MSU Hoops: Midnight Madness Coverage

This year's theme was based on the epic Spartan movie "300"

In an unusual change of scenery, Midnight Madness changed venues this year from the Breslin Center to just across the street at Munn Ice Arena, but nonetheless, the event proved to be a success as always.

This year's theme was based on the epic movie "300" which documents 300 Spartan warriors going against an outnumbering army.

Just as the clip of "300" at every MSU football game has had success, the basketball team adopted the same idea, with players entering the court shirtless in a green cape, holding a circular golden shield.

Then coach Tom Izzo made his annual entrance at Midnight Madness. In past years he has been catapulted down from the rafters in Breslin, and last year he arrived on an army tank.

This year, Izzo entered the court decked out in silver Spartan warrior armor, taking off his helmet to reveal a fake warrior-like beard, much like the king of Sparta in "300".

After introductions and a shoot-around by the women's basketball team, the men took the court and put on a high speed horse race up and down the court.

Travis Walton fed an alley-oop to freshman Chris Allen and the white team was off and running, along with the rest of the players on the court.

If there was one word to describe the scrimmage, it would simply be "Fast". The team showed obvious signs of a Tom Izzo-coached team: a fast-break running team that plays great defense.

In a twenty-minute scrimmage that featured three breaks, the two teams managed to rack up a final score of 51-45 with the white team bringing home the victory.

Junior Marquise Gray showed off his long-range game, sinking two back-to-back three pointers for the white team.

It was typical Drew Neitzel out on the court, burying three long-range jumpers.

But out of all the storylines at Midnight Madness, it was a chance for the 8,000 fans in attendance to see the highly touted freshman show off their game.

Durrell Summers could be the best dunker on the team and he showed off his jump and speed in the slam-dunk showcase in the pre-game shoot-around. He also did not hesitate to shoot the three during the scrimmage.

Chris Allen showed off his versatility by throwing the ball down on several alley-oops from Travis Walton, and then stepping back to drain the three.

Kalin Lucas put on a passing display, feeding open guys on the fast-break.

And finally, Austin Thornton dunked the ball and showed off his outside shot.

Overall, the scrimmage made everyone in the stands salivate thinking about how much they can't wait to see this team in real game action.

It is easy to see why this team has such high expectations for the 2008-2009 season, and if they can play as a team like they did against each other at Midnight Madness, Spartan fans might be seeing another Final Four trip in their rearview mirror.

Keep Logging on to for in-depth coverage of the MSU Men's Basketball team all season long. - Pavel Kofman, GSN Basketball

Spartan Nation Top Stories