More Midnight Madness action continued on Friday night after a few schools like Kansas and Indiana began their festivities last weekend. This weekend, Marquette was the big program to host their kickoff event as 4,000 fans went to the Al McGuire Center to check out Marquette Madness on Friday night.
The event featured a scrimmage for both the men’s and women’s teams, a dunk contest, a three-point contest and a Marquette Madness “Lifetime Achievement” award given to senior center Chris Otule.
Among the highlights of the event included Otule’s award (see video below of the tribute video, which includes some humorous montage moments), redshirt senior Jake Thomas winning the three-point contest with 22 triples in one minute and freshman wing JaJuan Johnson leading the men’s scrimmage with 12 points and six assists.
Then, of course, there was the dunk contest and the contributions of local freshman wing Deonte Burton. The powerful lefty has been making highlight-reel plays since he was a freshman in high school and he’s the new, proud owner of the Marquette Madness dunk contest title with some of the ridiculous throwdowns he had (video below).
There’s not much to take from these Madness events, except that they’re obviously fun for the fans. Marquette should be pleased with the contributions of two of their freshman — Johnson and Burton — however, as both could see early minutes this season on the wing.
UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.
In a report from Tampabay.com’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.
If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.
Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.
Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.
A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.