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Pre-Conference Scheduling

Gametime

Well-known member
As we all watched another blowout in the NCAA tournament, I can't help but think that our early season scheduling of games is not helping the Griz prepare for March. While this year, BYU, CSU and South Dakota State were on the schedule. It was a pretty weak schedule. Davidson was added on as a bracket buster, not scheduled by UM. Any of the teams we schedule are generally the same type of team as ours, maybe just a little better. The conference schedule is what it is, and unless we change conferences will remain that, a very weak conference. So why not go out and play a really tough Pre-conference schedule against legitimate top tier teams to better prepare the team for the same top tier type programs we will likely face in the NCAA. We are never going to get an at large bid anyway. I woulduch rather see us lose early to top teams then to beat bad teams any day of the week. So those in charge of scheduling, why not try something new next year. If not, I fear this same deer in the headlights look will be seen again next year, and that was a bit much for all of us too watch.
 
Tinkle does the scheduling. His contract requires him to schedule guarantee games, and in the west there are only a few Major (Pac 12) teams able to pay guarantees and so many mid majors that balance their budget taking guarantee games that he ends up scheduling teams that should be home and home as guarantee games, and filling the home schedule with sub D-1 games.

In truth Montana's basketball financing scheme is not sustainable or conducive to success. If Wayne sticks around he needs to use all of his charm and schmoozing skills to hit up some potential big money boosters to contribute specifically to an account for basketball scheduling.
 
I am in the definate minority here.

I don't really think playing Duke, UNC, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga in non conference would have changed last night.

SDSU, BYU, CSU and Davidson weren't chump change. I don't think the body bag games against Carrol or Minot are going to change anything either.

Unless the University really wants to get serious about its basketball program and foot a non-conference bill where they expend 10's of thousands of dollars going on the road, and even then while experienced doesn't change what happened last night. We aren't Gonzaga.

I know there are many here that have no illusion that this team won, at times, with smoke and mirrors. More importantly a lot of us recognize, if it weren't for Tinkle at the helm, Weber State walks away with this conference this year.

I have been coaching basketball for a decade now. There are two things about the game of basketball I know to be true. You can't teach length and the matchup 2-3 zone is a damn sexy defense. In combination as exhibited last night, Syracuse is dang good at it.

Even more so, and I think this is important to point out, Syracuse is a 4 seed for only one reason: They can't score efficiently. This is a team had it NOT had the mid year doldrum would have been in the running for a 1 seed. That is how GOOD Syracuse can be. We got a vision of that last night and maybe a little experience playing talent level would have kept the margin inside of 25.

Last night was obviously a worst case scenario and I hope people recognize that. Never good as a fan to see your team lose by nearly 50, struggle to get to 30 points on national television, but we need to show some restraint here. Our talent level is there, most of it young, and from top to bottom we will even with Will and Mathias departure may be a better team next year.

Look we got a good look at what Jake Wiley is going to provide. He is long. He can jump out of the gym and at times he appeared to be the one of a handful of players that looked like he belonged last night. I can't say that the Griz will be back here next year, because we know Weber is going to be good again as well and the conference will improve. North Dakota doesn't lose much, Sacramento State will be better as will Northern Colorado.

If the Griz are willing to go on the road and play those games, more power to them. I don't think it changes, unless they win them, the fact that the team will be a 13-16 line team. We'll face the same type of opponent, and the outcome is just as much as likely as it was this year and last year.
 
this showing does not help...the big boys have to watch their sos as well, in case they are on the bubble come March.

Gonzaga made some noise in the tourney, which allowed them to get a better non conf schedule, and tv and better recruits.

The opportunity has been there the last two years, just have to start taking advantage.
 
Grizfan-24 said:
I am in the definate minority here.

I don't really think playing Duke, UNC, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga in non conference would have changed last night.

SDSU, BYU, CSU and Davidson weren't chump change. I don't think the body bag games against Carrol or Minot are going to change anything either.

Unless the University really wants to get serious about its basketball program and foot a non-conference bill where they expend 10's of thousands of dollars going on the road, and even then while experienced doesn't change what happened last night. We aren't Gonzaga.

I know there are many here that have no illusion that this team won, at times, with smoke and mirrors. More importantly a lot of us recognize, if it weren't for Tinkle at the helm, Weber State walks away with this conference this year.

I have been coaching basketball for a decade now. There are two things about the game of basketball I know to be true. You can't teach length and the matchup 2-3 zone is a damn sexy defense. In combination as exhibited last night, Syracuse is dang good at it.

Even more so, and I think this is important to point out, Syracuse is a 4 seed for only one reason: They can't score efficiently. This is a team had it NOT had the mid year doldrum would have been in the running for a 1 seed. That is how GOOD Syracuse can be. We got a vision of that last night and maybe a little experience playing talent level would have kept the margin inside of 25.

Last night was obviously a worst case scenario and I hope people recognize that. Never good as a fan to see your team lose by nearly 50, struggle to get to 30 points on national television, but we need to show some restraint here. Our talent level is there, most of it young, and from top to bottom we will even with Will and Mathias departure may be a better team next year.

Look we got a good look at what Jake Wiley is going to provide. He is long. He can jump out of the gym and at times he appeared to be the one of a handful of players that looked like he belonged last night. I can't say that the Griz will be back here next year, because we know Weber is going to be good again as well and the conference will improve. North Dakota doesn't lose much, Sacramento State will be better as will Northern Colorado.

If the Griz are willing to go on the road and play those games, more power to them. I don't think it changes, unless they win them, the fact that the team will be a 13-16 line team. We'll face the same type of opponent, and the outcome is just as much as likely as it was this year and last year.


good post 24...

I like Wiley as well, he's an athlete. bit unrefined, but you can see his pure athleticism.
 
One thing I think back on is the 2005/6 team that beat Nevada in the first round. While that team had more size than this Griz team did I went back and looked at the OOC schedule the Griz had that year:

11/18/05 at Boise State L 69-90 6293
11/21/05 at Loyola-Marymount W 81-75 1681
11/25/05 WESTERN OREGON W 86-57 3424
11/29/05 UTAH VALLEY W 75-59 2984
12/02/05 STANFORD W 88-69 6929
12/06/05 LOYOLA-MARYMOUNT W 79-61 3260
12-09-05 vs Mississippi Valley W 81-57 -
12-10-05 at Drake W OT 78-72 3716
12/14/05 UM-WESTERN W 110-71 3448
12/19/05 at UC Riverside W 77-67 627
12/22/05 at Santa Clara W 67-56 2037
12/30/05 UW-MILWAUKEE L 74-78 7213
02/18/06 ORAL ROBERTS W 88-74 3912

You've got your mix of tune-up games (W. Oregon, UM-W) but there's also Stanford in there, UW-Milwaukee who was a sweet 16 team the year before, and I'm trying to remember wasn't Drake a tourney team as well? Stanford, Santa Clara, Boise, ULM - all teams from more prestigious/powerful conferences.

It was a good mix but not an overloaded mix of challenging teams.
 
The other thing to remember going forward is the fact that now UM has to play 20 conference games. That takes away four non-conference games, making it pretty hard to schedule non-conference opponents, especially with league games starting in early December. Also, this year's non-conference schedule was pretty good IMO. Colorado State will give Louisville all it can handle tomorrow, SDSU hung with Michigan and BYU moved on in the NIT.
 
Grizfan-24 said:
I am in the definate minority here.

I don't really think playing Duke, UNC, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga in non conference would have changed last night.

SDSU, BYU, CSU and Davidson weren't chump change. I don't think the body bag games against Carrol or Minot are going to change anything either.

Unless the University really wants to get serious about its basketball program and foot a non-conference bill where they expend 10's of thousands of dollars going on the road, and even then while experienced doesn't change what happened last night. We aren't Gonzaga.

I know there are many here that have no illusion that this team won, at times, with smoke and mirrors. More importantly a lot of us recognize, if it weren't for Tinkle at the helm, Weber State walks away with this conference this year.

I have been coaching basketball for a decade now. There are two things about the game of basketball I know to be true. You can't teach length and the matchup 2-3 zone is a damn sexy defense. In combination as exhibited last night, Syracuse is dang good at it.

Even more so, and I think this is important to point out, Syracuse is a 4 seed for only one reason: They can't score efficiently. This is a team had it NOT had the mid year doldrum would have been in the running for a 1 seed. That is how GOOD Syracuse can be. We got a vision of that last night and maybe a little experience playing talent level would have kept the margin inside of 25.

Last night was obviously a worst case scenario and I hope people recognize that. Never good as a fan to see your team lose by nearly 50, struggle to get to 30 points on national television, but we need to show some restraint here. Our talent level is there, most of it young, and from top to bottom we will even with Will and Mathias departure may be a better team next year.

Look we got a good look at what Jake Wiley is going to provide. He is long. He can jump out of the gym and at times he appeared to be the one of a handful of players that looked like he belonged last night. I can't say that the Griz will be back here next year, because we know Weber is going to be good again as well and the conference will improve. North Dakota doesn't lose much, Sacramento State will be better as will Northern Colorado.

If the Griz are willing to go on the road and play those games, more power to them. I don't think it changes, unless they win them, the fact that the team will be a 13-16 line team. We'll face the same type of opponent, and the outcome is just as much as likely as it was this year and last year.

The only thing keeping us from being a Gonzaga, VCU or Butler is ourselves. Those programs were nothing not that long ago and I think this school could get there. What it will take is someone to step up and say we want to be there and are not happy being a body bag game in the NCAA. Take a trip to Indy and play Butler, IU, ISU, Purdue, etc. or take a trip to NC and play Duke, UNC, NC State, Davidson, etc. or take a trip to DC and play Virgina, VCU, Maryland, Georgetown, etc. Make it a week or so and the costs go down. There are ways to be creative but we've got to want and think we can be on that level.
 
I believe the 20 game conference schedule was a 1 year thing.

I want to make another point regarding the scheduling. With the exception of the BSC championship game Dahlberg was mostly a stale place to play basketball this season. Even when there was a big crowd, such as Montana State or NAU, the crowd wasn't into it. At times they would get loud, but it was more like they were responding to the "Cheer" sign on the video screen rather than having passion. Tinkle has alluded to this several times during the season, talking about how this team deserves the atmosphere that was here when he played.

There are a lot of reasons for the lack of passion in the fan base, and obviously back to back blowouts in the tournament will not help energize the fan base, most of whom tune in only when there is a "big" game, like the championship or NCAA tournament, or a "name" opponent. The aging fan base, reconfiguration of Dahlberg, success of the football team, etc. etc all play into the lack of attendance and mostly stale or forced atmosphere. There is not a lot Tinkle and UM can do about that, but the schedule is the one contributing factor they can control.

In truth I can think of only a few games in Dahlberg in the past few years where there truly was a real energy in the crowd, an electricity that you got swept up into. The second half of this years BSC championship game had it. The Lady Griz NCAA tournament game against LA tech had it. And Montana's game against Stanford had it. All "Big" games. Montana has to figure out how to get more of these "Big" games, and get that electricity and energy back into their home court.

I am not saying that playing in front of 7,000 amped up fans every game would have made a difference in the game last night, but it wouldn't hurt, and would make recruiting easier. Montana has to figure out a way to improve the schedule.
 
Grizfan-24 said:
I am in the definate minority here.

I don't really think playing Duke, UNC, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga in non conference would have changed last night.

SDSU, BYU, CSU and Davidson weren't chump change. I don't think the body bag games against Carrol or Minot are going to change anything either.

I don't think he's saying we have to play top 5 schools in the country, 24. Howsabout we schedule an ASU? St. Mary's? NMSU? Boise? Utah? Washington? Wyoming? Air Force? Really, just the same schools we'd like to see on the FOOTBALL side of things...get some experience playing UP...not WAY up, just UP. We sure as fuck ain't gonna get that once conference play starts.
 
Maintain the same scheduling concept, then expect the same results in the Big Dance. Griz have 2 wins all time in the Tourney (Utah State and Nevada); a few close games; and some major blowouts (UNLV, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Syracuse). A couple games a year against top tier teams would be good for the program in so many ways. recruiting, excitement and preparation to name a few. At least it would let the team feel the speed of the game and real athleticism. Otherwise as soon as they face it for the first time when it matters, they will continue to look as horrible as they did last night. Shouldn't a team at least try and prepare for what will come later?
 
This is Davidson's OOC schedule. For a team we are able to hang with the only difference is it wasn't their first game against elite talent.
Emory
@New Mexico! (ESPN)
@UW-Milwaukee
Vanderbilt (ESPN2)
West Virginia (ESPN)
Gonzaga (ESPN2)
@Chattanooga
CHARLOTTE (ESPN3)
UNC WILMINGTON
@Drexel (NBC Sports)
@Richmond Richmond, Va.
@Duke (ESPN2)
 
AZGrizFan said:
Grizfan-24 said:
I am in the definate minority here.

I don't really think playing Duke, UNC, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga in non conference would have changed last night.

SDSU, BYU, CSU and Davidson weren't chump change. I don't think the body bag games against Carrol or Minot are going to change anything either.

I don't think he's saying we have to play top 5 schools in the country, 24. Howsabout we schedule an ASU? St. Mary's? NMSU? Boise? Utah? Washington? Wyoming? Air Force? Really, just the same schools we'd like to see on the FOOTBALL side of things...get some experience playing UP...not WAY up, just UP. We sure as f*** ain't gonna get that once conference play starts.

I enjoy how people think it is easy to simply schedule up, and for that matter, get teams to come to Missoula. The Griz have scheduled up. They played SDSU, BYU and Colorado State this year, along with Davidson in the bracket buster. The year before that they played CSU, Long Beach State, Oregon State and Nevada. Year before it was Utah, UCLA, Nevada and Oregon State. Looks like the Griz are already scheduling how people want them to. It would be impossible and a horrible mistake to fill out a non-conference schedule with nothing but those types of teams. It needs to be balanced where have for-sure wins, 50-50 games and a potential upset or two. The non-conference schedule has been just fine the last few years.
 
grizd said:
This is Davidson's OOC schedule. For a team we are able to hang with the only difference is it wasn't their first game against elite talent.
Emory
@New Mexico! (ESPN)
@UW-Milwaukee
Vanderbilt (ESPN2)
West Virginia (ESPN)
Gonzaga (ESPN2)
@Chattanooga
CHARLOTTE (ESPN3)
UNC WILMINGTON
@Drexel (NBC Sports)
@Richmond Richmond, Va.
@Duke (ESPN2)


teams will play them, because they know it won't hurt the sos...Griz have to make a run in the tourney before those teams will even think about having them on the schedule.
 
Grizbeer said:
I believe the 20 game conference schedule was a 1 year thing.

I want to make another point regarding the scheduling. With the exception of the BSC championship game Dahlberg was mostly a stale place to play basketball this season. Even when there was a big crowd, such as Montana State or NAU, the crowd wasn't into it. At times they would get loud, but it was more like they were responding to the "Cheer" sign on the video screen rather than having passion. Tinkle has alluded to this several times during the season, talking about how this team deserves the atmosphere that was here when he played.

There are a lot of reasons for the lack of passion in the fan base, and obviously back to back blowouts in the tournament will not help energize the fan base, most of whom tune in only when there is a "big" game, like the championship or NCAA tournament, or a "name" opponent. The aging fan base, reconfiguration of Dahlberg, success of the football team, etc. etc all play into the lack of attendance and mostly stale or forced atmosphere. There is not a lot Tinkle and UM can do about that, but the schedule is the one contributing factor they can control.

In truth I can think of only a few games in Dahlberg in the past few years where there truly was a real energy in the crowd, an electricity that you got swept up into. The second half of this years BSC championship game had it. The Lady Griz NCAA tournament game against LA tech had it. And Montana's game against Stanford had it. All "Big" games. Montana has to figure out how to get more of these "Big" games, and get that electricity and energy back into their home court.

I am not saying that playing in front of 7,000 amped up fans every game would have made a difference in the game last night, but it wouldn't hurt, and would make recruiting easier. Montana has to figure out a way to improve the schedule.

IF the Griz would have been in it that crowd would have been behind the Griz like a home game
 
stubbins said:
grizd said:
This is Davidson's OOC schedule. For a team we are able to hang with the only difference is it wasn't their first game against elite talent.
Emory
@New Mexico! (ESPN)
@UW-Milwaukee
Vanderbilt (ESPN2)
West Virginia (ESPN)
Gonzaga (ESPN2)
@Chattanooga
CHARLOTTE (ESPN3)
UNC WILMINGTON
@Drexel (NBC Sports)
@Richmond Richmond, Va.
@Duke (ESPN2)


teams will play them, because they know it won't hurt the sos...Griz have to make a run in the tourney before those teams will even think about having them on the schedule.

Southern Conference was two spots above the Big Sky in league RPI. And Davidson's RPI not much different than Montana, so that argument is not really applicable.

Davidson played Vandy, WVA and Gonzaga in the Old Spice Classic, so scheduling on their own got them at New Mexico and at Duke. Year before their big-name non-conference games were Kansas, Duke, UMASS and Vandy and some fill-in teams. And none of the big-name teams played AT Davidson. Suppose the Griz could just schedule 2-to-3 body bag games a year to "help" them get used to playing against speed. Since they'll instantly remember that game 2-3 months down the road.
 
GrizBacker04 said:
I enjoy how people think it is easy to simply schedule up, and for that matter, get teams to come to Missoula. The Griz have scheduled up. They played SDSU, BYU and Colorado State this year, along with Davidson in the bracket buster. The year before that they played CSU, Long Beach State, Oregon State and Nevada. Year before it was Utah, UCLA, Nevada and Oregon State. Looks like the Griz are already scheduling how people want them to. It would be impossible and a horrible mistake to fill out a non-conference schedule with nothing but those types of teams. It needs to be balanced where have for-sure wins, 50-50 games and a potential upset or two. The non-conference schedule has been just fine the last few years.

I suppose it is perspective. My perspective is of those teams you listed, only UCLA would be considered "playing up". Some of those other teams are good (Oregon State has been horrible and Utah has not been good the past few years), but what I would consider "peers" to Montana. Seriously if we are at the point that playing South Dakota State, a good program but also a program that was D-II a few years ago, is playing up than Montana needs to drop down.

Also remember that Montana played about 16 "for sure" wins this year. It's called the Big Sky Conference. No reason to schedule any "for sure" wins in OOC play. And you are right, getting good OOC teams to come to Missoula isn't easy, it requires a guarantee, and right now there is no money. Raise the money and those teams will come. The entire schedule comes down to money. Solve that and the scheduling is easy.
 
AZGrizFan said:
Grizfan-24 said:
I am in the definate minority here.

I don't really think playing Duke, UNC, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga in non conference would have changed last night.

SDSU, BYU, CSU and Davidson weren't chump change. I don't think the body bag games against Carrol or Minot are going to change anything either.

I don't think he's saying we have to play top 5 schools in the country, 24. Howsabout we schedule an ASU? St. Mary's? NMSU? Boise? Utah? Washington? Wyoming? Air Force? Really, just the same schools we'd like to see on the FOOTBALL side of things...get some experience playing UP...not WAY up, just UP. We sure as f*** ain't gonna get that once conference play starts.

I get that. I know last year that was about as good as they were going to do. I know that Tinkle has and always wanted to increase the profile of the mens non-conference schedule, especially at home. No pac 12 school minus OSU a few years ago will do a return game. A lot of Pac 12 schools schedule their home body bag games against in state schools, and as a result, I think it makes Tinkles job a lot more difficult to find teams who are willing to bring in a higher calibre mid-major. Few want the risk at losing at home to a mid major. Let alone one from a bottom 10 conference.

Knowing a couple of people inside the A.D. at the UofM, I know that Tink's desire to schedule better games against better opponents is well known. He just has had so few teams willing to schedule to the type of arrangements (home and home, even 2 there-1 here) that allows for a long term benefit for the program.
 
stubbins said:
grizd said:
This is Davidson's OOC schedule. For a team we are able to hang with the only difference is it wasn't their first game against elite talent.
Emory
@New Mexico! (ESPN)
@UW-Milwaukee
Vanderbilt (ESPN2)
West Virginia (ESPN)
Gonzaga (ESPN2)
@Chattanooga
CHARLOTTE (ESPN3)
UNC WILMINGTON
@Drexel (NBC Sports)
@Richmond Richmond, Va.
@Duke (ESPN2)


teams will play them, because they know it won't hurt the sos...Griz have to make a run in the tourney before those teams will even think about having them on the schedule.

I don't know, man. Teams from strong conferences don't care as much about OOC SOS because their conference schedule is strong enough.

For example, Indiana played:
Bryant, North Dakota State, Sam Houston, Ball State, Coppin State, Central Connecticut State, Mount Saint Mary's, Florida Atlantic, and Jacksonville.

Kansas played:
Southeast Missouri State, Chattanooga, San Jose State, Belmont, Richmond, and American University.

Even a middle of the road SEC team, LSU, played:
UCSB, McNeese State, Northwestern State, Miss. Valley State, Chattanooga, UC Irvine, Houston Babtist, and Bethune-Cookman.

The opposite might actually be true. If and when UM makes a run or runs in the Tournament, and looks to be good the next year, then UM might have more difficulty getting games against the power conferences in OOC, because those teams don't want to risk a loss to a Big Sky team out of conference. I know Gonzaga went through some of this after the first few runs in the Tournament. See, e.g., the cancellation of the GU-UW series.
 
It will be nice to step up the OOC scheduling. Next season we already know we go to Hawaii, and host Davidson. I am guessing Wayne will do his best to find a game reasonably close to Denver, so I would not be surprised to see CSU, Air Force, CU, Wyoming, Denver, New Mexico, or Utah.

I will also add, Don't be surprised to see a nice game or 2 in the Midwest. You all can banter on what programs I am thinking of. How dare I actually reveal more than that, just in case it does not happen. You will see when the schedule is official this summer.

Also pay attention to see which player may run track this spring, and which Region 9 guy we are looking at, and I hope we get.

Stay tuned. Hints is all I give anymore.
 

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