Head coach Dave Dickerson and the Green Wave men's basketball team co-hosted Tulane's first Basketball Madness with coach Lisa Stockton and the women's squad Friday at Fogelman Arena.
Oct. 12, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Fans got a sneak peak of their 2007-08 Tulane men's and women's basketball teams, and few lucky students received the chance to compete against Green Wave players as the Tulane Athletic Department hosted "Basketball Madness" Friday night at Fogelman Arena.
The event was the first in recent history for the Tulane basketball teams and could be compared to several of the varieties of "midnight madness" programs put on across the country, leading up to the first official day of practice for college basketball teams.
As the programs began their season hoping to turn "Basketball Madness" in October into "March Madness" at the end of the season, fans watched Tulane students compete against their favorite players in a variety of competitions. Students shot against players in a three-point contest, men's players competed in a dunk contest and one lucky student had the opportunity to win $10,000. Fans were also afforded the chance to see the two teams in action, as both men's and women's teams participated in a 10 minute scrimmage.
The madness began Friday evening with a free concert in front of Fogelman Arena by the local band, The Huey P's, while fans could buy hot dogs and drinks for $1 or view the players in a shoot around inside the arena.
After an introduction of both teams, fans Neil Patel, Julia Tresshel, Jared Facklell and Michael Luxemberg competed against basketball players Matt Wheaton and Kevin Sims of the men's team and Nikki Luckhurst and Ashley Langford of the women's team. The fans tried their best, but could not stand up to the skills of the varsity athletes, and fun was had by all.
The dunk contest featured four men's basketball players showing off their leaping abilities for the thrills of the crowd of nearly 400. Eric Vianney, Daniel Puckett, Donnie Stith, and Matt Wheaton leapt and slammed their way to the basket attempting to win over the loud cheers of fans in the two round contest. Wheaton, a late entry, won the championship over Stith by small margin of roars, sealing the deal with a dunk in which he jumped over one of his teammates.
The greatest attraction was watching drawing winner Ryan Sand attempt to win $10,000 by shooting five three pointers in 25 seconds. His task was to make five baskets in 10 attempts from five different points around the arch from one baseline to the other baseline. Sand gave a valiant effort, but in the end he came up short of the grand prize.
The evening ended with both men's and women's teams participating in short 10 minute scrimmages. The women's game began with a tip-off by diminutive guards, junior Ashley Langford of the white team and freshman Roshaunda Barnes of the blue team - a decided variation from the norm. The white team won a close game over the blue side.
The men's scrimmage was started with a jump by senior David Gomez for the white team and junior Robinson Louisme for the green side, and the short game ended in a tie. The scrimmages were generally easy-going, and a great way for the fans to peak at the players' talent before the official beginning of practice.
Basketball practice officially begins for the men's and women's squads on Saturday, Oct. 13. The two programs open the 2007-08 seasons with an exhibition double header on Nov.1 at Fogelman Arena, as the men take on neighboring Loyola (N.O.) and the women face the Houston jaguars. The men begin their regular season campaign at home against Auburn on Nov. 9. The women's team opens the regular season on the road at Alabama, and their first home game is Nov. 13 vs. Georgia Tech.
Men's basketball season tickets for 2007-08 are on sale now at the Tulane Athletics ticket office and can be purchased in person, online at www.TulaneGreenWave.com or by phone at (504) 861-WAVE.