fran o'hanlon

Lafayette hopes to enhance homecourt advantage with $1.7 million renovation

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Lafayette will get a boost to its homecourt advantage this season thanks to a $1.7 million renovation to the Kirby Sports Center. The renovation includes new LED score tables, HD video scoreboards, chairback seating and new bleachers.

But the biggest change in the renovation is the addition of seating along each baseline of the Kirby Sports Center, which now gives Lafayette a true arena feel with seating surrounding the court instead of the old arena’s high school gymnasium feel.

Although seats are being added around the floor, since the Leopards are going with more chairback seating instead of bleachers, the capacity of the Kirby Sports Center will go from 3,500 to 2,650 and should make for a more intimate feel.

Head coach Fran O’Hanlon sounds excited for the changes according to an interview with City of Basketball Love.

“It’s a huge shot in the arm for our program and athletic department,” O’Hanlon told City of Basketball Love. “It helps with recruiting; helps raise the prestige around campus, which is great. We have a beautiful campus, and now we have a top class arena to go along with it.”

O’Hanlon seems particularly pleased with the new arena feel.

“The bleacher seats behind the baskets are great. It will completely enclose the court, and give it an arena feel,” O’Hanlon said. “The students have a place to stand and make noise, hold signs up when the other team is shooting free throws. We’ve always had a good home court advantage, this will only add to it.”

Lafayette went 19-15 last season with a 10-4 record in the Patriot League. The Leopards advanced to the league championship game, falling 64-56 at Bucknell and this homecourt advantage should help them compete in the Patriot League for many years to come.

Lafayette opens the new digs on November 12 against Robert Morris.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.


  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.


  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.


PLAYER OF THE YEAR POWER RANKINGS: Buddy Hield isn’t going anywhere

Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (24) drives to the basket as LSU guard Antonio Blakeney (2) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
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It’s Tuesday, which means that it is once again time for the NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings.

And you’ll be shocked to find out that Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield is still No. 1 in those rankings. By a pretty wide margin.

The rest of the top 10?

They can be found here, at the CBT FaceBook page. Follow that page for the countdown: