By JERAMY STOVER, Sports Editor
The University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s basketball team arrived to their game on Saturday looking up at the bright lights. While the UM-Dearborn Fieldhouse has undergone some renovations in recent months – new lights wasn’t one of them.
The Wolverines were able to call the Crisler Center home on Saturday, the place where the Ann Arbor team plays their home games.
While the outcome of the game against Siena Heights wasn’t what the Wolverines were hoping for – falling to the Saints 65-58 – the experience was one they won’t forget.
“Oh man it was sweet,” senior forward Jeff Cain said. “This is the first time I’ve ever been in this gym and it’s very nice, I like it a lot, it was a great experience. I wish we could’ve came away with the W though.”
“Right when I walked in I was like ‘wow’,” Cain added.
Cain said he has been at the Breslin Center where Michigan State plays and a few other bigger gyms but there is “something unique” about Crisler Arena.
The biggest difference between playing at Crisler Arena for Cain was the lights.
“The lights at the top, they were bright, if you get your eyes caught in that it’s tough to re-adjust,” Cain said
UM-Dearborn head coach Taylor Langley said the loss stings just as much at the Crisler Center than it would at another conference road venue, but he was happy for his players to get the opportunity.
“I was really appreciative to get the opportunity for our guys,” Langley said. “It was a great opportunity we’re really gracious for the staff at the University of Michigan to allow us to bring our team here and play.”
Langley said the biggest difference between playing at Crisler Center and at another conference road gym is the size of the arena.
“Especially with the minimal fans we have at our games compared to what (Michigan) have is just an eerie atmosphere you hear yourself echo when you scream and it’s just kind of a very surreal feeling,” Langley said.
Last season the UM-Dearborn women’s basketball team played a game at the Crisler Center. With the men’s team playing this year, they’ll be able to share their experiences. It’ll be interesting to see if either team will be back at the Crisler Center in the near future.