USI women’s basketball coach Rick Stein appears to like them, mostly because the pods idea — four teams grouped together that play each other home and away during the season — allows teams to play everyone in the GLVC. That hasn’t happened in nine years. The USI women, like the mens’ team, are group with Indianapolis, Bellarmine and Saint Joseph’s. Indy and Bellarmine are always good in women’s hoops while St. Joe recently hired former Drury coach Steve Harold, who was 129-52 in six seasons at Drury, going 81-27 in the GLVC.
“We’ve had divisions, but we hadn’t played each other,” Stein told me. “I don’t think anybody wanted to overload a schedule and only play conference games. Then you miss out on some other teams in the (Midwest) region. This seemed to be the best answer.”
At the very least it should help coaches select all-conference teams. “When you’re not seeing a team and not seeing their players, when it comes to postseason awards, how can you vote for somebody you’ve never even seen or played?” said Stein.