Pitt sets Midnight Madness schedule
Nine days remain before the highly regarded Pitt basketball team opens practice for the 2002-03 season.
This is the most highly anticipated start of a season since the Charles Smith-Jerome Lane era of the 1980s. Pitt is ranked in everybody's preseason Top 10, if not Top 5.
Ben Howland's team will be on display to the public at a Midnight Madness event at the Petersen Events Center on Friday, Oct. 11, that's even caught the attention of longtime basketball color commentator Bill Raftery, who will be on hand.
He'll likely want to get a glimpse of All-America point guard Brandin Knight, whose father played for and coached with Raftery at Seton Hall, and All-Big East selections Julius Page and Jaron Brown.
Raftery's association with Pitt goes back many years. He said, "Send it in Jerome" while calling the 1988 Pitt-Providence game at Fitzgerald Field House after Lane broke the backboard with a ferocious dunk.
Midnight Madness festivities begin at 8 p.m. with a Student Basketball Ticket Lottery at the interior lobby of the Petersen Events Center off the Terrace Street entrance. A total of 1,500 tickets will be available for students. The lottery will be used to determine which students will be able to purchase a Student Season Ticket ID card.
Every student will be eligible to participate in the lottery, giving them a chance to purchase one of the 1,000 Student Season Ticket ID cards that will be made available. In addition, 500 student tickets will be sold on an individual game-by-game basis.
The 12,500-seat Petersen Events Center has already been sold out to the public.
Highlight videos of the Panthers' record-setting 2001-02 season, during which they finished 29-6 and reached the Sweet 16, will lead into a slam dunk contest during Midnight Madness, followed by an intrasquad scrimmage.
Nine of the top 10 players from last season are back, while highly regarded point guard Carl Krauser makes his debut.
Admission to Midnight Madness, which was created by Lefty Driesell at Maryland in 1971 as a promotional event, is free.
MIDNIGHT MADNESS SCHEDULE
8:00 p.m.- Student Lottery begins in the Petersen Events Center (interior lobby off Terrace Street)
10:30 p.m.- Gates Open for Midnight Madness
11:00 p.m.- Fan Contests begin
11:45 p.m.- Men's and Women's Team introductions begin
12:10 a.m.- Pittsburgh men's team conducts Slam Dunk Contest
12:25 a.m.- Pittsburgh women's team conducts Three-Point Contest
12:40 a.m.- Pittsburgh men's team scrimmage
12:45 a.m.- Student Final Shot for Cash ($10,000)