Home court advantage.
It's one of the oldest adages in sports. Some say it's overrated, while others make it out to be a huge difference maker.
At Tarleton State, all evidence suggests that the home court advantage truly is in effect. And everyone who has a part is pulling their weight to create and maintain that advantage for the Texans.
For the 100th time in its previous 108 home games, Tarleton was victorious Tuesday. St. Edward's was the latest victim of the Wisdom Gym tradition, as Tarleton used a late 7-0 run to secure a 73-64 victory (See Page five for complete game coverage).
The win was the fourth in a row both at home and to start the 2007-08 season for Tarleton. Two more home contests are on the schedule for this week, with the Texans being challenged in Lone Star Conference crossover play by Cameron on Thursday and Southwestern Oklahoma State Saturday, both following women's contests with tip-offs at approximately 8 p.m.
“I think we have a Division I atmosphere,” Reisman boasted of the Texans' home court advantage. “We have the student body, the band, the Plowboys, Lonn's Posse, fraternities, sororities, the list goes on and on,” he explained. “A lot of credit also has to be given to our cheerleaders and Texan Stars. They do a tremendous job. Then you have the chair back seat holders and all the faithful fans and support from the Stephenville community and the Tarleton administration. It all comes together to make this a truly great atmosphere to play in, a great place to coach and a great place to watch a basketball game.”
Reisman is in his 20th year at Tarleton, and is four wins away from No. 400 as coach of the Texans. He says the atmosphere and support are two of the main reasons he has remained with the school he led from the NAIA to the NCAA as athletics director.
Reisman credits his tenure at Tarleton and the consistent winning of the basketball program to the administration, saying he appreciates the opportunity to have been at Tarleton and to continue to serve the university.
“When I get to 400, it's a university honor, not a Lonn Reisman honor,” he humbly stated.
But make no mistake about it. The tradition of winning at Wisdom isn't just about passionate students and faithful fans and administration. It's also about an incredible assembly of talent by NCAA Division II standards,
With players such as Jon Davis and LaShon Sheffield, both of whom were named to the Lone Star Conference 75-year team, on past teams, and current stars such as Limar Wilson, Avery Patterson and Jefrey Henfield, the Texans are tough to beat anywhere, especially at home.
When talent meets atmosphere, tradition and a coach who has been at the driver's seat bringing it all together, the result is wins.
A lot of them.
One hundred to be exact, out of its last 108 games at home.
“In how many gyms across the country can the home team say, we're 100-08?” Reisman rhetorically asked.
Not many. But there's one right here in Stephenville.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.