SIU Coach Barry Henson lit up

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Very true. No reason for there not to be 9 or 10k show up.

You are right. MA has put together a good team and a talent pipeline that will be flowing for many years. And we can’t even put as many people in seats as a good juco team does. How do you make more people care? Maybe winning will do it.

I miss Barnhill. At least in there, it wouldn’t look so embarrassing.

I am firmly convinced that the quality of our team is not the issue. The perceived quality of the opponents is the issue. We would be playing before thousands of empty seats if we were top 10, as long as the opponents are perceived as midmajors/cupcakes (Fort Wayne is not a cupcake, but our fans view them as one because they’re not Power 5). We were ranked a couple of times in the '14-'15 season and the crowds did not improve all that much. Until we opened SEC play; the first SEC home game against Vandy in '15 got 17,000 plus. But Vandy is obviously Power 5, reinforcing my point.

I watched some of the Kentucky/Canisius game the other night. Rupp is a hard sellout, has been for decades, but there were noticeably empty courtside seats for that game. So we’re not the only school having trouble getting people to show up for nonconference games. Obviously, UK had a lot fewer no-shows than we do, but some people with tickets still stayed home.