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December 2011: What happens after Vitale buzz?

By David Foreman
On December 7, 2011

What's on your Christmas list this year?

An Ipad? Laptop? Maybe a pony?

Fans of NBA basketball are sure to get exactly what they are looking for when their favorite players hit the hardwood once again on Christmas day.

There will be five games, including marquee matchups such as Derrick Rose and the Bulls heading to Tinseltown to take on Kobe Bryant's Lakers and a loudmouthed Jack Nicholson courtside, as well as an NBA Finals rematch with Miami playing in Dallas.

The latter game should be particularly interesting, as Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade will watch in agony as the Mavericks receive their championship rings. Mark Cuban will no doubt be grinning like a kid in a candy store.

Many are talking about the positive effect that the NBA's return is going to have on the city of Detroit, but I'm interested on the effects that the return will have on the UDM men's basketball program.

Let's face it: Attendance at Calihan Hall has not been overwhelming over the past few years, and the Pistons being out of business would have certainly meant one less thing for a basketball fan to do on a cold winter night in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Recent suspensions and injuries have not helped this cause, which is unfortunate because until Christmas Detroit needs to take advantage of being the only show in town.

With Monday's nationally televised game, Detroit had a chance to do just that.

Having been showcased on ESPN2 alongside college basketball's most recognizable face will certainly bring some attention to the program, but will that attention stick?

Let's hope.

One thing we know is that Detroit is not afraid to open its checkbooks to attract some buzz.

You've probably seen UDM's television ads lately.

These spots seem to put some emphasis on sports, particularly Titan basketball, as clips are seen that range from a player dunking to shots of Calihan Hall.

You may have also noticed giant billboards advertising Titan basketball as "Detroit's College Team."

UDM wants the Detroit metropolitan area, not just the Detroit Mercy community, to feel that the Titans are their team, too.

Essentially, albeit on an exponentially smaller scale, Detroit wants what the Pistons have in that regard.

UDM would like everyday people in Detroit and its surrounding suburbs to attend games, buy apparel and watch the team on TV when televised.

Monday's spectacle, between the pregame dedication, large crowd and national television audience, may have just been a step in the right direction.

The throwback uniforms were a nice touch, and delivered some fond memories to fans who remember the glory days of Titan basketball.

Let's face it, UDM is not going steal many fans from the Pistons. However, the Titans may be able to gain some interest, get them in the door and then show what it is we have to offer.

Let's hope that even with Monday's extravaganza in the rearview mirror the team can bring some excitement and fans to Calihan Hall.

Because after Christmas, UDM may be losing fans to a different venue: The Palace of Auburn Hills.

 

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