Well consider my appetite whetted. Marquette Madness was just what the doctor ordered for this college basketball junkie. The Al McGuire center was completely packed. I got in the door at about 7:20, and it was standing room only already. I have never seen more people in The Al. It was amazing. As you might expect, that many people packed into the arena created quite an atmosphere. It was great to see that kind of turnout.
I'm not going to bore everyone with a blow by blow account of everything that happened but here are a few items that I took away from Friday's festivities.
- I missed the very beginning, but it seemed that they didn't spend too much time on the women's team portion of the program this year. By the time I got in the building Terri Mitchell had already finished her schpeel and the ladies were getting ready to scrimmage. To the credit of the crowd, they stayed very into it during the women's scrimmage portion.
- They had a 3-point contest, yay! They kept the women involved with this game as well. DJO teamed with Courtney Weibel to defeat Dwight Buycks and Tatiyiana McMorris. Buycks had the stroke going in this first round, leading all shooters.
- Neither Buycks, nor anyone else, could match the groove that Courtney Weibel was in. She housed DJO in the 2nd phase of the contest. I don't remember what the final was but at one point Courtney made like 16 or 17 in a row. No shame in getting beat by a girl when the girl makes almost 30 3-pointers in one minute.
- The dunk contest was pretty cool. I had my buck on Joe Fulce and he did not disappoint. There were six competitors in the contest: Fulce, Reggie Smith, Vander Blue, DJO, Jamail Jones, and Jamil Wilson. That speaks to the type of athleticism that we now have on this team.
-The judges for the dunk-off were all former players: Mo Acker, Dan Fitzgerald, Terry Sanders, Robert Jackson, Jim McIlvaine, and George Thompson.
-The new promo video is pretty cool. You can check that out here.
- Mr. McCarter made the comment that this might be the deepest team he can remember at Marquette, and I'm inclined to agree - especially in the backcourt. With Junior Cadougan, DJO, Buycks, Blue and Smith, it looks like there might be some serious firepower in the backcourt this season.
- To no one's surprise, Vander Blue looks like the most ready of the freshmen.
- I love Jae Crowder's dreads!
- Jimmy Butler is the man. He is going to shoot an ass-load of free throws this year. He was drawing contact and going to the line even in the scrimmage.
-Davante Gardner is interesting. He seems like he's got pretty decent ball skills for a big man. If I'm not mistaken he even let fly with a 3 at one point.
-Chris Otule is still huge, and isn't injured yet. That's about all I saw there.
-Buycks was very aggressive in the scrimmage. He's damn quick, and I thought he did a good job creating shots for himself. Unfortunately it wasn't enough for Mr. K and the White Team as he lost a dollar to Pretzel and the Blue Team. It's clear that Buycks is going to be relied on heavily this year.
- I'm excited to see what Junior Cadougan does this year. He looks a little slimmer, quicker and more explosive than the player we saw late last season. Which makes complete sense, given that he was fresh off an Achilles injury. If I had to choose one player who made me say "Whoa!" in the scrimmage, I pick Cadougan. He is kind of the forgotten man right now, but I don't expect that to continue.
Those are just a few items that I felt were worth discussing. I'm sure there are more that I'm missing, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts. One thing I'm certain of: it's only 27 days until things the first game, and I can't wait.