Basketball enthusiasts packed the Liacouras Center Friday night to get their first peak at the look of this season’s teams at Midnight Madness.
The event celebrated the first day the NCAA allows teams to hold full-squad practices.
Midnight Madness, which opened its doors at a little after 10 p.m., received plenty of positive feedback from Temple students who attended.
“I think it’s cool,” Dominique Wilkins, a freshman marketing major said. “It’s a really nice atmosphere. I wish someone would have made the half court shot, though.”
The half court shot he spoke of was one of the many contests that were held at Midnight Madness. The event also included player introductions, a slam dunk contest and an autograph session.
No one converted the half court shot, though four contestants from the stands and nearly every player on both the men’s and the women’s teams tried. Even Hooter, the mascot, got into the action. Fans got their fill of spectacular plays later in the night during the slam dunk contest.
Freshman guard Ryan Brooks defeated sophomore guard Semaj Inge and senior guard Dustin Salisbery for the victory.
The contest was a fan favorite.
“I think it’s incredible,” said Steve Brooks, a junior broadcast journalism major. “My favorite part had to be watching the slam dunk contest. I was hoping that one of the women’s players would make one, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”
Jessica Johnson, a freshman therapeutic recreation major also enjoyed the slam dunk contest.
“My favorite part was the slam dunk contest,” she said with a smile. “It was exciting.”
Another freshman, Rajiv Lahens, a finance major, said he hopes Midnight Madness will help produce some devoted fans.
“I think that Midnight Madness is a great event [the university] put together to get some hype around the team,” he said. “I think the people that came out [Saturday] will be the loyal fan base this season. I’ll be there.”
Freshmen weren’t the only first-year Temple students enjoying Midnight Madness.
Ross Klinger, a junior transfer from the University of Hartford, was also pleased with the activities.
In fact Klinger, a marketing major, experienced Midnight Madness at his former school. It’s safe to say he enjoyed Temple’s version much more.
“So far, it’s 10 times better,” he said. “It seems like a better atmosphere. I feel like I’m at a professional team, rather than a college team.”
Even students from other schools came out to enjoy Temple’s Midnight Madness.
Lauren Martin, a sophomore at Widener,
came with two of her schoolmates.
“I like it,” she said. “It’s something to enjoy, something to get the school together. I actually wish my school had something like this.”
While a large majority of the feedback was positive, some students felt there were ways to improve.
“A little more promotion would definitely
make it better,” said Adriel Adams, a junior business management major. “But for their first time, they’re looking to do big things.”
Sarah Beth Feinberg, a junior Jewish Studies and speech pathology double major,
thought the event’s description was a bit vague.”I think it was a great thing to have,” she said, “but I think it was hard because it wasn’t really clear what the event was going to be for those of us who don’t really follow basketball.”
Terrance McNeil can be reached at email@example.com.