NCAA BK

Izzo entrance highlights hoop madness

Tom Izzo reacts after pretending to be shot from a cannon.
FOX Sports
Share This Story

   
 

bracket

WATCH HOOPS ON FOX

Don't miss a minute of the action all season long on FOX. Check out the full schedule.

Did Tom Izzo just get shot out of a freakin' cannon?

You bet your sweet Spartans he DIDN'T, but he sure fooled us, and that wasn't the only stunning sight to behond Friday night as Midnight Madness hit Michigan State, Duke, Kentucky and several other hoops hotbeds.

Izzo made the biggest entrance of the night, and if you don't believe it, watch the video below (skip to the 1:10 mark):

Mo Cassara

COMINGS & GOINGS

The season may be over, but the head coaching musical chairs is not. Try to keep up.

OK, so he confessed to the crowd that wasn't him flying out of that cannon.

“I know you are disappointed,” Izzo joked. “Most of you were hoping I splatted right on the middle of this floor.”

Not to be outdone, Kentucky women's coach Matthew Mitchell put on a show at Big Blue Madness. He was introduced as ''The Godfather of Soul,'' and danced around as James Brown, complete with a wig and sweatsuit.

He then tore the wig and costume away and did a routine to the tune of Britney Spears' ''Baby One More Time.''

It was another in a long line of memorable displays for Mitchell at Big Blue Madness. In years past, he danced to MC Hammer, Michael Jackson and ''Teach Me How to Dougie'' at the event.

Then Wildcats coach John Calipari took the stage and delighted the capacity crowd at Rupp Arena with a rousing talk more reminiscent of a campaign stop than a basketball practice.

''The competition will be fierce, the road will be difficult,'' he said. ''Every team we play will be more experienced than us. But if we become one unit, play with one heartbeat and a love for each another, we will be unbreakable.''

After Calipari's talk, the Wildcats held a 20-minute scrimmage that showed off another heralded group of recruits that will comprise a good portion of their regular rotation this year. The seven-man class features Julius Randle, a possible No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft.

Meanwhile, at Duke's ''Countdown to Craziness'', freshman phenom Jabari Parker did stuff like this.

If you wanna see the full repertoire, watch this:

Here's your first poster:

winningest coaches

TOP OF THE HEAP

Mike Krzyzewski leads a storied group on college hoops' all-time win list.

During Duke's first public intrasquad scrimmage of the preseason, the up-tempo team barely resembled last year's group.

The scrimmage was the centerpiece of Duke's ''Countdown to Craziness'' celebration Friday, an annual night of frivolity before coach Mike Krzyzewski's team gets back to the serious business of preparing for the season.

Krzyzewski told the crowd during the scrimmage that ''we're trying to change the style of play'' and that ''we're going to play a lot faster.''

Parker had 16 points in one 15-minute scrimmage, then eight points, eight rebounds and a highlight-reel dunk in another one.

The first 10 points of the first game were scored by players who didn't see a minute of court time at Duke last season.

That includes two redshirts: Rodney Hood, who transferred from Mississippi State, and Andre Dawkins, who sat out while continuing to deal with his sister's death when he was a freshman in 2009.

Dawkins received one of the louder ovations, along with Parker, during the one-at-a-time player introductions, and screamed ''I'm back, baby'' to the crowd.

FOXIEST FANS

Check out the FOXiest fans from arenas across the country and tweet us your photo.

Then, the first time he touched the ball, he buried a 3 over Rasheed Sulaimon on the right wing, prompting the Cameron Crazies to chant '''Dre all day.''

''It was cool to get that kind of reaction from the crowd, a crowd I haven't been around for a year,'' Dawkins said, adding that his 3 ''felt pretty good. Wish I had hit a couple more.''

While the Blue Devils have been practicing for three weeks, this was the first chance for fans to get a look at the highly regarded freshman class — Parker, Semi Ojeleye and Matt Jones — in game situations

Parker and Dawkins led the Blue team during the first scrimmage while Hood and Ojeleye were on White. Dawkins hit two free throws with 0.9 seconds left in Blue's 36-34 win.

Then they switched up the teams, with four probable starters — Parker, Hood, Quinn Cook and Amile Jefferson — plus Dawkins and Ojeleye on White. Parker had the move of the night, a reverse, one-handed slam that even had Krzyzewski hiding a smile in White's 33-30 win.

''I fantasized about this in Chicago, like it was true, when I was hurt, and then after the season, I just anticipated being a Duke Blue Devil,'' Parker said. ''It's a very big blessing.''

Then, of his monster dunk, he said: ''You just want to get the crowd involved and not boast too much, but just have fun.''

John Calipari

SELF CONFIDENT

Kansas coach can smile after latest projected 2013-14 power rankings.

Krzyzewski has said this team will revolve around Parker and Hood, and that's a noteworthy change for a program that almost always is as good, or as bad, as its seniors.

Gone are three from last year — Mason Plumlee, Ryan Kelly and Seth Curry — who all found spots in the NBA. They were the cornerstones of a team that finished 30-6 and reached the Midwest regional final before losing to eventual national champion, and future fellow ACC member, Louisville.

These Blue Devils enter the season as one of the favorites to make it at least one step further: to their 12th Final Four under Krzyzewski.

But there's plenty of time to worry about that.

For now, the focus was on having some fun before the games start counting.

As they do every year, the players entered the arena to the song of their choosing. Most opted for current R&B selections, but big man Marshall Plumlee went with ''Ain't Too Proud to Beg'' and performed a full Temptations-style dance.

HOOPS HOMES

Whether it's the history of Allen Fieldhouse or the frenzy of Cameron Indoor, college basketball boasts many distinctive arenas. Did your team's home court make the list?

In other kickoff events for college hoops:

C.J. Fair scored 16 points in Syracuse's intrasquad scrimmage during Orange Madness, showing why he was voted the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year.

''Orange Madness is always fun, just letting you know the season's here,'' said Fair, who received one of the loudest ovations of the night when he was introduced at the Carrier Dome. ''It's go-time now.''

Despite being projected as a late first-round pick in the NBA draft, Fair decided instead to return to Syracuse for his senior season and the program's first year in the ACC.

''Just knowing that we're going into a new conference is a lot of excitement, something I wanted to be a part of,'' Fair said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tagged: Duke, Kentucky, Syracuse, Andre Dawkins, C.J. Fair

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..