Skip Prosser Classic to skip a season
Posted on: April 28, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 2:57 pm
One of the best newborn traditions to come to college basketball is going on hiatus. What a shame.
The Skip Prosser Classic -- a game between Xavier and Wake Forest, the two schools Prosser (right, in 2005, with Chris Paul) coached at prior to his unexpected death in 2007 -- will not be played next season. The reason? A conflict of schedules, according to Shannon Russell of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Wake Forest's Scott Wortman confirmed the information to Russell.
Scheduling games is one of the finicky, tricky things for coaches and athletic departments to do. Most of them hate the process, as organizing and arranging quality opponents while baking in some cupcakes is one of the biggest challenges of the offseason, truly. My question: How was this not already set, beyond any other obstacles, in stone?
I talked with Xavier coach Chris Mack on the phone today, and he told me Xavier was open and willing to a number of dates to play the game, but Wake Forest could not oblige.
"It's unfortunate that Wake Forest could not find a date for us to continue the series that honors a man who meant a lot to all of us," Mack said. "Although it will not hold the same place in our hearts as the Skip Prosser Classic, we are in the process of finding a quality opponent to replace them on this year's schedule."
In effect, Mack is now on the hunt to find a game with a major-conference team that can replace Wake. (Efforts to reach Wake Forest head coach Jeff Bzdelik have not yet been successful.)
This should only be a one-year hiccup, as the teams have a 10-year deal in place to play out the series. I've waxed poetic about the awesome notion and nature of this game before, and I'll do the same here again. It's a great thing that highlights some of the best aspects of college basketball's non-conference season. This kind of opportunity doesn't surface all that often (thankfully), so it's really in the best interest of both programs to make sure the games happen. To be honest, the fact that some scheduling clustered up this from happening is a bit embarrassing for both programs.
The teams split the first two years of the series, Xavier winning last season.