Saturday, October 17, 2009

Midnight Madness Comes to the A-Sun

Lady Bucs Hit the Hardwood for First Time

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 16, 2009) – Basketball season is upon us in Johnson City.

The Lady Bucs began their official start of the 2009-10 season inside Memorial Center on Friday evening with a three-hour long practice.

“The first day of practice is always an exciting day for both the coaching staff and players,” commented head ETSU women’s basketball coach Karen Kemp, who returns for her 16th season and looks to guide the Lady Bucs to a program best fifth straight winning campaign. “The first couple days of practice are always a learning curve for everyone, since this is the first time the coaching staff can see the team play together. Overall, day one was a success, and we look forward to the upcoming weeks ahead as we prepare for our season-opener.”

ETSU, who returns eight letterwinners (including all five starters) from last season’s squad that made the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, also brought in seven fresh faces to the team this off-season.

ETSU was tabbed the Atlantic Sun Tournament favorite last week in both the coaches’ and media polls, while senior Siarre Evans (Griffin, Ga.) was listed as the Preseason Player of the Year. Along with Evans, fellow senior leaders TaRonda Wiles (Danville, Va.) and Latisha Belcher (Martinsville, Va.) were also voted to the preseason all-conference team.

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Basketball Practices Tip-off Friday Night

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Along with over 300 Division I programs in the country, FGCU's third-year D-I basketball teams are set to begin organized practices on Friday night.

FGCU Women's Basketball Head Coach Karl Smesko returns all five starters -- including preseason all-conference first-team forwards Adrianne McNally and Chelsea Lyles -- from last year's Atlantic Sun regular-season championship team that advanced to the second round of the postseason WNIT, losing to eventual WNIT champ USF in overtime on the road.

The Eagles, who finished the 2008-09 season 26-5 overall and 17-3 in the A-Sun, were picked to repeat in the coaches and media polls released Oct. 7. They open their season on Nov. 13, when they host UTEP in a Preseason WNIT first-rounder at 7:05 p.m.

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Dolphins get 2009-10 Season Started with Friday Practice
With preseason practice starting on Friday, the JU men’s basketball team took some time away from its individual workouts this week to speak to local children at Matthew Gilbert Middle School.

The entire JU team spent time with the sixth and seventh grade at the school, while also speaking to the football team. The Dolphins discussed the importance of staying in school, doing their homework and listening to teachers, coaches and parents.

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Kennesaw State
Lady Owls Begin Practice for 2009-10

KENNESAW, Ga. - The Kennesaw State University women's basketball team took to the court in the on-campus practice facility at 8 p.m. Friday evening as head coach Colby Tilley conducted his first official practice of the 2009-10 season.

"I'm really happy with the effort tonight," said Coach Tilley. "The freshmen are learning quickly. This is all about helping the team become acclimated to what a full two-hour or two-and-a-half hour practice will be like on a daily basis so they can see what kind of work it takes to be successful."

The team went through standard instructional drills, with Coach Tilley and all of the assistant coaches interjecting helpful information during the period. After some full-team drills, the team split up into groups and worked on defensive and offensive plays with each of the assistant coaches.

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Men's and Women's Hoops Practices Open

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The University of North Florida men’s and women’s basketball teams will officially begin practice for the 2009-10 season on Friday, Oct. 16.

The practices coincide with UNF’s first Varsity Club Weekend for athletics. UNF is welcoming back former student-athletes from baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, softball and swimming and diving for a weekend-long event starting on Friday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

The Osprey women will scrimmage from 5:30-6 p.m. and the men will follow with a full practice from 6-9 p.m.

Media availability for men’s head coach Matthew Driscoll, women’s head coach Mary Tappmeyer and select players from both teams will take place at a media luncheon on Monday, Oct. 19, at Noon at the Boathouse in the new UNF Student Union directly across from UNF Arena.

Driscoll, who is beginning his first season at UNF and his first as a Division I head coach, likened the start of practice to one of our most famous holidays.

“I’d probably compare it to Christmas,” said Driscoll. “You know when you were a kid and every year you do it but it’s still the same excitement, even though it’s as a head coach this time. Whether it’s Midnight Madness or not, it just spurs that natural ignitability inside you to get excited and to just get after it. So I’d compare it to Christmas, first born, and how you have those kinds of excitements, though my wife wouldn’t compare it to that though.”

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USC Upstate
Spartans To Stage Upstate Midnight Madness Monday

Spartanburg, S.C. - The tradition continues as USC Upstate will hold its version of Midnight Madness to unveil the 2009-10 men's and women's basketball teams to Spartan fans Monday night at 10:00 p.m. in the Hodge Center.

Door will open at 9:30 p.m. to allow fans to get their seats for the fun-filled night. The first 500 fans through the doors will receive the official 2009 Midnight Madness t-shirt. Free food and drinks will be available for everyone in attendance. Admission to Upstate's Midnight Madness is free.

Upstate fans will be introduced to the men's and women's basketball teams, watch thrilling action during the three-point shooting contest, and get in on the action in the hot shot and Academy Sports Half Court Shot contests. Fans will also be eligible to receive free giveaways featuring a Nintendo Wii, four tickets to a Charlotte Bobcats game, 50 gallons of gas, various gift cards and $100 for Greek and/or Student organization participation.

The night, though, will end on a high note when the Air Elite acrobatic dunk team takes to the Hodge floor with an amazing aerial display. Air Elite has performed at basketball venues throughout the world, including several major professional and college arenas.

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Hatters, Students Enjoy Midnight Madness

DeLand, Fla. - Fun and exciting action was the hallmark of the evening at Stetson's Midnight Madness basketball event Friday night as Head Coaches Derek Waugh and Lynn Bria unveiled their 2009-10 men's and women's basketball squads to an enthusiastic student audience. The "White" team defeated the "Green" team in both the men's and women's intrasquad scrimmages while senior guard Brandon Williams (Miami, Fla.) outlasted freshman guard Tyshawn Patterson (Orlando, Fla.) to win the slam dunk competition.

Although most of the men's squads broke out their high-flying moves, it was Williams and Patterson that qualified for the finals. Only the senior was able to flush his final dunk through the hoop, however, giving Williams the crown.

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