Midnight Madness Hits Montlake

The University of Washington mens' basketball team opened the 2009-2010 season with some Midnight Madness Fireworks Friday at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies opened the evening with a rousing acapella Hip Hop rendition of Bow Down to Washington, setting the stage for the evening's festivities.

UW Head Coach Lorenzo Romar MC'd the event, mixing equal parts commentary, humor and editorial, as his team demonstrated why they've generated so much buzz during the off-season as returning Pac-10 regular season champions.

The Slam Dunk contest featured the entire team, and eventually was whittled down to five finalists, all determined by fan vote. Mathew Bryan-Amaning appeared a lock for slam dunk glory after a twirling tomahawk jam, but 5-foot-8 sophomore Isaiah Thomas brought down the house as he elevated over Amaning for the flush and the victory.

In the 3-point contest, Sophomore Elston Turner and Freshman CJ Wilcox locked horns with the assistance of two sweet-shooting UW students. Wilcox took the title, canning 13 of his 25 attempts to Turner's 10.

The main event featured a Quincy Pondexter-led Purple team versus Isaiah Thomas' Gold team. It became evident fairly quickly that a new era has begun at Washington. Behind Pondexter's muscle and the torrid shooting of Turner, the Purple Team rained baskets on the Gold team, though Isaiah did his best to keep his team in the game. The game featured the debut of highly-touted freshman Abdul Gaddy who seemed content setting up Pondexter, Turner and the freshman Wilcox on the wing.

Turner left no doubt that he's ready to put his stamp on the Pac-10 this season, canning several 3-point baskets, including a contested 25-footer which he drained with a hand in his face. Pondexter showcased his re-made jump shot while spending much of the time conducting the floor from the point position. Wilcox got on the scoreboard as well with two 3-pointers from the corner, and looked comfortable on the floor.

Husky fans got their first look at forward Tyreese Breshers, who is returning from a prolonged shin injury. Breshers has a long way to go on the treadmill, but he still made an impact on the glass, out-muscling Bryan-Amaning for an offensive rebound and put-back.

The Gold team suffered from a lack of firepower beyond Thomas, who drilled three 3-pointers and a sank a nifty lay-up in traffic. Clarence Trent got the crowd on their feat after a windmill dunk from the baseline on a set-up from Overton. In the end, the Purple shooters were too much for the Gold, winning by a final score of 35-20.

It was a satisfying beginning to what should an epic season for Husky fans.


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