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Thread: Commentary: Women's basketball deserves a shot

  1. #1
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    Default Commentary: Women's basketball deserves a shot

    From the Gonzaga Bulletin:

    Commentary: Women's basketball deserves a shot
    Samantha DiMaio
    Aug 6, 2019

    Students wait in line for hours on days below freezing in order to get tickets to the menís basketball games. On the other hand, the womenís games donít even have a line to enter the building.

    Menís basketball is insanely popular at Gonzaga University, but womenís basketball doesnít seem to be as big of a deal, even though it is just as exhilarating and entertaining as the menís games.

    I will never forget one of the very first womenís games I attended at GU. It was on Feb. 16 against BYU. Three things stood out in this game.

    First, with every amazing basket that GU made, BYU consistently responded with a 3-pointer. Second, the referee was constantly making questionable calls. Third, the result.

    Toward the end of the game, the Zags trailed by just two measly points, but they only had two seconds of possession to change that, which unfortunately did not happen.

    Though they did lose that game, that was the moment I became as interested in womenís basketball as I was in menís basketball. Now, after a year of attending womenís games, there is much to look forward to for this yearís team.

    With Zykera Rice, Laura Stockton and Chandler Smith all graduating and moving on with their basketball careers, there is undoubtedly going to be some changes in the team dynamic.

    They were leaders and now, other players have to rise to that challenge. As senior guards, Katie Campbell and Jessie Loera are obvious contenders.
    Jenn and LeeAnne Wirth, though they are only now juniors, were also showing leadership potential toward the end of last season. They were encouraging, hard-working and passionate about the game.

    However, the team worked extremely well together. No one player overshadowed another on the court. It will be interesting to see how the absence of the seniors and the integration of the incoming players this year will affect that dynamic.

    With that, we can expect to see some development in the current playersí performances. Maybe they will improve their 3-point shooting under pressure, maybe their free-throw percentage will increase or maybe theyíll dunk.

    I am particularly excited to see Jill Townsend play this season. Even though she wasnít a starter, she always played with such passion and intensity. She is tough, consistent and a diligent worker. Unfortunately, she broke her leg in a game just a few months ago, but she is already far down the road to recovery. Returning from an injury is unquestionably strenuous, but it will be interesting to watch how she bounces back from it and how her technique was retained.

    Another fascinating addition to the team is the redshirt sophomore, Anamaria Virjoghe, who transferred last year. This year, we finally get to see her in action. At 6 feet, 5 inches tall, she is going to play a major role on the team, especially defensively. In that BYU game last season, GUís defense struggled. Virjoghe might be the key to surviving games like that.

    On the other hand, the teamís offensive plays are riveting. Itís exciting whenever the ball goes in the basket; when someone makes an easy layup, a jump shot off a quick dribble or a defenseless 3-pointer. But what impresses me is the passing.

    Particularly in high-intensity games, the speed of play is thrilling. A bounce pass can result in a basket in two seconds. A sequence of passes around the 3-point line can lead to a basket in four seconds.

    A steal on defensive can turn into a full-speed dribble, a hand-off and a layup in six seconds. Boom, boom, boom. It is so fast, and thatís when the crowd is thoroughly engaged and enthusiastic. Hopefully, this year will bring more games of that sort.

    The person who will encourage these types of plays and help to improve the teamís overall performance is Lisa Fortier. Coach Fortier is brilliant. It is because of her and the rest of the coaching staff that this team is as successful as they are.

    It also helps that the players are so coachable and skilled. The coaches are a part of the team and I look forward to seeing how they change it for the better.
    The womenís basketball team is amazingly talented. Not only are the games themselves exciting, but the crowd is spirited as well. Though the crowd is not usually as large as the menís games, it can be just as loud.

    Either way, sports are sports. I am a sports lover and I cannot wait to watch the womenís basketball team play their hearts out at GU this year.
    Article Link: https://www.gonzagabulletin.com/spor...2f9c42604.html

    ZagDad

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    ??

    Average attendance last year was 5625, for a building that seats 6000 that's darn near full for every game. The comparison to the men's team and fan support seems odd to me. A difference of a whopping 375 fans per game? Really? Unless the fire marshal is looking the other way and there are a lot more than 6000 fans at the men's games.


    Actually it's pegged right at 6,000 for the men according to the NCAA site, same place I got the women's figures from. So again, how is less than 400 fans a big difference in support between the men and women? Am I missing something?

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    Hey SeaCat,

    The numbers presented in the article and by yourself are correct. The biggest difference is in the number of students who attend the game.

    If you realize that this article was written for the Gonzaga Bulletin, the student newspaper, the article was written for students and trying to get them to attend the women's game. As I am sure you have seen, the Kennel Club dominates the fans during the men's games. During many of the women's games, the kennel may only have a couple of hundred of students supporting the women outside of the band and cheerleaders.

    Yea, despite the great attendance and percentage filled, the kennel club and the rest of the student body does not support the women's team very well at all.

    ZagDad

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    Interesting article. Over the past couple of years, attendance at the women's games have begun to rival attendance at the men's games. I do have to say, though, I don't think I've ever seen even close to 200 students there other than for the occasional "big game," i.e., Stanford, BYU. Usually its less than 50. I've been told by students that they only have limited time to go to all the various sporting events on campus, so they make choices. Women's basketball has not been high on their lists apparently. And I'm not sure their tickets to the women's games are free, which they are for the men's games. Does anyone know about that?

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    I am sure the student tickets are free. I walk right by the kennel club entrance on game days and I have never seen anybody with a ticket, just their student ID card.

    I think the stands right next to the band are reserved for student athletes except during big OOC games played in between semesters where they will sell this area.

    ZagDad

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    Thanks ZagDad. Yeah, having a full and lively student section certainly enhances the experience for college athletics.

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    this article really makes me a bit perturbed....

    women's bb draws almost a full gym every time...and there are no students.....take away the student section of a mens game and it would suddenly be a bit quiet in there..

    as I understand it, at the men's game, its who sees who and who can arrive late and leave early and still be cool..

    womens bb fans.....lets admit it....we're fanatics....we're loud....we're knowledgeable and appreciative... we actually LOVE our team, at least I do.....I've had men's bb fans state that the fans at the womens game are so much more enthusiastic.....and its true.....

    people will follow what they will...we don't have to beg.....its their loss.....

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    Sylean - we have season tickets to both the men's and women's games. While there are those "social" fans at the men's games, I find that most people are in their seats when the game starts and stay in their seats throughout each half. My experience is that there are many more late comers at the women's games, and I have to stand up frequently for folks going for food/facilities. This rarely happens in my section at the men's games.

    As for leaving early, let's face it - many of the men's games were blow outs last year and they typically start later than the women's. When there is a blow out and its 10 pm on a work night, we've been known to leave in the last couple of minutes.

    We love to watch both teams, both of which have fanatic fans. No need to denigrate one or the other.

    Go Zags!

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    Zaglaw,

    My issue with some of the fans in the Wbb games, is the lower level, center section on the team bench side of the arena where a lot of the season ticket holders simply do not frequently come to the games.

    I realize that we don't make every game and sometimes we can't give our tickets away, so I understand, but that section of the arena particularly has numerous open seats every home game. I know they are season ticket holders because we have tried to move down there, but were told the tickets were sold to other season ticket holders (Hard to find 9 season tickets together, so moving for us is not easy).

    It is just too bad that some season ticket holders seem to purchase prime seats and only want to attend the landmark games, leaving these prime seats open during the "lesser" (in their mind) games.

    The Lady Zags deserve to have these seats full during all of their home games, not just the games against the elite teams.

    Rant over. Off my soapbox (again),

    ZagDad

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    ZagDad - Well, you just called out my section. In our immediate vicinity, everyone tries to make sure there is a butt in the seat if they can't make the game. I do think that when the women's game conflicts with a men's game on TV (Thursday nights), there are likely to be more empty seats. I, personally, try to go to the women's game and rush home to watch the DVR'd men's game or give my tickets away. (And shout out to GU athletics for not announcing scores from the men's games during the women's games.) From the view from our my seats, it is the lower sections on the other side, which are also season ticket seats, that are often sparse.

    I absolutely agree that the Lady Zags deserve to have the seats filled, so I think we are on the same page on the end goal. And, I do think it gets better every year. When we first got out seats, we essentially could have picked almost any seat. I'm glad that the crowd has grown so much since then.

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    I do think that when the women's game conflicts with a men's game on TV (Thursday nights), there are likely to be more empty seats. I, personally, try to go to the women's game and rush home to watch the DVR'd men's game or give my tickets away. (And shout out to GU athletics for not announcing scores from the men's games during the women's games.)
    I guess I don't understand why a Wbb season ticket holder would give up a "live" Wbb game to watch a televised Mbb game. Especially since almost all of the Mbb games are professionally televised by SWX/KHQ/ESPN/Root/etc. and are easily DVR'd, only a small portion of the Wbb's home games (I think something like 4-6 home games were televised by SWX last year) are televised by anybody other than TheW.TV. We all know the quality of TheW.tv broadcast. I guess to each their own.

    From the view from our my seats, it is the lower sections on the other side, which are also season ticket seats, that are often sparse.
    Fair Enough.

    I absolutely agree that the Lady Zags deserve to have the seats filled, so I think we are on the same page on the end goal. And, I do think it gets better every year. When we first got out seats, we essentially could have picked almost any seat. I'm glad that the crowd has grown so much since then.
    Absolutely agree.

    Thanks ZagLaw.

    ZagDad

  12. #12

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    We also sit in this section. As I understand it from friends we sit with, they have been told by the ticket office that some of the tickets discussed are held by promotional partners who may/may not give them away (I’m in complete agreement that the games would be better if the seats were packed). Several rows behind the visitor benches are reserved for the visiting team, which may/may not distribute them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZagDad84 View Post
    I guess I don't understand why a Wbb season ticket holder would give up a "live" Wbb game to watch a televised Mbb game. Especially since almost all of the Mbb games are professionally televised by SWX/KHQ/ESPN/Root/etc. and are easily DVR'd, only a small portion of the Wbb's home games (I think something like 4-6 home games were televised by SWX last year) are televised by anybody other than TheW.TV. We all know the quality of TheW.tv broadcast. I guess to each their own.
    d
    We have DISH and do not get SWX via DISH. We have to watch it via attenna and don't have a DVR other than DISH.

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