On Oct. 6, the Owls will play their first Big East game in 8 years. The basketball program, which, along with all other sports, will join the conference in 2013-14, just got a new state-of-the-art practice center that was part of an even more extensive, and expensive, renovation of McGonigle Hall.
In today's ever-evolving world, it's all about taking steps.
Welcome to the future.
"The beautiful thing is, it had [already] been talked about," said Addazio, whose 1-2 team, coming off a loss at Penn State, gets its second bye in 3 weeks before hosting South Florida. "We were going to be outdated in the MAC [the Owls' former conference], never mind the Big East. That's just the way it is, what's going on out there in the country.
"This will have a major impact for us, absolutely. It's just a sales business. People look at this and say it's pretty nice, right? Where it's come in the last year-and-a-half is leaps and bounds, never mind the last 10. And where it's going to be 5 years from now is, like, remarkable. Some stuff, I don't even want to say.
"This gets things where they should be, gets it appropriate. This can compete with anybody in the conference we're in. It's anything any Division I player would want. You'd be proud to call this your home, if you will. It's very appealing. The response we've gotten is phenomenal. We're headed in the right direction. We're excited about it, and we should be. It's not fake excitement, because it's real."
The next part of the plan is an indoor practice structure, something Golden also wanted before he left to take the coaching job at Miami. Addazio said that it's a matter of when and where, not if.
"I really feel like I've been able to come in here and put my stamp on it," he said. "I thought we maximized this place. Infrastructure is part of making the move we're making. I'm real appreciative of the university and the alumni for wanting to share the commitment. We're not quite finished yet. We have a lot on the table right now. It's all part of the building process. The investment's going to [pay off].
"This allows you to recruit. It's perfect timing. To attract a high caliber of player, you have to have a facility that fits. That was the problem [at one time], so you couldn't kind of grow. Now everyone's aligned. We're obviously putting our money where our mouth is. We're not where we need to be yet, but we're going to make strides . . .
"What had to be done [in the past] wasn't. That's why it sort of failed. That's not going to happen now."
Contact Mike Kern at firstname.lastname@example.org;
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