Sssssh. ASU students intentionally negate home-court edge

The Arizona State student section usually does a pretty good job of supporting the home team. They dress in costume. Overweight students pinch an inch (or much more) while standing under the basket to distract free-throw shooters. When an opponent fouls out, they have the "left, right, left, right … sit down" chant down to a science.

They might want to rethink, however, their unorthodox way that the students recognize former All-American James Harden. One game every season, the students hold their cheers until ASU scores its 13th point in honor of Harden, who wore No. 13 in his two seasons before leaving for the NBA. 

It’s a different sort of mind-set at The Stanford of the Desert Southwest.

While it probably seemed like a novel idea at the time, all the silence really does is negate the Sun Devils’ home court advantage for an extended period of time. In an 86-82 overtime victory over Oregon State on Thursday, ASU did not score its 13th and 14th point until Jordan Bachynski made a layup with 8:29 remaining in the first half. So maybe it is no surprise that ASU trailed 18-14 by then.

Count ASU coach Herb Sendek as among the doubters.

I’m trying to get people to stand up, not sit down. Yell. Scream. Have a great home court, and we are going opposite-ville.

Herb Sendek

"It would be my recommendation that we never do that ‘don’t-cheer’ stuff, because I think that hurts the home team," Sendek said. "We’re the home team, and we’re creating silence. It doesn’t work, in my opinion. I would be an advocate of never doing that. We’re trying to create energy at home. I’m trying to get people to stand up, not sit down. Yell. Scream. Have a great home court, and we are going opposite-ville. No one is saying anything. To me it takes the energy out. Not that I’m blaming the crowd."

It did not help that the game tipped off at 9:12 pm as part of the Pac-12 TV package.

"It was such a late-night game, anyway, then everyone’s quiet. Everyone is sleeping," Sendek said. "When they were allowed  to cheer, the whole thing picked up."

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