Midnight Madness 2009

Orange basketball fans watch new faces, shining stars and returning heroes at the annual celebration, while Jim Boeheim shows up in a police car.

The local authorities came to the Dome Friday and corralled the madness with the help of the city’s most famous boss. 

Syracuse University Athletics hosted a basketball-filled day beginning with Media Day where the Orange men and women’s basketball teams took their official team photographs and answered questions. Watch the video and read Halftime Snack’s take on new addition Wes Johnson.

Photo: Jamie De Pould
Freshman forward James Southerland puts one in during the slam dunk competition.

Friday night, 10,156 Orange basketball fans saw SU men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim enter the Carrier Dome at the wheel of a SPD squad car, complete with sunglasses and a captain’s hat, officially opening the hoops season at the annual Midnight Madness celebration.

This was the first year the fun-filled event was hosted at the Carrier Dome after years at Manley Field House. The event was sponsored by AmeriCU Credit Union and tickets were free of charge. 

SU athletics showcased former student-athletes, enlisting former men’s basketball player John Wallace, a member of the SU All-Century team and leader of the 1996 team that reached the national championship game, to act as the master of ceremonies Friday night.

“I bleed Orange,” shouted Wallace, “let’s get this party started!”

The Syracuse women also made a blazing entrance, getting to the floor atop Syracuse Fire Engine #7.  Head coach Quentin Hillsman donned a fire helmet before leading the team in shooting drills and a five-on-five scrimmage. 

Former SU All-American Billy Owens made a surprise appearance Friday night, followed by the Skyriders Trampoline Team, presented by AmeriCU Credit Union and introduced by Dave Frisina and Lisa Chelenza from TK 99, radio home of SU sports. The high-flying trampoline artists wowed the crow with a flips through Hula Hoops and a double somersault on a snowboard.

Another infamous SU shot maker, 2003 SU national championship point guard Gerry McNamara, returned to campus this fall as a graduate assistant on Boeheim’s staff.  On Friday night, G-Mac made the net-cords rip with a familiar sound out-dueling fan Pat Kelly.  Kelly needed to make a lay-up, free throw and three-pointer before MacNamera hits a half court shot.  It only took four attempts for G-Mac to sink the long-range shot.  Kelly departed with an autographed ball and a bit of redemption:  Wallace came out and sank his half-court shot on the second attempt to beat McNamara in an impromptu shoot-off.

After the SU men’s team ran the 3-man weave, the brothers from Phi Beta Sigma showed off their step moves (the group is the defending Chancellor Cup champion).

Lynnae Lampkins and Andy Rautins won the three-point contest, combining to sink 10 triples.

The dunk contest saw Wes Johnson and James Southerland advance to the final round, but a series of misses prompted Wallace to declare:  “Everybody won tonight.”

The SU men being the season with two exhibition games (Cal-State L.A. on Oct. 25; Le Moyne on Nov. 3) before opening the regular season on Nov. 9 when the University of Albany Great Danes come to the Dome for a 9 p.m. tip-off.

The Orange women begin their 2009-10 season on four days later with a Dome game against Farleigh Dickinson University at 7 p.m.



What an aamzing article. It made me laugh, it made me cry. I thought the Orange were going to be terrible this season, now I'm off to Vegas to bet the house on these guys!!! And Kyle Leach is a combination of Stephen King, Hunter S. Thompson, & Fitzgerald. A true rising talent. Go Orange!!!

Loved the old opener at the

Loved the old opener at the Field House, wish I had been at the Dome for this one.

Great Article- Cuse in the

Great Article- Cuse in the house oh my god!!!

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.