New AD will play key role in basketball scheduling, arena and recruiting improvement
Tim Kenney was introduced a St. Bonaventure’s athletic director on Thursday afternoon. The 44-year old former executive associate AD at Massachusetts made some interesting comments. Let’s take a look.
A year-round bone of contention for Bonnies fans is the non-conference schedule. Kenney said he will take on a substantial role in putting together a schedule that gives the men’s basketball program greater opportunity to compete for NIT and at-large NCAA tournament berths.
A goal of Kenney’s, wrote the Olean Times Herald’s J.P. Butler is to:
Help figure out if we’re scheduling right. If we need to do something a little different, tweak it, so we’re always in the conversation of the NIT, and hope that in some years it’s maybe the NCAA. The NCAA is really hard to make. It’s hard to make at UMass, it’s hard to make, period. You want to be able to position yourself for the postseason that way. Schmidty and I will talk and we’ll figure it out … without him having to play a murderer’s row.
SBU’s non-conference scheduling could use a tweak or two. In my humble opinion, the goal should be to shoot for something similar to the non-conference slate the Bonnies assembled for the 2001-02 season:
|At Cleveland State|
|Boston College (in Buffalo)|
|At Kent State|
For next year, this could be adjusted to:
|At Cleveland State (or other nearby solid mid-major)|
|X high profile foe (in Rochester)|
|At X high profile foe|
|At Canisius (in Buffalo)|
|At X high profile foe|
|At Kent State (or other strong MAC program)|
Kenney was highly involved in UMass’ basketball operations. He is given credit for helping revive the program with the help of coaches Travis Ford and Derek Kellogg. He was lead planner for a new practice facility and oversaw “daily” operations for the program.
Kenney told the Olean Times Herald that the St. Bonaventure program needs more resources for recruiting.
Schmidty doesn’t worry about getting kids to come here. He’s got to be able to get out there and get more kids, so some more recruiting resources, I think, is an important part of it, so he’s able to get out there more, so the staff is able to get out there more. Because the A-10 level, it’s not like at the top levels where you narrow in on a few. You got to cast your net a little wider and know where you’re going.
The good news is that Schmidt and his staff have made great strides in recruiting the last few years after failing to land enough key players to put around Andrew Nicholson during his first three years on campus. Steve Curran has recruited some good prospects for the Bonnies of late, and the hope is that Jerome Robinson will continue to make inroads in Canada. More resources can only help.
Kenney also has visions of increasing attendance at the Reilly Center and making improvements to the arena to provide greater appeal to fans and recruits … I assume this to mean a video board or two, new seats in the upper level and, perhaps, beer sales. A new sound system and improved Wi-Fi access would be solid additions, as well.
This is what Kenney had to say:
I see the fans. I also see the pockets of empty seats and I ask myself: how are we going to fill them? Because then that’s some of the revenue that we can use to come back in and help us. That’s making sure that when you come into this place — and you’re spending hard-earned money to come to a game — you want to have a good experience; not just screaming and yelling, but you’re greeted, the concessions, the presentation of the game, that all goes into it. That’s key for having repeat customers that might not already be the loyal ones.
Kenny has a steep background in marketing, promotion, fundraising and rallyomg supporters. He believes that St. Bonaventure has a great “story” to tell. I recommend reading Chuck Pollock’s column on Kenney’s vision for culling resources for the athletic department.
We’ll have a Q&A with Kenney coming soon that offers some more insight into his objectives and goals for SBU.