By Justin Meyer
This university kicked off the 2014-15 basketball season in style Friday with traditional Maryland Madness celebration, acquainting with fans to the new scoreboard at the Xfinity Center as well as the six new men’s players and three new women’s players.
The festivities included a gymnastics show from Gymkana, the introductions of every player and coach, the annual players’ dance, a slam dunk contest between young Terps fans and a performance from rap duo Rae Sremmurd.
Junior economics major Jamal Anifowoshe said Gymkana’s presentation was his favorite part.
“They were stacking people up and jumping over them and then jumped thought the ring of fire,” he said. “That was definitely the highlight of the night.”
Anifowoshe said he liked the non-basketball portions of the event better than the basketball ones.
“I wasn’t as excited for the basketball team as I was for the different performances they had,” he explained. “When the players went and did the dunks I thought that was boring. All they did was go up and do a crappy dunk.”
Sophomore finance and supply chain management major Joey Kader said he preferred the celebration this year compared to last.
“It was better than last year,” he said. “Last year they only talked about the history of Maryland. I don’t care that much about Maryland basketball history. This year it was quicker and more to the point. Everything you expected at Maryland Madness happened without a bunch of random things going on.”
Kader said his favorite part was getting to see freshman Michal Cekovsky dance.
“He looked so happy to be there,” he said.
Anifowoshe said there isn’t anything more that could have realistically been done to make the event better.
“It was what it was,” he said. “They were trying to get people pumped for basketball. There wasn’t much more they could do. They got me excited for it. Maybe if they had a dunk contest between the players that would have been fun, but that’s risky to do right before the season starts.”
Anifowoshe said he liked the new scoreboard.
“We’re one of the only teams that has one of the logos of the opposing teams on the board now and I think that’s pretty cool,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on up there. It’s very detailed with how big the screen is. They’re able to show a lot of stats.”
Kader wasn’t as big of a fan of the new addition to the Xfinity Center.
“The scoreboard is very similar but a little too high up,” he said. “It hurt my neck to have to keep looking up. If you’re going to sit where the students should be sitting, it’s awkward.”