Koch Arena’s renovation in 2002-03 turned Levitt Arena into a nearly perfect new home for Shocker athletics. It is hard to find many flaws. One will be corrected in the coming months when the history museum, limited in a room not much bigger than a concession stand, moves to a new home.
WSU is in the design stages of breaking the museum out of it confines and onto the outer wall of the concourse surrounding the arena. The athletic department will use the former museum space for a recruiting room, a place where recruits, coaches and administrators can meet during visits. Athletic director Eric Sexton considers the renovation part of a refreshing of the building, now in its 11th year, that includes new locker rooms and a new scoreboard.
“We have a great history museum … and we want to expose that to many more folks,” Sexton said. “We’re going to look at moving that to concourse, so people can experience that every game, every time they come to Charles Koch Arena they can walk and see the history of all our sport programs.”
Recruiting rooms are a relatively new asset in college athletics. The purpose is to give recruit and families a place to meet with coaches and administrators to start a tour, fill out paperwork, watch a video or ask questions in a place more fitting than a coach’s office or the locker room. It might also be used as a meeting room.
“It’s a place where you would sit down with parents … to talk about the vision for your program in an environment that is conducive to those kind of conversations, not stuck in an office,” Sexton said. “Kind of like a living room. It’s an additional space that we sorely need.”
Sexton is excited to update the museum displays and free them from behind glass doors. Several recent accomplishments, including the 2013 Final Four, are not reflected in the current room. The Image Resources Group, which designed the arena’s original graphics and displays and the new men’s basketball locker room, will handle the move and updates. Sexton said WSU is looking at bids and prices and expects the work to be finished by the end of the spring semester. Basketball fans may notice work on the recruiting room during the season.
“History is not a place you go, it’s something you should experience every day,” he said. “They’ll be able to see our history every day when they walk the concourse.”
COME TO OUR HOUSE
Missouri Valley Conference women’s basketball teams don’t struggle nearly as much as their male counterparts when it comes to scheduling high-profile opponents at home.
That is the good news. Even more important, the MVC took advantage of those games in the first week of the season. Bradley, picked seventh in the MVC, defeated Illinois 98-92. Drake, picked fourth, defeated ex-pat Creighton, which is picked second in its debut season in the Big East.
Minnesota won at Northern Iowa and Indiana visits Indiana State on Friday. The MVC earned an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament last season — Creighton. The Bluejays departed and took their aggressive scheduling with them. Those who remain will have chances to rebuild that RPI.
THIS WEEK IN SHOCKER HISTORY
NOV. 13, 2007
Gal Mekel scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in a 61-56 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff in coach Gregg Marshall’s first game as coach. The Shockers led by as many as 17 points in the first half. Arkansas-Pine Bluff rallied to within four points with 5:29 remaining before P.J. Cousinard’s three-pointer. WSU’s lead never dipped below five points the rest of the way. J.T. Durley scored 12 points off the bench for the Shockers.