Your Georgetown Hoyas are back in business for the 2016-17 season, hyping up Georgetown students and fans Friday night with this year’s edition of Hoya Madness. This year’s edition did not differ greatly from Madnesses of recent years past, but still provided for an action-packed show. Once again, with a little more hesitation than in the past, I donned my Hoya gear and brought out my alter ego, an as yet Katie-less Gyration Master (#KatieSayYes) cheering on a team that plays on an as-yet Kente-less court.
Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised by this year’s show. Even from the early going, a good sign came from the turnout, as even 20 minutes before the doors opened, the line stretched around the block to the corner of the new Thompson Center. As it turned out, the line was more of a scrum, so after fighting through a crowd I was able to get in shortly after the doors opened and secured a good seat.
There are two pieces of good t-shirt related news to report. Firstly, the Hoya Madness t-shirt looks good in person. Good enough to even make me look good (and that’s not the easiest task in the world!)
Secondly, Hoya Blue announced that the slogan on this year’s “We Are Georgetown” t-shirt will be “If I can’t go to heaven, take me back to Georgetown.” Notably, and perhaps symbolically, this year’s draft cut out the large “III” on the back of the shirt to make more room for the quote.
The early portion of the show saw performances from student dance troupes Groove Theory and GU Jawani followed by the Georgetown cheerleaders. Also at one point in the early going, Hoya Blue gave us a practice run of the “roller coaster” motion, which will likely be used as a free-throw distraction in the student section this season.
As usual, the show segued into the player introductions. Both the women’s and men’s basketball teams broke out their best dance moves in their personal intros. As far as their dancing goes, if they can score as well as they can bust a move, both teams should go far this season.
More from earlier tonight, here's the men's team dancing pic.twitter.com/eDctmUbMqf— Roey Hadar (@GyrationMaster) October 15, 2016
Coach John Thompson III responded to his team’s moves with some of his own, joining the cheerleaders in getting down.
And here's video of JT3 busting a move pic.twitter.com/0QP3EtkmDV— Roey Hadar (@GyrationMaster) October 15, 2016
There was no dance-off this year, but as far as my opinion goes, either center Jessie Govan or forward Isaac Copeland has the best moves on the team. The most notable moment of intros, however, may have been when big man Akoy Agau entered to the sounds of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.” Seeing him lip sync a serenade to the crowd was quite the sight. Another interesting note from introductions was that walk-on Ra’mond Hines was introduced and will ostensibly be a full member of the team this season.
Following the intros came the dunk contest, with a star-studded alumni judging panel of Mark Tillmon, Darrel Owens, and Dikembe Mutombo.
Jagan Mosely, LJ Peak, and Rodney Pryor competed. Peak and Pryor advanced to the final round, where both put up dunks that earned perfect scores from the judges. Peak may have had the best dunk of the night, however, when he dunked over not one but two centers, leaping both Bradley Hayes and Jessie Govan in a single bound.
Despite the impressiveness of Peak’s dunk, it was ultimately Pryor, the birthday boy, who won after a final 360 slam in an ensuing dunk-off.
As a cap to this year’s show, DC native Wale delivered a lengthy performance that clocked in at approximately 45 minutes. For some perspective, this is my fourth time attending Hoya/Midnight/Tip-Off Party/Madness/Whatever (it’s had too many names over the years), and I believe Wale’s performance was longer than the other three musical guest performances combined. I did not come into tonight’s performance as a big Wale fan, but I appreciated his music, even if not all of it could be danced to easily.
In addition, what I really enjoyed was that midway through the performance, Wale changed into a customized Georgetown jersey that even had his name written on the back.
One thing is for sure, the man definitely loves anything related to his hometown, including Georgetown hoops.
It’s hard for me to gauge how the show comes off to others, particularly recruits, since I have seen it so many times already, but this year’s iteration seemed like it could resonate. It did not get bogged down by much extra fluff this year and the star cameos of both Mutombo and Wale may turn a couple of heads.
With Hoya Madness out of the way, the start of Georgetown’s season comes increasingly into focus. The season tips off in less than one month now, when the Hoyas match up with the University of South Carolina-Upstate. In the meantime, Hoya Saxa!