Practice started for the Jays last night. Steve Pivovar and a few fans showed up. Sounds like they did a lot of bounce passes and started verifying their fundamentals. Much different than the festivities at Illinois St. and Southern Illinois.
illinois St. held their Redbird Hoopfest with a scrimmage, 3-point contest and slam-dunk contest. 2,212 fans took part in watching the event. The slam dunk contest featured Champ Oguchi, Osiris Eldridge and freshmen Jeremy Robinson and Kellen Thornton. Freshman Jeremy Robinson won the dunk contest over Osiris Eldridge. See more from the Illinois St. website: Video, Photos.
At Southern Illinois, they kicked off the season with their Maroon Madness. The teams were introduced and then they had a three point contest, slam dunk contest and two-ball contests. Poor Bryan Mullins got beat by a girl in the 3-point contest. In fact, in both events that the men went against the women, the men lost. Junior guard Brandon Allen won the five-player dunk contest. A crowd of 1500 showed up for the festivities.
Overall, it sounds like they all had a good time, but was surprised at the crowd size for the event. For SIU, I would have expected more and the season that Illinois St. had last year I would have thought would bring out more people, but maybe I’m wrong about all of this. WOuld the Jays bring a crowd larger than those if they had a “Madness” event? I’ll be interested in seeing what the open house draws.