C.J. Wilcox is a true freshman, but he understood the University of Washington's "Midnight Madness" event perfectly.
“This is just for fun,” he said Friday before the men’s team began its preparations for the new season before a crowd of about 6,000 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. “This is a good way to start. (But the first real practice) is going to be the eye-opener.”
That first real practice comes today. And then seven more sessions will come over the next seven days.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said those will have a much different feel from the lighthearted Friday event that he declared a success.
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“No one got hurt, (and) the guys had fun,” Romar said. “It was a fun night on the eve of us getting down to work for real.”
The highlight was a 10-minute running-clock scrimmage in which the Purple team beat the Gold, 35-20. Sophomore guard Elston Turner led all scorers with 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Others on the Purple team were Quincy Pondexter, Tyreese Breshers, Darnell Gant, Wilcox and Abdul Gaddy.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Thomas led the Gold team with seven points. His teammates were Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Clarence Trent, Venoy Overton and Scott Suggs.
Among the highlights was Bryan-Amaning blocking a Trent shot, then hustling the ball down the court for a dunk. Overton also flashed his defensive pressure as Gaddy, a top recruit, brought the ball up the court.
However, Romar said he read nothing meaningful into the result.
“A game like this, there are some players who can shine, and then you have structure, they get lost,” he said. “And then there’s vice versa: There’s some out here, they don’t do much, but then in practice (today), they’ll stand out more than the others.”
Other highlights included:
• The dunk contest, won by the 5-foot-8 Thomas who threw one down while leaping over the tallest Husky: 6-foot-9 Bryan-Amaning.
• The 3-point-shooting contest, won by team of Wilcox and a student from the Dawg Pack, who beat Turner and his Dawg Pack partner.
The event began with player introductions and with Romar telling the crowd, “The guys have been waiting a long time to get out on this floor to defend our Pac-10 championship.”