Blog Note: Kelly Romano and Kyle Koncz are the Directors of Basketball Operations for the Fairfield basketball programs. They will partner to bring you DOBO Diaries throughout the year – sharing with you some insights into the behind the scenes work that goes into making a Division I basketball program run.
Monday was a great day for me. Not only was it our first Monday practice of the season (practice started over the weekend), it was also the first Monday I could wake up tasting a Cleveland Browns victory! For a native Clevelander when the Browns win it feels something like a national holiday. This victory was even sweeter as it came against our rivals from the south of the state, the Bengals, and it guaranteed we wouldn’t go 0-16 on the season! Baby steps and building blocks, work with me here!
The other exciting event that happened this weekend was what has become the official annual start to the college basketball season all across the country, Midnight Madness, which at Fairfield we call Red Sea Madness. Friday night in Alumni Hall both the Men’s and Women’s team joined with the Red Sea, the Stags 6th Man, for an hour of fun and games.
It started of with the introduction of both teams. It was great to see each players own signature entrance as they came out. My personal favorite was the Stag’s junior forward Keith Matthews superman pose. He might be able to give the terminator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger a run for that 1970 Mr. Olympia title!
Next on the list of events was a three-point contest and hot-shot competition. Freshman guard Justin Jenkins was able to overcome the nerves performing in front of the Red Sea for the first time to make it championship, but he was unable to string together enough makes to pull off the victory. In the Stags vs. Students Hot Shot competition our very own student manager Brandon Bubba had his hopes and dreams crushed by a Desmond Wade’s half court buzzer beater! There goes his opportunity to trash talk everyday in practice this season, sorry Brandon. Maybe Des will give you a rematch sometime this year.
The night concluded with a fantastic dunk contest. While all the participants put on a great show, it was freshman Marcus Gilbert who stole the spotlight. The lanky Gilbert threw down two SportsCenter Top 10 worthy dunks on the way to the title. Not only can he threw the hammer down, but his ability to seemingly hang in the air allows for some great photos.
Red Sea Madness was a great way to kick off the season and our guys definitely enjoyed the night. It allowed them to be a little loose and have some fun with the crowd. Even Coach Johnson got into the action, stirring up the Red Sea with an electric boogie down at midcourt! Just trust me, it happened.
Both programs really appreciated the strong showing and support of the student body, and we can’t wait to see the 6th Man rattle our opponents at all our games this year!
Until next time,
Kyle – Go Stags!!!