Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sprint Center

My first time at the Sprint Center was an overall nice experience with a few hitches.

- The view from inside looking out is really cool.
- Like most modern arenas, there really aren't any bad seats.
- The ushers (at least the two I had contact with) were well-trained and friendly.
- The shot clock on the side of the basket support is a nice touch.
- It is easy to get around inside.

- I arrived 15 minutes before game time and stood in the Will Call line until 5 minutes into the first game. I would say 1/4 of the crowd was in a long line at tip-off. I know people probably arrived en masse for a 6:45 weeknight game, but there has to be something they can do to move things along quicker.
- The place looks kind of sterile in the arena bowl itself. That could be the lighting, but more likely it is the lack of team affiliation for the Center. Most arenas have playoff banners and other various team-oriented things hanging all over the place. The Sprint Center has a flag hanging on one end, and a pathetic "Garth Brooks, 9 Sold Out Shows banner hanging at the other end. Perhaps, this will improve with time.

A couple of comments about the games themselves.
- Missouri looked much better. Darrel Butterfield took at least 4 charges during the game, hit a couple of threes, and generally looked like one of those guys who will never be the team's best player but will never know that either. The point guard decision-making remains suspect, but Hannah and Horton deserve credit for pushing the ball hard enough to scare the other team into playing Missouri's game.
- UCLA must be pretty good. I saw them play one of the worst halves of offensive basketball I have seen outside the Roeland Park Sportsdome in a while, and yet they still managed to come back and beat Michigan State. This should be a good lesson for the Spartans because they played the whole second half like they were hoping for the clock to move faster.

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