Coach Esherick Answers Questions on BIG EAST Expansion
Coach Esherick, what's your view of the BIG EAST expansion?
I was worried this summer because there was so much uncertainty after Miami and Va Tech decided to leave. Football was in the driver's seat and as a basketball coach I thought we (basketball coaches) had been relegated to the sidelines in this discussion. I could not be happier with the way things turned out. I knew we were in good hands. Mike Tranghese is the best commissioner in college sports. I also have the utmost confidence in our AD Joe Lang and our President Jack DeGioia.
Jack and Joe were intimately involved in the shaping of the new Big East. Their leadership has helped create the outcome we see today.
A 16 team conference is huge. How do you anticipate it working?
I don't know how the 16 team conference will schedule games. I have thought of many ways to compete within the league. I know this decision will take some time and will involve input from all corners of the league.
How do you personally feel about the new competition?
I think the new Big East is the best basketball conference in the
country today. I could not be happier for our fans, alums, players and recruits. The competition that this conference will foster will be truly spectacular.
What will happen to traditional rivalries?
I am hoping that we can continue to foster the rivalries that were built up over many years of college basketball in the east and many years of competition in the Big East. With a 16 team league you can't play everyone twice but you sure can create a conference schedule that would interest a great number or fans and potential TV viewers.
Will the prestige of the new conference help recruiting?
The prestige of the "new" Big East will enhance recruiting. I always thought that our league helped us recruit top level players all over the country. I think now you can tell a recruit that they will be playing in the best basketball league ever formed. I am excited about that prospect.