December 8, 2022

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OPINION: Tang doesn’t simply should 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 night time, a crew from Kansas was chopping down the nets for its fourth time. Jubilation stuffed Mass Avenue in Lawrence whereas confetti was falling on the gamers in New Orleans.

A second stuffed with such pleasure for one faculty may also function a studying level for one more. 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 carry the Wildcats again into the promised land. He desires to know his gamers’ ring sizes. He desires 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 facet. Celebrating, cheering, operating amuck hand-in-hand with their faculty’s greatest rival. A crew they supposedly “hate.”

Not seeing the purpose? Let me paint an image.

If North Carolina would’ve received that recreation, nobody would’ve seen Duke followers taking the 30-minute drive southwest to Chapel Hill. But, on this state of affairs, that’s like saying they might.

Take Ok-State for one more instance. Say Tang does lead this program to the promised land and is chopping down the nets after a nationwide title. I can nearly assure that you just received’t have a flash flood of scholars coming west on I-70 to rejoice the Wildcats. Why? Due to hatred. Due to a rivalry. Due to a loyal fan base.

Is it clear now? Good.

Tang has loads of work to do. With simply three scholarship guys at the moment 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 wanting in, the Tang period appears to be like promising. Sure, key guys are leaving, however allow them to depart. Let Tang carry within the guys that need to be right here — the blokes who need to etch their identify in historical past.

Tang is a confirmed recruiter who can get the job finished. He’s already actively concerned with a few of the finest 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.

Nevertheless, 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 youngsters received’t need to come right here, and no nets shall be minimize down.

A devoted, loyal fan base is what it takes to have success, and as of Monday night time, 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 need 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 mirror the official coverage or place of the Collegian. Please ship feedback to [email protected]