Look….I LOVE this area, and the basketball history that’s attached to it. LOTS of talent has come out of this area over the years, and there have been quite a few college programs nationally, at ALL NCAA levels of play, that have benefited from our embarrassment of basketball riches here.
Well…ALMOST all…HBCU Basketball in the DMV hasn’t necessarily seen that winfall.
*For the sake of this blog entry, I’m referring to HBCU’s within the DC/Metro footprint, specifically Howard University, Bowie State University, The University of The District of Columbia, and The University of Maryland – Eastern Shore…Coppin State and Morgan State University are situated in Baltimore, which kinda deserves it’s own shine in a later blog entry… 😉 *
Howard University, UDC, and Bowie State DO have some inherent differences between them. Howard and UMES are the only NCAA Division I Schools in the group, while Bowie and UDC are Division II. Different allotments in scholarship players, etc. are gonna be there, at least in comparison to the Power 5 schools that are in the area, and the greater region.
That being said, the collective quality if HBCU basketball in these parts (in comparison with the talent that’s BEEN here for along time) leave a LOT to be desired. Frankly, there’s enough talent in this metro area to keep the Division I HBCU squads competitive as mid-majors, and to turn the two lone Division II Reps into seriously viable programs at that level of play…We’ve SEEN HBCU programs in the region do it before, with UDC winning the Division II National Championship in 1982 behind the late Michael Britt, and Earl Jones:
Down the road a bit in Richmond, Va., Virginia Union built a bona-fide Division II basketball dynasty with multiple CIAA and NATIONAL championships, mostly with talent from THIS Metro area. The successes have been few and far between for programs residing in the DMV, though. Bowie State has had some sustained DII tourney success (Took a LOADED squad to the brink of an Elite 8 appearance in 2005, only to lose to eventual National Champ and fellow CIAA member Virginia Union.), but they’ve been the exception, rather than the rule.
How do we change the current status quo, though? Reality and logic kinda lend to not competing heads up with the Power 5 programs in the area in terms of recruiting, but it doesn’t change the fact that there’s STILL plenty of talent out there to be had, IF these programs can get more visibility on the AAU circuit, and invest more resources into their respective programs, that paradigm can be shifted in the right direction.
In order to win the game, you gotta play the game…HBCU’s simply need to start playing better.
Until Next Entry