Coaches Thank Fans, Urge Continued Support

There are many reasons why both ASU's basketball programs enjoyed a successful 2007-08 season. One of them was the tremendous home court advantage the maroon and gold enjoyed. During a Sun Express event on Thursday at Majerle's in Chandler coaches Charli Turner-Throne and Herb Sendek were naturally thankful for the support and hoped it would serve as a springboard for the upcoming season.

"When I came here in 1996 we weren't even selling season tickets," Turner-Thorne recalled. "We've come a long way since then." In the 2007-08 season the Lady Sun Devils ranked second in the Pac-10 in attendance with an average of 3,369 fans per home game.

Sendek talked about the boisterous crowds the Men's squad had during their three post-season NIT games, but stressed that this patronage needs to be a permanent fixture. "We need to continue to make Wells Fargo Arena a difficult place for opponents," he said, "and give us a competitive edge in recruiting."

"The difference between teams across the country is very small, and every little thing, including crowd support, can make a difference."

ASU's Men's Head Coach also mentioned the importance of large crowds during home football games, since recruit visits always include a stop at Sun Devil stadium.

Turner-Thorne's team in the 2008-09 season will include six seniors and according to their head coach will have "better personnel than ever before…but it doesn't mean anything unless they put in hard work." Turner-Thorne noted that that the difficult portion of her team's out of conference schedule will be away from the friendly confines of Tempe, but that she was hoping to host a few games during the pre-season NIT.

The men's last game of the season, an NIT home game against defending champion Florida, was a near sell-out and gave Sendek optimism that the Sun Devils can enjoy solid support at home in years to come. He stated the existing fan base should try and get new fans in the seats, regardless of whether it's an out of conference opponent or a Pac-10 for playing in WFA.

"Don't ask ahead of time who's playing," said Sendek. "Come watch the Sun Devils…James Harden could have gone anywhere in the country, but he came to ASU. He could have gone to the NBA, but he's coming back for his sophomore year. He and the other players deserve your support."

"The players want to play for you and with your support they can get better, reach deep down when they're tired late in a game. Encouragement always leads to empowerment. We need each other."

"Get your tickets now when you can, because one day you won't be able to."

The Sun Devil Express makes two more stops this month. On May 22nd at Stoudemire's in Downtown Phoenix and on May 28th in Tucson. For more information please call the Sun Devil Club at 480-727-7700.

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