BC released its basketball schedule Thursday. Most of us knew the opponents already but it is nice to see all the dates lined up, especially those in the ACC. Here are some thoughts:
Perfect out of conference schedule
Given the creep of conference play, special tournaments and some historical match-ups, there is less freedom in filling out the non-conference schedule than there used to be. This year is a very nice balance. We've got plenty of respectable teams (Purdue, VCU), some trips to Alumni friendly spots (USC, MSG) and a few softies to help pad the win total. The traditionalist in me would like to see a Holy Cross game, but this a solid list of games.
The other benefit of playing a respectable out of conference schedule is that it will help our tournament resume. BC should get a minimum of seven out of conference wins.
Exciting home games
Attendance has been in a long, embarrassing decline since our first season in the ACC. Everyone has a pet theory as to why. I attribute it to a variety of factors. One way to change things is to build some excitement and anticipation around the good games we have at home. This year Maryland, Duke, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pitt and Florida State come to us. Steve Donahue and the team can help by playing well, but filling the seats at this game is really on Bates. He's now had time to prepare for this season. The team will be better. If we cannot draw our own fans, we will need to readdress our whole approach to basketball marketing.
Must finish strong
The most critical part of the schedule is the final six games, four of which are on the road. How you finish is important for your tournament resume. That stretch will also include our first return to Syracuse since leaving the Big East. We must win at least four of those games.
I am excited about the schedule and the season. I hope the team lives up to expectations.