Question for Oldtimers

Talk XU Men's basketball here...
Gorilla '69
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Question for Oldtimers

Postby Gorilla '69 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:30 pm

My user name tells my graduation year. X was lucky to be .500 in a 2,000 seat gym that was usually 1/2 to 3/4 full. The years after that were worse, I remember a 3-23 year.
Did you ever think you would see anything like this in your lifetime?
A truly top 10 nationally respected program
What do you think are the reasons:
-Father Hoff
-Bill Daley
-Bob Staak
-Getting into a conference and moving up MCC to A10 to BE
-Cintas Center
-Gillen, Prosser, Motta, Miller, Mack
-All of the above
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby clevelandmuskie » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:49 pm

All of the above are the foundations for the program's success and I'm sure there are many more including great support from the fan base. I would say the number 1 reason is the ability to find consistently great coaches, not good but great. Going from Staak to Gillen to Prosser to Matta - Milller to Mack has been remarkable. There are very few schools, perhaps just a couple that haven't had a bad coach in 35+ years. For example I wish Archie Miller (moderate) success at Indiana, think of all the clunkers they have had since Knight's hey day. Has any other Big East team had our coaching legacy? Villanova has hit a grand slam with Jay Wright but they had a few mediocre/bad coaches along the way.
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby Michigan Musketeer » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:54 pm

1963 Grad followed X since grade school. Probably all of the above. I would say Cintas is as good a facility as there is in the country to watch a game (great recruiting tool). I remember when smoking was allowed at the old Schmidt fieldhouse and the smoke would rise over the floor to the ire of the players & fans.. Saw some very good players like Jimmy Booth, Hank Stein, Joe Viviano, Dave Piontek to name a few. Saw X blow out a highly rated Louisville team by 40 Pts (not sure what year). The program has come a long way still waiting for a final 4-may be this is the year- a 1 seed would be a great start. I was in St louis a couple years ago and very disappointed the way that ended.
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby xu koop scoop » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:34 pm

Things I remember as a fan since Steve Thomas days. My cousin started on 1st UC Championship & I went to many of their games, but I also saw Steve Thomas play for XU. My Dad loved all 3 Cincy teams thru the 60's, including the Royals.
The move to the Gardens & coming of age for Byron Larkin were HUGE turning points. The Gardens eventually gave us close to 10,000 for many games & established a fan base impossible at Schmidt. That's when I started 6 packs or more & by 90 Season Tix. The win over Missouri when we were a #14 (or was it #13) was great & many forget we lost the next round by 5 to Duke. The Nation started noticing us by 1990 beating GTown for our 1st Sweet 16. The move to the A10 set us up for what we have now. Our 1st yr in A10 we almost beat #1 UMass with Marcus Camby. The year we beat #1 St Joe's in A10 tourney lead us to our 1st Elite 8 - with a team that finished 8th in A10 that year. After the runs of UMass & St Joe's at #1 the A10 slid a little. The C7 / Big East should be as thankful to have XU, Butler & Creighton as we are to have the Big East.
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby kyzrex » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:47 pm

Of course it is ALL of the reasons listed that have had a part in X reaching the point where it is today. When I was there (late 70's) there was absolutely no thought that X would ever be where it is today. Not a matter of never dreaming of it, it was to outside the realm of possibility that it couldn't even have ben imagined, let alone dreamed of. I distinctly remember a sign in the student section at one of the open games that said "X INSANITY", with the letters NIT in bold lettering. That was the limit of our dreams back then, just to make the NIT tourney.

The day I first started dreaming of bigger and better things for X was the day when I saw Dexter Bailey and Vic Fleming square off in a dunk contest....Vic takes off. does a 180 and with his back to the basket and slams the ball down through the rim. Not to be outdone, Dexter grabs TWO balls, does the same move, but jams BOTH balls. I remember going home to see my dad and telling him about it. That was in Schmidt and there must have been about 2-300 people there at the most.

When X moved out of Schmidt and into the Gardens, that was HUGE. Especially when they started drawing people. I'll never forget the UMass game there. National TV, sold out crowd, LOUDEST arena I've ever been in.

Or the NIT games, especially when they beat OSU. Or the Princeton Comeback game to make the NIT final 4.

Or the first time I walked into the Cintas was the summer before they opened it, but it was mostly done. Was able to walk around and actually get out along the floor and look up. Remember thinking "so this is what a real on campus BB arena looks like!".

so many GREAT memories!

But the point that I'd like to make is that this has been a steady rise and steady improvement. This is no flash in the a Georgia Southern or a Penn, or like others that have captured the eye of the public for a season or two and then faded away.

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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby skyking » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:16 pm

Old-timer here (68). I remember when we were an independent hoping to someday rise to the level of the University of Dayton. Times sure have changed.
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby Shadow » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:53 pm

A lot have things have happened to the school since I left in '56 but my diploma says '57. I knew many of the people mentioned in this thread and I would have to say that all have contributed to the success of the program.
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby Xavier2005 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:21 pm

All of the above and much much more ..especially from 1978 to 2000 when Cintas opened and added even more value to the program and also added the new generation of fans and band wagon huge $$$ contributors, which now dominate the program. I started attending games in the old facility on campus and then on to the Gardens. A season ticket holder since 1978. However , while X was at the Garden getting maybe 4000 to 5000 season ticket holders and the occasional packed house of 10,000 .....Xavier was still trending water as a program but certainly getting much better, but NOT a national name or powerhouse. I and many others were ask to attend meetings at X to brainstorm how Xavier could get more fans, get more dollars from fans and alumni, and also become a national name men's basketball wise. 1. My key contribution, which many agreed to over time, and was pushed by others was: First X must get an arena on campus and that arena can and will be paid for by licensing the seats at $200 to $1000 a seat with 3 yr to 10 year the cost of season tickets....suites which Corporations will buy for tens of thousands of dollars....etc. 2. The Alumni Program must get better....Xavier was NOT keeping track of all their alumni in a professional way thus they were losing track of alumni and thus losing contributions. I was an MBA grad, not an undergrad alum, I mentioned Xavier never called me for monies because the old alumni association only kept track of undergrads. I mentioned back then and you know many of those MBAs and MHAs now make big 6 digit to 7 digit yearly salaries....they can bring you larger donations and connect you to the Corporate world in Cincinnati and nationwide. The Cintas Center and the bigger contributors have made Xavier basketball and the University itself better and bigger and Nationally known.....look at the current campus ..totally new and better....due to bigger donors.
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby Theology73 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:32 pm

As my name indicates, I graduated in 1973. It all started to improve when AD and former coach Jim McCafferty worked hard to create the MCC to finally get us into a league. Bill Daily and the search committee hiring Staak and his landing Byron really began the upswing as we moved to the Gardens. Pete then took us to the next level, and we never looked back. Hiring CM and getting into the Big East has finally given us the opportunity to compete for a National Championship.
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby Carolina Blue » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:39 pm

It may not be something that easily comes to mind, but our rivalry with UC had a large part to play in taking us to the next level, especially when UC became a national power. Sure, as we became a more competitive program, the chances of us beating a national power like the Bearcats increased. But once we would have beaten them, they probably would have dropped us from future games. But given the city rivalry, Cincinnati had to keep playing us -- creating a top tier game that gave the Muskies an opportunity to keep beating a nationally ranked team regularly. Thank You, Hugs!

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