After win at Kansas, it’s time to enjoy Arizona State basketball

Dec 12, 2017, 5:58 AM | Updated: Dec 14, 2017, 11:58 am

Arizona State forward Romello White (23) and guard Shannon Evans II (11) celebrate in front of Kans...

Arizona State forward Romello White (23) and guard Shannon Evans II (11) celebrate in front of Kansas head coach Bill Self after an NCAA college basketball game against Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017. Arizona State defeated Kansas 95-85. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

On the day my family moved to Phoenix, we left from Allen Fieldhouse, the home of Kansas basketball.

My wife sang the National Anthem before the game between the Jayhawks and Nebraska on Feb. 17, 2007. We left at halftime and drove to Phoenix. As I left for Phoenix, I was jacked for the move of a lifetime in my career but totally crushed that I might never make my way back to a college basketball mecca.

As you walk into the arena, the history drips from the rafters. The energy and passion of the fans are like nowhere else.

I’ve been to Rupp Arena. It’s so big, you don’t feel the fans. You can hear them but it’s not the same pressure that Allen Fieldhouse puts on an opposing team.

I’ve been to Pauley Pavilion. Amazing history but the construction has so much wasted space and the fans aren’t close to as passionate as Kansas.

I haven’t been to Cameron Indoor. I bet it’s amazing but there’s no way 9,300 people can bring the same wall of noise like Allen Fieldhouse and it’s 16,300 screaming people. In a word, Allen Fieldhouse is perfect.

That’s the venue ASU basketball entered and came away with the same perfect record. Think about predicting before the season that, “one team will walk out undefeated and one will walk out with their second loss.” I think ASU fans would be thrilled to have only two losses and one coming to an undefeated Kansas team.

Amazingly, it was the other way around. No one in their right mind would have declared the Sun Devils would be the undefeated team walking off the hallowed court as the talk of the college basketball world.

There are some that are saying to “calm down” about ASU’s win because it’s just one game. I guarantee, the people downplaying Arizona State’s win all have one thing in common: they’ve never been to a game at Allen Fieldhouse.

Read the gushing tweets from writers and former players that respect what it means to go to Lawrence, Kan., and, not just win, but dominate the second-ranked team in the country for the final 35 minutes.

Of course, Arizona State is not going undefeated. But whenever a loss does come during their upcoming schedule, they’re only going to get better.

Mickey Mitchell has served his NCAA detention that transfers must serve but coaches avoid when they switch jobs. Kimani Lawrence is working out and on pace to play in 2018 and maybe sooner. Both are quick and skilled players that will add athleticism and a little length.

We have a tendency in Phoenix to sit around and wait for teams to prove it before we show support. For some reason, “prove it” means to win at the end of the season.

There’s one catch to that: The season’s over by then! Why wait?

Arizona State has the number one resume in all of college basketball. Instead of waiting to see how long it lasts, or trying to predict the impending doom, go to the game Sunday and enjoy the journey.


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