I’ll never forget looking forward to my first college basketball game as a college student; the packed coliseum, the way the energy bounces off the fans and onto the court of seemingly unreal athletes.
Then I went to ACU.
Now, I’m not saying it was bad, but it was pretty sad. There were maybe a couple hundred people and, of those, I could count the involved fans on my two hands. This was opening night of the season; it was supposed to be great.
I’ll be the first to admit I can easily turn into a crazed basketball fan. Basketball is what makes me tick, comforts me when I’m in my lowest times and is the reason for some of my best celebrations.
Last season went by and nothing much changed, so you can imagine my excitement now that we’re officially Div. I. There hasn’t been a home game yet, but the guys have been working hard on the road. The team is 0-4, but that’s deceiving.
We tipped off against Duquesne in Pittsburg, Penn. Restaurants in downtown Pittsburg rooted for ACU, pictures of support were posted on the streets and people on Twitter were clearly showing their ACU pride.
The Wildcats then traveled to New York and fell to St. Bonaventure. L.D. Williams had 18 points but the team had 18 turnovers, resulting in 23 Bonnie points.
Our new guards are better than ever, with Harrison Hawkins consistently shooting smooth threes and leader Parker Wentz holding the team together with his solid experience. New sophomore forward Austin Cooke has been a valuable big man, also shooting strong off the three-point line.
We took on powerhouse Maryland and led at the half, but we couldn’t keep up in the second half, going scoreless for the last 14:12 of the game.
ACU felt the effects of their month-long road trip against Iowa on Sunday and were outplayed on both ends of the court, leaving with a 103-41 loss.
And we continue the grueling road trip with TCU. All week, my TCU friends and family were going on and on about how they were ready to win. ACU? Nothing.
Furthermore, TCU just finalized plans to completely remodel their basketball coliseum over the next two years, and ACU has already begun remodeling Moody. That said, we as students have to make that happen.
I think it was meant to be that the first team we play close to Abilene also wears purple – it was a great foil to the all-too-often lack of purple Moody holds on a game night. Head coach Joe Golding has been steadily building a team that continues to get stronger and more athletic.
I think back to the volleyball game against Texas Tech earlier this fall. It was a Big 12 team and all odds were against us, but guess what? We won and over 1,300 people showed up to support.
After that game, the number one thing the volleyball team remembered was the environment of Moody and the support they felt as they fought for the win. We need to use that as inspiration as we go into this new chapter of Div. I basketball. Support our team, show up to Moody, stand up, cheer and wear that purple.
I’d like to go into Moody and be bombarded by the sea of purple I experienced at TCU, but with the Wildcat logo on every shirt, and hear those ‘Cats roar for their proper place in Div. I.
As former Hoosier, coach Bobby Knight said, “There have been a lot of people that have been involved in basketball: coaches, administrators, fans and nobody, nobody, any more so than students over the years.”