Midnight Madness gives fans a first look at Southern hoops squads

By Mike McCall

Just got back from the Southern hoops Midnight Madness in the F.G. Clark Activity Center and wanted to hit you with some highlights. First off, it began at 7 p.m., as what I can only assume was an homage to the city of Reykjavik, Iceland, where the clock was then striking midnight.

The new court in there is beautiful, as you can see by the very amateur iPhone photography work here. Nice way to give both the men’s and women’s programs a fresh new look before the season gets started.

It was a pretty relaxed, fun evening with lots of music, dancing and a few games that involved both teams.

First, they squared off in a three-point shooting contest, during which G Yasmin Fuller and G Kendra Coleman beat their male counterparts, G Derick Beltran and G Tre Lynch, in the final. Obviously, this isn’t really a WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! moment for these teams’ respective seasons, but it was nice to see Coleman (the top returning scorer) and Fuller (a newcomer who could provide a big spark) shoot well. Fuller is an absolute killer from the right corner.

On the men’s side, the two who stood out the most are guys who won’t play this season. Lynch looked like a lights-out three-point shooter, and F Bryce Clark showed he can really throw down in winning the slam-dunk contest (the best moment was seeing track coach and former Olympian Brian Johnson go at it). Unfortunately, both have to sit out this season after transferring, which is a bummer. And at 32 without any college eligibility, I doubt Johnson will be suiting up either.

The rest of the guys and gals mostly took it easy. The only bad sign to keep an eye on was G Malcolm Miller (another newcomer) sporting a cast on his right wrist, but otherwise the Jaguars looked like a team with good size thanks to additions like F Aaron Alston (6-7, 190), Miller (6-6, 200), C Javan Mitchell (6-9, 250) and C Brandon Moore (6-10, 215).

As a reminder, the men tip off their season Nov. 9 at Iowa State, while the women get rolling Nov. 4, at home, against Dillard.