Midnight Madness 2001

Haas Pavilion has been dormant since Cal's loss to Fresno St. in the first round of the NCAA tournament. No cheering, no booing, no taunting, and no Hail to California has been heard for well over 6 months. In fact the only sounds that could have been heard from Haas Pavilion would have been the sounds of reparation.

With the floor renovation the only noises emanating from Haas Pavilion in recent months have been that of drills, hammers, saws. On Oct 12th the noise came back. The Straw Hat band marched out with its traditional panache carrying a rousing tune. DJ Solomon was spinning hip-hop mixes to get the crowd jumping. The Golden Star Warrior mascot, Thunder, provided the crowd with some added exhilaration with his death-defying trampoline dunks, but the side shows were an appetizer to the main course of Cal basketball.

Take it for what it is worth, but nothing can rouse a school out of its football doldrums better than the arrival of a highly anticipated basketball season. The crowd was pumped up just to see the glimmer of a well-coached and talented product that was on the court. Ben Braun made a few comments and urged the crowd to keep up the tradition of being the loudest and raucous arena in the Pac-10. NBA all-star and Cal legend, Kevin Johnson, spoke highly of Ben Braun and the Cal experience and urged the local recruits to stay home.

The basketball scrimmage itself was more of a street ball jam session, a crowd pleaser if you will, rather than drills on footwork or defensive technique. Then again this type of event is supposed to cater to the average crowd rather than technique enthusiasts. After all the goal is to draw fans into the seats, and the best way to do that is play exciting basketball and win.With this talented bunch, Haas may be sold out all season.

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