Blue Raider Basketball Opens 2015-2016 Season with Murphy Madness


Middle Tennessee faithful got to see their 2015-16 Men’s and Women’s basketball teams Thursday evening during the second annual Murphy Madness.

The Women’s team was introduced individually, with each player strutting out to their own walk-up music. Caroline Warden was the calm in the midst of the rowdy introductions by choosing “Sweet Caroline,” a song sang to her in nearly every game as a Blue Raider. Warden returns this season after a gruesome ACL injury near the end of the 2014-2015 campaign.

The Men’s team came out of the tunnel next, and nearly every player introduced danced to the song of their choosing, which got a roar from the crowd each time. Senior guard Jaqawn Raymond, one of the most outlandish of the bunch, drew the largest applause of the mens’ team by far.

The most exciting part of the introductions was seeing Kermit Davis dancing with JuCo transfer Aldonis Foote to “I Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd.

“Us Mississippi guys got some moves now,” Davis said. “I got one move, and it’s my go-to move, the spin move. I used all of it right there in about 20 seconds.”

Ford of Murfreesboro gave a student a chance to win a brand new Ford Mustang by sinking a half court shot after the introductions. Thursday’s giveaway was the biggest of its kind at Middle Tennessee since early 2014 when student G Rollins buried a half-court shot to win $10,000 courtesy of Pepsi.

Jacorey Williams showcased his talent and athleticism during the event’s dunk contest. Williams put on a show of unique dunks that got the crowd fired up, while his teammates did the same.

“I just wanted to put a show on for the fans, but it’s not really about me,” Williams said. “As long as the fans enjoyed it, I enjoyed it.”

Williams, a transfer from Arkansas, will sit out the 2015-2016 season and focus on improvement heading into his last year of eligibility.

“I think this will be a good chance for me to work on myself individually,” Williams said. “This will help me be a better player next year.”

Freshman Karl Gamble showcased his skills for the first time in front of Blue Raider fans during the dunk contest and the Blue vs. White scrimmage.

“It’s a great atmosphere, and the fanbase here is great,” Gamble said. “I have a lot to learn, but I have great mentors in Darnell [Harris], Josh [Phillips], Reggie [Upshaw], and Perrin [Buford].”

The Blue Raiders signed autographs to end Murphy Madness, which gave fans a chance to meet their favorite players.

The Women’s season begins Nov. 13 at 6:30 against Virginia at home, while the Men’s team tips things off on the road against Murray State on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m.

For more Blue Raider sports, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Sport.

To contact Interim Sports Editor Connor Ulrey, email sportseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

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