Oct. 24, 2008
VILLANOVA, Pa. - A packed house of more than 5,000 fans joined the Villanova men's and women's basketball teams in kicking off the 2008-09 season at the annual "Hoops Mania" event tonight at the Pavilion. The event included the introduction of both squads along with an appearance by recording artist T-Pain.
The evening began with a series on interactive student promotions and included the introduction of the Villanova football team, which is currently ranked No. 7 in the nation and faces No. 1 James Madison in a Colonial Athletic Association showdown on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Villanova Stadium. The Wildcat women's basketball team was also brought on to the court to the cheers of the crowd.
The Villanova men's team entered as part of a skit with the Wildcat dance team which featured a short dance to the delight of the audience. After head coach Jay Wright was introduced, the team huddled at mid-court and each of the 14 student-athletes went into the lower stands and each returned with a fellow student to the court. Those students then were brought to the team benches for the Blue/White scrimmage and remained there as "assistant coaches" for the night.
Senior forward Dante Cunningham emerged as the winner of the dunk contest thanks to his final effort, which included a tomahawk jam that began with a leap over manager of basketball operations Keith Urgo.
In the Blue/White scrimmage, the White squad, which included Dwayne Anderson, Corey Fisher, Taylor King, Reggie Redding, Cunningham and Russell Wooten defeated the Blue 27-18. The Blue unit was comprised of Shane Clark, Antonio Pena, Corey Stokes, Scottie Reynolds and Maurice Sutton.
King led all scorers with 11 points and also added three rebounds. Stokes paced the Blue squad with 10 points and two caroms. Fisher, Redding and Anderson all added five points for the victorious White squad while Clark and Reynolds contributed four points apiece.
The night concluded with a performance by hip hop artist T-Pain.