By: Darcy Waskiewicz, Contributor
There is a buzz in Timmons Arena this season, one that continues to intensify with every shot, every cheer and every win. This sensation appears when the first people begin to arrive and doesn’t fade until long after a game has ended. It is a part of the chanting, the booing and everything in between.
With a record of 22-5, no one can deny that the Furman men’s basketball team is thriving this season. From the first game, it was clear that the Paladins had a new fire and ambition surging through them, which helped lead Furman to victory in their first 12 games of the 2018-2019 season. And as the Paladins’ win count began to rise, so did the support and attendance of the fans.
The Paladins shine whenever they play in Timmons Arena, Furman’s home court, and have an impressive 12-1 record at home to prove it. And while the Paladins have certainly shown their ability to succeed despite the location of the game, the success at home has drawn attention to the main aspect of what makes games in Timmons Arena so special- the fans.
One of the main ways that Furman University is able to connect with the Greenville community is through Furman athletics. Throughout the season, both Furman students and the community of Greenville have arrived in masses to show their support and devotion for the Paladins. In the game against East Tennessee State Feb. 9, the Paladins won in front of one of the largest crowds of the season. Games are constantly sold out and attendance rates continue to rise as fans crave to be a part of this new dynamic the Paladins are generating in Timmons Arena.
Furman student Elizabeth Mangone said, “I think just the atmosphere of the fans is my favorite part of going to the basketball games.”
The enthusiasm that the fans bring to every home game may be a contributing factor to the success the Paladins have had in Timmons Arena. No matter the day, no matter the time, fans show up and create an atmosphere filled with excitement, anticipation and cheers that fill the building.
“Everyone’s super pumped, everyone’s excited, we’re actually chanting,” listed Furman student Austin Green when asked about the mood of the fans this season.
Not only do the high levels of excitement and anticipation from the crowds result in a greater experience for the fans, but the Paladins are also able to build off of the emotions of the crowd as well. “I feel like the team really feels that support from us, and I feel like they play better when the fans are really there,” said senior Jenna Tuccio, who has attended Paladin games since her freshman year at Furman.
The new buzz surrounding Timmons Arena may have been a result of the outstanding success that the Paladins have achieved this season, but the support and loyalty of the fans are the reason why this buzz has yet to fade.