Big props to the Alabama State University basketball team for their upset win over Virginia Tech. Coach Lewis Jackson’s Hornets traveled to Blacksburg and knocked off the Hokies, 85-82, Sunday night.
It is not only a tremendous victory for the Hornets. It is a victory for the SWAC, and all other HBCU schools, and mid-majors.
To go into the building of a school that is a member of the powerful ACC and win, is huge.
Frankly, this is something that should happen more often. There is no question that basketball is the sport in which HBCUs have the best chance of making noise on a national level.
Consider that football is simply a numbers game. HBCUs simply don’t have the man power, not to mention the other amenities such as facilities, to compete with Division I programs.
But basketball presents a better opportunity. There are thousands of outstanding basketball players in the country, and even the major colleges cannot recruit them all.
There are enough great players falling through the cracks for HBCUs to get a shot at them. It is up to the coaches at the HBCUs to scout well, and develop the player over four years.
A great example is Norfolk State’s Kyle O’Quinn. In 2012, the 6-foot-10 center led Norfolk’s Spartans to an upset of Missouri in the first round of the NCAA tournament. O’Quinn went on to be a draft pick of the New York Knicks (49th overall).
Understand, HBCUs aren’t going to get the blue chip superstars. But there are literally dozens of good, solid players who are going to play for four years. And if the coaches can maximize those players game’s over four years, the chance to field highly competitive teams that are capable of playing with most teams will be there. Linked below is more info on the Hornets’ victory.