Recruiting is a big part of Midnight Madness. Few basketball functions can make a prospective player feel so welcome, so needed, so at the center of it all. Which is why many schools line up official recruiting visits with their Midnight Madness events. It's not so hard to figure out.
But you never know what's going to put a recruit over the top. Is it the chants from longing fans? The pyrotechnics and player introductions? The zany costumes? The dunk contest? The way a recruit's mother feels about the chosen musical guest?
Angela Gardner, Gardner's mother, said she's interested in seeing one person in particular at Madness. "I'm ready to see (rapper) Yo Gotti," she said. "This will be my first time seeing him, and I'm excited."
Yo Gotti -- owner of one of the simplest, and somehow best, rap stage names I can think of -- will be making his second-straight guest appearance at Memphis Madness. Gotti, a proud Memphian, is fond of wearing a blinged-out Tigers logo around his neck.
To be fair, Gardner likes Memphis for more than its connection to a semi-popular Southern rapper. She told the Commercial Appeal that her fondness for the Tigers stems from her interaction with their staff, which began bright and early on the morning of Sept. 9, the first day of the contact period for college coaches and recruits.
Winning at recruiting is often about winning over the parents (OK, and the handlers and AAU runners and shoe reps, too) and if a musical act helps, Memphis fans will put Mr. Gotti on repeat until their ears bleed.