And you might wonder about the practical gain here. NU will never have the mightiest student section or fan base. Opponents frequently laugh at the Welsh-Ryan environment. But there are often recruits in attendance, and a good environment can make quite the impact.
Combo guard Anthony Bonner of Lawrence HS (Kan.) visited for Saturday's game and left impressed by, you guessed it, the student section.
"They have a good student base," Bonner said. "I think Coach Collins is bringing a lot of positive attitude to the fans."
What the experience lacked in presentation, it made up for in atmosphere. The Wildcats won 72-55 in Collins' debut, with an outstanding turnout given the opponent. Bonner offered even more rare praise.
"I liked their court," he said. "It's old school."
Bonner added that he's "excited" about being recruited by NU. Then an assistant at Missouri State, Patrick Baldwin began his recruitment of the talented Kansas prospect. That carried over to NU — where Bonner just became a significant priority.
Baldwin and Collins praised similar elements of his game and potential, with the head coach preparing to visit Lawrence for one of his games in December.
"[They] like my ability to go off the bounce, my shooting and my athleticism," Bonner recalled. "That's mainly what they said."
Because his high school team lacks size, Bonner will be forced to practice his rebounding — one particular focus of the new era. He also wants to improve his three-point game.
This weekend, it was the loud atmosphere that had him listening.