The entire point of what used to be called Midnight Madness across the country is to get the student body excited about the basketball team. Where the Banners staff graduated, that meant alley oops from the concourse, soccer players heading the ball for alley oops, and a whole lot of other things the coaching staff would never normally allow. At Xavier last night though... well it wasn't much different.
A lot of coaches come out with the teams for the various preseason parties around the nation, but none do it quite like Coach Mack. Jay Wright was on Twitter to interact with Villanova fans but if you turned the radio or ESPN this morning, you undoubtedly heard about Tom Izzo at Michigan State coming out dressed as Gene Simmons, complete with way more makeup and leather than you'd like to see on a man of his age. What you didn't see was Coach Mack, and his daughters, laying down Paul Revere by the Beastie Boys.
That performance probably somewhat overwhelmed the introduction of the players. Matt Stainbrook came out with honorary player Trey Couch, who threw the X.
As did Larry Austin Jr.
Some of the introductions incited an impromptu dance party of rather significant proportions.
After that came the Blue/Grey scrimmage, which was conducted with the intensity and execution you would expect from a preseason intrasquad affair.
Makinde London and Jalen Reynolds then somehow tied in the dunk contest. For my money, London dunking two basketballs on the same attempt should have taken home the title, but it's hard to argue with a winner who dunks with the ferocity Reynolds manages.
All in all, it was about what you'd expect. A well attended (over 5,000) party to kick off what should be another successful season of Xavier basketball. While it was a good night for Coach Mack and his players to relax, the real work begins anew today.