The Arkansas State basketball program hasn’t been this low in at least 30 years. Both attendance and level of play have bottomed out – hopefully. It couldn’t get much worse, could it?
John Brady’s squad underachieved in a wildly inconsistent season that ended with another embarrassing home loss on Saturday night in front of another embarrassment of a crowd. The Red Wolves finished 295th out of 351 D-1 teams according to the highly respected Pomeroy Ratings at kenpom.com. Average attendance crashed below 2K per game – landing at 1,856.
According to the Pomeroy Ratings, Brady actually fielded the best A-State team in the last 14 seasons the year Brandon Peterson and Trey Finn were seniors. The Red Wolves finished 151st behind some stifling defense. The 168 ranking put up last season with all the newcomers wasn’t that far off the high mark – but attendance declined significantly from 3,397 to 2,541 per home contest, a 25% drop. The bottom fell out this season, as the performance on the court dropped 127 slots to a 14 year low. That’s as far back as the rankings go. This is the worst team since Catalina’s last season for sure. The attendance dropped another 27% to a pathetic 1,856.
How do you lose 45% of your fan base in just two years? Could it be the insane player turnover and lack of continuity has made folks less invested in players they don’t recognize? College basketball just isn’t as popular as it used to be. We’ll have more people in the stands in our football opener than we had in all 14 basketball games combined this year(25,988). That fact alone lets you know what sport drives the financial bus at Arkansas State.
Sadly, in its worst season in decades, Arkansas State finished 4th in attendance in the Sun Belt. The Cajuns led the way with just over 4K, followed by Texas Arlington (2,051) then Georgia State(1,869). This serves as further confirmation that the Sun Belt is now a terrible basketball league.