Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Top 144 Previews Might Miss Mark

OK, let me get the step ladder out so I can get up on the proverbial soap box.

This is about preseason previews produced by an internet site called CollegeHoops.net and packaged neatly as the top 144 teams nationally, one preview done each day for the 144 days leading up to the beginning of the 2010-11 season.

It comes to our attention because the site already indicates which teams will make the top 144 list and among the top 144 will be MAAC members Fairfield, Iona, Saint Peter's and Siena.

Siena is the first up, checking in at No. 136. With teams being released in reverse order of ranking, it means Fairfield, Iona and Saint Peter's will be rated higher than the Saints.

And, now, while how those teams are rated is pretty much the universally accepted "form" for the coming season we'll also tell you to take what this particular website has to say about our beloved conference and its teams with the proverbial grain of salt.

In other words ... CollegeHoops.net isn't exactly the most-credible source for MAAC news you'll find out there in the wonderful world of cyberspace. Not to besmirch anyone, but your blogger always thought that credibility related to one's work included a better-than working knowledge of the subject.

I know, from many years in the newspaper field, that one didn't write about a subject without first having a near-expert's insight into it. And, yes, I know that philosophy is probably antiquated and the age of the internet allows anyone to write about anything.

Anyway, in reading the biographica data of the website's participants, it does not appear that any staff members has any connection with covering the MAAC. The guess is that research is done via the traditional channels ... other websites, maybe some TV viewing, etc. And, that's fine. But, the typical MAAC fan can gather material just as easily, and many do. The strong guess is that there are more than a few MAAC fans considerably more knowledgeable than those previewing MAAC teams for this particular Top 144 feature.

The author of the Siena preview, for instance, is Joel Welser who resides in Michigan, several hundred miles removed from the nearest MAAC member.

This isn't an attempt to deny anyone the right to write about college basketball. Just a "heads up" that not all sources of information are created equal, and those that contain real first-hand information and insight about the MAAC (and, the hope is that you'll perceive this particularl site as one) should be embraced.

The site's Siena preview also lacks a little credibility with its material. It projects Siena's starting five to include Kyle Downey and Kyle Griffin in the backcourt.

At this point, predicting starting fives is, of course, a subjective exercise. But, most MAAC followers have a fairly good grasp of likely starting lineups. And, Siena's starting five for the coming season isn't likely to include both Downey and Griffin ... and, quite possibly, neither one.

That said, any publicity for mid-major conferences like the MAAC is never a bad thing. And, we'll be checking out the upcoming preview reports on other conference teams. But, just remember that not all sources of preview material are created equal.


James said...

I think you're just a little bitter that your Saints were ranked lower than Fairfield, St. Peters and Iona; you did say the Saints wouldn't fall that far...

Your blog while being a MAAC blog that does actually cover all schools in the conference has a STRONG bias towards the Saints. I think all of your years of covering them has altered the objectivity of your opinion.

Just my thoughts but I don't think you give the NYC Metro schools enough run on the blog.

August 12, 2010 10:11 AM

Bill said...

Don't you just love Siena haters. Thanks for your perspective Steve. Let some guy in podunk Michigan rank Siena anywhere he wants in pre-season. I'll be happy to watch them all eat crow in March. We know how to go dancing! Good luck to the others.

Steve Amedio said...

James --

No bitterness here.
If you read my recent post about my "predictions" made for The Sporting News' College Basketball Preview Issue, you'll note that Siena was picked to finish fourth there, too.
As for my focus with this blog: Entirely on the MAAC as a whole. Siena had been the conference's dominant team for the past three years, so it only stood to reason that it got a little extra in a forum like this. Heck, Marist got more posts in this forum on the women's side for the same reason.
But, I keep a close count on who's getting how many mentions and, other than post season, when Siena has been the only team still active, the number of posts about the top four or five teams have been relatively equally split.