BYU basketball: Cougars' 'performance' at the Marriott Center this season has been mighty impressive
And they’re doing it despite the fact that every home game is now competently televised in glorious high definition (except on satellite) on BYUtv. For the “afternoon” crowd that means a tough choice between the temperature-controlled living room BarcaLounger and a 25-cent can of Kirkland brand imitation Fresca vs. a trip into sub-freezing temperatures and a $6.50 watered-down, caffeine-free Diet Coke.
BYU’s home attendance last year (and likely this year) is higher than the average attendance in any conference in college basketball. Oh, and higher than 10 NBA teams.
The chart below shows BYU basketball’s Marriott Center attendance over Dave Rose’s tenure (with actual numbers in the table in the next section). That steep incline is a good thing, freshman.
Here’s that same chart with home attendance for the University of Utah’s basketball team overlain for comparison purposes. And for fun.
Attendance and wins running contrarian in Provo
But it’s not all good news on the homefront. While attendance is up, wins are down. By percentage, they're down a lot.
You’ll note from this table that BYU went through a remarkable stretch from 2005-01 where it gave up a mere five losses at home in six seasons. Performances like that are why the #winning hashtag exists.
But since the translation of The Jimmer to the NBA, things haven’t been so hunky-dory in Happy Valley.
With a loss to Gonzaga at home this year likely, the Cougars will have given up six losses in Provo over just the last two seasons. For some low-level Pac-12 programs that might be acceptable or even enviable. But on campus in Provo it’s digression — and borderline transgression.
Keep bringing the Marriott Center magic
So, the bad news is BYU basketball isn’t performing at the stratospheric levels it reached in the recent past. And a game in Provo isn’t the automatic BYU W your kids might have gotten used to seeing.
But the good news is despite that (hopefully) temporary trend, fan support remains strong, and the Marriott Center atmosphere is still one that’s enviable.
So if you're a BYU fan, keep bringing the noise and the little ones, and look toward a future home-court advantage that could be as magical as that of the recent past.
If you need some encouragement, look no further than a few high school home courts in BYU’s backyard. (We're looking at you, Lone Peak High.) Better get those future season tickets locked up early.
Ryan Teeples is a respected marketing and technology expert, full-time sports fan and owner of Ryan Teeples Consulting Inc (www.RyanTeeples.com). You can reach him on Twitter @SportsGuyUtah.
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