Saturday, December 1, 2007

IUPUI 89 UMass 77

I read this story today with great interest. I have always rooted for underdogs and I have followed the progression of the IUPUI basketball program with great interest. Notwithstanding my alumni status, I can't help but to root for them given the infectious personality of their coach, Ron Hunter.

I was first impressed that a program of the stature of U Mass would come and play IUPUI at its gym. I don't know if you have ever seen the place where the Jaguars play (affectionately referred to as "The Jungle") but it is underwhelming at best. Put it this way, I went to a high school that had a student enrollment of 330 and it had a gym is larger than where IUPUI, a Division I program, plays. I gave Ron Hunter a lot of credit for sticking around after Ball State came a knocking for his services this past summer. A arena may not make a program but the comparison between those two schools athletic facilities could not be more drastic.

Regardless, U Mass came to town and left tonight with a loss. For a team whose previous biggest win was over Indiana State (sorry Torpor) this is huge. Coach Hunter deserves a lot of credit for recruiting the caliber of players to beat such a stored program-- in spite of their underwhelming facility.

Coach Hunter's loyalty to IUPUI is also commendable. How often have we seen a coach promise a kid he will be around only to jump ship at the next "better" offer? I can count at least two times this has happened while Coach Hunter was at IUPUI and he stayed at the school.

Congrats to the team. Now trustees how about an arena on campus for the team?


Blogger Shawn P said...

After this year's "improvements" to the Jungle, our middle-school quality gym can seat even fewer fans.

An arena/convocation center built just south of the new Campus Center would be the perfect addition to our campus. This multi-use facility could serve as a health and wellness center , a convocation area, a basketball arena, a volleyball arena, and be large enough that we could house a large crowd when notable speakers come in to town. The building would pay for itself in a few years.

Seriously, why is this not in the campus' 10-year vision? We need this building to sustain the growth of our student body and our transition to a traditional campus with the additional housing expected to be built in the next 5 years.

December 14, 2007  

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