The Arizona State Sun Devils kicked off their 2017-18 campaign as the men’s and women’s basketball teams joined up for the second annual Mill Madness.
Fans crowded around the court, placed across the street from Mellow Mushroom, and some even watched from the balcony of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering to get their first public look of the newest editions of Sun Devil basketball.
With the nightlife of Mill Ave just feet away, the basketball program had something bigger to focus on: promoting their teams. Though in the middle of football season, basketball is right around the corner and Mill Madness grabs attention like few others.
The event started slowly, but picked up steam as senior guards Kodi Justice and Shannon Evans electrified the gathered audience with a barrage of 3-pointers.
Throughout each round, the trash talk never stopped. At one point, Evans drained 10 threes in a row while shouting at Justice “I ain’t missing no more.”
After it was over and Evans and sophomore guard Reili Richardson claimed victory, Evans said how good he thinks ASU’s perimeter shooting can be this season.
“Amazing,” Evans said. “(Senior guard) Tra (Holder) can shoot it, Kodi can shoot it, I can shoot it, (redshirt freshman forward) Vitaliy (Shibel) can shoot it.”
In the dunk contest, it was a battle of newcomers as freshman Remy Martin, sophomore Mickey Mitchell, redshirt sophomore Zylan Cheatham and junior De’Quon Lake put on a show to end the evening’s festivities.
All four impressed, but it was the Phoenix native Cheatham who took home the crown by leaping over three teammates on his final dunk of the night.
Zylan Cheatham, my lord pic.twitter.com/UAtmUmD08u— Matthew Tonis (@Tonis_The_Tiger) October 14, 2017
Cheatham said he’s never practiced dunking over three people before, but Evans wasn’t worried standing under the 6-8, 210 pound forward.
“I’ve seen him dunk on a lot of people in practice.”