Not too many schools have their own preseason madness event; those are saved for the upper echelon schools such as Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and defending national champion Connecticut. However, Ohio was given its chance to have its own madness event, parlaying their own #BobcatMadness with the Ohio home football game against Buffalo.
No player on the current Bobcat roster has experienced an event quite like this, including senior Bean Willis. Willis began his career at Texas Tech, a BCS conference team with its own history.
“I think the campus and everybody here as a whole will be pretty excited about (#BobcatMadness),” Willis said earlier in the week.
With a fairly large crowd in attendance, #BobcatMadness got off to a slow start due to a malfunction with the lights, but would quickly be made up for with motorcycles and smoke screens. New coach Saul Phillips starting things off by coming onto the court while riding on the back of motorcycle driven by Rufus. After that, each player and coach from both the men’s and women’s team were introduced individually, coming out through a smokescreen that was Miami Hurricane-esque.
After the introductions, #BobcatMadness began with a “Battle of the Sexes” 3-point shootout between the men’s and women’s teams. Each team was given three shooters: Stevie Taylor, “Bean” Willis and Kenny Kaminski for the men; Lexie Baldwin, Kelly Karlis and Mariah Byard for the women. The contest consisted of three rounds, with each shooter given 30 seconds to hit as many 3-pointers as they could. After the dust had settled, the men won two of the three rounds, giving them the win.
Following the 3-point contest was an intersquad scrimmage between the younger and older guys on the men’s team. Similar to an NBA All-Star game, most guys were showing plenty of flash during the 10-minute scrimmage. Coach Phillips even jokingly made a disclaimer during the scrimmage, saying “Don’t expect this type of play come Saturday.”
To finish off the night, Bobcat fans were rewarded with a dunk contest. Maurice Ndour, Ryan Taylor, Mike Lastor and Wally Mompremier each took their chances trying to entice to judges, with Ndour coming out on top after jumping over freshman Sam Frayer.
After, the fans exited toward the football game. The players were glad with the turnout tonight.
“I think (the atmosphere) was really good,” Ndour said. “We have the No.1 fan base in the MAC, and it was nice (to see the turnout).”