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Top hoop recruits mad for Midnight Madness

When Rasheed Sulaimon was just a junior at Strake Jesuit (Houston) back in October 2010, he flew to Duke to attend its Countdown to Craziness event, a prelude to the college hoops season that most schools refer to as “Midnight Madness.”

Sulaimon was inside of Cameron Indoor Stadium for “less than five minutes” before the Cameron Crazies, Duke’s wacky fans, erupted in a deafening chant: “Su-lai-mon, come-to-Duke!”

“It’s crazy going to a Midnight Madness event like that and having the fans show you so much love,” said Sulaimon, now a freshman at Duke. “The atmosphere is great. When you go and you hear the fans chanting your name, you’re always a little extra tempted to commit.”

Sulaimon committed to the Blue Devils four months after his Countdown to Craziness visit.

This Friday, elite recruits from around the country will visit prospective schools to take in the start of the college hoops season.

We caught up with a handful of players to find out what they’re most looking forward to at this year’s Midnight Madness events.

Austin Nichols, Senior Forward
High School: Briarcrest (Eads, Tenn.)
College: Uncommitted
Midnight Madness Spot: Memphis
Most Excited About: “The dunk contest because I love dunks and they’re always exciting. Plus, I want to see what Shaq (Goodwin) can do.”

Brannen Greene, Senior Shooting Guard
High School: Tift County (Monroe, Ga.)
College: Kansas
Midnight Madness Spot: Kansas
Most Excited About: “Seeing how the fans greet me. Also, I’m excited to see the team and coaches. I’ve built strong bonds with some of the guys on the team, so I’m excited to hang out with them and the staff.”  

Kris Jenkins, Senior Small Forward
High School: Gonzaga College Prep (Washington, D.C.)
College: Villanova
Midnight Madness Spot: Villanova
Most Excited About: “Seeing the college atmosphere as a whole. I just want to see how crazy the fans are and how much the city and alumni love the team.”

Aaron Gordon, Senior Small Forward
High School: Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
College: Uncommitted
Midnight Madness Spot: Kansas
Most Excited About: “Seeing the tradition there. That’s where James Naismith was and so I’m really interested in seeing all of the different traditions that they have there.”

JaQuel Richmond, Junior Point Guard
High School: Wesleyan Christian (High Point, N.C.)
College: Uncommitted
Midnight Madness Spot: N.C. State
Most Excited About: “How the incoming freshmen play. I just want to see if their game has changed any since they’ve got to college. Then I want to see how the fans come out and support the team.”

Marcus Lee, Senior Forward
High School: Deer Valley (Antioch, Calif.)
College: Uncommitted
Midnight Madness Spot: Kentucky
Most Excited About: “Seeing how crazy Big Blue Nation gets. And I’m also looking forward to seeing the volleyball game. I play volleyball too at my school so I’m interested in that.” 

Jason Jordan is a High School Sports reporter for USA TODAY. He can be reached at jcjordan@usatoday.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY.

http://usatodayhss.com/2012/10/top-hoop-recruits-mad-for-midnight-madness
Top hoop recruits mad for Midnight Madness
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