Ernie D and "Bad News" Marvin Barnes. Ledo may have heard about them I suppose. And Dave Gavitt was instrumental in forming the Big East Basketball Conference so when it was established and before any League games were ever played they were on top along with everybody else.
The problem with that strategy is the kids are generally too impatient to stick it out until they are mature enough to actually compete for a National Championship and (unless you are Kentucky) the coach can't maintain that level of recruiting to fill in the blanks from year to year when guys leave for the NBA. Either that or they aren't that good to begin with.
In the 60's and the early to mid 70's Providence was the Mecca of college basketball in NE and throughout the east. That's why Gavitt had so much power and influence in the creation of the BE. The Providence Civic Center was one of the first large off campus arena's in the country and it was a nightmare for opposing teams during the 1st half of the 70's. I believe they may have won like their 1st 90 games in it. It was all started by a coach named Joe Mullaney in the early 60's. He had great players, Lenny Wilkens, John Thompson, Jimmy Walker, and others and is the inventor of the matchup zone defense.
Since the formation of the BE they have only seen any level of great success in a few seasons 87 when we could beat everybody but Cuse, 94 winning a BE title and 97 losing to National Champion Arizona in OT in the elite 8.
PC is Rhode Islands team and it has a large, loud fan base begging for relevance. Ledo know this having grown up there, hence his comments.
Yes I get that, it's hard to say, PC won the NIT twice in the early 60's when all the top teams chose that instead of the NCAA. Let's just assume he meant back to being one of the top teams, anyway it's been 35+ years. A long long friggin time.