The Villanova Student Section has really done its job at times this year. In games such as the one against Maryland at the Wells Fargo Center, there is no doubt that the Nova Student Section played a big part in the double-digit comeback win. But, much of the time, the student section does not live up to its billing by Jay Wright as making Villanova's home court, "The toughest place to play in the nation." How can Villanova fix this problem of a sometimes lackluster student section before Gameday comes to town?
One of the problems with Nova's fickle student section is its fluctuation in overall energy throughout the game. Fans seem to get excited and cheer on Nova at the beginning of the contest, and then seem to lose interest at numerous points in the game. Many times, if Villanova has a comfortable lead for much of the game, fans will become complacent and will only start really getting loud again if the opponent mounts a comeback. The Marquette game is a perfect example. At the beginning the student section was kind of loud, but seemed to lose interest until the end of the game when Marquette mounted a semi-comeback. If you compare Nova's overall energy level to that of the Cameron Crazies of Duke, it is not even close.
One thing that kills student enthusiasm more than anything else are the repetitive chants that can always be heard at the games. How many times can you chant, "Lets go Nova," before getting bored? Except for an occasional "Defense, defense," "Lets go Nova" is basically the only chant that is regularly used. This is boring, and by the middle of the game, fans are tired of chanting the same thing over and over again.
Nova has to fix its student section before Gameday comes to town, or else we will look, well, lame. The students need to come ready to go nuts for the entirety of the event, and they also should be ready to mix up the chants so that people do not get bored. My colleague Brendan Garrity has some interesting ideas that, in my opinion, we should definitely try out (http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=186178638082731). Let us once again restore Villanova's home court as the toughest place to play in the nation!
What's the Point is a weekly column written by David Straple. Feel free to comment.