John Powell, Asst. Sports Editor

Doc Nix led the Green Machine, President Alan Merten shot a t-shirt out of a launcher, head coaches Jim Larranaga and Jeri Porter started a chant of “George Mason,” and the fans erupted the whole night. The Patriots’ basketball is back.

“I’m really pleased with the energy from the crowd, the players put on a good show. The Green Machine has been working so hard and everything came together for us,” said Doc Nix of the great crowd reaction, a direct result, he believes, of his Green Machine.

Urbanknowlogy 101 had an incredible performance, combining their incredible dance style with songs like “You’re a Jerk,” “Heartless,” and “Break-up.”

Porter, the women’s head coach, was introduced, giving a special call-out to the Green Machine, calling it “the best [pep band] in the country.” The Green Machine performed to get the crowd pumped up for the coaches.

“As a band, I think we really get the crowd pumped,” said Green Machine member Kevin Thompson, a freshman music major.

The arena dimmed, and then, coming from green smoke, Larranaga appeared, jogging to the center of the stage to the familiar chant “Larr-a-naga.”

“Over the years, there has been so much excitement over the basketball program. I had a black tie event . . . but I made sure I was here. Basketball means a lot to our school and it will continue to mean a lot. Now, we have the right coaches and the right student athletes [for the program],” said university President Alan Merten.

Geared up for the night, the fans watched a skit by the Patriot, and then Doc Nix taught them how to help the Green Machine.

The dunking show went on for five minutes, with the high-flyers as the center of attention.

The actual dunking competition was even more incredible as the guys were split into teams of upperclassmen, sophomores and freshmen. For the Halloween-themed night, the sophomores dressed up as the superheroes Batman, Spiderman, Superman and the Green Lantern. For winning the night, the sophomores received a champion belt to end the basketball festivities.

“[It was a] great overall night. I really enjoyed the men’s basketball and the dunking,” said John Escobar, a freshman undeclared major.