Finally, we are closing in on the season. Musketeer Madness generally comes with a lot of hype, a lot of noise, Chris Mack doing something outrageous, and hopefully a lot of fun. Barring one injury to Brad Redford, Madness has built up a lot of momentum as the way the Musketeers launch the season. More importantly for us here, it means we are finally, after a long, hot, summer of recruiting news and the tiniest of morsels about the team, ready for some proper basketball. The school is, of course, not missing a chance to promote the festivities.
Show up early and get a shirt. That's normally all it takes to get college students in seats, but the Musketeers have a lot more on tap for the evening. Coach Mack sees this as a chance to see how his players respond to the bright lights and how the fans respond to a new set of players.
Kaiser Gates, who Coach Mack mentioned in that video, is questionable for the event tonight with a concussion, but the rest of the team figures to be on hand. That means that the dunk and three point contest both retain full rosters. The dunkers are Edmond Sumner, Makinde London, and, of course, Jalen Reynolds. If those are the only three Musketeers to appear on the court for that contest though, I'll be absolutely shocked. These things tend to take on a life of their own.
Your lineup for the 2015 Musketeer Madness Dunk Contest. Who you got? pic.twitter.com/CevIhoGzfb— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) October 22, 2015
Much as the dunk contest features Jalen as a prohibitive favorite, the three point contest will have an odds on favorite to take the prize. The shooters are JP Macura, Trevon Bluiett, Makinde London, and Myles Davis. Based on the photo, JP seems confident, but this looks to be Myles' to lose. Xavier's leading three point shooter from last year, Remy Abell, isn't among those selected.
Your lineup for the 2015 Musketeer Madness three-point contest. Who you got? pic.twitter.com/ALiWR1230o— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) October 22, 2015
Musketeer Madness isn't just a chance to scrimmage a bit and show off a variety of skills, though. Xavier is also using the opportunity to fill the Cintas and pack the student section to impress recruits. Commits Quentin Goodin and Tyrique Jones will be there from the 2016 recruiting class, as well as uncommitted target Bruce Brown on his official visit. The class of 2017 is represented by Ikey Obiagu, Jalen Adaway, Jamal Cain, Victor Enoh, and Abayomi Iyiola. That's not all though, as 2018 recruits E.J. Williams, Darius Bazley and Jerome Hunter will also be in attendance. Never let it be said that the Musketeers were afraid of inviting too many people.
Mostly though, tonight is about officially making the transition from the off season to basketball season, and making that transition as fun as possible.