While Bruiser Flint might not have been happy with our assertion that Drexel wasn’t the best team in the city last season, we’ll give the Dragons coach this much: Drexel had the best student section in Philly last season.
Of course it’s just my opinion, but one I came to after watching nearly 60 City 6 games last season.
My 1-6 rankings, with reasoning (remember, this is just for last season):
1. Drexel: Never would I have thought the DAC would turn into a venue with a home-court advantage that rivals the rest of the city.
The students, some of whom are literally one step from the court, are loud, raucous and persistent. They packed the DAC for every home game last season, making it tough on opponents from the opening tip to the ending whistle. They are prepared, with each student getting a newsletter with information about the opponent, and clever with chants and rollouts.
Just prior to tip at the Northern Iowa game, a reporter sitting next to me under the visiting basket asked about the students shouting behind him. “Does this go on all game?” “Yup,” I said, not adding but thinking “and that’s just the way it should be.”
I love the passion and support but didn’t like some of the chanting, particularly the abuse given to an overweight opposing manager during a game last season. Mostly, though, the DAC Pack (below) cheers, chants and boos in a way that has helped Flint and Company possess an awesome home-court advantage.
2. Temple: Funeral of The Hawk (below) was classic example of Cherry Crusade’s potential, but needed to show up more consistently last season.
3. St. Joe’s: Hagan rocked like the Fieldhouse for Creighton, Temple and Nova last season, but same energy missing otherwise.
4. Villanova: Fans showed up despite team’s struggles, but didn’t bring their passion. In fairness, it’s hard to get passionate about an 11-win team.
6. La Salle: Students finally came out to give team support it deserved against Minnesota in NIT, but it was too little too late. Look for a move up this list soon, though.
What do you think? Comment below and/or talk about this topic in our message boards.
-Backdoor Cut is the official blog of Philahoops. Follow on Twitter: @BackdoorCutBlog