October 13, 2007

SoCal Pipeline Starting To Run Through USC

LOS ANGELES -- Tim Floyd is changing the culture of recruiting in Los Angeles, traditionally a hotbed of prep basketball stars. Where UCLA used to keep a lot of the local talent and coaches like Roy Williams would poach elite west coast prospects to play at Kansas and North Carolina, a lot of the Southern California talent is looking at USC now. Demar Derozan, the top-ranked small forward in the 2008 class and a USC commit, is a good example.

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Mayo Addresses Rumor Mill

LOS ANGELES -- After the scrimmage ended on the court, the real show started in the locker room when the subject of Daniel Hackett's broken jaw came up. Hackett reportedly suffered the injury during a pick-up game from an errant elbow thrown by Mayo, but rumors have circulated that the elbow was malicious.

"I haven't heard that," Mayo said. "I don't understand these rumors. What does Bill Walker have to do with an accidental elbow?"

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Plenty of Points In USC Scrimmage

LOS ANGELES -- The men's scrimmage looked about how you'd expect a Midnight Madness game to look -- somewhere between the Harlem Globetrotters and an And 1 mixed tape. There were a lot of ridiculous shots, uncontested dunks and not much defense.

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USC Scrimmage Set To Start

LOS ANGELES -- The fans are about to get their first taste of the 2007 hoops team -- even if it is an intra-squad scrimmage. Let's hope it's more entertaining than the women's scrimmage, which evidently wasn't planned too well. The white team was heavily outmatched by a cardinal team that pulled out a 33-15 win in 10 minutes of play.

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Master P Is In The House

LOS ANGELES -- Master P just took the floor -- no doubt here in support of his son Percy "Lil Romeo" Miller who is slated to join the USC hoops team in 2008. USC, the home of celeb fans Snoop Dogg and Will Ferrell, has a new member in the celebrity support club.

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Elite 2010 Prospect High On USC

LOS ANGELES -- As the Midnight Madness contest shenanigans continued, I was able to catch up with Jeremy Tyler, a 2010 power forward who looks like a Top 10 prospect in his class. And he sounds real high on USC. The Southern California native, who once lived in Los Angeles and now resides in San Diego, had a lot of good things to say about USC.

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O.J. Has Arrived

LOS ANGELES -- No, not that O.J. I don't think he's welcome at USC anymore. But after about an hour of giveaways, old-school NBA bloopers on the big screen and promotional contests, the fans got what they wanted when Head Coach Tim Floyd introduced his 2007 team freshly equipped with point guard extraordinaire O.J. Mayo and the rest of the top-ranked freshman class in the country.

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This Really Needs Some Work

LOS ANGELES -- So far, I'm calling lame on USC's Midnight Madness performance. We're about 20 minutes in, and they've thrown candy into the crowd, given away random seat prizes and now we're watching fans compete in a video game 3-point shooting contest on the scoreboard. Yes...thousands of people are watching people play video games on the big screen.

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October 12, 2007

Identity Crisis At USC?

LOS ANGELES -- So is USC a basketball school now? After raining boos down on the L.A. Coliseum following the football team's shocking loss to Stanford last week, the Trojan faithful are surely ready for some good news.

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Like A Balloon Deflating...

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The scrimmage is winding down, the highlights? Darrell Arthur for the Crimson squad looked absolutely dominate on both ends. Brady Morningstar and Sherron Collins were the bright spots for the Blue team, providing the offensive firepower. The Crimson prevailed, 44-34, over the Blue.

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Dancing With The Stars

WASHINGTON -- John Thompson III introduced Jerry Rice to the crowd, instructing them to chant "Mr. Rice" instead of "Jerry Rice." Now JT III has Jerry Rice doing the Crank That by Soulja Boy dance.

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A Hard Foul?

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- I think Cole Aldrich thinks he is Cole Trickle from "Days of Thunder," and instead of the mantra of rubbin's racin', he thinks its hard fouls in a scrimmage against your teammates is basketball. Sophomore gurad and local product Brady Morningstar for the Blue team has shown good moves driving to the lane, showing that he isn't just a three-point threat. Crimson is still up, leading by 12 at 37-25.

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Holy Versatility Batman!

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Darrell Arthur has just hit a three-pointer, too. I think this sophomore is really ready to step up and replace the loss of Julian Wright to the NBA. Frosh Cole Aldrich of the blue team looks like he is a little lost with the pace of the game -- welcome to D-1 Cole. Sophomore point guard/sparkplug Sherron Collins has just entered for the Blue squad.

It's a good thing since they're down by 15 with the Crimson leading, 29-14.

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Layup Lines, AKA Dunk Contest

WASHINGTON -- Men just went through layup lines, which was basically a glorified dunk contest. A year ago at Midnight Madness, with his dad in the gym, Patrick Ewing Jr. tried some amazing dunks but ended up missing several of them. He certainly made up for it this year.

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Scrimmage Highlights

MEMPHIS -- We're all done from the FedEx Forum as the Tiger Dancers have once again taken the floor.

Some highlights form the scrimmage won 48-43 by the blue team. (Kellogg's bribe paid off):

Andre Allen to Doneal Mack on an alley-oop fast break. . . Three-point airball by Derrick Rose. . . Kemp to Dorsey alley-oop. . . Coast to Coast dunk by Jeff Robinson. . . Baseline slam by Dozier. . . Any number of Joey Dorsey dunks. . . 360 dunk on breakaway by Dozier. . . Steal and off the backboard dunk from Anderson to Robinson. . . Several smooth moves by CDR. . . Block by Hashim Bailey on Chance McGrady.

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Crimson vs. Blue

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Darrell Arthur shows some tremendous range as the 6-foot-9 forward nails a 15-foot baseline jumper and the steals the ball down the court.

Sasha Kaun shows some impressive low post moves as the Crimson leads, 8-6 -- scratch that Darrell Arthur just blocked an easy lay up keeping it 8-4. Coming down on the other side Mario Chalmers punks freshman center Cole Aldrich of the Blue team by driving and one hand dunking over the 6-foot-10 freshman.

Suddenly its Crimson 16, Blue 6.

Crank That, Georgetown

WASHINGTON -- At John Thompson III's request, both teams, men and women, are currently doing the Crank That by Soulja Boy dance.

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We Are...Uncoordinated?

WASHINGTON -- J.T. III has called upon the seniors on the men's and women's team to lead the crowd in the "We Are Georgetown" cheer, but they aren't doing so hot. Can't quite get that solid pause between "We Are" and "Georgetown" that Thompson so desire.

Thompson says, "If Jon Wallace can't get this right, it's going to be a long year."

I Wish I Was A Little Bit Taller...

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Sophomore guard Sherron Collins, generously listed at 5-foot-11, attempted two dunks in warm-ups, nailing one and barely missing the other. Darrell Arthur has been channeling his inner Dominique Wilkins with windmill jams and between the leg dunks.

Just like in baseball where chicks dig the longball, I think they like a good tomahawk dunk, too.

Dunk Time

MEMPHIS -- The dunk contest is coming up and not a minute too soon. Building has lost some energy. Or at least I have.

Each contestant, Jeff Robinson and Doneal Mack, had 30 seconds to do his best dunk. Robinson got in three, including two windmills. Mack tried a between the legs but failed and made just one of his dunks.

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Player Intros

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- I really think I need to go out and pick up a CD with all the music they play at these things, I think it would wake me up more than coffee in the morning.

The players are being introduced by class, as they run though the "Phog," well and actual fog. They have a fog machine going.

Here Come The Hoyas

WASHINGTON -- And now what everyone has been waiting for, the men's intros. Pardon the stream-of-consciousness.

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Ewing, Mourning And Now Green

WASHINGTON -- I've never heard McDonough Gymnasium so loud.

Now the entire gym is chanting Jeff Green's mom as she unveils his jersey on the ball wall of McDonough. No. 22, just like best friend Tyler Crawford and his former coach, John Thompson III. Jeff's dad is in on the act too, but his mom is the star of the show. She is crying, I think. Her son's jersey now hangs with some pretty impressive names, like Ewing, Mourning, Mutombo and Iverson.

And now a Jeff Green's dad cheer. I don't think a school could love a player more than Georgetown does Jeff.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk Means Showtime

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- The most haunting and revered chant in all of college basketball is the Rock Chalk. Prior to the Jayhawks taking the floor for their scrimmage 19,000 people slowly chant "Rock, Chalk, JAYHAWK, KU" three times. It is a chant many teams have heard as they watch the clock slowly run out in a defeat to the Kansas Jayhawks in Allen Fieldhouse.

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One Shining Moment

MEMPHIS -- A highlight video of the 2006-07 Tigers, set to this Hang Time blogger's all-time favorite song, "One Shining Moment" was shown before the house lights were brought back up.

I'm starting to feel a bit cheated that I don't get skits and spoofs the way our boy EMarkfield is being treated in Chapel Hill.

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Women's Intros

WASHINGTON -- The women's team is currently being introduced one-by-one, with each player getting a louder round of applause than the last. I'm up in the rafters, away from the rest of the students, and it is incredibly loud.

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More Trampoline Fun

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- While the players prepare for their scrimmage the crowd gets treated to the Indiana Pacers mascot doing acrobatic dunks.

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More On Monroe...And A Correction

WASHINGTON -- Georgetown students have acknowledged Greg Monroe's presence.

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Eye Of The Tiger

MEMPHIS -- Entering the arena to the Rocky theme, "Eye of the Tiger," and emerging from a fog-filled tunnel, the 2008-08 Tigers were introduced follwing a rousing ovation for the grey Adidas sweatsuit clad, John Calipari.

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And We're Done...

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- With five minutes left in the scrimmage, former Tar Heel Melvin Scott rolled in, taking a seat on the bench. He looks like he's bulked up quite a bit since his playing days (which would be 2005). By that time, much of the original crowd was on its way out (Nice reverse traffic-beating, Melvin!). In the end, the Blue team -- which led the whole game -- blew their lead and the game ended in a 37-37 tie, and that does it for Late Night With Roy.

Jeff Green's Mom

WASHINGTON -- Her son may be 3,000 miles away, but Jeff Green's mom is right at home.

Though she traded in No. 32 in Hoyas' blue and gray for No. 22 in Sonics' white, green, and gold, Jeff Green's mom, Felicia Akingube, is in attendance and received an even bigger ovation than Jerry Rice did. Something tells me the "Jeff Green's Mom" cheers will be back for their senior season, even if the man himself is not.

My Earholes Are Bleeding!

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- No offense to the KU players, but they are not going to make it on American Idol, unless they're on the reject highlight reel. Freshman Connor Teahen, Tyrel Reed, Chase Buford and Cole Aldrich stumbled awkwardly through Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer." They were quickly upstaged by sophomores Brady Morningstar, Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur that had surprisingly coordinated dance moves.

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Only Tyler Hansbrough...

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Would stare down the referee in an intrasquad scrimmage because he thinks he got fouled (he might have). Still, they don't call him Psycho T for nothing. In case you're wondering, it's the Blue leading, 16-13, and Danny Green has eight of those 16.

Right As Rice

WASHINGTON -- As Groove Theory was about to begin its performance, the best wide receiver to ever have a daughter attend Georgetown made his second Midnight Madness appearance in three years.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Jerry Rice is in the house to see daughter Jacqui perform. Groove Theory, probably Georgetown's most well-liked dance group, turned in a pretty awesome performance, and Jerry looks as cool as he always has.

We Talkin' About Practice

WASHINGTON -- In the words of former Georgetown great Allen Iverson, "We talkin' about practice."

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Rolling Up In Style

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- In keeping with an awards show theme the Men's players arrive to the red carpet in an array of luxury cars, such as Benzs, Corvettes, and Hummers. The seniors are the featured interviews, but were quickly upstaged by former player and fan favorite Michael Lee who after walking down the red carpet entered onto the court and sauntered down to the bench to sit with the coaching staff.

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Sophomore Slump?

WASHINGTON -- A student shooting contest is underway, two-on-two, with seniors vs. freshmen and sophomores vs. juniors in the first round. One team on each end of the court. Early results were unimpressive, but the finals got pretty good.

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Lady Tigers First

MEMPHIS -- The Lady Tigers basketball team is now being announced to the crowd that has filled in the entire lower bowl section of the arena and probably numbers well over 10,000 Tiger fans. You could say this team owns the town.

The Lady Tigers have only one senior and are coming off a tough season.

The build up continues to the men's introductions.

Chinese Buffet

MEMPHIS -- Just before the start of the player introductions, a four minute video excerpt of the on-going documentary being made about the Chines coaching contingent's visit to Memphis was shown on the big scoreboard. The documentary, which will be shown in China and possibly in the states, is far from done and will probably take four months to sort through the hundreds hours of tape that will eventually be "in the can," but the excerpt was extremely well done and the project looks to be a keeper.

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Recruits Raving

MEMPHIS -- The mats have been placed over teh court and the Memphis cheer and dance teams are pumping up the crowd. Not quite sure how I'm avoiding the distraction of the Tiger dancers, but for you, the dedicated Hang Time hanger-on, I'm fighting through the battle.

Was able to get time with several of the recruits in the building but was kindly rebuffed by the most intriguing prospect of them all, New Jersey's Michael Gilchrist (scroll down), a class of 2011 prospect.

Other recruits comments after the jump:

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Party Is Started

WASHINGTON -- The bleachers are full, the fans are loud, and Midnight Madness 2007 is beginning to get underway.

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The Last Dance

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Always a fan favorite is the last dance before practice starts because each player gets to freestyle inside the circle of other players, and then comes the real treat.

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Recruits and the Dance Team?

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- A coincedence or strategic move? Recruits Travis Relaford out of Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kan., and twin brothers Marcus and Markieff Morris from Philadelphia have just entered to their prime seats courtside. Just so happens it was right before the dance team began their perfomance, hmmm.

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"Coke" Fiend

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Bar none the highlight of the night so far is a video spoofing Roy Williams' Coca-Cola commercial, starring Bobby Frasor as Williams...

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Future Tigers?

MEMPHIS -- In addition to the recruits, there is currently a game being played between a group of young Memphis children.

Worldwide Wes seems to be quite intrigued by the group (kidding).

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Eye Bleach, Please

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- As the Wayne's World fantasy skit continues, Quentin Thomas and Alex Stepheson went the Talladega Nights route, dressed up in full Wonder Bread-sponsored racing suits.

And they weren't done yet.

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West, West, Y'all

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- It's time for the first dance number from the men's team and they went with a track off the new Kanye West album. The players and the dance team are cutting a rug, er, hardwood floor, much to the delight of the crowd.

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Fans File Into The Forum

MEMPHIS -- Welcome to the FedEx Forum for Memphis Madness and the official start of college basketball 2007-08.

Fans, who were gathered in the courtyard in front of the Forum were allowed in the building at 7 p.m. CT and are filtering into the lower bowl of the arena. The Chinese Coaching Contingent, decked out in new blue Memphis warm-up suits, led the parade of people entering the building as Tigger players went to the foyer to sign autographs for the Tiger mad fans.

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Hoyas Turn Out In Droves

WASHINGTON -- As I mentioned earlier, over 2,000 Georgetown students waited in line for tickets to tonight's event. After the lucky bunch received there passes, they were admitted to the McDonough parking lot to watch a replay of last year's UNC game, play video games, and get a coveted burger from the Georgetown University Grilling Society.

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University of Kansas Late Nite

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- If basketball was born in Springfield, Mass., then it definitely grew up in Lawrence, Kan. After opening performances by various dance teams and a recognition of the other athletic teams the night has gotten off to a rousing start.

Recently retired but long time KU Men's basketball broadcaster Max Faulkenstein took the floor to a standing ovation lasting a good minute and half. Faulkenstein took the floor though to introduce one of the truly great figures in University of Kansas athletics, former KU football player and NFL great John Riggins. Riggins gave a short speech about what athletics at Kansas mean to him with thunderous applause by the fans.

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Greg Monroe In The House

WASHINGTON -- I just spoke with the nation's top recruit from the class of 2008, Greg Monroe, who seems to be enjoying his official visit to Georgetown.

"It's been really nice," Monroe said. "I've had a good time. The campus is really nice, people are really friendly. It's been a good experience."

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Here Come The Tar Heels

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- It's finally time for the Tar Heels to be introduced, and it's quite a production. The players are announced one at a time and each one runs through the stands from the concourse level down to the court.

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Gotcha!

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Roy Williams' assistant coaches pulled a neat little trick on him on the way out to the bench. Stuart Scott was mid-sentence when Roy appeared from the tunnel.

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The Biscuit Man Cometh

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- While the UNC women were scrimmaging, perhaps the biggest media reaction came from the appearance of former UNC men's walk-on Dewey "Biscuits" Burke at the Dean Dome.

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The Day The Music Died

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Apparently, there are some problems with the musical selections the women's team selected. The music suddenly stopped during a skit, forcing the ladies on the floor to stand there awkwardly.

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Are You Smarter Than...

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Now the women's team is doing a spoof of "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" with the "fifth graders" portrayed by team members pretending to be from other ACC schools. You can see where this is going...

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Booyah!

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The emcee for the evening, ESPN Sportscenter anchor Stuart Scott, has taken the floor at the Dean Dome. And in firing up the crowd about tomorrow's UNC vs. South Carolina football game, he has already dropped his first conversational "dawg" of the evening.

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Not Your Older Brother's Georgetown

WASHINGTON -- Want further proof of just how far Georgetown has come since John Thompson III came aboard three years ago? Approximately 2,000 students have been lined up for almost two hours now, waiting to get a chance to witness the Hoyas' 2007 Midnight Madness.

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Carolina Tidal Wave

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The doors to the Smith Center opened a minute ago, and all the waiting fans came flooding down the arena steps -- seating is first-come, first-served -- sort of like the blood pouring out of the elevator in The Shining.

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Eating Up Memphis

MEMPHIS -- The Hang Time eating tour of Memphis has continued in earnest since we last checked in and our fear of gaining 30 pounds in five days looks like it will come to fruition. Not that we're complaining...

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Kicking Off 2007-08

The 2007-08 college basketball season officially begins tonight with Midnight Madness hitting schools all over the country, and of course, CSTV.com will be there to bring you a closer look into all the action.

Hang Time will be blogging from four of the Top 5 schools in the country, including North Carolina, Memphis, Georgetown and Kansas. But we'll also have live blogs coming from Kentucky and USC, where there should be just as much excitement about the Wildcats and Trojans.

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