Thursday, November 17, 2011

Time to address the Bouncing Garnet Elephant in the Corner

I will be 100% focused on the upcoming visit by Moo U’s Copenhagen Crowd next week, but for today I have to say a few words about our hoops situation. South Carolina is the worst basketball team within one of the worst basketball conferences in the country. That is not hyperbole or said for shock value. It is a fact and one that is rising like the Phoenix. The Elon Phoenix apparently. Carolina is the only “major” conference basketball program in the nation I know of with a road losing streak of more than 1 to the Southern Conference.

The problem is that statistic by itself doesn’t illustrate how bad we are in basketball. I haven’t done the research to back this up but I am confident that these statements will stand up to scrutiny:
  • We are the only member of the SEC who has not sent a team to the Sweet 16 in the last 20 years.
  • We are one of only a handful of schools from a major conference who hasn’t won an NCAA tournament game since 1973. 
  • We have 1 conference winning season since I got engaged in 1998. 
  • We have been to the NCAA tournament 2, maybe 3 times tops since I graduated from high school in 1989.
You get the idea- we stink. Why the heck did we get rid of the old Coliseum? Certainly the lighting needed an upgrade and some other minor tweaks could have given it a facelift, but those weren’t the bill of goods we were sold as to why we had to have the new arena. We were told that a new arena would allow us to host NCAA tournament games, Disney Ice Shows and Concerts. I will concede that the concerts and ice shows for the most part have happened, but thanks to the confederate flag we have never gotten an NCAA tournament game and in my opinion it has done NOTHING for our basketball programs. Nothing, nada, zilch.

So we are stuck with this empty tomb and a team that maybe could compete for a top seed in the Southern Conference in most years. That doesn’t fly with what we were promised to give up an iconic, historical home-court advantage at Frank McGuire Arena. For folks like my parents, who were self-described “Frank McGuire Groupies” during that heyday in hoops, it’s frankly an insult to that legacy.

Just like leaving the ACC was a choice we made that killed that program, so too was the choice to get rid of the House that Frank Built for a corporate nightmare of an empty building. But we are where we are and that is rock bottom. After North Carolina, Ohio State, Kentucky and others are finished shredding us into a pulp this year, the time will come to clean house, pick up the pieces and move forward. Maybe then we can start beating Wofford, Elon and Furman again.

1 comment:

  1. Impossible to argue with this article, unfortunately!!



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