UWF basketball set to usher in season with Argo Madness
By Tony Mixon
The UWF men’s and women’s basketball team will hold Argo Madness this Monday at 9 p.m. at the UWF Fieldhouse to kick off their season.
Since Maryland coach Lefty Driesell started Midnight Madness in 1971, it has become an annual tradition across the landscape of college basketball.
Prior to the 2013-14 season, the NCAA wouldn’t allow college basketball teams to practice before Oct. 15. Driesell started it by having an event like Midnight Madness after the clock struck 12 a.m. on Oct. 16.
It’s a great time for fans to get ready for their team’s season,” said men’s coach Jeff Burkhamer, entering his fourth season, is looking forward to the event.
“It gives our fans a chance to look forward to the upcoming season and meet the teams as well,” Burkhamer said.
There are coaches around the country that are actively involved with Midnight Madness, but Burkhamer is going to allow their promotional team to run the event.
There is a chance for fans and students to get involved with Argo Madness and several prizes will be given out.
“We have prizes like a free semester of tuition and we’re also giving out a big screen tv,” Burkhamer said. “They’ll get a chance to win these prizes in shooting contests with our players.”
The Argos are coming off a record-breaking season by capturing their first GSC championship and their first NCAA Tournament berth.
They come into the season ranked No. 12 in the NABC preseason poll even after losing some key players from last year.
They welcome seven newcomers on their team but return preseason All-GSC selection Raashan Benson as well as key post player Henri Ventoniemi.
Even so, coach Burkhamer is looking forward to Argo Madness for his players that’ll be doing it for the last time.
“It’s more special for the guys that will be a part of the event for the last time,” Burkhamer said. “I think there is a lot of excitement around the program and we’re hoping for a good turnout.”
After Argo Madness, the Argos will kick their season off Nov. 9 vs. Fort Valley State in Albany, Georgia.