There weren't as many of the crowd-pleasing routines at this year's Maryland Madness, but the mentality of the 2009-10 Maryland basketball team was clear. Hard work is what this Maryland team is all about, a message that was clearly shown Friday night at the Comcast Center.
I think they are trying to get back to the basics type of Midnight Madness, how they used to do it back in the day, senior guard Eric Hayes commented.
Even without some of the fancy routines, the atmosphere in the arena was exhilarating, as expectations are high heading into the season. Following last year's second round NCAA tournament appearance, paired with all but one player returning to this year's squad, the Terps are predicted to be a top twenty team in the nation.
The festivities started off with the alumni game, featuring former Terp players such as Byron Mouton, a member of the 2002 National Championship team, and assistant coach Keith Booth. Following the alumni game was the inaugural 3-point shootout, featuring 3 players from the men's squad as well as 3 from the women's.
After performances by the band, spirit squad, dance team, and gymkana, the women's basketball team was introduced. Coach Brenda Frese introduced the team's new motto, We must protect this house, primarily because the women's team has not lost a home game in two years.
The men's team was then introduced to a nearly packed Comcast Center, and the Red vs. White scrimmage commenced. The scrimmage played out as everyone expected; Starters such as Greivis Vasquez and Sean Mosley traded baskets and wooed the crowed, and new faces such as Williams and Padgett struggled to find a rhythm early.
The two freshmen showed some nerves when the Red Vs. White scrimmage started, Williams in particular, missing two close range shots in the paint.
The first time you get onto the court you better be nervous. That's more people than either one of those guys ever played in front of, so that's part of the process, Coach Gary Williams said.
This year's Maryland Madness started at 8 o'clock as opposed to midnight, mainly because the NCAA advised that the team not be up so late with practices officially starting Saturday. The Terps will start their first practice the at 10 AM on the 16th, following a night of Maryland Madness, with hope that this will be the start to a great season.