Boom Goes the Dynamite: 2009 Midnight Madness EditionPosted by rtmsf on October 16th, 2009
Ed. Note: for our Midnight Madness wrapup post, click here.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to our first Boom Goes The Dynamite of the new season. And now, we can say those words — “new season.” For tonight is the final hurdle in that long lull of the off-season that we have to cross. Maybe it’s inappropriately named, but who cares? Tonight is Midnight Madness across the country. Schools all over the place have got the festivities going, the first official games are less than a month away, and we can finally say that the new season is here.
ESPN-U’s broadcast is minutes away from starting. I’m John Stevens, one of the editors here at Rush The Court, and I’ll be live-blogging the whole way with RTMSF, our founder and guru, behind the scenes watching message boards, Twitter accounts, and getting texts and video from all over, and we’ll put up everything we get. So settle in, enjoy the coverage, and let us know your opinions as always. Keep hitting that refresh button, and we hope you enjoy it. Most of all — welcome. It’s finally here.
9:01pm: Here are some tweets RTMSF has already procured from various sources:
Mike Davis, Illinois
IlliniBalla24… @BuckWildBill33: Three point contest tonight, i’m looking to go 15 for 15 <—- I like ur confidence but I like @dkeller23 for a bill lls
Abdul Gaddy, Washington
gaddy0uw…Midnight madness tonight! Everybody come support
Jim Boylen, Utah
JimBoylen…Talking to the media for a few minutes before practice starts. We’re going to hit the ground running!
Tom Crean, Indiana
TomCrean…http://twitpic.com/lr6zu – The first four in line for Hoosier Hysteria
Gary Williams, Maryland
MDCoachWilliams…MARYLAND MADNESS IS HERE!!!! Come out to the Comcast Center and check out all the action.
9:12: Evidently the University of Kentucky had recording artist Drake at the festivities. No report on Ashley Judd’s whereabouts.
9:16: Right now, just lots of talk by Katz, Gallindo, and Branch. Mostly about North Carolina. Keep in mind, in the race for all-time wins, UNC is only 4 behind Kentucky, and the two face off on December 5th. Might be REALLY important.
9:20: Nice UNC picture:
9:24: And here’s Drake from Kentucky:
9:32: So, Bill Self sort of addresses the stuff that happened a couple of weeks ago, meaning the Tyshawn Taylor dislocated thumb incident and the little fracas with the football team. The most interesting part was him saying that he was “glad that it happened in the off-season,” and implying that little could come in terms of discipline because TODAY starts the new season. We’ll stay tuned on that.
9:40: Seth Curry at Duke, retweeting a Jay Williams sentiment: RT @RealJayWilliams… Inside Cameron Indoor for Mid-night Madness..I have never seen Cameron like this!!! So exciting!!
9:43: ESPN-U has now burned 43 minutes of coverage with a whole lot of talk and seemingly just as much promotion for things on their website. No actual scrimmage coverage so far. And now here’s an ad for their College Basketball Encyclopedia. Are they actually going to show any scrimmages or any of the goings-on at these schools?
9:47: You gotta admit, that was a nice line by Self, saying about his team, “We now know they’ve got a little fight in them.”
9:58: OK now we’re talking. A look at Georgetown. Bill Raftery is here. Am I having a stroke or do these guys sound like they’re talking into a couple of tin cans. But…there it is! Raftery gives us “a little kiss!!” off of a highlight. Good…my withdrawal is over.
10:03: Some fun at Georgetown via Twitter and Georgetown blogger Kevin Wessel:
10:06: Calipari walking onto the stage set up at the end of Rupp Arena:
10:10: Right. We are now over an hour into this thing and ESPN-U has really yet to show anything except analysis by the three guys in the studio and the on-site reporters. At best, we’ve gotten some stuff happening in the background behind the talking heads on-site, but you can tell it was taped earlier and it’s not even the actual team scrimmaging. And Raftery was a little hampered by bad sound. To this point, this is more like just a pre-season analysis show, which is fine, just don’t advertise it as Midnight Madness. In my view the best part of the show has been that Vitamin Water commercial with “Canadian celebrity Steve Nash.” Much better than his micro-cameo on Entourage a couple weeks ago.
10:16: There’s a volleyball game going on behind Steve Lavin at Washington. Really, guys? They say they’re going out to UNC after this commercial. Maybe we’ll see some actual basketball.
10:19: Via Twitter, not to be outdone by Kentucky, Lloyd with the Husky at Connecticut:
10:24: Some takes from SheedMe on the UNC message board, since ESPN-U says they’re gonna show highlights from the scrimmage momentarily:
1. John Henson: Looked long, looked athletic, was very effective, I just don’t know that he looked like a 3. He airmailed his only jumpshot attempt. Time will tell.
2. Travis Wear: looked big and skilled. I was impressed. He is going t be a good player for us sooner than later. Good stroke out to 18 ft, right place at the right time.
3. Will Graves: Shot the ball really well. Looks fat. If he guards, stays in shape, and limits turnovers he could really help us this year.
4. Drew II: Showed flashes. Decent quickness, really good passing (drive and dish). Tried to do a little too much at times which can be expected right now. (“Take ’em trajan” at the end where he dribbled it too far and turned it over)
5. Watts: looked athletic, not too skilled, turnover machine
6. Ed: was Ed. couple blocks, lot of boards, scored in close, had a nice face up 10-12 footer
Strickland/McDonald: kind of quiet, neither shot the ball particularly well
7. Zeller: looked bigger, needs to use his new strength and not try to finesse as much.
8. Marcus: didn’t do a whole lot. Made a 3, looked healthy
9. Free throw shooting: I know it is only a scrimmage but UH OH. Missed our first 5 or 6 (pretty badly)
10:36: And now…basketball! Some footage from Kentucky’s scrimmage. Although they seem to think it’s more interesting to show John Calipari talking. There’s a scrimmage GOING ON, and they’ve got the camera facing the OPPOSITE direction. Amazing, really.
10:41: Great tweet from a Pitt fan: Shame on Pitt for not having a Midnight Madness. It is the coolest S*** ever. WAH we need to have a family event. BOOOOOOOOO Love, DPJ.
10:44: HA…another great one from a Syracuse fan, where evidently Jim Boeheim arrived in a police car (enter Devendorf joke here): BWoodz on Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine: from what i saw at midnight madness, i think i have a better 3 than @ScoopJardine11. if i knew when walk on tryouts were, i woulda went
10:49: From Jeff Goodman via fellow RTC editor NVR: “Cole Aldrich sporting a nice black eye – courtesy of an elbow in practice from Markieff Morris”
10:53: kohenari tweet: Tom Izzo at Midnight Madness: “We’re a donut in the middle but we’ll get better” (via @sethkjolly).
10:54: A Duke fan, with an opinion on the Duke coverage:
@heymandie they showed duke maybe three minutes. ESPN is riding the kentucky train big time. it makes me sick. calipari is a joke. (from xellehcimx on twitter)
I’d add that, aside from Calipari, they didn’t show Kentucky very much, and haven’t shown ANYONE hardly at all. I’d say we’ll see some Duke coverage in the next two hours.
10:57: We will have video of it ASAP, but here’s a tweet from Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell:
CoachPurnell tweet – Just repelled 75 ft from the rafters of Littlejohn Coliseum in front of a packed house at Rock the John!
11:00: Malcolm Delaney Virginia Tech – Midnite madness was fun.. Won the 3pt contest and showed my bounce a lil.. This gone b a good year
Note — if you don’t get the U, ESPN2 should have their simulcast going now.
11:07: Ricky Harris at Massachusetts – Our coach came out to practice wit an ARMY suite on…hahaha..Time to go to war
Here’s Michigan State fan Alcibiades from their message board: What a terrible break down. Got a name wrong, didn’t provide any real analysis, and soon started talking about other “powerhouse” big ten teams such as Northwestern and Indiana. Why am I watching this crap?
There’s nothing I can add to that, to be honest. We’re more than two hours into this and there’s been a lot of supposed analysis by the talking heads, actually the repeating of a lot of information anyone watching a broadcast of this nature probably already knew. They’ve had the chance to show scrimmages, but haven’t, just a little bit of Kentucky and NOW we get some Duke coverage. But this has been more of just a pre-season primer show so far. Nothing we’ve seen has even come CLOSE to, say, that moment from several years ago when that kid at Cincinnati hit the half-court shot on live TV (see below) and Dick Vitale, who agreed to throw in the price of the kid’s books in addition to the semester’s tuition the kid won, just tackled the guy. By the way, where is Vitale? It’s the first chance to legitimately talk about college basketball and he’s nowhere?
11:24: Since we did get to see a little bit of Duke coverage, and we saw Mason Plumlee hit a little turn-around jumper in the lane, how important is THIS guy for the Blue Devils? Kyle Singler gets a little banging help down low and Plumlee is yet another threat from the 3-point arc.
Actually, they’re talking with JT3 at Georgetown and you gotta love that he’s wearing the Michael Jackson glove. I was hoping to see Michael Jackson, their former guard from the Ewing years, wearing the Michael Jackson glove, but I don’t know what cosmic consequences that would have entailed.
11:44: More coverage of Kentucky, whose festivities ended about 90 minutes ago. The John Wall entrance was amazing, but things started with an 11-minute speech by Calipari that the fans are calling “The State of the Commonwealth.” I know I say this at great risk, given the Big Blue Nation’s reaction to Calipari’s sending of a UK jersey to President Obama, but Calipari’s entrance and speech elicited a crowd reaction reminiscent of Obama’s victory speech 11 months ago. Wow.
This from UK fan gmccane1 on the UK message board: Cal’s speech was epic to say the least. Reminded me of a pentecostal preacher at a tent revival.
11:50: At Washington, we get Steve Lavin breaking down the Pac-10 a little bit. From inside the empty Washington locker room. Again, this is not Midnight Madness coverage. This all could have been done without calling it Midnight Madness.
11:53: Well, check THIS out! Our first Rush The Court of the year! After Georgetown’s festivities:
11:57: This is a little more like it. They’re showing things like the skits-by-class at Kansas (impressive), some dunk contests, etc. To me, this is what I think most people were waiting on.
11:57:40: And…a well-timed commercial. Yeesh.
12:14 am: Nice! Some coverage of Washington’s dunk contest. And 5’8″ Isaiah Thomas wins it. I liked Matthew Bryan-Amaning’s preceding through-the-legs-and-over offering, but Thomas was the runaway winner. A tweet from UW Sports News: “It’s over. Isaiah Thomas just dunked over MBA. Most ridiculous dunk of the night by far. Romar just crowned him champ.“
12:22: Gotta do it. That Steve Nash ad is fantastic. RTMSF says “legendary.” Here it is:
12:34: Nice photo of Loyola (Chicago)’s Geoff McCammon going over some helpers from the women’s squad:
12:37: Not bad for the last ten minutes. Decent coverage of the UNC and Kansas scrimmages. You also gotta love the Roy Williams dance at center court and the line that announcer Rob Stone got in on him — “I think he might need to ice down.” Then later on, during the scrimmage, Williams threw Tyler Zeller under the bus a little, saying, “I don’t think I can watch Tyler Zeller dance.” And again, that’s coming from Roy Williams. Good stuff.
12:42: WHOA. Well, if you’re a Kentucky fan, you’re probably happy with the fact that UK has led the coverage by a little bit, here, though I don’t have an actual clock on it. But HERE is the price. Gallindo threw it to Duke where Jay Williams interviewed Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner, and Hurley made a small reference to “the Kentucky game.” Duke fans should be happy they got that little dig in there, even though their team has, to be honest, been marginally covered tonight.
12:48: Couple of good pics of Tom Izzo; one of him rolling up in, since the Final Four is in Indianapolis, an Indy-car; another of him wearing — a prediction, here? — the winner’s garland:
12:54: Both Adrian Branch and Andy Katz both predict the same Final Four: Kansas, Texas, Michigan State, Kentucky.
12:56: This is one thing I’ve always liked about Jim Calhoun. He’s usually pretty honest about his team when you ask him, a quality that’s actually pretty rare since most coaches don’t ever want to show you all of their cards. Calhoun freely admits that his team lost a lot (no shock there) but still has the stones to say that he thinks his team will be “pretty good” early and then even better in January and February. I like that. So many coaches will be a little down-in-the-mouth about their squads at this point in the year, by rule. Calhoun will only say that if he really believes it.
1:03: No coverage of them by the WWL and the WWL-U, but here’s a little dancing at WVU:
1:06: Whoa, again…this link is from Vox Populi, the Georgetown blog…evidently shots were fired near Georgetown’s Midnight Madness, detaining for a while the 5000 students who attended. Here’s hoping this is nothing major.
1:12: Note from the Pac-10: UCLA’s presumptive starting point guard Jerime Anderson missed practice today with a strained groin; more on that injury in later posts if necessary.
1:15: Not wanting to end on notes like fired shots or strained groins, I’ll mention here that we’ll be adding other videos and photos to this post over the next day or so if/when we get anything good. There are a few particular things we’re digging for right now that we think you’ll enjoy. We got word that UNC did a parody of the Tyler Hansbrough commercial (also starring for two seconds the eeriest Andy Katz look-alike you’ll ever see) where he “Finds the DOG!” So keep checking this post and the site in general for some more stuff from Midnight Madnesses from across the country.
1:20: Well, it’s over. Personally, I thought ESPN-U saved their best coverage until after midnight ET, which would have made sense if the schools were actually waiting until midnight to unveil their teams, but since so much of the actual scrimmages or “extras” were taped, then it was probably just coincidence. I’ve made my thoughts on the coverage above, so no need to rehash them here. I’d rather focus on the fact that the new season has arrived and we’ve got official games in less than a month. In the next couple of weeks there’ll be intra-squad scrimmages and the like and the amount of college basketball news is going to be skyrocketing. The Midnight Madness countdown clock that has mocked us for so long in the upper right corner of our front page is no more. Our wait is over. That said, I’ll give the final sentiment of the night to Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson, who tweets:
“Practice at 11. The season officially starts tomorrow. Great turn out at Midnight Madness. We have Great Fans at the Cuse !!! Its Go Time !!”
That it is, Wesley. That it is.