The first Husky Hoopla was a great success for the volleyball team, which swept Washington State three games to none before 6,216 spectators, breaking UW's previous volleyball attendance record of 5,712.
Early in the evening, men's basketball coach Lorenzo Romar looked out at the crowd and said that unless everyone leaves after the volleyball game, that the crowd had exceeded his expectations. I think he said it as joke, but it turned out that a lot of folks did leave. By the time the women's and men's basketball teams ended with evening with short scrimmages, the crowd was down to an estimated 4,700.
Still, Romar addressed the crowd before the scrimmage and implied that he was pleased. "Thank you all for coming out here," he said. "We hesitated to do this. We didn't know how many would turn out. But we had a great turnout tonight – a turnout that gets us excited about doing this again next year."
If the first part of the evening was serious business - a Pacific-10 Conference volleyball match.
The second part was pure celebration as the Dawg Pack and other fans welcomed basketball back to Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
The basketball portion of the evening included a women's three-point shooting contest won by Cameo Hicks, a men's three-point shooting contest won by Ryan Appleby, a dunk contest won by 6-foot-6 true freshman Quincy Pondexter, and even a dance contest won by Romar.
The celebration concluded with 10-minute, running-clock, scrimmages by the women's and men's teams. No score was officially kept, but the event offered a brief first look at the three new prized recruits on the men's team: Pondexter, guard Adrian Oliver and forward Phil Nelson. Top recruit Spencer Hawes was introduced, but won't be able to run for a couple of more weeks after undergoing minor surgery to remove a particle near his knee on Wednesday.
Now the teams will return behind the scenes for practices before emerging again when on Nov. 1, when the women meet University of Regina in an exhibition, and Nov. 3, when the men meet Saint Martin's in an exhibition. Both of those games will be back at Hec Ed.
Below is a running commentary on Husky Hoopla, filed as the event unfolded last night.