Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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NEWARK, N.J. — Despite his mixed feelings about leaving the Big East Conference for the ACC next season, Jim Boeheim figures it may not be the worst thing in the world.
“Maybe be good I’m not [coming back],” Boeheim told SNY.tv exclusively of Syracuse’s exit from the league following the No. 6 Orange’s 76-65 victory over Seton Hall Saturday at the Prudential Center. “Maybe be a good thing I’m not.”
Boeheim said the 18-team Big East figures to be loaded in 2013-14 even without Syracuse and Pittsburgh, which are headed to the ACC.
“I was thinking about this today, the Big East next year, you realize all these teams have a lot of guys back in the Big East next year?” Boeheim said.
“[Louisville], they don’t lose much. [Peyton] Siva, they got everybody else back. Connecticut’s got every guy back. Villanova is losing one guy [Mouph Yarou]. Rutgers doesn’t lose much, Seton Hall doesn’t lose much. Providence has everybody back. Marquette has a very young team. DePaul’s still got a lot of young guys. There’s a lot of teams in the Big East next year that are young.”
The Big East will also add No. 22 Memphis, which has a relatively young team, as well as Temple, which is always strong.
SMU, coached by Larry Brown, Houston and UCF will also join the league.
The following year (2014-15), the Big East is slated to lose Louisville and Notre Dame to the ACC, Rutgers to the Big Ten and likely the Catholic 7 — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova — to its new league.
As reported earlier Saturday by SI.com, the Big East is in negotiations with both NBC Sports and ESPN for TV rights going forward. ESPN reportedly has seven days to match the NBC Sports offer of between $20 and $23 million per year for six years
As for the future of the Catholic 7, which is negotiating with Fox Sports, Boeheim said he didn’t necessarily agree with Louisville coach Rick Pitino’s premise that Providence and Seton Hall would thrive in the new league.
“Who are they gonna add?” Boeheim asked of the Catholic 7.
When told that Butler and Xavier were in the mix, along with schools like Creighton, Dayton, VCU, St. Louis and others, Boeheim said:
“That’s 10 really good teams. Somebody won’t thrive. Who will it be? I don’t know. They’ve got some good players up there at Providence. I think they’re getting better.”
He added: “I think that league will be fine. I think they’ll have a good league. They have the cities. They have a new TV contract. TV doesn’t matter that much anymore. There’s 1,000 games on TV. It doesn’t matter if you’re on TV.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.