The Memphis Tigers Basketball team revealed their skills to a crowd that couldn't seem to shut up for one moment. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and filled with pure passion for the basketball program. Coach Pastner, as always, came out with a smile on his face as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
From the time the fans entered the building, the FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN was shaking and felt like a tornado was about to come through. Pastner was happy to see the big crowd in attendance dressed in blue and gray.
"Fantastic, awesome with a capital "A"," Pastner said when he was asked about the fans. "(I'm) just so happy. The crowd is unbelievable. Tiger Nation is the best."
The crowd was so energized that after each slam in the dunk contest, the building's floor seemed to shake. The dunk contest participants were Geron Johnson, Shaq Goodwin, Damien Wilson, Joe Jackson and Nick King.
Goodwin and Wilson both advanced to the finals, where Goodwin came out victorious. His signature dunk was the flashback of Vince Carter's 2000 "whole arm in rim" dunk. It wasn't that flashy, but it got the job done.
Goodwin used the same dunk in last year's Madness, but the fans seemed to appreciate it more this year.
"Man, like I told them, I am glad D.J. wasn't there," said Goodwin after his victory. "It feels good to win it. It feels good and as soon as I get out of here, I am going to tweet that I won the dunk contest."
Goodwin looked good on the court during the scrimmage, too, as he seemed to have no problem running up and down the floor.
"It feels great man," said Goodwin. "I was 270, now I am around 230, 235. I just feel a lot lighter, a lot quicker on the court. It should be beneficial during the season."
Goodwin was smiling from ear to ear and he was sprinting the floor during the scrimmage.
"Yeah, I was fine, even though the past couple weeks we had a lot of practice so it's a lot of wear and tear on everybody's body. I felt great out there," said Goodwin.
The focal point of the night was the scrimmage between the Tiger players, with the team divided up into two squads. Goodwin, Dominic Woodson, Dixon, King and Chris Crawford were on the White team. They went up against Johnson, Jackson, David Pellom, Austin Nichols and Markel Crawford made up the Blue team.
Nichols stood out the most in the scrimmage, though others performed well, too. It seemed as if Nichols was always in the right place at the right time when the ball came off the rim. He snagged rebound after rebound for easy put backs.
Johnson and Wilson each had nice monster dunks through the lane that were able to get the crowd to their feet. Pellom was very active and was a beast on the defensive end. His main focus was to rebound and run the open floor.
Pellom and his Blue team won by the final score of 34-32.
The ironic thing during the scrimmage was that no defense was being displayed. Pastner seemed okay with his players being lazy on the defensive end, but he warned fans not to get use to the look.
"It's the only time they will be allowed to play no defense for me was tonight at Memphis Madness," Pastner said quickly with his trademark grin on his face.
The season is finally here and the Tigers will hit the practice floor on Saturday to get in some more work as they prepare for their exhibition game against Christian Brothers on Nov. 8.
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