The Southern men’s and women’s basketball teams kicked off homecoming activities week Sunday night as the second annual Jaguar Pandemonium was on display at the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
The two teams are highly regarded within the conference as the women’s team is the preseason favorite to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference, while the men are predicted to finish second behind favorite Texas Southern.
The activities Sunday night featured performances from the Southern cheerleading and dancing squads, a 3-point shooting and a dunk contest.
Both coaches were excited about the opportunity to officially kick off the season and the exposure that the event holds for their respective teams.
“With Jaguar Pandemonium, we are trying to set a tradition,” men’s coach Roman Banks said. “We’re obviously in the early stages of the event. We are trying to get the fans to meet the team. Whenever you start talking about having good college basketball programs, the fans are close upon us, and I think our fans do a good job.”
And while women’s coach Sandy Pugh enjoys the event for her players and the fans, she looks forward to getting the season underway, when the Lady Jaguars host Dillard for their opener Nov. 1.
“The kids like it, but I’m old-school,” Pugh said with a laugh. “I’d rather just lace them up and go play ball, but the kids enjoy these events, and we do things here for the greater good of the kids. So this is what they want to do, so it’s great for them.”
The event was an opportunity for Jaguar Nation to get an up-close, personal, preseason look at what the two teams will have to offer for the 2013-2014 campaign.
“We just want to engage with (the fans) and have like a preseason pep rally, let the fans get to know the guys, and just enjoy this moment,” Banks said.
Pugh echoed Banks’ thoughts on the opportunity for fans to get to know the players better.
“The players enjoy it, they enjoy interacting with their classmates,” Pugh said. “It’s just a fun time, it’s like a coming out party for the team. It gives the fans a sneak peek into seeing the players for the first time. Fans have an actual opportunity to interact with the kids.”
Fans certainly received a special interaction with the players when a select few were able to participate in the event’s shooting contest.
Three Jaguar fans teamed up with players from both the women’s and men’s team in the competition.
Although the event is only in its second year, Banks believes that it is not only a terrific event for the fans, but also for his players to have the opportunity to engage with the fan base prior to getting the ball rolling to the start of the season.
“I think (Jaguar Pandemonium) is a great thing because we are going into our second week of practice, and right now they’ve been going pretty tough and just playing against each other,’’ Banks said. “And coach has obviously been on their butt, but it’s an energizer booster, and I just think it’s a great time to get the guys excited about this season.”