UM wins, but no one’s there to see it

It is depressing to go to the Miami Arena for a Hurricane men’s basketball game and be able to count the number of fans with my fingers. The team is off to a spectacular start 17-2 (4-2 in the Big East) to the 2001-02 season and not many of you know it.
Miami is a young and exciting team who does not understand the advantage of playing on its home court. Yes, the Hurricanes are a perfect 10-0 at Miami Arena entering last night’s game against Villanova, but the fans deserve no credit. Miami is averaging only 3,350 fans per game. Simply put, this is pathetic.
Miami has earned national attention. The Hurricanes are ranked No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 22 in the AP Poll.
Miami has quality wins against Indiana, at LSU, and at Georgetown. They are coming off two consecutive overtime victories at home over Pittsburgh and Providence, and yet, nobody was there to view the exciting action.
The Hurricanes’ only two losses came at Connecticut and at St. John’s. Both teams benefited from outstanding fan support. Miami only lost to Connecticut by one point and the Huskies’ fans deserve a lot of credit due to the extremely loud atmosphere.
Not only is Miami winning, but they are also playing exciting and inspired basketball. All five starters are averaging double figures, led by sophomore Darius Rice’s 14.4 points per game. Senior point guard John Salmons is a triple double threat every night, as he averages 13.9 points per game, 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists.
In addition, the team averages 75.9 points per game and are nailing just under eight three-point baskets per contest. The Hurricanes are an explosive team that loves to shoot the long ball, and does so while winning games. What else would a college basketball fan ask for?
The Hurricanes have already surpassed last season’s win total, and the future only looks brighter. The Hurricanes are a relatively young team, as starters Rice, James Jones, and Marcus Barnes will all return next season.
Ah yes, next season. Next season is all I hear from Hurricane basketball fans. The construction of the new on campus arena, the Ryder Center, will be complete and will indeed make it much easier for students to attend games. But I do not buy this excuse.
If you are a college basketball fan who attends the University of Miami then you need to go out and support the men’s basketball team now. How difficult is it to take the Metro Rail for five minutes and get off directly in front of the Miami Arena?
To put this in perspective, it’ll take longer for those students who live in Mahoney/Pearson next year to walk to the Ryder Center, then fans will walk this season from the Metro stop to the Miami Arena.
I know this is pushing it, but the point is do not call yourself a Miami basketball fan unless you attend the games.
As of now, it looks like the Hurricanes are en route to an invitation to the NCAA tournament and us fans can expect a lot of Miami students to jump on the bandwagon once March comes along. Rather than taking the leap late in the season, come support the Hurricanes now.
Hopefully I will see you on Tuesday at the Miami Arena when the Hurricanes take on Big East foe Boston College.

January 25, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.