Good morning! If you’re reading this, you’re clearly starting your day off right with an effort to better yourself by becoming more educated about the goings-on in the mid-major world.
In a landscape so dominated by the biggest schools and conferences, it’s quite hard to winnow down the information you want and need to hear about your favorite mid-major programs.
Thankfully, Mid-Major Madness is here to aggregate the news and links for you, providing you with a brand-new, daily post about the world of mid-major hoops.
#Content to Read
A plan for using HBCUs to get the NCAA to pay players (Vice Sports)
This is an interesting article with an interesting proposal: Having HBCU schools break off and form a paid basketball league. Patrick Hruby, who wrote the article, isn’t the one advocating for this, but rather it’s a man named Andy Schwarz.
Schwarz thinks that HBCUs are the perfect schools to do this, as they’re already prevented from earning a great deal of NCAA money, and this method could possibly allow them to bring in big time recruits. Hruby recounts Schwarz’s pitch as follows:
When Schwarz and company use the term "disruption," this is what they really mean: transforming the association's strength into a weakness, and turning the exploitative Hobson's choice currently presented to college athletes—amateurism or nothing—into a real one. "You don't just have to be a high school All-American," Polite says. "Imagine you're playing at Georgetown. There's Howard right across the city [in Washington, D.C.], and those guys are getting paid.
"What would keep you where you are? You'd be like, 'The hell with this. I'm out. I'm going over there.' You could have endorsement deals, have Cadillac giving you a car, you ride around and hand out business cards for the local dealer. Every car sold, you get a cut. I'm telling you, at that point, it's over."
Eastern Washington takes a chance on Bobby Suarez (Spokesman-Review)
Shantay Legans is about to begin his first season at the helm of Eastern Washington after spending many years as an assistant in Cheney. So he knows what it takes for an assistant to be successful at this school.
His new hire, Bobby Suarez, is a guy with no playing or coaching experience when it comes to basketball. As Jim Allen points out:
Suarez, an assistant video coordinator at Florida State and 2012 graduate of Florida Gulf Coast, joins recent hire Nick Booker and returning assistant David Riley.
Suarez didn’t play college ball, but Legans said he was impressed with his “attentiveness and desire to work hard and win.”
Suarez’s responsibilities at Florida Gulf Coast included on-court development, compiling video edits and assisting with on-campus recruiting.
At Eastern, Suarez will continue to work with film, while contributing in recruiting and player development at all positions.
Florida Gulf Coast is scheduling some really tough teams (FGCU Athletics)
An in-season home-and-home series with Middle Tennessee State. A home matchup with Illinois State. Road trips to UT Arlington, Wichita State, and Rhode Island. Florida Gulf Coast fears no man, and it is totally willing to schedule some of the toughest mid-majors (and Wichita State) out there in order to prove its toughness.
Kudos to Dunk City for doing this, as wins in many of these games would be massive RPI and résumé boosters. So, if they do manage to win the A-Sun Tournament this season (which they probably will three-peat), their seed might be better than a 14 or 15.
Troy Baxter transferring from UNLV to FGCU (FanRag Sports)
Our buddy Jon Rothstein has the news that former UNLV Runnin’ Rebel Troy Baxter has decided to transfer to Dunk City. This is clearly a huge pickup for the Eagles, given what Rothstein notes in his piece:
The former 4-star recruit will have three years of eligibility remaining.
During Baxter’s lone season with UNLV, he averaged 4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per contest. He also shot 41.5 percent from the field and 26 percent from beyond the arc.
Clearly Baxter wasn’t performing exceptionally well at UNLV, but he has potential, and was thought highly of in high school. It’ll be interesting to see how he can help FGCU in 2018-19.
Tweets of Interest
Big night for ETSU
An even bigger night for ETSU!
The best team in Connecticut is at it again
(Ed. Note: Way to disrespect Yale)