Ever since Andrew Wiggins announced he would play basketball at the University of Kansas, the Kansas basketball team has been the center of attention in the college basketball sphere.
The fans have already shown their excitement for the upcoming season.
More than 8,000 fans were reportedly turned away at Late Night in the Phog earlier this month while up to 10,000 people showed up for a Saturday morning scrimmage earlier this month. For the first camping lottery of the season, reports estimated that more than 1,900 students were at Allen Fieldhouse at 6 a.m. for an exhibition game, the biggest turnout for a lottery outside of Ohio State in December of 2011 and Missouri in March of 2011.
“I’d say people are more pumped than ever, which is saying a lot,” said senior Andrew Curtis, who attended every home game in the student section last year. “The tradition and expectations for Kansas basketball continue to grow.”
Although the Jayhawks tipoff their first game tomorrow, it is an exhibition match against Pittsburg State. Nonetheless, the friendly match will attract a lot of fans due to the hype and anticipation with the young and highly touted recruiting class.
Wiggins leads this year’s recruiting class and the spotlight is lit on him and his teammates.
“That always draws a huge crowd because everyone wants to know if he’s really number one or not,” said junior Cailey Taylor, who attended a majority of the home games during her first year as a student at Kansas.
Kansas coach Bill Self spoke to his players about the hype. He’s aware of Wiggins appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, GQ Magazine and the college basketball preview edition on USA Today.
Self said although he thinks Wiggins doesn’t need more media, outside of interviews for postgame, he understands the reasoning and knows it’s simply because of the anticipation.
Self also said that although the fan base is always ecstatic to start the season, he knows this year is different than other years and fans will have a great experience watching the team throughout the 2013-14 season.
“They can’t see how much fun it is until they actually get a chance to experience the live setting,” Self said. “Then they’ll know why they came to school here.”