the Power-5's and that's irrelevant and I never got to," Bennett said, "I learned from my father when he took the Wisconsin job, he'd go play Green Bay, Milwaukee, those schools, I think that's important." Here is the article: https://www.cbs19news.com/story/45405999/bennett-instate-games-important-for-college-basketball
 

RowdyPkunk

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While I do think Loyola was a good add to the A10, I don't love comparing Loyola to VCU & Davidson.

Loyola's 2018 F4, 2021 S16, and NCAA appearance in 2022 is VERY good and a higher high than what VCU and Davidson had prior to joining the A10. But................. after making the S16 in 1985, Loyola did not make the NCAAs again until 2018 and their lone postseason appearance was the CBI in 2015. Over half of their seasons in the 90s and 2000s ended up with a losing record.

In VCUs first 5 seasons in the A10, their conference final standings went: 2nd, 2nd, 5th, T-1st, 2nd.
4/5 teams received at-large bids, the 2015 team received an auto bid (would have received an at-large bid) and the only team really close to the bubble was the 2016 team when we were essentially told we were the very last team on the S-Curve in front of the First Four.

In Davidson's first 5 season in the A10, their conference final standings went: 1st, 6th, 9th, 3rd, 2nd.
The 2015 team (Year 1) reached an at-large bid, the 2018 team (Year 4) received an auto bid, and the 2016 & 2019 team went to the NIT.

I think Loyola being what Davidson has been is a better bet than what VCU has been.
Why are you bringing up what Loyola did prior to 2018? What's that gotta do with what they've done the past 5 years & where they are as a program RIGHT NOW? Mind you, they've gotten past the first weekend more in the past 5 years than we have in program history.... let that sink.

Prior to us joining the A10 in 2013 we made NCAA Tourney 3 times in the previous 5 years.... 2012 (CAA Champ, lost in Rd of 32), 2011 (At large, Final 4), 2009 (CAA champ, Lost in Round of 64)... and then of course CBI Champ in 2010.

So their previous 5 years before joining the A10 is better than what ours was in terms of NCAA performance. And prior to 2009 we had made the NCAA 3 times (2007, 2004, 1996) since 1985.... sure its more than what Loyola did but its not like we were a lock for the NCAA tourney all that time. Matter of fact we were far from it.

And you can't judge how Loyola will do compared to ours & Davidson's first 5 years in the A10... this is about what we did the 5 years prior to joining the A10 & what they've done the last 5 years.

If you look at Loyola's past 5 years.... and our 5 years prior to joining the A10.... their's is better... plain & simple.

Davidson joined the A10 in 2014-2015... their 5 seasons prior to joining the A10:
2013-14... 1st in SoCon regular season, Lost in NIT First Round
2012-13... 1st in SoCon.... SoCon Tourney Champs, Lost in 1st round of NCAA Tourney
2011-12... 1st in SoCon.... SoCon Tourney Champs, Lost in 1st round of NCAA Tourney
2010-11... 4th in SoCon South Div., Lost in CBI Quarterfinals
2009-10... 3rd in SoCon South div. Missed post season entirely.

So if you compare the 3 teams (VCU, Davidson, Loyola-Chi) 5 seasons prior to joining the A10 & had to rank them... it's clear as day Loyola #1, VCU #2, and Davidson (the only one who didn't have a coaching change in the previous 5 seasons before joining the A10) by far had the worst of the 3... which probably explains why their first 5 years in the A10 were up & down.

If you wanna doubt Loyola-Chi & their ability to compete go right ahead..... but overall the A10 is down compared to the A10 that we came into (dealing with SLU, Butler (for 1 year), Xavier, Saint Joes, Temple, La Salle, Charlotte, UMass.

And if the last 5 years are any representation of the culture at Loyola-Chi at the moment... then they will absolutely be a tough out.... and will be a top 5-6 team in the A10
 
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VCU Heel

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Why are you bringing up what Loyola did prior to 2018? What's that gotta do with what they've done the past 5 years & where they are as a program RIGHT NOW? Mind you, they've gotten past the first week more in the past 5 years than we have in program history.... let that sink.

Prior to us joining the A10 in 2013 we made NCAA Tourney 3 times in the previous 5 years.... 2012 (CAA Champ, lost in Rd of 32), 2011 (At large, Final 4), 2009 (CAA champ, Lost in Round of 64)... and then of course CBI Champ in 2010.

So their previous 5 years before joining the A10 is better than what ours was in terms of NCAA performance. And prior to 2009 we had made the NCAA 3 times (2007, 2004, 1996) since 1985.... sure its more than what Loyola did but its not like we were a lock for the NCAA tourney all that time. Matter of fact we were far from it.

And you can't judge how Loyola will do compared to ours & Davidson's first 5 years in the A10... this is about what we did the 5 years prior to joining the A10 & what they've done the last 5 years.

If you look at Loyola's past 5 years.... and our 5 years prior to joining the A10.... their's is better... plain & simple.

Davidson joined the A10 in 2014-2015... their 5 seasons prior to joining the A10:
2013-14... 1st in SoCon regular season, Lost in NIT First Round
2012-13... 1st in SoCon.... SoCon Tourney Champs, Lost in 1st round of NCAA Tourney
2011-12... 1st in SoCon.... SoCon Tourney Champs, Lost in 1st round of NCAA Tourney
2010-11... 4th in SoCon South Div., Lost in CBI Quarterfinals
2009-10... 3rd in SoCon South div. Missed post season entirely.

So if you compare the 3 teams (VCU, Davidson, Loyola-Chi) 5 seasons prior to joining the A10 & had to rank them... it's clear as day Loyola #1, VCU #2, and Davidson (the only one who didn't have a coaching change in the previous 5 seasons before joining the A10) by far had the worst of the 3... which probably explains why their first 5 years in the A10 were up & down.

If you wanna doubt Loyola-Chi & their ability to compete go right ahead..... but overall the A10 is down compared to the A10 that we came into (dealing with SLU, Butler (for 1 year), Xavier, Saint Joes, Temple, La Salle, Charlotte, UMass.

And if the last 5 years are any representation of the culture at Loyola-Chi at the moment... then they will absolutely be a tough out.... and will be a top 5-6 team in the A10
The reason that what happened prior to 5 years ago matters is that it’s a reflection of the overall program, not just what one coach a couple small groups of players were able to do over a short period of time. They lost their good coach and then they lost the core team that he left the new guy in his first year. That core group of players is gone this year. They’ve been an AWFUL basketball program prior to the last 5 years. They even had a couple mediocre seasons mixed in with those 5.
 

urmite

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So...
Who has the team from Chicago been visiting for advice on how to perform in the A-10?
Richmond or Fairfax?
 
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