Midnight Madness Draws Throng

Arkansas basketball may be making a comeback ... at least that's what fans must think after a huge crowd came to Bud Walton Arena for Midnight Madness

The 2003-2004 version of the University of Arkansas basketball team officially opened up its season with a festive Midnight Madness before 14,250 fans at Bud Walton Arena.

"It was a lot of fun and we had a great crowd," UA head coach Stan Heath. "Now they can go get some sleep and we will really get things going for real Saturday morning at 10 a.m."

The crowd was the largest - and certainly most enthusiastic - crowd the event has drawn since the 1995, which was capped with a 20-minute scrimmage by the Razorbacks.

It included 6-11, 252-pound Steven Hill of Branson, Mo., one of four Razorback commitments planning to ink with Arkansas during the Nov. 12-19 early signing period.

The crowd got all revved up right before Midnight when Bud Walton Arena's new Videoboard began counting down the clock and then ran a montage of great Arkansas basketball moments and players.

Sidney Moncrief's great work, Ron Brewer's shot against Notre Dame, Scotty Thurman's bomb against Duke and former head coach Nolan Richardson hoisting the 1994 National Championship were among the numerous slices of video shown.

After introducing the Lady Razorbacks and new head coach Susie Gardner, music fired up and the Razorbacks came out to their own individual music.

Clearly the highlight of this part was Ronnie Brewer's hip-hop dance number while 6-8, 240-pound senior transfer Billy Pharis pulled out an Hulk Hogan rip-off-the -shirt number for his intro.

As far as the game, Brewer kept his groove going by hitting a 3-pointer to open the scrimmage, getting a no-look assist to Rashrd Sullivan for his Red team's next bucket and then swiping a pass and hitting Sullivan for a dunk to open up a 7-0 lead.

Sophomore Red squad member Jonathon "Pookie" Modica topped all scorers with 14 points, 13 of which came in a first half that the White fought back to forge a 25-25 deadlock at intermission.

But junior Mike Jones had 11 points, Kendrick Davis 10, freshman Olu Famutimi 9 and Wenbos Mukubu 11 to lead the White team to a 45-36 win.

At the conclusion, Heath had a simple message for the fans.

"Thanks for coming out, now go get some sleep," Heath said. "We've got a football game and some Gators to beat tomorrow."



Midnight Madness Boxscore:

White (45): Mike Jones 11, Kendrick Davis 10, Olu Famutimi 9, Wenbos Mukubu 8, Eric Ferguson 4, Vincent Hunter 1

Red (36): Jonathon Modica 14, Billy Pharis 7, Rashard Sullivan 6, Jamar Blackmon 6, Ronnie Brewer 3, Preston Cranford 2, Charles Tatum 0


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