By: Eric SanInocencio
SEC Digital Network
Hoover, Ala. -- One day. 24 players and coaches. 48 interviews.
Welcome to SEC Basketball Media Days.
Starting bright and early on Thursday morning, the second floor of the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., will transform into SEC basketball headquarters, as every league institution will convene for this year's event. Coaches, players and media will become immersed in hoops season, a prelude to what should be a great year in the Southeastern Conference.
The SEC has been doing a "Media Days" for quite some time, and the gathering itself has since evolved. What was once a two-day event has become a singular affair, giving media a better chance to attend a full day of work. Over 200 credential media members are expected to attended, talking with the league's top players and coaches for a span of 10-hours at the Wynfrey.
The Digital Network will be there as well, live streaming the event as it happens on the website. We have a special breakout page dedicated to our coverage (VIEW HERE)
, giving fans the chance to hear everyone that steps foot in the Wynfrey on Thursday. This is the second year we have dabbled in this undertaking, giving our loyalist followers another opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at what happens in the SEC. We will be setup in an exclusive room on the "rotation", a 10 minute one-on-one session with each coach and player as they continue along the trek.
What exactly does every coach and player have to do? I'm glad you asked.
As you can see on the Media Days home page, there are times assigned to each person, letting the media (and now you the fans) know what time to expect athletes/coaches in a given room. There is an entire floor full of "breakout" rooms they have to go through, giving various radio and television networks the chance to talk to them about the season. There is also a "print" room, complete with four individual press tables were newspaper and website journalists get their chance to hold court. Teams are broken into "sessions", a grouping of three men's and women's teams going who all go through the rotation at the same time.
Pretty impressive huh?
From a design perspective, everything flows well. Media Days is a 10-hour session of weaving mazes of press conferences. Each player and coach is escorted by an SEC staff member, helping them to keep pace with the schedule. When it you sit back and watch it happen, it is very cool.
Even though the event takes place in October, preparation begins much sooner. I spoke with Tammy Wilson, the SEC's women's basketball contact and Director of SEC Media Days. As she explains, the foundation for this day is laid months prior. "We set the schedule in May and then start prep with hotel in late August," Wilson shared. "Having all 12 institutions traveling in and out of Birmingham in one day can be a challenge, especially if bad weather (rain, fog, etc.) is in the area," she added. "If one team is late it throws off the schedule entirely."
The day itself can be tough to manage, since you don't really have the time to make a ton of adjustments. Each hour that teams are in the hotel is accounted for, and can leave for little wiggle room should something happen out of order. "The day is jammed pack with very little down time," said Wilson. "You have to be ready to make quick decisions if things go awry."
Now that you know a little more about SEC Media Days, we hope you will join us on the website this Thursday. Basketball is always big in the Southeastern Conference, so consider this your official "tip off" for the year.