The men’s basketball team, through a newly created group called the Student Basketball Committee, is trying to find creative ways to increase attendance at games and ignite the student section.
Before joining the Big 12, TCU had one of the worst attendance averages for men’s basketball in the country, according to NCAA.com.
However, during the 2012-13 season the team averaged 4,854 people per game. Given that Daniel-Meyer Coliseum has a capacity of 7,200 seats, this means 67 percent of the venue was filled during home games last season.
The committee will receive a budget to use for promotional events and incentives to encourage increased student attendance. The amount has not yet been disclosed.
At an informational meeting on Oct. 2 in the Schollmaier Basketball Complex, men's basketball assistant coach Donny Guerinoni made his case for why the Horned Frogs need their own version of the Cameron Crazies at home games.
"Wherever Trent [Johnson] has coached, a crazy student section was behind the team and getting in the other team's head," Guerinoni said.
Footage of student sections from around the country was shown to give the audience an idea of what a true home-court advantage looks like. A clip of the Utah State University student section yelling the "I believe we will win" chant had the room buzzing.
Guerinoni said having a powerful student section can help win games.
“Many of you saw how crazy it was during the Kansas game,” he said. “Our players feed off that energy. It can really help win games.”
The committee must come up with a nickname for the student section as their first task. The University of Kentucky has the “eRUPPtion Zone” and the University of Wisconsin has the “Grateful Red.” The new student committee intends to have the name picked out before the season starts.
Guerinoni said the basketball staff would be very involved with the students on the committee.
“I see this group of students as an extension of our staff,” he said. “They will use our conference room to come up with new ideas and chants. They will even get preferential seating at games to make sure they are in the front.”
First-year pre-business major Chris Conaty said he believes the new committee can change the basketball culture at the university.
“I am a huge Duke fan, so watching the Cameron Crazies bring their energy and passion to the game is awesome," Conaty said. "Hopefully we can do something like that here."
Adam Walters, a senior entrepreneurial management major, said he thinks the potential for a powerful student section already exists on campus.
“You see all the people going crazy at the football games and you wonder why they can’t just transfer that energy to the DMC. The passion is there. You just have to get people out,” he said.
The committee will have the month of October to prepare before the men’s basketball home opener against Longwood University on Nov. 12.