A little Friday news dump. The Big 5 tradition is dead:
The Philly Six has found a solution to keep the Big 5 tradition alive. After months of conversations and searching for solutions to reinvent the deep-rooted city series, administrators and coaches have agreed to institute a new format, starting with the 2023-2024 season, a person involved in the planning told The Athletic. Here’s what you need to know:
Under the new format, the six schools — the traditional Big 5 teams of La Salle, Penn, Temple, Saint Joseph’s and Villanova, plus Drexel — will be split into two three-team pods.
The pod teams will play each other in November, with the winners matching up based on their record in a tripleheader (a designated fifth place, third place and championship game, if you will) at the Wells Fargo Center on the first Saturday in December.
I like where the Big 5 is headed, but I hate the new format. The addition of Drexel should be welcomed. They’ve strung together a couple strong seasons and made the tournament two years ago. But a round robin tripleheader is bogus. So you’re telling me I’m not guaranteed to play Villanova or St. Joes every year? If that’s the case make it a tournament and seed teams based on their Big 5/City 6 records the previous year. Give the first two overall seeds a bye to the second round and play it throughout the week. First round is Monday, second round is Wednesday, the championship game is Friday or Saturday. Bring back the streamers. Have basketball alumni compete in some sort of Shooting Stars contest like they do on All Star Weekend. Who wouldn’t want to see Ryan Archidiacono vs. Jameer Nelson vs. Pepe Sanchez vs. Malik Rose vs. Lionel Simmons vs. that white shooter from the 1996 Quakers basketball squad? Get someone who can work the fucking camera too:
Fine the Temple/LaSalle cameraman a game check pic.twitter.com/lHvDEBflIg
— Kyle (@kylepaganCB) December 1, 2022
I feel like the Big 5 got spooked because they overreacted to nobody going to the doubleheader on a Wednesday in November. Even though both schools involved provided zero transportation and gave away zero tickets. So what did they decide to do? Put the championship game in the Wells Fargo Center. No Big 5 game should be in the Wells Fargo Center. Ever. This was a Temple vs. LaSalle game at the Palestra when College Gameday came in 2014:
— Follow Crossing Broad (@CBroadBurner) January 27, 2023
This was the Temple vs. Villanova game this year:
.@KyleScottL @NovaMBB pic.twitter.com/MP5yu7yuv8
— Kyle (@kylepaganCB) November 12, 2022
You can’t tell me we can’t get back to that. Even with the new format.
Now does the Big 5 have bigger problems? Of course. Lack of competition and local talent being one of them. All you have to do is look at the Imhotep Charter vs. Camden High game tomorrow. If it wasn’t for the Eagles it’d be the hottest ticket in town:
Anyone selling tickets for Imhotep-Camden at St. Joe's on Saturday?
— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) January 25, 2023
I need a Ticket for that Imhotep vs Camden game man somebody know who selling them?
— Juice Murray 😂‼️‼️ (@EST___1991) January 13, 2023
Who’s selling tickets for Imhotep/Camden this Saturday????
— Mathew (@mathewr_2) January 26, 2023
Why? Two of the best players in the nation, DJ Wagner and Justin Edwards, are going head to head. Where are both of them going? Kentucky. We’ll never get back to the heyday of the Big 5 until the schools around here other than Villanova start becoming more competitive and keeping kids home. While we wait for that to happen the Big 5 should get it’s format right for longterm success.