(Marquette Athletics)

Freshman Deonte Burton wins Marquette Madness dunk contest (VIDEO)


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.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

Leave a comment

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

Leave a comment

North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)