On Friday morning, college basketball coaches from coast to coast woke up with a smile on their faces. Players and coaches should have a little extra pep in their step; as it's the first day of official practice, starting as early as 7 p.m. The day has come for students, fans and alumni to get a look at the team that they will ride the college basketball roller coaster with for the next six months.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of "Midnight Madness" as a player at Ohio University under head coach Danny Nee and a young talented assistant (and now ESPN colleague) Fran Fraschilla. I remember coach Nee telling the team the day before practice "tomorrow your butts are mine." In the mid-1980s, coaches were not permitted to work out players in groups or as a team, so I treated the first day of practice like a game because it was really the first time I could show the coaching staff my game.