For most college basketball fans, Midnight Madness signifies the dawn of a new season. The memories of the season prior gets washed away in favor of the event's scrimmages, dunk contests, and other shenanigans. Four Big East schools hosted their madness events this past Friday, Big East Coast Bias covered them here. All in all, nine of the ten Big East schools host some form of a "Madness" event. Butler does not.
Madness events are not just good for getting the fans excited. They are a good way to get all of your recruits in the same place at the same time. In fact, in 2007, Scout's Evan Daniels estimated that at least 160 recruits were at a Madness event over the weekend during which most schools host the events. A more recent example takes us back to just this weekend, when St. John's hosted three top recruits, Isaiah Briscoe, Cheick Diallo, and Brandon Sampson, all at their Madness event. All three seemed to enjoy themselves, and undoubtedly they were able to discuss how they would fit together at the school, all the while seeing what Carnessca Arena looks and sounds like when filled to capacity with rabid Red Storm fans.
Given all this information, it is a bit surprising a school like Butler, who has had success for this decade, would continue to not host an event. This season, they would have had a great chance to show off the newly-renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse, and get fans excited about the return of Roosevelt Jones after a disappointing season last year. They also could have had their two recruits in the Class of 2015, Sean McDermott and Nate Fowler, visit the event instead of visiting this coming weekend, when nothing is going on.
Although there is no correlation between Midnight Madness and a program's ability to land recruits and garner fan support, it is, at the very least, a fun way to welcome the upcoming season.
What do you think? Is not hosting a Madness event counter-productive to a program's success? Let us know in the comments and be sure to vote in the poll!