- Sep 12, 2023
- Reaction score
Now....if next year's non-con schedule is as weak as this year's......I think we've got a problem. Because next year they absolutely should be contending for an at-large bid. Nobody thought we would be this year.
I can't imagine it would be.
Fran McCaffrey did something similar (although not quite as bad) in his 3rd season at Iowa. He had a fairly young team with a number of freshmen (including the starting point guard) and sophs playing significant roles so he had a pretty easy nonconference. They finished 9-9 in the conference but were leap frogged by Minnesota (Tubby's last team) and Illinois for the tournament and had to go to the NIT (where they finished as runner up). Likely, that nonconference schedule kept them out of the tournament. They had a more challenging nonconference the next season. They even pulled out of an underwhelming holiday tournament to get into a better one.
Like McCaffrey in his 3rd Iowa season, Ben in his 3rd season probably didn't expect the team to grow as quickly as it did. If he retains all or most of the critical performers from this team, he'll realize that he has to assume more risk in scheduling next season.