Two words: I’m mad.

Crazy mad for the basketball season to finally get underway after the incredible performance put on by a variety of acts on Friday night.

It was, by far, the best Mason Madness I have been a part of since 2009. The best introduction (see below); the best performances all the way down the line – from Urbanknowlogy to the Masonettes to Snap Boogie and Peter Rabbit; the most memorable display of coaching attire from Doc Hewitt; and the most phenomenal kickoff to the Mason basketball season.The party was rockin’ right from the start, as Doc Nix and the Green Machine performed an incredible brand of LMFAO’s hit Party Rock Anthem. Even the senior men’s and women’s basketball players came out to “shake that” for the crowd of several thousand.

(I must say, though, the women’s players showed much better in the dancing category. Mike Morrison and Ryan Pearson had a whole lot of snap, but no boogie. Don’t believe me? Watch the video).

Then, after all of the great entertainment, new Patriots’ coach Paul Hewitt won over the crowd by walking out of the tunnel dressed as the beloved director of the Green Machine, Doc Nix. In what was his first real Mason basketball-related activity in front of the home crowd, Hewitt stole the hearts of the Platoon with the gesture.

The player introductions came to a close with Pearson, whose name inspired his teammates to drop to a knee and bow down to their senior leader.

As the night progressed and the men took the floor for the most serious scrimmage I’ve seen at Mason Madness, they provided the crowd with quite a bit to be excited about.

It seems rather obvious that the Patriots’ strength will be in the painted area. The addition of Erik Copes along with an increase in minutes for Jonathan Arledge will only add to the dominance that existed with Morrison and Pearson last season.

Morrison looks to have developed a few new post moves, as his footwork is significantly better than last season – presumably a compliment to assistant coach Roland Houston. Copes is a monster on the boards and has the body-type to dominate the interior alongside Morrison.

However, dominant play from the interior will open up the outside for the youthful Patriot guard. Vaughn Gray looks like a promising young talent, as he showed the ability to run the floor and play solid defense. Sherrod Wright, who will be returning from a shoulder injury that forced him to redshirt last season, looks like he could be the X-factor on the offensive side.

And, perhaps most surprisingly, Vertrail Vaughns could be the prime beneficiary of a strong interior, as he has the ability to knock down shots from just about anywhere on the floor. I, for one, am expecting a significant contributing effort from Vaughns on a nightly basis.

Thankfully, it is time for the Patriots to take their talents to the basketball floor. (That means stay off the dance floor, seniors. Please.). There is certainly a lot to be excited about, both on the floor and in the Green Machine.

Less than a month until the party really starts rockin’, Patriots fans.

Shake that.