Have you done anything like this before--going out in front of a big group and just acting silly?
We all hang around and act silly all the time, so it's no big deal to be silly. We all just came together as one and went out and performed for the fans.
What about the game--was that indicative of what you've seen from the team so far?
That was really nothing. That was just entertainment, coming out to give the fans a good time. We wanted to give them some oohs and aahs. That was it. We were serious, but we weren't really playing 100 percent. We have practice tomorrow, so we were trying to prevent injuries and be ready to start.
Were you surprised that you filled the place up at midnight?
It's not a surprise to me. It just shows how much our fans love us and how much they follow us.
So, who is the best dancer on the team?
I'll have to give it to David.
David seemed more reserved last year and that he's come out of his shell a little bit.
He's just gone through a learning process, getting used to the college level. I think he came along towards the end of last season. Now, he's just being himself, clowning, and having fun.
How would you critique David's "Divine"?
That's just David. That's his character. He just wants to have fun at all times.
You all weren't on the court when Coach Williams first took the court, but did you hear it?
We heard the crowd. It was crazy. It just shows how much love they have for Coach.
Didn't know you had a little country in you …
It was all about having fun – that's all it was. Just having fun putting on a little show for the fans.
To pull off something like that it seems you guys have real good chemistry …
Definitely. We came together, practiced those skits, those dances, all week. We had practices every night for it. So I mean, we all came together and did what we had to do.
How was it to do those dances?
I mean, it's different. We're basketball players – we're athletes, not dancers. It wasn't that hard. Just learning and paying attention.
How different is it here now with Coach Williams?
I don't want to get into any comparisons, but just say that everybody's fired up and everybody's ready – everybody's ready to come out and just get started.
How excited are you to get started?
I was excited when I came back to campus for my summer break. Just knowing that it's a few weeks away makes me feel even more pumped. I'm ready to start practice tomorrow and am going to come in here early at 5:00, get in some shots, get stretched out and get ready to start.
Any favorite part of tonight?
The dancing. We had more fun with the dancing than playing, and that's hard to say because we all love basketball, but I think we came out and enjoyed it. We complained about it a little when we first started, but when we came out we just had fun with it.
That was a little different.
Yeah, we just wanted to go out there and have fun tonight and let everyone know we are excited to start the season.
You have told me that it's not in your personality to be really outgoing. What was it like to get out there and act silly?
It was different, but I had no choice. I didn't want to look stupid looking all stiff, so I had to loosen up.
Did you feel like you were building some team unity out there, being silly together?
Yeah, we got humiliated, so that can only bring us together.
Once you got out there "on stage," did you feel a little star-struck--did you feel the crowd?
I was fine. I knew we were going to look stupid. I just wanted to have fun with it.
Did you know for sure Coach Williams would get out there and dance?
Yeah. He had no choice. We were going to pull him out there regardless of if he wanted to or not.
How would you grade him out on that dancing?
You don't want to know.
Was there anyone who you thought couldn't dance? It looked like pretty much everybody had some rhythm.
Justin Bohlander. He struggled big-time.
Were you surprised the place was full?
Yeah. I mean Midnight Madness is not even a real practice and everybody came to support us. That's a plus for us.
What about what happened on the court--was that indicative of what you have seen thus far?
Nah. We had too much energy out there. We showed flashes--a possession or two--but not much.
Now that you've humiliated yourself in front of everybody, the rest of the season should be easy, right?
Yeah, nothing's worse than that cowboy dance.
Talk about the crowd support today.
It was great. It was a good feeling to know that everybody cares coming back and feels the same.
Is it any different for you this year?
Not really, just excited to start playing basketball.
What do you expect to be doing at your first practice tomorrow? A lot of running?
Not really. We got through that with the conditioning. We're going to do a little running, but I think we're going to start off with the basics. Box out, defense, that type of thing.
I heard you turned down the drag role of wearing the pink wig in the Dating Game skit?
Yeah, I was scared to do that. My pride wouldn't let me do that one. The wig and skirt was too much for me. David did a great job. He could have fooled me if I had seen him on the street …
DAVID "Divine" NOEL
How'd it feel to do those skits?
It was a great feeling to do all those skits because it gives the fans and everybody watching to see a different side of us and not a so serious side – not a basketball side. Just how we act one a regular basis and I think that's great for everybody to know the other side of us.
That was some wig you had.
Yeah. When I saw it, I was like O-O-O-O-H. I thought is was going to be a black wig or a blond wig. That thing was HOT pink. I was like OH NO. But it was cool. It was a great experience for us.
You seem to have really come out of your shell. You seemed to really be having fun and enjoying the atmosphere.
Yeah, I'm the type of guy who likes to have fun. When the opportunity presents itself, I'm going to make the best of it. Tonight in the skits, I felt like since we're out here, let's make the best of it, so that's what we did.
This was different from last year. Did you enjoy it more?
Yeah, actually we did, because we were more involved. Last year, all we did is get introduced and just played. That was it, but this year we were more involved in all the skits throughout Midnight Madness. I think that made it a whole lot better.
How did you become "Divine"--were you elected or did you volunteer?
Actually, it was supposed to be Jawad's skit. He was supposed to be a 6-9 hairdresser from Cleveland, Ohio, but once he saw the wig and what he had to wear, he decided not to do it. They begged me to do it, so I accepted the role and went out and performed.
Has it been a lot different? You guys seem a lot looser …
Yeah, we've been loose under Coach Williams. He came in and changed this program around. He has high hopes for us and we have high hopes for him. We're just going to start with our first practice tomorrow and see how it goes.
Over 20,000 fans – you expect that?
Yeah, kind of, being that it was Roy's first time back. But I didn't expect it to be like that. It was crazy, a great atmosphere.
Seemed liked you were having even more fun than everybody else …
Yeah, I was. I'm a silly guy, I like to take in all the fun. It's a short life, you might as well live it to the fullest and have all the fun you can.
Think Roy is going to run you extra hard for dragging him out on the dance floor?
No, they told us to go get him. We figured he could go out there and show us some moves. Old time moves.
What's the feeling like now that Coach Williams has taken over?
It's definitely exciting. We're ready to get this season going. Just to prove to everybody and ourselves that we're a great team. And once we get going, I feel we'll prove that to everybody.