A Quaint Welcoming By Michael Krumholtz Buffs Madness, the much-hyped introduction to basketball season, was more campfire sit-around than rowdy inauguration party. The largely uneventful event was hastily planned and under attended. It was pretty empty in the Coors Events Center that reportedly hosted just above 3,000 students and fans. For those who showed up, Buffs Madness was a needed escape from reminder of the calamity witnessed the night before in Folsom Field. This was an advertisement of the CU basketball brand. In an attempt to draw more fans to their winter spectacles, the men’s and women’s teams hosted their own product of Midnight Madness in an intimate setting. At one point, head coach turned delivery boy Tad Boyle came through the student section to hand out pizzas and shake students’ hands. “There’s times where we need you to get us over the top,” said Boyle at center court. “We’re in this together. It’s not a spectator sport, it’s a participatory sport.” 50 members of the “C-Unit” student section were honored with the enviable chance to welcome the players on the court under their tunnel. There were no fireworks or hard rock sing-alongs (Unless you count the “Gangum Style” dance video that the men’s team played over the jumbo-trons as recordable material. Boyle had to say about the video, which included shirtless players dancing on the court: “It’s obvious none of them were in a dance class. I was not asked and I wouldn’t have been in it anyway.”). But that need-for-flare attitude is not what this team is about. This collection of young talent has a lot of work to do, as Boyle continued to remind them during their ten-minute scrimmage. Even for champions, there’s no time to celebrate. A touted freshman class looked long and athletic during the short scrimmage. Practice began on Saturday morning, merging the freshmen into the fast-paced highway of big- time NCAA basketball. “The thing about this freshman class is they’re very talented and they’ve got a little bit of everything,” Boyle said. To reach the intended destination, the underclassmen will be counted on to grow up quickly. A November tournament in Charleston will include dates with recent NCAA tournament teams like Dayton, Baylor, and Murray State. One of the guys had trouble competing with a counterpart on Linda Lappe’s team. Sharp shooting sophomore Lexy Kresl out did fellow sophomore Askia Booker in a 3-point contest, giving the women’s team some bragging material for the season. The women’s team, which finished 21-14 after losing in the WNIT quarterfinals last year, had a scrimmage of their own before the 3-point contest. “You can expect a team that always plays together,” said coach Linda Lappe to the fans. “We’re working every single day to get to the postseason.” This signals only a quiet beginning to a five-month journey that will be as volatile as it is arduous. Together, the fans and the teams kicked off the season in a style that both could carry well into March. The ones who cared were present on Friday night, and eight thousand more of their friends will join in to make every game a party.