Humphrey Coliseum was abuzz tonight, on a Friday night smack in the middle of October. As you're likely aware, tonight was Maroon Madness as MSU kicks off formal preseason basketball work. There was volleyball, giveaways, a fine acting debut, horrid dancing, and yes, even a little basketball.
Before hoops, the volleyballers, guest-coached by Whit Waide, swept No. 25 Kentucky in three sets to earn their first victory over a ranked foe. Up next is No. 18 Tennessee at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. (The soccer team lost 1-0 to South Carolina tonight OMEN ALERT!)
During the volleyball match, there was K.J. Wright giving away a signed jersey, and before the men's scrimmage they gave away an iPad 2. (You don't want to know how they went about giving that away. You just ... don't. OK, it involved bad dancing.) And of course, coach Rick Stansbury and his family gave away $5,000 in tuition.
But the main focus was hoops ... eventually. We got a look at the 2011-12 men's and women's squads, although the guys didn't start scrimmaging until about 10:20.
Before that, we got a video tour of the new Mize Pavilion, guided by Renardo Sidney and Catina Bett. Sidney was hamming it up, especially in Stansbury's office. He pointed to a chair across from the coach's desk and said, "This is the hot seat. You do not want to sit in this seat. You're in this seat, you're in trouble. Trust me, I know."
He then kicked back in Stansbury's chair, feet up on the desk, and said, "It is what it is." The crowd loved that (so did I). Kid might have a future in Hollywood if this basketball thing doesn't work out (KEEP YOUR SNARKY JOKES TO YOURSELF YOU PEOPLE!).
OK, but on the court. You're all wondering about Sidney: Well, it was a 20-point scrimmage, so it was a small sample size, and defense was not a priority. But Sid had nine points to lead all scorers to go with four rebounds. He made one of his two 3-point shots and had a pair of dunks, including the game-winner with 22 seconds left.
"Hey guys, what I really think about anybody tonight out there – that was for fun," Stansbury said. "The real work will start tomorrow."
State was originally scheduled to hold a close practice at 5 p.m. today, but canceled it. The Bulldogs will hit the court at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Oh, Sidney's White squad won 30-29. Other scorers for the White: Dee Bost 6, Jalen Steele 5, Shaun Smith 4, Roquez Johnson 4, Kris Zeidaks 2. For the Maroon, Wendell Lewis scored 8 points, Rodney Hood 6, Deville Smith 6, Arnett Moultrie 5, Brian Bryant 4.
Impressions: Moultrie got up and down the court nicely. Deville showed his quickness and some flash – I think he'll be a good one this year. Lewis looked aggressive, as did Hood. Zeidaks, the transfer from Latvia, didn't do much but caught my eye with a nice tap-out rebound, maybe not something you'd expect to see in a preseason scrimmage.
As for the women, one of the teams won the 20-minute scrimmage 16-10. I'll be honest, I was too busy salivating over this to pay attention.