Florida Tech Panthers Men’s, Women’s Basketball Teams Set to Host Midnight Madness on Oct 12

By  //  October 6, 2017

Space Coast Daily TV will broadcast the event

ABOVE VIDEO: Midnight Madness could possibly be as exciting as this three point shot by Sam Daniel to beat Embry Riddle last season. Find out on October 12 at the Clemnte Center. 

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — After a seven-year hiatus, Florida Tech Athletics is excited to announce the return of Panther Basketball Madness.

The celebration of the official opening of the Panthers’ men’s and women’s basketball season will take place on Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Clemente Center. The event is free to the public and the gymnasium doors open at 7:45 p.m.

The evening’s agenda will include a knock out contest, full-court relay, three-point shootout and NBA 2-Ball competitions involving both Florida Tech players and fans.

Members of the men’s basketball team will also compete in a slam dunk contest.  The Panther cheerleaders and pep band will perform as well.  Both the men’s and women’s teams will be introduced at 8:30 p.m. and the men’s team will participate in a scrimmage to conclude the evening.

Expectations are high for the men’s team entering the 2017-18 season. In fact, it could be argued the Panthers have not had a team this good since 2012 when Mims guided Florida Tech to a 23-7 record, the Sunshine State Conference Title and the second round of the NCAA D2 Tournament.

Just 12 wins shy of the magic 600 win plateau for his career, the Panthers are led by head coach Billy Mims.

Mims, who is entering his 13th season at Florida Tech, 32nd as a head coach and 37th year of coaching overall, returns four of five starters from last year’s team that finished 15-14 overall and 7-11 in the Sunshine State Conference.

ABOVE VIDEO: Sam Daniel Florida Tech Junior season Highlights.

On the court, the Panthers are led by senior forward and All-SSC First Team player, Sam Daniel.

The  Kingsland, Ga native, or”Agent 0″ as he is known, averaged 34.2 minutes, 20 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game and for good measure broke the FIT three-point shooting record with 96 three-pointers drained at a 40-percent rate last season.

Daniel is but one of five in an offense that was second-highest scoring team in their conference and possesses guards who can attack in transition with wings who can knock down shots. Also returning will be senior guards Pat Anderson and Jordan Majors.

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Majors, an All-SSC Second Team player averaged 20 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game while Anderson recorded season averages of 14.9, 3.2 and 5.9 respectively. Joining the trio will be Motor City native Derek Murphy who was impressive as a sophomore and Florida Tech’s version of the “Greek Freak”, Antonis Pefanis.

Murphy worked his way into the starting rotation, playing in 29 games, starting 24 of them in 2016-17. He stayed in the starting lineup because he accumulated 10 blocks, 21 steals, 26 assists, 115 rebounds and 243 points during the season. As a freshman, Pefanis electrified at times coming off the bench. He amassed 95 points, 10 steals, two blocks, 24 assists and 29 rebounds in 24 games

The Panthers have several other players that contributed a significant role last season. They will also welcome in two overseas players, one who was a member of the Panthers but could not play last year and the other, a member of the U-20 Hungarian National Team.

ABOVE VIDEO: New Florida Tech Panther signee Mate Papai finished his run with the U-20 Hungarian National Team in the European Championships in Romania with a 78-53 win over Kosovo to claim the 11th place spot in the event.

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VIDEO: Florida Tech Basketball Recruit Mate Papai Has Strong Showing For Hungary at U-20 Euros

Six-foot eight center Mate Papai helped the U-20 Hungarian National Team in the European Championships in Romania with an impressive showing. The freshman helped his Hungarian teammates to a 5-3 record in the championships by averaging 4.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game over the eight games he played.

Keflavik, Iceland native Valur Valsson was not eligible to play last season under NCAA rules but the six-foot guard / forward is ready to go and will be shooting the lights out at an SSC arena near you in 2017-18.

Stay Tuned to Space Coast Daily and Space Coast Daily Sports Talk as we will breakdown the women’s team for the upcoming season this week.

Head Coach John Reynolds enters season number 30 at Florida Tech and is coming off a big finish in last year’s SSC tournament, where the Lady Panthers advanced to play in the championship game.

Also, starting back up later in the month, it’s” Courtside With Billy Mims”, a weekly show on Space Coast Daily TV dedicted to delivering Florida Tech basketball news and highlights as well as expert opinions from coach Mims himself and Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski.

The Billy Mims Show, or as it will be known this year, Courtside with Billy Mims, will debut later in October.