The Varsity theater had about 20 students. The Wilk had a couple hundred. Almost nothing compared to last year’s turn out for BYU’s sweet sixteen run.
One must chalk this up, in part at least, to Jimmer’s departure. BYU just isn’t as good, some people said. Others didn’t know when the game against Marquette was, and others blamed the bad timing of the middle-of -the-day game.
But BYU juts two days prior mounted one of the largest comebacks in NCAA basketball history to break their way into the tournament. This somehow didn’t seem to spark much interest.
For the most part it was diehard fans that skipped classes or stayed home to watch the game, and few else. These fans still have faith in BYU basketball.
Lexi Zendejas is one of those hardcore fans, one of the twenty who found her way into the Varsity theater. She said that although the magic of BYU basketball has not diminished for hardcore fans, there are many factors playing into the decreased interest in BYU’s success.
“We haven’t been playing as well as we did last year,” she said. “I am not gonna lie Jimmer was a really huge factor last year.”
Brandon Mollard was in the Wilk watching the game, and suggested another reason why not as many people were there.
“Perhaps there is not enough faith that we are going to win,” he said.
Jimmer and his play somehow drew in fans that weren’t necessarily basketball fans at all. They could still get excited about Jimmermania, even if they had never watched a basketball game in their life.
But the future of BYU basketball and its fan base is far from hopeless. Tyler Doerman, who didn’t watch the game against Marquette, still likes BYU basketball, and is excited for their future, considering the talent existing among the team’s Freshmen.
“Three of the starters are Freshmen,” he said. “They are definitely a potential team.”