Whatever happened to the Eagles’ homecourt advantage?

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Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 7:16pm

In this day and age where entertaining the masses with sports events is at an all time high, what is wrong with our student turnout at USU Eastern basketball games? Why can’t we seem to get more than 25 students on average to our games, even when our team is good?

Our USU Golden Eagle’s men’s basketball team started out the season 17-1 this year, one of the best starts in school history and it’s not even close. We are in one of the toughest regions in the nation, and the College of Southern Idaho is the number-two-ranked team in the country. I try to make it to all the games, though sometimes work and family interfere, but what I saw on Thursday night against CSI, and what I saw again on Saturday night against North Idaho College, in what could have proved to be the most pivotal game for us this season, was nothing short of an atrosity.

Everyone knows that a good home crowd can have a dramatic effect on a game’s outcome, and that has been proven by fan’s like the Utah State University Aggie’s basketball team, or the Seattle Seahawks fans, both of which have made SportsCenter multiple times for their groundbreaking cheers and record breaking noise. Even the Utah Jazz at one point were considered to have the best fans in the NBA, and anyone on the Jazz would tell you that a large portion of all those wins can undoubtedly be credited to their awesome fanbase.

But where are our fans? Our men’s team has already beat CSI this year. We have beaten the number-two team in the nation and we can’t get more than 40 students to come watch an incredible re-match and a chance to knock off them down a peg? Not to mention a chance to just stick it to the man since CSI has the largest budget in our region by far, and they, well, let’s face it, they just aren’t supposed to lose to teams like us. But hasn’t that been the story for our guys all year? They have perservered through bad call after bad call, and hostile croud after hostile croud, so shouldn’t they be able to expect in return for their incredible efforts this season, to just be able to come home and give a good old fashioned fan-based beat down on some of our biggest and best opponents?

I sat behind our bench for the CSI game on Thursday and again on Saturday against North Idaho, and it was a depressing sight looking across the court to where our fan base is supposed to be. Now don’t get me wrong, our fans who do come love the game and love our team just as much as I do, but 25-30 people in the stands from our school is simply unnacceptable. We should be filling that gym full with the season we are having and the team we have!! If you have watched these guys even once you know how explosive and exciting they are. Their job is to win games and entertain, and they do that job better than anyone I have seen in a long time. It seems like every minute of play one of our guards is slamming home a ferocious dunk, or drilling a long three ball, or one of our bigs is sending home another block, working tirelessly to defend our painted area, and our homecourt. But through all the excitement, the only people I hear that actually get excited, is the bench!!!

We need our students at these games. I don’t know what I have to do to get the word out, but the region tournament is coming up, and its at home this year. The stars are aligned for our Eagles to make a great run this year, and it seems like the only thing missing is a fan base with a voice. They need our cheers! They need to hear some D-d-d-d-fence! Scoreboard! Scoreboard! Lets go Eagles! Anything! Because that is what home court advantage is all about. It only takes one or two calls to go our way instead of theirs, and its our job to make the referee feel so guilty for his terrible display of ref-ing, that the next call goes our way and we win the game. We can beat CSI and SLC, and we are going to need all the help we can get from our fans, because our path likely goes through both of those teams on the road to Nationals.

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