Yup, Bill Fennelly has done it again. No, it's not another big recruit, rather, the Cyclones have now ranked in the Top 10 in the country in attendance eight years running. It's no small feat, mind you. 8,906 fans a game. Think about it. For any of you older Clones, did you give two craps about women's basketball before Bill Fennelly?
In comparison, look at how the four state schools stack up:
ISU - 8,906
UI - 4,132
DU - 2,127
UNI - 1,110
The Clones average more fans per game than the three other state schools combined. That's one of the reasons I was beyond stoked that Fennelly got that lifetime extension. The fact that we care about women's basketball all is pretty extraordinary. Look around the SBNation network. How many posts do you see about women's basketball?
Throw in the fact that last year's attendance total is 1,239 fans higher than the average from 2005-06, and it's hard not to be encouraged by the love that the women are getting. At most schools, you can't give away tickets to women's games. Of the handful of women's games I've been to, the fans that show up get louder, person-per-person, than you see at a run-of-the-mill men's game.
Of course, all of this is thanks to Fennelly. Starting about a decade ago, the women began to knock off the Texas Tech's of the world. Fast forward to a few years ago, when #1/#2 Texas came into Hilton and was knocked off. Bill brought winning, which brought fans. And, if you're not following the women, you're missing out. Fast-paced action and a coach who oughta have something named after him once he retires for what he has done for the program. For all the love the men get, it's nice to see that the women are getting more respect and attention than just about any school in the nation.