Rocking and rolling. That's what it's like to be at Lawlor Events Center these days for a Nevada men's basketball game.
Nevada, despite an announced attendance of 9,845, sold out Wednesday's game against Georgia. All the tickets had been distributed by 3:30 p.m. Nevada drew 11,784 last year, thanks to a good walk-up crowd, for its game with Fresno State. Trust me, there were more than 9,845 fans inside Lawlor Wednesday night.
Maybe Lawlor needs to have a turnstile system. It would certainly solve the attendance issue. There were problems during football, especially at the Fresno State game when the announced crowd was 17,000-plus, and Mackay Stadium looked pretty full that day.
It was good to see. The players and coach Mark Fox certainly appreciated the support as well they should. This might be one of the worst home schedules Nevada has had in the past five or six years, yet the fans have turned out in droves to watch their beloved Pack play.
A sellout for Georgia, the only name school on Nevada's nonconference schedule, and nearly 10.000 for UC Davis. That's impressive. It's what I think should happen all the time here - not just because the team is ranked 20th in the Associated Press Poll. This is a non-pro sports town, and the college should be the most important thing in the community.
I'd love to see Nevada tickets be a hot item. I'd love to see scalpers selling tickets for $40 or $50 a pop in front of Lawlor Events Center.
It's nice to see the student section full and boisterous. That hasn't been the case in recent years. I think they are starting to realize just how much influence they can have on a game. There are teams that don't like to play here because of the noise. I say make it louder.
I've been impressed with road attendance. Nevada had several hundred make the trip to Stockton for the UOP game, and nearly 1,000 showed up for the Wooden Classic in Anaheim. I don't expect many local fans to make the trip to Saint Mary's on New Year's eve, but I'm hoping that Nevada fans come down to San Jose en masse for the conference game against the Spartans on Jan. 7.
Since it's Christmas break, it's time to look ahead at the conference schedule and beyond. The marquee games in conference are Fresno State, Hawai'i and Utah State. Those are the three teams that will seriously challenge Nevada for a conference championship. There also is Boise State, which seems to play Nevada tough because of its mauling-style of defense on Nick Fazekas.
I'm also looking ahead to the Bracket Buster game in February. Keep your eyes on a potential Nevada-Bucknell matchup.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to our readers in Northern Nevada.
Contact Darrell Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (775) 881-1281