While the UW men’s basketball season may still be nearly two months away from its regular season opener at the Kohl Center Nov. 11, it’s already that time of year again for UW students to reserve their spots in the Grateful Red student section for the 2012-2013 season.Since its first season in 1998, the Kohl Center has had the pleasure to boast a 2,100-seat student section extending from the floor to the nosebleeds on the south end of the court as part of a stadium seating capacity of over 17,000. That makes the Kohl Center one of the bigger college basketball venues in the country. And since the Grateful Red’s inaugural season in 2002 – when the student section was renamed after previously being called “Mr. Bennett’s Neighborhood” before former head coach Dick Bennett’s resignation during the 2000-2001 season – it has been just that: a hostile environment for any team brave enough to play there.To illustrate how overwhelming a place like the Kohl Center can be: Since Bo Ryan’s first game coaching the Badgers in 2001, the team has gone an unbelievable 166-15 (yes, you read that right) at home, giving the Badgers at the Kohl Center the fourth-best winning percentage in all of NCAA Division I basketball as of 2011.Unfortunately, the intimidating presence of the Grateful Red may not be quite so intimidating in future seasons.Division I college basketball attendance at home games has been in a slow decline across the country since the 2008 season, and while UW men’s basketball tickets have still managed to sell out regularly during that span, many team’s tickets – especially student tickets – increasingly go unused each year.In response to the disturbing trend, the UW Athletic Department has tried multiple strategies to once again fill the student section to the rafters over the last few years – including a shift to half-season ticket packages, the creation of a winter break package and many free giveaways, like free shirts, throughout the season – with varying degrees of success.This year, though, when tickets went on sale to students early this morning at 7:30, they came with one major change from last year’s ticket plan: a return to one massive ticket package, containing a whopping 15 home games throughout the season, priced at $150.From a ticket-selling standpoint, the return to one package initially might seem like a smart move by the UW Athletic Department. The die-hard fans who were awake early this morning to get the limited tickets – the new plan creates half as many season tickets as in past years – are more likely to consistently go to games, but it also leaves questions for the future of the Grateful Red this season and beyond.By returning to the old format of just one package, with the ability to add on a four-game winter break package for $40 more, the athletic department magnified the pressure on the students to make sure the Grateful Red is filled during each game this season.While before it was fairly easy to attend seven to nine games a season by purchasing one of the two season ticket packages, now any student who buys tickets this year will be faced with attending every one of the 15 home games. This becomes a daunting task when many of the games fall on weeknights and coincide with midterms and finals.As a result, many tickets will likely go unused if students choose not to use, or can’t manage to sell, their unwanted tickets. It’s a phenomenon that could leave sections 114 through 117 emptier than usual this winter.Still, while this most certainly doesn’t mean Wisconsin will host talented teams like Michigan Feb. 9 or Ohio State Feb. 17 in front of an empty student section, many of the non-marquee games may experience a dip in student attendance simply because UW students don’t have time to go to so many games in a single season.The continuation of the winter break ticket package again this year has the potential to be an even more damaging effect that this ticket plan could have on student attendance and the team’s performance. The winter break package, which gives students the option to avoid having to try to sell games during the month-long winter break, can be particularly useful for students who return home or are out of town during break, but it also discourages students from going to those games altogether if they don’t already have the money invested in tickets to winter break games.If last year’s winter break package experiment was any indication, the Badgers could be in for rough winter break again this season if the student section continues to have low winter break attendance.Out of five home games included in the winter break package last year, the Badgers lost two – including an unexpected loss to an Iowa Hawkeyes team that finished with a measly 3-9 record away from home in 2011-2012 – on their way to four total home losses for the season.So, despite the almost unreal success the Badgers have had at home over the last decade, if Bo’s most dependable sixth man, the Grateful Red, can no longer provide the intimidating environment fans have become accustomed to at the Kohl Center, that impressive record may be put to the test more frequently in the coming season and beyond.Nick is a junior majoring in journalism. Do you agree or disagree with the UW Athletic Department consolidating the ticket packages? Let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 19, 2020 at 11:38 pm Contact Michael: email@example.com | @MikeJMcCleary Elijah Hughes baited his defender on the wing and cut backdoor toward the rim. It was the first day of live practice for John F. Kennedy Catholic (New York) High School in 2013, and during 3-on-3 drills head coach Al Morales was eager to unveil a 16-year-old Hughes. One who could pass like a point guard and score like a shooting guard. Two separate growth spurts led to a near overnight surge.Hughes received the pass inside and rose up. Nothing fancy: a two-handed dunk. He slammed it hard, though. Too hard. The rim burst off the backboard and sent Hughes crashing to the ground as shards of glass hailed down. Hughes felt the glass in his hair. “Am I bleeding? Am I bleeding?” Hughes frantically asked Morales.“To see it on TV is one thing,” Morales, who informed Hughes he was fine, said. “It was breathtaking.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCourtesy of Elijah Hughes’ FacebookFor years, Hughes has elevated his reputation through shooting and a strong feel for the game. But the most unheralded aspect of Hughes’ game is the athleticism that unlocks much of his arsenal. As the most experienced Syracuse (14-11, 7-7 Atlantic Coast) player, Hughes has been thrust into a role as its main offensive threat. The new role led to new expectations and new freedoms that allowed his athleticism to flourish on crossovers, quick first steps to the basket and powerful finishes at or around the rim.“I kind of always had a little boogie,” Hughes quipped in October. “I just really haven’t shown it.”At Syracuse, Hughes has flashed his athleticism with a rim-rattling dunk against Georgia Tech earlier in the season and quick bursts on drives to the rim against Florida State last Saturday. Over SU’s final stretch of the season, a hobbled Hughes will have to rely on that athleticism to carry a heavy workload for an SU team with dwindling NCAA Tournament chances.Hughes’ father, Wayne, said his son never had natural “Oh my goodness, this kid can fly” athleticism, so he learned how to dunk like most kids do: by lowering the adjustable hoop in his backyard to eight feet. Wayne and Hughes’ mother, Penny, remembered him jumping around outside every day, cocking his arm back and throwing down tomahawks and windmills. Hughes bumped it to nine feet, then messed around at regulation height.After Playmaker Academy AAU practices in the eighth grade, Hughes and his teammates stuck around to show off dunks sandwiched between multiple failed attempts. In a game later that year, Hughes’ teammate Justin Mitchell stole the ball and streaked down the court for a left-handed dunk. Hughes and his teammates erupted. No one had ever dunked in a game before. A few plays later, Hughes knocked the ball loose and did the same.“The whole team was hype,” Hughes’ then-head coach Ken Dawson said.Emily Steinberger | Design EditorFrom that point, it was “automatic,” Wayne said. Hughes parlayed his athleticism into other aspects of his game. Quick bounces on defensive plays has led him to become one of the top-15 shot-blockers in the ACC this season. He chases high after rebounds and elevates for a high release-point on layup finishes.“He jumped so high it scared me,” recalls Kelvin Jefferson, Hughes’ former South Kent (Connecticut) High School head coach.Dunk contest wins became a routine, and on Hughes’ first trip to Syracuse for the Elite Camp the Orange host each summer, he performed dunks in free time and attracted crowds, Beacon High School teacher Scott Timpano said.Kennedy Catholic teacher Brian Bruder and his son, Declan, sat in the stands at Kennedy Catholic as an 11th-grade Hughes broke away from defenders into the open court. The crowd braced for something amazing. “Appointment television,” Bruder said. Hughes unleashed a tomahawk dunk at the rim, and the crowd erupted.Bruder got home later that night and heard a thumping noise in Declan’s room. He opened the door, and Declan was jumping around, cocking back his arm and throwing down dunks into the plastic Nerf basketball hoop attached to the door.“What are you doing?” Bruder asked, laughing.The then-9-year-old Declan continued to jump around his room. He was just being a kid. And learning to dunk like Elijah Hughes. Comments
The Puckane native stood down from a similar post with Kerry earlier this month citing travel and his management role with Sixmilebridge as the reasons for finishing up after two successful years with the Kingdom.Former Limerick goalkeeper Joe Quaid is also being linked to the Offally vacancy.
The female national hockey team could not get past their Kenyan opponents on Tuesday in the 2019 African Hockey Olympic qualifiers, sharing the points in a 1-1 draw at the Stellenbosch University, South Africa.The result won’t come as a surprise to some as the Ghanaian team have never recorded a victory against the Kenyans in all their encounters drawing 3 and recording a single defeat against the East Africans.Both teams came into the game with victories in their previous match with a Vivan Narkuor inspired Ghana eased to a 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe while Kenya struggled to a 1-0 victory over Namibia.Kenya took the lead early on as Rhoda Kuira converted a Penalty Corner in the 7th minute but 2019 SWAG female hockey player of the year, Mavis Berko would equalise for Ghana in the 21st minute also from a Penalty Corner.Ghana next faces Namibia on Saturday 17th August 2019 while Kenya will face Zimbabwe on Thursday 15th August 2019.