In the past 3 days I've gotten an email from our boy Joe Fulce and a voicemail from Darius Johnson-Odom, so that can only mean one thing.... MARQUETTE MADNESS IS HERE!!! Yes kids, today is the day that we've all been waiting for. The college hoops season is finally upon us. I have been waiting patiently for this, and I am stoked to finally get to see some basketball. It's not quite the same as in the old days when we'd get hammered and head over to the Arena and watch some idiot run onto the court and get arrested for our amusement. But at long last there is basketball, and I'll take it.
Aside from the obvious breaking of the basketball fast, there are a few items that I always look forward to at Madness. It's always cool to get the first glimpse of the new blood. I recall last year watching DJO for the first time and consensus was "DAMN". It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, gives off that kind of feel this year. And while we're getting our first look at guys like Vander Blue and Jae Crowder, we'll be getting one of the only looks we'll get at the two transfers: Dave Singleton and Jamil Wilson. The last time we saw Wilson on the floor at The Al was as a high school stud from Racine Horlick. This time he'll be rocking the blue and gold, and I know there's at least one guy around these parts that's excited about that.
More of Mr. K's basketball giddiness after the jump
And maybe I'm a sucker, but I still dig dunk contests. Are they a bit tired and played? Maybe to some, but I still love it. If done well, the dunks get people fired up like nothing else. Even if there are only one or two good ones, that is enough. No one remembers who struggled in last year's contest (cough...Erik Williams...cough), but EVERYONE remembers seeing Joe Fulce throw down an alley-oop that Mo Acker threw from the concourse! I can't wait to see what gets pulled out this year. I don't even know who is planning on participating, but from what I've seen on YouTube Reggie Smith might be worth the price of admission in this event. Hell, I love the contest idea so much that I still wish there was a 3-point contest. Of course this concept was retired a few years back when Steve Novak made it look too easy. (Despite the best efforts of one Ousmane Barro) But who wouldn't be interested to see what DJO could do in a 3-point shoot-out format?
Madness is also a place to keep your eyes peeled for future Golden Eagles. Word in the hood is that any or all of Mike Shaw, Jarion Henry, or Trey McDonald may be in attendance tonight. They will be joined by Marquette's first 2011 signee, Juan Anderson, who has been said to be making the trip from Cali for the event. Oh, and then there's this little nugget from professional journalist Todd Rosiak, that says that Menomonee Falls' uber-recruit, JP Tokoto, might be on hand for the festivities as well. Yes, I know these are just high school basketball players, and I'm silly to get all excited about the prospect of them playing for my school... but I don't care. Last year hearing the students chanting Vander Blue's name was pretty damn cool. I don't know if anything will get to that level this year, but it will be fun to see who turns out and how the experience may affect their eventual decision.
The final thing that I'm looking forward to tonight... Taking Soft Pretzel's money!!! The enjoyment of anything from Sausage Races to Spelling Bees can be enhanced with a friendly wager. Bring your singles Pretzel, I'm planning on buying a round with your money after this shindig wraps up.
If there was one thing I would change, it would be the way they do the women's portion of the program. God bless the women's team. I certainly mean them no disrespect. But there has to be a different way to work them into the show. Last year they cut the lights, pumped up the jams, worked everyone into a frenzy... and then ran out the women's team. The juice left that building in a hurry and never got back up to that level. By the time they got around to introducing the guys, 30-40 percent of the people had already left and those that were still there were quickly losing interest. I would really like to see them at least introduce the men's team while the crowd is still in full throat. Then if they ladies want to do their thing, that's fine. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but isn't that what the internet is for?
Normally this is the part of the program where I say that I'll see all of you at Heg's tomorrow night... But unfortunately that's not an option anymore. So, where ever they still serve cocktails on that campus you will find me tomorrow before the event. I'll be the guy giggling with excitement at the thought of finally getting some college basketball. Feel free to say hello... and buy me a drink of course.