MEN'S BASKETBALL: Ball State hopes for full house for Friday's opener

Top reasons for The Nest to be full in Friday's season-opener against Valparaiso

Coach Billy Taylor:

- It's going to be a blast, it going to be a lot of fun. I think we have a team that is going to be enjoyable to watch.

- We're going to put a good product on the floor and our guys are going to play extremely hard, which I think the students always respect that.

- We have a good group of guys, so that the people that do know our students athletes know that we've got good guys, whether you've got class with them or you see them on campus in the Atrium or whatever, you know that we know a good group of guys that are worth supporting.

- I think it's just going to be a fun atmosphere, a fun environment, and really, we're looking forward to having The Nest out there. We need that, we need that sixth man in order to really be successful and to have a homecourt edge at Worthen.

Sophomore guard Pierre Sneed:
- First off, [the students] should be supportive of Ball State. We're your classmates, and we like to have fun just like you guys, so we appreciate everybody coming out and showing their support.

- We just want to scare the opponent like with loud noises when we score. We need the fans into it with our bench and everything, so I think it will just be good for them to come out. They won't regret coming out.

- This year, we push it, so fast breaks, dunks, we have a lot more plays like alley-oops. We've just got a lot more athleticism this year.

"White Out"

The Ball State athletics department is promoting Friday's season opener against Valparaiso as a "White Out." The first 500 fans receive a free white "Game On" t-shirt, while everyone else is encouraged to wear their favorite white t-shirt.

Showtime Cardinals?

Ball State University junior forward Malik Perry wants to give students in The Nest a show when the Cardinals open up the men's basketball season against Valparaiso University Friday night at Worthen Arena.

Perry said he's lost a couple pounds from his 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound frame and hopes to see a more exciting, up-tempo Ball State offensive attack to fire up the home crowd.

"I think we're just going to be a lot more exciting this year, a lot more up and down," Perry said. "A lot more dunks, a lot more aggressiveness."

Will any of those dunks be coming from the typically layup-happy Perry?

"Yeah — I've shed a couple pounds, got my athleticism back," said Perry, who is expected to be a third-year starter this season. "You know I'm gonna be trying."


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