Midnight Madness Blog

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Everything you need to know about Midnight Madness events at LoyolaDePaul and Northwestern is after the jump. There is more to come later in the night about the Ramblers’ event.
Loyola:

Here at the currently being renovated Gentile Center is a raucous crowd of fans showing why they were rated the best fans in the Horizon League last season. (It might’ve had something to do with Butler being in town too.) Still, a crowd of around 1,500 students has come out to see the 2010-11 Ramblers, who incidentally look a lot like the 2009-10 version.
Dunk Contest Results:
Rd. 1:
  • Jon Gac: 8,7,7 from the judges after a reverse dunk, a spin dunk and then one where Denzel Brito fed him from the stands. He could’ve used to finish the last one better.
  • Shaun Adams: 9,8,9 for a double-clutch reverse dunk, one spinning and a backwards dunk that he caught off the backboard.
  • Geoff McCammon: 7,7,6 as he had the most creativity, but he failed to get his dunks down. 
Rd. 2:
  • Jon Gac: 8,7,6 after he failed to complete what would’ve been the trickiest dunk of the night off the side of the backboard.
  • Shaun Adams: 8,8,7 Adams only got one dunk down during the final (he was supposed to do two), but he still won the title. For what it’s worth, his reverse dunk was the best one of the night. Excellent extension.
Three-Point Contest:
  • Ryan Sterling shoots a really fluttery ball.
  • Terrance Hill is a good shooter, but he’s more of a gamer. Still nice to see his stroke when he hasn’t been chasing the opponent’s leading scorer for 40 minutes.
  • Geoff McCammon was stroking the threes. He made 13 in the first round. 
  • Hill made 13 in round two and Geoff only made 11 in round two.
  • Hill had to take on women’s champion Monica Albano. Albano won 14-12.
Scrimmage:

There wasn’t any defense played in Loyola’s scrimmage, must be that old coach thing – see below. So here’s a stream of consciousness recap: The good news for Ramblers fans is that Jordan Hicks appears to be healthy and participated in full. Geoff McCammon was frustrated by not winning either the dunk contest or three-point contest, so he went off in the scrimmage. Ben Averkamp played a bit of point guard as he put the ball through his legs a few times before throwing a perfectly timed alley-oop to McCammon. Ryan Sterling hit a number of threes for the Maroon team. McCammon put down a windmill dunk that was better than anything he did during the dunk contest. And Denzel Brito can dunk! 
That is what Jim Whitesell meant when he said Midnight Madness is the “fun time” for the Ramblers. The scrimmage looked far different than anything else you’ll see from Loyola this season. 
DNP’s: forward Andy Polka, forward Tom Neary

DePaul:

Scrimmage:
The Blue Demons’ scrimmage was much more intense than Northwestern’s to say the least. Part of that probably has to do with the fact that DePaul’s players were playing for a new head coach and trying to impress him. It was good to see the players working hard. Now to the bullets:
  • Devin Hill and Krys Faber squared off a lot in the scrimmage. It was good because we got to see all the good parts and bad parts of Hill’s game. He hit two nice threes from the wing, but Faber also pounded him inside. Personally, I would’ve liked to see Cleveland Melvin covering Faber more, but it didn’t happen.
  • Speaking of Melvin, he drifted a bit during the game, but he was also aggressive on the glass at times. For instance he put in the game-winning dunk off of an offensive rebound where he had to mix it up to grab the board.
  • Moses Morgan can shoot. I don’t think people talked up his offensive game enough. He had a nice stop-and-pop move over Mike Stovall and also knocked down a three. There’s a reason he was in the three-point contest tonight as well. He has a really smooth stroke that goes out and up from his body. He gets good extension.
  • Brandon Young appeared to show good point guard instincts. Guard is probably the most crowded position on the DePaul roster, but he’s going to force them to give him some playing time. He took the ball up the court in traffic a couple times and cut into the lane.
  • One thing I didn’t like was how Faber brought the ball down to his body a couple times in traffic. He was the biggest player on the court! He needs to keep that ball up.

Warm Ups:
One of the best parts about Midnight Madness is that you get to see how the players really want to warm up. Krys Faber dunked on his first attempt and Cleveland Melvin threw one that went flying off the rim. That said, Melvin can jump. He threw down some of the best dunks of warm-ups.
Brandon Young’s shooting stroke is really nice. He can also dunk, just for the record. I don’t expect that to happen too much during the season.
Also, Tony Freeland, who seems like a forgotten man right now, looks pretty confident in warm-ups. It’ll be interesting to see what his role is on the team.

Pre-Activities Interview:
Figuring out DePaul’s roster is going to be like solving a Rubik’s Cube, and with Oliver Purnell saying tonight that he’d like to go nine or 10 deep in his rotation there are going to be a lot of opportunities. Some notes from Purnell:
  • He mentioned both Jeremiah Kelly and Mike Stovall first as players he expects to be contributors.
  • Faber is his only really big body on the team. It looks like he’ll get a lot of playing time this season.
  • Devin Hill seems to fit Purnell’s system a lot better than he ever did Jerry Wainwright’s. Also, Hill is probably the second tallest player on the team behind Faber.
  • Purnell intends to install his Clemson system, but he also said he’ll do whatever it takes to win games with this team, including potentially slowing the pace down.
More from Purnell’s Q&A with the media tomorrow. Now it’s time for the three-point and dunk contests!

Northwestern:

Unfortunately Bill Carmody held John Shurna and Drew Crawford out of the dunk contest, but it was still an entertaining event. Here are some notes from the scrimmage – in which the women and men participated at the same time. You’ll see from the notes that there wasn’t much defense played.

  • Final tally for JerShon Cobb’s first game as a Wildcat: 1-3 from long distance (most of that with Crawford guarding him), two dunks, and a block (of a woman). He showed some good instincts and was a good sport about everything. Also, let it be known that on Cobb’s first touch as a Northwestern Wildcat in a public setting he passed. He’ll probably fit right into the Princeton Offense.
  • More Cobb notes: Michael Thompson on the freshman, “He’s a great player. He’s more than just the offensive player that everyone labeled him as. He plays both ends of the court really well. He’s a good player defensively and he’s fit in really with the offense.”
  • Jeff Ryan was wearing a boot on his left foot, but everyone insisted that it was precautionary. Probably has to do with running for the first time in months and putting on a bunch of muscle in the interim. Ryan did coach the Purple team, which escaped with a 46-43 victory.
  • Shurna made up for the fact that he wasn’t going to be in the dunk contest by throwing down some powerful stuff in warm-ups, including one where he took off from just inside the free throw line, and during the scrimmage.
  • The crowd was pretty good. Carmody complemented the fans and credited them with helping out in Northwestern’s wins against Purdue and Illinois last season. “Both those games our fans made a difference,” he said. “It put us over the top against two pretty nice clubs.”
  • I know it’s early, but the Wildcats are certainly searching for that crucial back-up point guard that can spell Thompson at times. Alex Marcotullio played some point guard during the scrimmage and looked tentative. Though the format doesn’t really suit his game anyways. Hopefully Marcotullio or Ryan can be that guy.
  • And finally, Thompson provided some levity to the proceedings. He wore a sombrero at one point and also got to dunk thanks to the help of assistant coach Tavaras Hardy.
More to come!

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