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Practice, cross-dressing kick off season

As if homecoming weekend couldn’t get any wilder, the USF Basketball program had to join the mix.

The hoops season officially kicked off at the Sun Dome on Friday evening with the fifth annual Midnight Mania, an event that marks the start of practice for the basketball teams.

A large gathering crowded the entrance of the Sun Dome to listen to hip-hop music and watch as students squared off in a battle of raps.

With an equal blend of crazy skits and raucous prize giveaways, the student government put on a show for the crowd at the Sun Dome.

The festivities began with a skit performed by the men’s and women’s basketball team that involved cross-dressing and a workout routine.

After the skits, prizes including a gold USF parking pass and a $1,000 bookstore award were given.

The atmosphere was electric when the teams took the court.

USF returns eight letter winners, including three starters from last year’s squad, and has more depth than the previous team.

Five players return for their senior season as USF will make its last venture through Conference USA before joining the Big East in the ’05 season.

The Bulls are led by senior Terrance Leather, who was No. 3 in the conference in rebounds last season and No. 10 in scoring.

Adding to the senior leadership is Brian Swift, who is coming off his best season as a Bull after averaging 35 minutes per game.

Rounding out the returning starters is Bradley Mosley, the only Bull to start every game last season. Mosley was the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 14.6 points per game last season.

New to the team is freshman Montavious Waters, who is a two-time first-team all-state selection by the Georgia Sportswriters Association. Also new to the mix is freshman Collin Dennis, who averaged 23 points, five rebounds and four assists as a senior in high school.

USF will see its first live action in an exhibition game against St. Leo University Nov. 12th.