By Greg DeVries
Moonlight Madness was a success last Friday night. The campus will soon be buzzing with basketball on the horizon, and the teams will look to hang banners in April.
Fans flooded the Ferrell Center for a taste of what they will get when the season starts next month.
“There was a lot of energy, man,” freshman forward Rico Gathers said. “
I didn’t expect it to be this live…I can’t wait until the season starts.”
As the players were introduced, each one danced from sideline to sideline. The highlights of the introductions had to be when freshman forward Chad Rykhoek walked with swagger to center court while pretending to eat an invisible bowl of cereal, and when J’mison “Bobo” Morgan rode a tricycle from the scorers table to the team huddle with Bruiser on his back.
The teams then took part in a three-point competition. The combination of junior guards Gary Franklin and Odyssey Sims took home the title.
Junior guard Brady Heslip did not shoot in the three-point contest, but he did shoot in a promotion that helped lower the price of tickets.
“I just appreciate all of the fans showing me love. It’s great,” Heslip said. “[You] couldn’t ask for better fans.”
Junior forward Cory Jefferson won the dunk contest with some forceful throw-downs.
His first and best dunk was a behind-the-back alley-oop to himself off of the backboard that he caught one-handed and dunked home with full extension.
The finale of the night was a men’s team scrimmage. Senior guard Pierre Jackson hit multiple three-pointers from well beyond the arc.
Heslip showed the work he put in during the offseason. He was much more mobile and handled the ball better than he did last year.
The final big play of the scrimmage was when freshman center Isaiah Austin pulled up for a three-pointer.
Morgan ran out to defend the shot, and he was able to swat the ball out of bounds.
“It was kind of [a message] like, ‘Hey, come down here in the paint,’” Morgan said.