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Let the Mania begin

Midnight Mania once again returns to the Sun Dome Friday night, kicking off the 2002-03 men’s and women’s basketball seasons, which officially begins Saturday at midnight.

Midnight Mania holds several firsts for basketball players, coaches and fans.

Oct. 12 is the first day the NCAA allows players and coaches to participate in practice sessions for the upcoming season.

Midnight Mania is the first opportunity for students and fans to see both teams show off their skills on the court. Also, it is an opportunity for students and fans to show their support for the Bulls.

“I appreciate how hard (Student Government vice president) Dave Mincberg and his committee have tried to change the culture of this campus and how the student body has responded,” USF men’s coach Seth Greenberg said.

“Dave and (SG president) Mike Griffin have done an unbelievable job of getting people involved, empowering people and getting them excited.”

Sophomore guard Marlyn Bryant said he hopes to see a big turnout by the fans because he feels it is very important for the fans to show their support.

“Without the fans, it wouldn’t be (anything),” Bryant said. “I think the fans should come out and support us, have a good time and show us they’re behind us 100 percent.”

Bryant said he also thinks the fans in attendance won’t be disappointed with what they see.

“I think this year is going to be better than it was last year,” Bryant said.

Festivities begin at 9 p.m. Friday with a party at Greenbergopolis, the tent city outside the Sun Dome. The gates to the Sun Dome open for spectators at 9:30. Events are set to begin at 10:30.

Both teams will make their way on to the court at midnight. There will be a scrimmage held for both teams, followed by a slam dunk contest.

Bryant, who will be one of the Bulls’ high-flying players in the dunk contest, said he is unsure what dunk he will do, but it should be something creative.

“I’m really just going to do something at the spur of the moment,” Bryant said. “I might decide to jump off something, or jump over something, like a chair.”

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