Have you been to an MTSU men or women’s basketball game lately?
If not, you need to go as a good time is almost guaranteed.
Let me say up front that there is a tiny downside. Parking can be an issue and the pre-game taped music is horrible and way too loud, plus the concession prices are too high. However, there’s an upside to the downside.
The parking problem means we’ve got plenty of fans and the situation is getting better. Eventually the pre-game music ends and the terrific MTSU pep band takes over.
The concession prices may be high, but part of the cost supports a local group. For instance, last week the Riverdale track team worked our concession stand behind section G. As a matter of fact, I was waited on by a state champion.
Game days usually have plenty of fun activities. If you’re 30 minutes early you can watch the players warm up and you can warm up with the MTSU student cheering section (The Blue Zoo). The blue tube will have an informative pre-game analysis with radio announcer Chip Walters and Kyle Turnham for all men’s games and Dick Palmer and Duane Hickey do the honors for women’s games.
The pre-game also has numerous antics from the pep band, cheerleaders and dance team. The pep band is often very funny and the cheerleaders give away T-shirts and pizza.
Even the National Anthem can be interesting. So far this year we have had some excellent renditions, and the other night we even had an extra verse. I’m not sure why, but we had one.
Local legends Bobby Gardner, Butch Campbell and Larry Tolbert or John Rice work the book, clock and PA, and do a super job.
If it’s a women’s game you will see a well-coached bunch with some local talent including Olivia Jones and Ty Petty from Riverdale and Shanice Cason from Siegel.And Ebony Rowe is one of the best players in the nation. Ebony just scored 28 vs. Kentucky with eight rebounds.
The schedule is good. Tennessee and Kentucky have both been here and Rice, South Dakota State, Marshall and Old Dominion are coming, plus many others. Coach Rick Insell just won his 200th game when the Lady Raiders beat Miami. The women play at home again on Dec. 12th when they take on Kennesaw State at 11 a.m. on Murfreesboro City Schools Day.
If it’s a men’s game, then local hero Kerry Hammonds (Siegel) usually starts and plays well. Other crowd favorites include Shawn Jones and Reggie Upshaw, along with floor leader Tweety Knight.
The Raiders are deep and many players will get minutes. As a matter of fact, coach Kermit Davis (the winningest coach in Blue Raider history) may soon attempt to substitute during the National Anthem.
Whatever he does, it must work because as of Saturday, the Raiders had a winning record and had won 32 straight at home. The Raiders were 28–6 last year, and Davis was coach of the year for the third time. The Raiders take Belmont on Tuesday at Murphy Center.
You better go soon. It’s a beautiful comfortable gym with great fans and many good players. You’ve got a great chance to see a win, and there will be excitement. I’ll see you Tuesday at the Belmont game.