Preview of Maryland Madness
By Rick Nelligan
The event is back, and I’m not talking about the new hit show on NBC. The often imitated, never duplicated, Maryland Madness returns this Friday, October 15th. Formally known as Midnight Madness, this prime time first practice was created by the Terps, for the Terps. It dates back all the way to October 15th, 1971 when then-coach Lefty Driesell setup a 1.5 mile run at 12:03 am and was met by 3,000 fans outside of Byrd Stadium.
Last year was the first Maryland Madness that I attended. It had its highlights, such as it being the last one for our seniors (Greivis, Hayes, and Milbourne) and the Maryland Gymkana squad. But when Maryland Gymkana is arguably the highlight of the night, even though it was pretty cool, there’s something wrong. This is a huge transition year for Terrapin basketball. Our big three seniors from last year are gone. There are six new players on the team, including star freshmen Mychal Parker, Terrell Stoglin, and Pe’Shon Howard. Then there’s the small thing of a brand new Athletic Director in Kevin Anderson, who seems to want bigger and better things for Terrapin athletics. It will be interesting to see how much influence he might have on the night, if any at all.
The University of Maryland needs to step it up from last year without question. It is one of the greatest recruiting tools in any school's arsenal, and we need to make sure our ace in the hole is bigger than Gymkana. I haven’t heard anything for sure, but I sincerely hope the Terps are bringing in prospective student-athletes such as Nick Faust, Adjehi Baru, and Justin Anderson. There needs to be more fanfare this year. More excitement and pyrotechnics. A more inventive way of introducing Gary Williams and our players other than just walking out of the tunnel and standing in a line at half court. Players like Sean Mosley and Jordan Williams, who was recognized as one of the 50 pre-season favorites for the Wooden Award (player of the year), need to be featured. They also need to involve the fans more, maybe by having the incoming freshmen brought down through the stands.
Coach Williams did mention something about a surprise that will happen at Maryland Madness, and there’s been much speculation as to what it is. If I was to bet on it, I’d put my money on it having something to do with the new jerseys. But to kick off the 2010-2011 basketball season on the right foot, I personally hope they locked up DC hip-hop artist Wale to perform and participate. Whatever it is, it certainly has Terps fans excited, already making this year’s event better than the last. Hopefully we aren’t let down.
This is our event, and we need to make sure we show everyone how it is done. The Terps are the defending ACC regular season champions, and it’s time to act like it. What do you guys want to see at Maryland Madness? What do you think the big surprise is going to be? Whatever happens, hopefully it is huge and leads the Terps into another great season.
Box Seats blogger
| October 11, 2010; 9:07 AM ET
Categories: Rick Nelligan, Terps | Tags: Rick Nelligan, Terps
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