Midnight Mayhem returns to the Palouse

DeANGELO CASTO

FIRST THERE WAS word that WSU's men's basketball team would increase the tempo on offense. The came news that Sunnyside Park hill was no long part of off-season training -- those energies would instead be spent where Ws and Ls are determined: the hardwood. Indeed, there's a new hoops chief in Pullman. Now comes the announcement that WSU is going to launch its practice season with Midnight Mayhem.

Mayhem is the WSU twist on the Midnight Madness hoopla that many teams across the country stage around their first practice of the season. It's mostly a nod to public relations.

And it's been absent from WSU from a number of years. The Bennetts preferred to start practicing in private.

But times are a changin'.

The Washington State men's and women's basketball teams will kick off the 2009-10 basketball season on Friday, Oct. 16, following the WSU volleyball match against USC in Bohler Gym.

"Returning to Pullman after a brief hiatus, Midnight Mayhem helps usher in the new basketball season on the first official day of practice," WSU said in its official press release today.

The event is open to the public and free of charge.

Cougar fans are encouraged to attend the volleyball match, which begins at 7 p.m. The Cougs are ranked No. 25 in the nation with a 14-1 record.

After the match, Bone and women's head coach June Daugherty will be on hand to address the crowd and introduce their teams. The women's team will compete in a 3-point contest, while the men will partake in a dunk contest followed by a scrimmage. Following the scrimmage, posters will be available and both teams will be on hand to sign autographs. The event wraps up around 11:15 p.m.

Doors open at 9:30 p.m. for Midnight Mayhem, but free food is available in PEB following the volleyball match for those who arrive early. Any students interested, who haven't done so already, will have the opportunity to sign up to become a member of the ZZU Cru at Midnight Mayhem.

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