From right to left

I have a suggestion for St. John’s University: pay attention to the women’s basketball team for once.

Unlike many of my opinions, this is not one that I am preaching from an enlightened pulpit. I know that overlooking the women’s hoops team is easy and something that I am often guilty of. This space is rarely reserved for issues concerning the women of St. John’s basketball and I will even admit to having seen the team play a limited number of times this year.

The fact of the matter is that the men’s team takes so much energy to follow that the women’s team often slips under
my radar.

But there were only 203 fans in attendance at last Friday’s first-round WNIT game against Harvard. It was a game that the Red Storm were able to win by 23 points and served as a very rare moment to prove that St. John’s was better than Harvard at something. Sadly, just over 200 people took advantage of that opportunity. Again, I was not one of them.

With the win, the Storm moved on to play the University of Hartford on Sunday. There were 703 fans in attendance at the Chase Arena in West Hartford. Not an astronomical number, but an impressive one considering Hartford is home to just over 4,800 full-time undergraduates.

And that brings us to today. Well actually, it bring us to tomorrow when the Red Storm take floor against Boston College at Carnesecca Arena for the WNIT’s third round in what is undoubtedly the most important basketball game played by a St. John’s basketball team all season long.

I just checked St. John’s Central; there’s no mention of it.

The University poured plenty of time, effort and money into garnering support for the men’s basketball team this season. They offered movie tickets, free MetroCards, free dinners, t-shirts and gift cards to any student willing to go watch the men’s version of St. John’s basketball. I think even University-administered massages may have been on the table.

I don’t know how successful any of these attempts were in gathering fans for the games, but, as my fifth-grade teacher always said, at least they tried.

Incentives have been given for attending women’s basketball games. The University gave away $1,000 to the campus organization who brought the most members to a regular season game at Carnesecca Arena a few weeks ago. More than 2,300 fans showed up.

But, as of right now, no effort is being made to get fans to the game on Thursday. I urge the University to try something.

The student body of this school has proved its apathy countless times on countless different issues. The only thing that gets us excited about anything St. John’s related is good old-fashioned bribery.

I don’t care what marketing gimmick they come up with between now and tomorrow night, but they better come up with something because St. John’s basketball, no matter the team, should not be out-fanned by the University of Hartford.

I just checked St. John’s Central again: still nothing.