Monday, January 12, 2009

Hounds Bark Worse Than Bite

I'll admit, I'm still a Loyola Greyhound fan, although I still haven't figured out 1.) why they compete in the MAAC (all the other schools are NY/NJ/CT based) and 2.) why there are Division 1. In any case they are what they are, and have to deal with it as best we can. But after 2 consecutive years of winning seasons, after a long stretch of mediocrity, it looks as if the 'Hounds are going to finish below .500 this year.

What does Coach Jimmy Patsos have to say about it? They're a young team. Most of their veteran starters are gone, and the team is back to square one with a lot of younger players. Loyola only has 1 senior and 1 junior starter, and the rest of the team is made up of sophomores and freshmen. Understandably they wouldn't do so well this season. Yet they still play high profile games to gain National exposure, which is the only good way to gain support and prospectives. If you don't put yourself out there, you won't get anything. Two years ago they played UVA and Providence, last year Kansas, this year Duke and Davidson, sure all losses, but good exposure.

But what about the students? Talk about a school with absolutely no school spirit when it comes to basketball, and for a D-1 team! I'm not hacking them as an outside, I went there, I know. The games are free, the arena is at the center of campus, and they still cant get more than 500 people to go on average. Home team support is so important to a team. There is nothing like the cheers and chatter of a crowd to motivate a team. Where the Greyhounds lack the most is in fan support. It's never a good sign when there are more General Admission fans (families, alumni, administrators, neighbors) than students, which routinely happens.

One questionable move, which baffles me, is the recent downsize of the seating capacity of Reitz Arena. Officially it held 3,000, in mostly old school wooden bleachers (which had great acoustics when smacked) but after a recent renovations they DROPPED the capacity to somewhere around 2,100. WHAT! Why would you make it less? Is this a grand scheme to make it look the stadium is fuller than it actually is? Bad move on Loyola's part. You have 3,700 students there, plus general admission (and fancy court side seats), they should get crowds of 1,500, or more easily, but they don't. I guess the students just don't care.

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