The level of anticipation at the College Ave. Gym on Friday night was extremely high and fans did not walk away disappointed from the first true MidKnight Madness of Fred Hill’s Rutgers tenure.
Everything was relatively well-orchestrated, from the Cheer vs. Dance Team basketball game to the three-man weaves the Scarlet Knights put on display for the near capacity crowd at the building RU used to call home.
It was hard not to feel a little nostalgic, even if I’ve only heard stories about 1976 games at the Barn from my father. The pep band was boisterous and I could imagine paint chips falling from the ceiling.
The night was even interactive as the players brought fans out of the crowd on the court to participate in shooting contests. It’s as energetic as I’ve ever seen this group of Scarlet Knights. Everyone was smiling and every dunk had a little extra feeling in it.
Fans had their first non-summer league looks at scholarship freshmen Mike Rosario, Greg Echenique, Patrick Jackson and Christian Morris in addition to the rest of the squad.
Head coach Fred Hill and junior center Hamady N’Diaye took the microphone to address the faithful and thank them for their attendance.
RAC PAC (the improved student section) representative Adam Helfgott gave an outstanding spirited speech to rally support and encourage fans to keep coming out.
The Scarlet Knights open up their ’08-’09 campaign on Nov. 14 against Marist at the RAC at 8:00pm.