"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ship Happens

While last night's aborted Carrier Classic was certainly a disappointment, it also means Marquette can add another game to the schedule. It isn't common, but consider St. Mary's in 2010-11. The Gaels added a game with Weber State to their schedule in March in hopes that getting to 25 wins would get them into the NCAA Tournament. With that in mind, I thought I'd take a look at possible dates and options for Marquette if they chose to try to fill the void left by the missed opportunity with Ohio State.

There are a few main questions to be answered before scheduling a game. Which teams have room for an extra game in their schedule? What dates are available that don't conflict with other games or finals? Where will the game be played, and who will cover it? With those factors in mind, here are some possibilities.

I tried to find gaps in the schedule with at least 5 days off for Marquette so there wasn't too quick a turnaround between a new game and the existing schedule. For Marquette, dates that work include December 4th or 5th and January 8th, 9th, 22nd, or 23rd.

If Marquette attempted to add a buy game, the Bradley Center is open December 4th and January 9th. For neutral court venues, the United Center in Chicago is open January 8th, Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is open December 4th, January 9th, and January 22nd, and the Scottrade Center in St. Louis is open December 4th, December 5th, January 8th, January 9th, and December 23rd.

For television coverage, NBC Sports doesn't list any current programming on either December date and doesn't have their January schedule up yet. If we could attract a high-major opponent, they would likely be available as a carrier. With the NHL still locked out, they will likely be looking for programming. So the only question is, who would be available to play? Here's a few options to fill that void:

Kansas State: The Wildcats would be available December 5th. Might they be willing to play a neutral-court game in St. Louis? It seems like a lock that NBC Sports would broadcast the game. The drawback is the game would probably feature a majority K-State crowd.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies would be available December 4th or 5th. A neutral court game in Indianapolis would probably draw, but what about starting a home-and-home? Play at their place first and allow Davante Gardner and Jamal Ferguson to play in front of their families.

UW-Milwaukee: The reason we aren't playing Milwaukee this year is because of the Carrier Classic, so it would be fitting to put them back on the schedule. Their schedule would line up for a January 9th meeting at the Bradley Center, possibly as a buy game before Marquette tries to renegotiate a series next year.

Cleveland State: The Vikings might be too big a name for a buy game, but aren't big enough to draw neutral court eyes. If the price were affordable, it might be nice to give Milwaukee native and CSU starting PG Charlie Lee a chance to play in front of his friends and family at the BC on December 4th.

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