Sunday, February 10, 2013

Home Court... Hurts?

Is it possible that playing at home can negatively impact the home team? I'd like to say no, but I can't help but think yes. In college basketball, most any team can give another a scare and this season, most any team can pull off an upset. All AP top 10 teams have been upset at least once, most of which have come on the road; however, playing in front of the home crowd does not give a team that is picked to win the extra push necessary. Any basketball coach will tell you that it is difficult to win on the road and that they put in more preparation for road games. What a coach won't tell you is that the team will not focus as much for a game that has "already been decided". Oftentimes you will see a team not play as hard as they should and then receive a scare from lower competition. Other times, you may observe a team that is trying to impress the home crowd by playing a more stylish brand of basketball with no-look passes or alley oops. Sometimes, it doesn't work out and the away team will capitalize. Judging from the Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team today and other home games at the McKale Center, they haven't played the brand of basketball that they would like. Instead, there was a crowd watching their every move, just waiting to explode. That will oftentimes get you mixed results if the other team came to play. Either you will have a closely contested game that goes back and forth seeing the home team as the eventual winner, or you will see the away team come bursting out of the gates to quickly silence the home crowd and grind out a road win. Today, as the Wildcats played the Cal Golden Bears, there was no sense of urgency, especially at the start of the 2nd half, by the home team. Before fans could return from concessions to their seats, Cal had come bursting out of the gates to grab a 10-point lead. The crowd was stunned and the team never recovered as the Golden Bears pranced away with a 77-69 win over the 7th ranked Arizona Wildcats. With tickets had to come by in Tucson for these basketball games, each fan is waiting for a Mark Lyons trey, a Solo fade away, or a Nick Johnson alley oop that they see so often on TV. The players know what the fans want to see and every now and then, you catch them not prepared or trying to impress. In a season like this one, you cannot afford to do that.

1 comment:

  1. The coach was trying to fix the slow start of the game, obviously it worked. However, it only turned into a slow start of the second half, which the team had no time to recover.