New storms in tornado alley

The Kansas plains have the climate for the potentially catastrophic annual tornadoes. But what can they do about the dangerous new threat from storming the basketball court after upset victories?

This one picture can summarize the chaos following the game between Kansas and Kansas State

Rob Dauster

This one picture can summarize the chaos following the game between Kansas and Kansas State

We all know that storming the court is a popular thing for an underdog to do after beating a top team. Beating a rival, winning a GCL Title. All those things are reasons teams storm the court. We all love doing it and some coaches love it, some hate it. Well, for those who love it, we saw what bad things can come out of storming the court.

Click here for a vine from Drew Franklin of the court storming, highlighting a headlock applied by an assistant coach.

And click this link for Dom B’s vine. (this one features the refs getting blocked from leaving the court)

Following a recent 70-63 Kansas State win, the students stormed the court, while the teams were both shaking hands. It got dicey really quickly. Students purposely bumped into Kansas players, and coaches. One Kansas coach put a kid in a head lock. Yes, a head lock. Bill Self and Bruce Weber were quickly swarmed, being pushed against the score table at mid court. After the game, and storming of the court questions arose very rapidly. Should kids be able to storm the court? Should the students who made physical contact with the players and coaches get in trouble with the law? I was watching it and looked like it got out of hand, but I don’t think the idea of storming the court should be done.

One thing you have to take into account is K. State had made a public address saying they handled the storming of the court wrong, and they couldn’t be any more right. The buzzer had just sounded and the students took off. Here we have Kansas State’s coach Bruce Weber give a statement following the mayhem that ensued on the court.

Statement made by K. State coach Bruce Weber following his teams 70-63 win of Kansas
Statement made by K. State coach Bruce Weber following his teams 70-63 win of Kansas

Security seems to be the big underlying issue with this incident. The court storming would have been fine with me and probably most people if the security waited for the Kansas players and coaches to get off the floor. Now, Bill Self gave his own statement, which he joked around with saying to prevent the court storming if they would just win.

Bill Self and his comments after his teams 70-63 loss
Bill Self and his comments after his teams 70-63 loss

Now, to break down how it went after the buzzer sounded. Kansas misses a shot at the buzzer, immediately following that sequence the students are on the floor in what seemed to be less than a minute with NO security there to stop them. It was almost like they had been unsupervised and the topic of court storming hadn’t been discussed. This is why everyone is upset because no one let the players get off the court. Even Bruce Weber even was seen yelling at students when he was stuck in a sea of purple and grey.

I was able to get some student reactions, first with junior Max Klosterman. “Some people do it way too much, has to be a very big win. Beat the number 1-5 team.” This was at the college level.

Now with High School he had some similar insight. “Close games, like the Moeller game was a perfect time to storm the court after the buzzer beater, LaSalle was fine because we clinched a share of GCL.” A comment he made caught me a bit by surprise, “I think it has been ruined a lot by teams over storming the court you could say.”

Junior basketballer Dave Heisel had his own opinion, “It is understandable, if you beat the number one team in the nation, like Indiana versus Kentucky. But when it’s a rivalry game it is kind of pathetic, without any real meaning like an unranked game between two rivals.” Now when it comes to high school he loves it, “it’s so cool. As a player it awesome to see the students come celebrate a win like that with you. It’s a great feeling.”

For me, I think the more we see teams storm the court the more we see the bad that can come out of situations that transpire after the game. If students do storm, the university needs to have a good security policy in tack so we don’t have situations like this game where players and coaches from the other team are in harm’s way. Now this is the college level, at the high school level. Both times we stormed the court were: Buzzer beater to beat Moe, and when we beat LaSalle to clinch a share of GCL. I think those are viable reasons to storm the court. No players were hurt when we did, at least so it seemed from my POV but I could be wrong. Either way, I think security is the main things that need to step up if storming the court will continue. Kansas State didn’t storm after they beat ranked Iowa State. Hmm? I wonder why.