Men's basketball reaches out to sororities
Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
Men's basketball coach Matt Doherty's responsibilities aren't just to his players.
He's also reaching out to the student body with events like the pizza party he held last night for Panhellenic members at the team's practice.
"We just want to let you know how important you all are - and the student body is - to the basketball program, " he said.
About 40 members from different sororities attended the 7 p.m. practice in Moody Coliseum, where Doherty asked the crowd for suggestions to improve game attendance.
"You make a big difference in the way the opposition plays and the way we play … we get about 10-15 extra points with good student attendance," he said, adding that he thought students would have "a product to be proud of."
Doherty said that he thought the team's victory in a scrimmage with Baylor last weekend was a positive indicator of the team's talent.
The women attending agreed that students needed to be better informed about the team's schedule. "I've heard that, which shocks me," said Doherty, who added that the university was working to eliminate possible schedule conflicts with activities like intramural games.
"I'm on pom, and I know it [crowd attendance] makes a big difference," said sophomore Kappa Alpha Theta member Megan Sheehan. "I'm so happy you're doing this - it's so necessary," she said.Doherty talked about his efforts to fill the stands at schools where he used to coach.
At Notre Dame, he said, the student body wasn't involved. But by the end of the season, there were two games where students stormed the court. "We want to help give SMU a good name in athletics," he said. "In basketball, that can happen quickly."
Doherty is fresh from Florida Atlantic, where he led the Owls to the best conference record in school history.
His college basketball career began at North Carolina, where he played for coaching great Dean Smith from 1980-1984. Doherty has also coached at Davidson and Kansas, where he recruited eight future NBA players and five All-Americans. Sophomore Delta Gamma Katey Channell said Doherty's recruiting skills were a big part of his appeal as a coach.
"He recruited all of the people who won the national championship for North Carolina in 2005," she said. "He's a really good coach."
Joella Skyles, a member of Gamma Phi Beta, commended Doherty for his initiative. "He has a really good vision; he's not waiting to get the students involved," she said.