Just a couple of months ago, the UH men’s basketball program looked like it would only add to the athletics department’s woes.
Their head coach was fired, and soon after their star player left the team. Now the team, seemingly against all odds, is not only winning games, but winning the hearts of fans.
“It’s so worth watching,” said UH fan Joseph Shacat, “It’s so much fun here that they should be filling the stadium every night.”
Other fans agreed.
“It’s the best team I’ve seen in a few years,” said Dominic Bush. “They’ve got good depth and they look like they might have found a coach.”
The UH men’s Rainbow Warrior basketball team has created quite the buzz this season. Getting some signature wins over big time programs and along the way drawing in big crowds.
It’s something Head Coach Benjy Taylor likes to see and hopes will continue.
“When we hear that crowd and get a great defensive stop the place goes nuts,” said Taylor. “It just really gets our guys fired up.”
“It’s a lot of fun to come even when they’re not doing good, but when they are doing good it’s exciting because the crowd is very into it and the players certainly are into it,” said UH fan Tom Bush.
Freshman point guard Isaac Fleming used the crowd’s energy Thursday night to post 18 points and lead the team in steals, assists and rebounds.
“We feed off the fans. When the fans are loud and rowdy that gives us energy to get over that hump to get the victory,” said Fleming.
The victories are piling up for the basketball ‘Bows, which in turn could help with the athletics department’s financial struggles.
With the wins comes the fans and with tickets ranging from $16 to $26 that can add up to a large return.
“I think it will help with the financial situation and the moral of the whole university,” said Taylor. “And we understand that and we knew that going in. And in October when everything happened, we knew we had to give something everyone would be proud of.”
And so far the fans are pretty proud.
“I’m just thankful that everybody came out,” said Taylor. “Everybody is busy with the holidays. But for everyone to come out and really support us the way they did on Christmas Day, it just warms our heart. We just want to do the best we can for you guys.”
Thursday’s game against Colorado brought in a crowd of 7,817.