Hoops Mania opens season

Michael Lucarz

The men’s basketball team will start the ball rolling on another season tonight, hosting its annual Hoops Mania festivities in the Jake Nevin Fieldhouse.

Hoops Mania will be preceded by the newly introduced Velvet Rope Block Party at 7 p.m.

The night, along with the upcoming basketball season, could be a memorable one as fresh and familiar faces alike will usher in the season with music, food and raffle giveaways.

With the addition of several key members to this year’s team, particularly the return of 1985 NCAA championship team captain Ed Pinckney as assistant coach, the Main Line is already abuzz with high expectations.

“There’s been nothing but a positive response to the upcoming season,” Pat McGowan, marketing and promotion coordinator for the team, said. “We’re fortunate to have a campus that’s basketball crazy, and judging by last year we’ll be expecting around 3,000 students to come out and support the team on Friday night.”

He added, “At no point was anybody concerned about student support. It was never even a question. Jay [Wright] is determined to let students know that they are a big part of the season.”

Along with coach Wright and the men’s team rallying up the crowd, last season’s Big East Champion Wildcats will also be on hand, with women’s head coach Harry Perretta leading the introduction of his squad later in the evening.

With Homecoming weekend occurring at the same time as Hoops Mania festivities this year, the basketball team and staff are working to cater to alumni as well. Among the items raffled off will be a 2003 Land Rover, X-Boxes, Nike apparel, a Comcast SportsNet package, a $10,000 half-court shot and an opportunity to announce the Wildcat starting lineup at the Nov. 12 home game.

Hoops Mania begins at 8 p.m. in Jake Nevin.