The student sections at major college basketball schools are normally in their seats (or hovering over them) well before tip-off, raising the energy level of the gym through a combination of cheering for their team and heckling the visitors.
At UCLA, “The Den” is no exception. Normally. Five minutes before the start of the Bruins’ Tuesday night exhibition game against Cal State-San Marcos, the student section was completely bare.
Normally the type of game scheduled before the regular season, Tuesday’s contest was pushed back to Dec. 4 in order for UCLA to open its season in the renovated Pauley Pavilion against Indiana State on Nov. 9.
Only 4,174 fans in all were in attendance — a mere 30% of Pauley’s seating capacity. In addition, the game didn’t count and wasn’t broadcast on TV or radio. All of which might have dissuaded UCLA students from attending.
Note to AD Dan Guerrero: Don’t reschedule exhibition games, just cancel them.