Hoards of college basketball fans lined up outside of Viejas Arena Friday night for a chance to catch a first glimpse of the 2012-13 Aztec basketball teams.
The Madness on the Mesa event featured the men’s and women’s basketball squads as well as giveaways for fans, like a nothing-but-net, half-court shot that won freshman Craig Horlbeck a two-year lease on a Toyota Tacoma.
The women’s team was introduced first alongside head coach Beth Burns, who is entering her 16th year as head coach at SDSU.
The Aztecs displayed their talents in a 20-minute exhibition game featuring redshirt freshman Deajanae Scurry.
The 6-foot-1 forward scored the scrimmage’s first bucket by being fractions of an inch short of a slam dunk. She was able to grab the rim and put the
ball through the hoop, eliciting audible shock and excitement from Aztec fans.
The men’s team was also introduced alongside its coach, reigning Mountain West Coach of the Year Steve Fisher. Fisher went on to introduce the freshmen and transfer students who will be joining the returning players this season.
“I’m stoked we got such solid recruits,” finance junior Tim Co said. “I can’t wait to see what they can do.”
The men’s team was also given a 20-minute exhibition period featuring high-flying dunks from junior shooting guard Jamaal Franklin and rim-rocking alley oops from senior forward DeShawn Stephens.
The three-point competition featured juniors Xavier Thames and LaBradford Franklin as well as seniors Chase Tapley and James Rahon from the men’s team. Competitors from the women’s team included sophomore Ahjalee Harvey as well as seniors Gabrielle Clark, Courtney Clements and Malia Nahinu.
Thames fought past Tapley and Rahon to make it to the finals against Harvey, who outshot Nahinu and Clark. Thames proved his ability by sinking his last five shots en route to victory.
The dunk contest featured freshman Matt Shrigley, sophomore Dwayne Polee II, Jamaal and senior DeShawn Stephens. Jamaal met Stephens in the finals where he pulled off a perfect scoring between the legs reverse slam to outmatch Stephens, who elevated and dunked over three people, including former Aztec forward Tim Shelton.
The men’s team opens its season against Syracuse on Nov. 9 aboard the USS Midway as a part of Battle of the Midway,
a game Fisher described as “an event for the ages.” The women’s team opens against the Bruins at the University of California, Los Angeles on Nov. 10.