Friday, October 15, 2010

"Tip It with the Titans" running diary

Fans of the University of Detroit Mercy basketball teams were treated to a show at the "Tip It with the Titans" event held Friday night at Calihan Hall.  The showcase was in conjunction with the first official date of practice for NCAA Division I men's basketball squads.

For the benefit of those who had to miss Friday's event (and whatever excuse you have might not be good enough in my estimation) we've provided a running diary of the night's action... and there was lots of it. You can watch videos at the links provided.

And, I have to say, that before tonight's event even took place, freshman Ray McCallum challenged Graduate Assistant Matt Ryder to a game of H-O-R-S-E earlier in the afternoon.  Sorry Ray, you might have all the accolades coming in, but you didn't know Ryder had the "seated half-courter" and the "literally from the stands" in his repertoire.  If he pulls those out-- you really didn't stand much chance.

4:45 p.m.-  The actual event starts with lots of great food and conversation at the Wine and Cheese event, hosted by UDM Interim President Michael Joseph.  The gathering helped unite Titan supporters prior to another season of basketball in Detroit.

5:32 p.m.-  Just learned that the Titan men's soccer team earned a 2-0 win over Cleveland State at Titan Field!  A decent crowd on hand as well as those folks will begin to trickle over across the parking lot to Calihan Hall for the "Tip It" festivities.

6:01 p.m.-  Performances from the UDM dance and cheer squads with music throughout courtesy of the Titan Pep Band.

6:14 p.m.-  The Titan women's basketball team is introduced over the public address system.  We are soon "treated" to a karaoke rendition of "I Love Rock & Roll" sung to the words "I LOVE BASKETBALL".  The group is led by boisterous head coach Autumn Rademacher, who is certainly not shy behind the microphone. A sight to behold for sure...

6:20 p.m.- Rademacher personally introduces each member of the team and the squad finishes with a dance number.  Not bad for a basketball squad, I'll have to say.  Chanahl, we saw you getting into it...

6:24 p.m.- Coach Rademacher lays down the gauntlet to the crowd with a mission... Come to Calihan Hall, get out of your routine and enjoy some Titan women's basketball.  We won't disappoint. Watch the women's basketball team introduced and Coach Rademacher and her team sing.

6:28 p.m.- Greek organizations on campus compete in a 3-point shootout.

6:38 p.m.-  The official unveiling of the new "made-over" Tommy Titan.  Tommy looks like he's been hitting the gym, has a chiseled chin that George Clooney would be proud of and he has some new duds as well. See the new Tommy Titan unveiled on video.

6:41 p.m.- Another performance from the Detroit Titan Dance Team, the Pep Band and the Cheer Team.

6:45 p.m.-  The lights have dimmed and it's time to introduce the Titan men's team.  Each player is introduced and fires a freebie T-shirt into the stands and hand-delivers a poster to a lucky audience member. See the whole team's introduction.

6:56 p.m.Coach McCallum comes out like a bundle of dynamite.  Tell you what, if the teams feed off of our men's and women's coaches and their energy-- BIG things are in store for Titan basketball this season.

7:04 p.m.Jason Calliste picks-up the win in the 3-point shoot-out.  He scored 10 out of the four racks to grab bragging rights.

7:11 p.m.-  A couple of good dunks from both John Hoskins and LaMarcus Lowe to start the dunk contest, but Nick Minnerath hammered down a two-handed monster behind his head and I think the rim is still shaking.  Not to be outdone, Ray McCallum gave us a throw-and-catch, 360 with a jersey-pop finish.  A nice dunk that the celebrity judge panel enjoyed. See Minnerath's and McCallum's dunks.

7:15 p.m.- Lowe got teammates involved as Calliste lobbed a pass on the baseline that he hammered through. Minnerath, after several misses, redeemed with a buzzer-beating 180 that was just as powerful as his first.  McCallum kept his spot in the finals with a slam from the baseline. 

7:17 p.m.-  It's Minnerath v. McCallum in the finals.  Minnerath scores a perfect 50 by grabbing a statued Calliste handoff and firing it through the rim.  He also gave it the "it's over" signal as the crowd finished its collective "OOOOHHHHH!". SEE IT HERE! Ray couldn't match the sheer power of Minnerath and Nick probably won't let Ray forget who got the best of it on this night. See all of the dunks here.

7:22 p.m.-  Scrimmage time.  Obviously, not a lot of defense being played.  Despite that, this team can score.  Eli Holman had three nice putbacks and a breakaway jam to lead Coach Jay Smith's squad.  Blake led the Coach Derek Thomas team other squad with a handful of perimeter makes. 

7:34 p.m.-  Calliste gets a little playful ribbing from Coach Carlos Briggs on pressrow.  "You won the three-point contest, didn't you?  I can't tell..."  This coming after a miss on the other end.

7:40 p.m.-  Blake's fourth make from deep gives the White squad a 33-27 lead with a minute left.  That would be the final.  The first of many wins for a Titan team, for sure. See highlights from the scrimmage and Coach McCallum's final address.

7:42 p.m.-  Coach McCallum addresses the crowd and finishes the night off by thanking all in attendance.

All told, a very successful night at Calihan Hall.  You'd be remiss if you didn't get in on the action this season.  The men open the schedule Oct. 30 with an exhibition against Hillsdale College at 4:30 p.m.  The Titan women open their campaign on Nov. 8 with a 7:00 p.m. exhibition against Saginaw Valley State.  Hope to see you there!

See the VIDEO CLIPS and a PHOTO GALLERY from tonight's event.

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