The Wolf Pack had its first public Silver & Blue Scrimmage in program history Thursday night at the Virginia Street Gym, and it's fair to say it was an electric night.
"I just think it's so hard in today's entertainment world, you always have to think outside of the box," coach Eric Musselman said creating the event, which was open only to students. "We tried to do something new and creative and administration helped a lot. We're just willing to try anything to drum up fan support."
The Virginia Street Gym holds about 1,800 people and I'd estimate there were about 1,000 people in there, so it wasn't a "sellout" (the event was free, so I'm not sure sellout is the right word), but it was well attended and quite loud in the gym (thanks, band!). Here is a recap of the night.
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The Virginia Street Gym opened in 1944 and used to be the home of Nevada basketball but that went away after Lawlor Events Center was built in 1983. The VSG was used for a throwback exhibition game last season and will be used for another such game this year. In the scrimmage, I had a friendly beat on the Desert Wolves winning.
Coach Musselman's wife, Danyelle, served as the sideline reporter for our Nevada Sports Net telecast. Here she is interviewing the game's captains.
There were pre-game rumors Ramon Sessions, a Wolf Pack and NBA alum, would play in the game. Those did not turn out to be true. But Armon Johnson, another Wolf Pack and NBA alum, did get in the scrimmage. Here he is warming up.
Here were the T-shirt designs for the game. These were tossed out to the students before the game. If you like them and didn't get one, go bug a student.
People made fun of my use of the word "crunk." I stand by crunk.
Desert Wolves coach Anthony Ruta says the Desert Wolves "has this thing on lock." We'll see about that.
But the Princess of Nevada basketball picks the Sagebrushers.
This is where everything went wrong for me. Cody Martin got a little disrespect with his jersey and he took it out in the game.
Pretty sweet pre-game entrance as Musselman rode out in an old school wolf mascot outfit via a motorcycle driven by his son, Michael.
And they brought out the fireworks.
As the game began, Musselman made his way through the crowd to get the students hyped.
He also got an interview with his wife.
And here is the interview.
Things were looking good for me in the first half as the Desert Wolves had a small lead at intermission.
Here are some first-half highlights.
The Wolf Pack held a 3-point contest at halftime. Jazz Johnson beat Nisre Zouzoua and Caleb Martin beat Tre'Shawn Thurman in the semifinals. Johnson then topped Martin, 15-11, in the finals. I picked Johnson to win pre-game, so I felt good about that.
Practice makes perfect.
Hey, now! Embrace the hype.
The Wolf Pack also displayed its new flag at halftime.
After the Desert Wolves inserted Armon Johnson for Jordan Brown, the Sagebrushers started the second half on a tidal wave run, and I was in trouble. (The teams played two 10-minutes halves).
Some Wolf Pack legends in the house.
I'm in trouble.
And I lose because Cody Martin balled out (congrats Alex Margulies). Martin scored 19 points, while Nisre Zouzoua added nine and Trey Porter chipped in nine. For the Desert Wolves, Jordan Brown had 11, Jalen Townswell nine, Jordan Caroline eight and Caleb Martin six.
Some second-half highlights and then on to the slam dunk contest.
In the preliminary round, Jalen Townsell scored a 28 out of 40 ...
... and Jordan Brown a 31 out of 40. But Trey Porter and Jordan Caroline both scored 40 out of 40 and moved into the final.
Trey Porter jumped over his coach.
But Jordan Caroline did this.
And then he did this. And he won (also as predicted here pre-game; two out of three instead bad but I still lost free beer).
But Trey Porter wasn't too shabby, though.
And Eric Musselman was pleased he didn't die.
And they all marched to The Joe after the event and watched fireworks.
In case you missed any of it, you can watched our highlights and recap show on Nevada Sports Net at 3 and 6 p.m. Friday.