Observations from Syracuse Midnight Madness

The basketball season has officially begun. The teams have been introduced and everyone got their first taste of what to expect this year on the court.

The evening started off with a short scrimmage by the Women’s basketball team. They brought in a few recruits that’ll keep the team in contention. It’ll definitely be a fun group to watch.

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Southerland shows his skills

But the real reason the crowd showed up was to see the Men’s team. They took the court to roars of applause, each to a song of their choosing. Jim Boeheim was introduced to the loudest cheers of the night, complete with a “USA” jacket and a gold medal around his neck. He tipped his hat to the troops, then to the fans and then the scrimmage got underway.

» Related: Madness coming for SU

Keep in mind that little-to-no defense is played during the scrimmage, so it’s hard to make good observations about players. But Trevor Cooney is one player who really stuck out. His shot looked so pure as he hit multiple three-point shots. Having a three-point threat like Cooney is a great addition to this team.

Based on what I saw tonight, it looks like Brandon Triche is finally ready to take this team over. He showed that he could get to the hoop and distribute the rock to his teammates

Dajuan Coleman was fun to watch. He is an imposing force around the basket and even showed off a nice jump shot. He’ll play a big role in the middle of the zone this season.

James Southerland was the winner of the dunk contest, as expected. But for the first time in Syracuse basketball history, a girl from the Women’s team participated. Brittany Sykes got a chance and even though she couldn’t throw one down, she showed signs that dunking is definitely in her arsenal.

» Related: Seven burning questions for SU hoops

A disheartening side note from the event: Syracuse Police have reported that someone was stabbed during the festivities, which forced the end of the event to be moved up to about 9:30 rather than 10. It seems as those Syracuse’s crime problem slipped its way onto the hill tonight.

Overall, it was cool to see the Orange on the court. But it’s hard to make judgments about the talents of each player until I see them against a real opponent.

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