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Author Topic: Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND  (Read 4588 times)

MileHigh

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Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND
« on: July 25, 2007, 12:51:08 PM »
Here is an interesting post on a Notre Dame message board.  They are trying to boost student attendance at bball games.  According to this current ND student, MU has the right idea.  Here is the link and text below:

http://www.ndnation.com/boards/showpost.php?b=thepit;pid=78271;d=this

Ideas for Better Student Attendance...Long
by Dillon09 (07/25/2007 10:21:14)
This post is a response to a post a week ago by "Section 12" in which the poster challenged me to try to inspire more passionate and raucous student participation at ND bball games. I have had many conservations about this topic and would like to share some ideas that I think would help get students into ND basketball.

To begin with, I'd like to share a little background about myself. I am going to be a junior at Notre Dame, and I came to ND from a Catholic high school in the Chicagoland area. During my high school years, I garnered an obsession with the Chicagoland area high school basketball scene. I saw some great players in my years of following Chicago basketball, including Matt Lottich, Julian Wright, Nick Fruent, Bobby Frasor, Sherron Collins, and most notably Jon Scheyer. Watching Jon Scheyer score 21 points in 75 seconds in Chicago's most storied Christmas tournament (the Proviso West tourney, think of Isaiah Thomas, Doc Rivers, Juwan Howard, Michael Finley) was the most amazing individual feat I have ever seen in a sports venue of any sort. I am confident that I will probably never see a high school player as good as Scheyer. His will to win was Jordanesque.

BTW, I attended Loyola Academy and saw players like Colin Falls and Jeffrey Jordan change my high school from a "football school" to a "basketball school." FWIW, Colin started this trend long before Michael Jordan started showing up in the stands. I know this may sounds hard to believe, but Falls was an electric high school player. One great memory I have is of a Chicago Vocational School player dunking and celebrating in front of the Loyola bench. Colin, a junior at the time, responded by taking the ball the length of the floor and slamming a dunk down over a CVS big man. Falls was a much more athletic player before ND decided that he needed to add weight to compete at the college level.

Coming from this background, I came into ND excited about being a student at a school with a big time college basketball program. I was very disappointed after my first year as a Bball fan at ND, especially in light of the fact that most of my friends attended Marquette and could not stop bragging about how great their basketball environment was. FWIW, in the past two years, I have attended the vast majority of ND home games, and a few away games (@ Depaul both times, @Marquette). When I read your Section 12's post, I immediately thought about Marquette basketball games. I would like to offer some suggestions on how ND games can become more like Marquette games (in terms of student excitement).

I am well aware of the many inherent differences b/w the two places. MU is a "basketball school" and ND is a "football school." MU is located in Milwaukee (a city that loves its booze more than anything), whereas ND is located in South Bend. The Bradley Center serves alcohol, whereas the Joyce Center cannot. There are many more differences that I could list out, but the point is that ND (and the SB area) should consult MU if they desire a more exciting basketball environment.

Ideas I have come up with for how ND basketball games can be more exciting (In terms of student participation)

1. Better Advertisement by the University itself. Students sometimes are completely unaware that a team like Villanova or Pitt is coming to town. This is absolutely ridiculous considering the lack of entertainment in SB during the winter time. I receive e-mails from Brey via the Leprechuan Legion, but the whole campus needs to know when there is a big game.

2. A collabaration b/w SB bars/restuarants and the ND bball experience. Games at Marquette revolve around going to bars before and after games (kind of like Cubs games). Local SB bars (such as CJs, Club 23, Finnegans, Tailgaters) need to have special deals (e.g. 10 dollars all you can eat/ drink) before and after basketball games. These two activities (having a good time and ND bball games) need to be integrated such that they are a package deal in students minds.

This is how things are done at MU, and it CAN be done at ND. It would be profitable for bars on weekday nights and weekend afternoons to do something like this (Bars just need to see some sort of demand to spend time/energy on this- how about a letter from ND's athletic dept promising some promotion/advertisement or maybe ND could offer free shuttles from these to and from there bars before and after games). Also, places like CJs and Tailgaters serve food, so underclassmen could attend these events as long at they are not held on weekend nights. This sort of undertaking would require the ND Athletic Dept. to actually understand and respond to desires of a large block of its customers (students). That should be the number one goal of any athletic dept, and therefore I see no excuse for this not being possible from that standpoint. There would be a few hoops to jump through to get this to happen, but I am VERY CONFIDENT that it would work.

3. My final suggestion is a tricky one, but it still is relevant. Either Brey needs to start recruiting better, more exciting players, or we need to find a coach that will. I know that players such as Chris Quinn, Rob Kurz, and Colin Falls are effective, but they simply don't excite students. Students want to see a team with athletic, fun to watch players, ala anyone who played on Kansas, NC, or Florida this year. MU also consistently seems to recruit exciting players, such as current stars Jerel Mcneal (who I saw in HS) and Dominic James. FWIW, Marquette beat out Dayton for McNeal (Brey did not recruit him). From my conversations with students, people just don't seem to be excited about Zeller, Kurz, Ayers, Peoples, etc because they are seen as "soft" prep school players (I'm well aware that Peoples went to St. Joseph, but he was soft in HS and that Zeller went a small school in Indiana) who just lack a certain amount of passion. Students want to see a Jared Dudley, Noah, Julian Wright, Hakim Warrick, Sherron Collins, or even Jon Scheyer type of player who plays with a certain amount of intensity (I know some of you may respond with name Harangody, but that is only one player). Brey seems to recruit players who share his demeanor (Zeller, Kurz) or misuse those who don't (Carter, for example.) Asking Brey to recruit athleticism and intensity may be too tough a task, and suggests that a new coach may be part of the solution.

Avenue Commons

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Re: Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2007, 12:59:24 PM »
Good post. Glad to hear that people outside of the MU community appreciate what we've done to create a game-day "experience." There is no doubt that the cooperation of places like Turner's, Buck Bradley's, Major Goolsby's, etc. help create the experience. I think he goes a little bit astray when he says that ND fans would respond to more exciting, athletic players. In my experience fans respond to winning, no matter what kind of players bring the wins.
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muwarrior87

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Re: Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2007, 02:36:28 PM »
One thing that ND definitely doesn't have that MU does is an awesome arena...the Joyce seats the MU student section and that's about it.  It's dinky and I've seen better scoreboards at hs gyms.

And I don't know how much the bars would help them seeing as their arena is in the middle of campus which isn't extremely close to any bars.  At least not as close as the BC is to Turner's, GameTime, and however many bars there are in that 5 block radius.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 02:38:26 PM by muwarrior87 »

ozmetal71

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Re: Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2007, 04:10:58 PM »
The Joyce is a dump, but ND is doing a massive renovation of the place over the next few years.  Regarding bars, you are correct about the location being a problem at ND.  We are fortunate to have an arena that is located within blocks of most of the great bars in Milwaukee.

It's nice to go to ND and come away knowing that Marquette has a much nicer basketball experience than ND.  I love ND, but anything that knocks down their arrogance a bit is refreshing.

The Lens

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Re: Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2007, 09:19:11 AM »
I'll trade them two blow up "fly guys", 3,000 gold T-shirts and the rights to play U2 for Harangody.  If pushed I would even throw in Cotton Eyed Joe.

Marquette, we always win the post-game.

Chili

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Re: Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2007, 10:00:53 AM »
I'll trade them two blow up "fly guys", 3,000 gold T-shirts and the rights to play U2 for Harangody.  If pushed I would even throw in Cotton Eyed Joe.



Just give them Freeway for free too.
But I like to throw handfuls...

PuertoRicanNightmare

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Re: Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2007, 10:18:34 AM »
They may not get the support that we do, but something caused us to completely lose our composure at the Joyce last year.

muwarrior87

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Re: Post Regarding Student Attendance MU vs ND
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2007, 10:36:22 AM »
They may not get the support that we do, but something caused us to completely lose our composure at the Joyce last year.

The worst officiating I'd seen all year, according to ND fans as well...but can't blame it on that, even w/ a young team, gotta battle through that.