As you may have noticed, today is not Sunday (the day the Browns lose), it is Monday (generally recognized as the day after the Browns lose). On Sundays and throughout the week we get together and kick around some ideas about the team in a more free-wheeling style than the usual article provides. It was conversations like this that were the genesis of the site, and they'll keep going long after Joel and I lack the technological nous to keep up with you kids. Without any further ado:
Joel: So... how does everyone feel about 1-0?
Caleb: Undefeated forever! May not have been the best win, but we got our first glimpse of team 94 and a win is a win.
Brad: It wasn't bad though. We had a serious offensive drought and still scored 81. Miami is always a tough game for us and we were integrating a new point guard and figuring out how to replace Stainbrook. I'm pretty happy with how it went in terms of being a shakedown cruise.
Bryan: Establishing solid point guard play was important, and we saw that. The 1-3-1 was effective and some of the guys who didn't perform as well on offense (Remy, Myles) aren't question marks, just had off nights. The defense was concerning at times, but Miami was pretty disciplined about what they wanted to do. Loved the 10-0 run when it got tight with 6 minutes left.
Joel: Know what's worse than sleepwalking through a win over Miami (OH)? Losing to Radford. Last year's non-conference performance by the whole league set the stage for those big wins X got down the stretch meaning something to the committee. We're not exactly replicating that as a conference this season. Beyond that, though, do you guys really care how the rest of the league performs?
Bryan: Absolutely. I think the performance in March the past two seasons has dented the conference's reputation and I would like to see a few big wins in non-Conference restore it somewhat. Obviously we aren't off to a good start, but there are still plenty of chances to go around.
Brad: I'd agree with Bry here. The Big East needs to win in the non-conference in order to maintain its standing as one of the better conferences in the nation. If other teams don't win out of the conference, our games against them in conference aren't worth as much come March.
Caleb: Joel, I'm the opposite of you in terms of the conference. I'm a Big East homer and I always root for conference teams in non-conference play. Even DePaul....sadly...
Joel: Pulling for DePaul is either a fool's errand or the behavior of a man staked to his convictions regardless of the cost. For ignoring any pragmatism, I salute you. I'm not that guy who is standing up and chanting for a conference rival like some sort of SEC football fan. If they do well, it's an RPI boost for X. If they tank, all I really care about is X getting in and advancing. Hands were wrung over the summer about Xavier being the only Big East team in the second weekend and what that means for the league, but it honestly doesn't make a difference to me. If Xavier is in the Sweet 16 and has a chance to keep going, it isn't going to worry me that everyone else is out golfing or whatever. Let ESPN rage and CBS imagine a vain thing; we've been fine with being kings of a conference people talked crap about before.
Bryan: We also lost recruits like DSR because we were in a crap conference. For players to feel like they will get national exposure and play against the best, we need to guarantee that happens by being in a top conference. Recruiting has gotten markedly better since moving, and I would like to see it keep going.
Bryan: The real question here is where would Radford finish in the Big East?
Caleb: Our recruiting has improved significantly in my opinion, and I see that continuing. We define success with tournament wins and kids love that. I always view each season as Sweet 16 or bust. And what about a game between Belmont and Radford? I really did not expect Marquette or Georgetown to lose on opening weekend. St John's maybe, but not those two.
Joel: Belmont v. Radford would be a Big East Tournament Championship preview, right? As a league, not a feather in our collective cap. I will say that Belmont is like 1/8th as embarrassing as Radford in terms of losses.
Caleb: For sure. And soon we can turn our attention the to "Gavitt tipoff" games. I'm a huge fan of the idea. Mostly in that we get to play another quality opponent early in the season. We'll need to see a better showing against Missouri but I think we stand a good chance to knock off Michigan.