1. Because we can be better than Bluegrass. (Or, maybe, just as good.) ESPNU will be there covering the event as part of a four-hour Midnight Madness special. Among the other schools featured will be North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky. Wildcat fans, who slept in tents to make sure they weren’t shut out of Midnight Madness, had to buy their tickets and sold out Rupp Arena in 45 minutes. If we want to be thought of in the same breath as the top teams in the college basketball world, we shouldn’t have any empty seats glaring back at the ESPN cameras.
2. You say “Terrence,” I say “Jones.” You say “Tony,” I say “Wroten.” In attendance Friday night will be prized Husky recruit Terrence Jones. We’re one of six schools in the running for the top-25 prospect who will be fresh off a visit to Oklahoma, and heading to Kentucky for their (sold-out) Blue/White game later this month. Showing Terrence a good time probably won’t clinch it for the Dawgs, but this is our opportunity to make our case that he doesn’t have to go across the country to find the best fans in college basketball.
Tony Wroten is also scheduled to be in attendance, and, while he’s seen first hand what a Husky crowd can do, let’s reinforce the mantra that Tone should stay home.
3. It’s non-fan friendly too. Hopefully, if you’re in a relationship, it’s a solid one. You have trust, mutual admiration and respect, and both have a healthy love for Husky athletics. But, let’s just say that last piece is missing, or lacking a little bit. Maybe your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend just isn’t big into sports, or (gasp) has a childhood allegiance to a faraway team, and it’s hard to get them to commit a couple of hours to watching a game.
Midnight Madness is the perfect event to start chipping away at that frosty veneer. There will be a dunk contest which includes this guy, and honestly, who doesn’t love a slam dunk contest? And there will be “special non-basketball performances by players and coaches,” the thought of which kind of horrifies me, but could be the perfect way for your loved one to make that personal connection to Husky basketball necessary for a season (or lifetime) of mutual hoops-viewing bliss.
4. Bring the kiddies. Similarly to #3 above, you’re trying to build a relationship with your children that will perservere through a lifetime of conflict opportunities. No matter what happens later, at least you can say you gave them Husky basketball. Plus, if you get your kid interested now, you’ve got more than a month to teach them the basic rules of the game before the season tips off. Perfect timing.
5a. It all starts NOW. Of course, there’s no way to know how this season goes. The Dawgs will compete for the Pac-10 title again, and should wind up playing in the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year. They’ve got the horses to make some noise. Real noise. Don’t you want to say you were there from day one?
5b. In all starts NOW (Abdul Gaddy edition). Maybe Abdul Gaddy is just going to be a decent, pass first point guard, who will play a few ho-hum seasons at UW and then go on to play professionally in the NBA or elsewhere. Or, maybe, he’s going to be so much more awesome than that.
I’m betting on “so much more awesome than that.” And, I’m psyched to get my first look on Friday night. See you there, Dawg fans!
Thanks for coming!