March 27, 2023

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OPINION: Tang doesn’t simply must construct a roster, he has to construct a fan base

Basketball head coach Jerome Tang at his opening press convention on March 24, 2022. (Benjamin Voller | Collegian Media Group)

Late on Monday evening, a group from Kansas was chopping down the nets for its fourth time. Jubilation crammed Mass Avenue in Lawrence whereas confetti was falling on the gamers in New Orleans.

A second filled with such pleasure for one faculty may also function a studying level for an additional. And that’s what that is.

When Jerome Tang signed on as the following head coach at Kansas State, it was praised as a house run rent. He’d seemingly deliver the Wildcats again into the promised land. He needs to know his gamers’ ring sizes. He needs to fill Manhattan’s streets with the identical jubilation.

But this program has by no means actually seen that, and it exhibits in its fan base.

Whereas KU college students flooded the streets, Ok-State college students stood by their aspect. Celebrating, cheering, working amuck hand-in-hand with their faculty’s largest rival. A group they supposedly “hate.”

Not seeing the purpose? Let me paint an image.

If North Carolina would’ve gained that sport, nobody would’ve seen Duke followers taking the 30-minute drive southwest to Chapel Hill. But, on this situation, that’s like saying they might.

Take Ok-State for an additional instance. Say Tang does lead this program to the promised land and is chopping down the nets after a nationwide title. I can virtually assure that you simply gained’t have a flash flood of scholars coming west on I-70 to have a good time the Wildcats. Why? Due to hatred. Due to a rivalry. Due to a loyal fan base.

Is it clear now? Good.

Tang has a number of work to do. With simply three scholarship guys presently on the roster – Markquis Nowell, Ismael Massoud and Logan Landers – and one incoming freshman (Taj Manning), it’s going to be an uphill battle to get a fan base dedicated.

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From the surface trying in, the Tang period appears to be like promising. Sure, key guys are leaving, however allow them to depart. Let Tang deliver within the guys that wish to be right here — the blokes who wish to etch their identify in historical past.

Tang is a confirmed recruiter who can get the job finished. He’s already actively concerned with among the greatest gamers within the switch portal and is having significant conversations with five-star recruits – one thing that hasn’t been finished at Ok-State in a really very long time.

Nonetheless, simply because Tang can do it, doesn’t imply the fan base can’t do their very own half to get these guys to stay round. With out assist from the surface – other than NCAA violations – these children gained’t wish to come right here, and no nets might be minimize down.

A trustworthy, loyal fan base is what it takes to have success, and as of Monday evening, that loyalty was examined. So both get on board the Tang practice or hop off.

As a result of those that are on it don’t wish to be slowed down by some rattling birds.

Marshall Sunner is the Collegian’s graphic design chief and a senior in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed on this column are these of the creator and don’t essentially replicate the official coverage or place of the Collegian. Please ship feedback to [email protected]