On Saturday October 24th, in front of 13,000 plus Hoosier fans, the Indiana men’s basketball team put on a show. Hoosier Hysteria is the basketball season kick-off event for the public as well as students to enjoy.
This year at the event, there were students camping out outside of Assembly Hall a day before it even started. Doors for the event opened at 5 pm that night and fans rushed into the stadium to get the best seats possible to see the team. Fans were anxiously waiting to see the team as they are preseason ranked 13-15 depending on which poll you look at. As the time was passing by, the buzz throughout the hall was getting bigger and bigger.
At 6:30 pm the lights were shut off and the hype video was starting on the Assembly Hall scoreboard. Coaches were getting introduced one by one. Notably, Tom Crean got the biggest cheers, as he is the head coach of the squad. Next, players got introduced and it was all loud cheers. Thomas Bryant put on the best show as he had probably the best dance moves on the team. Coach Crean’s expert analysis had Juwan Morgan has the best hair and Max Bielfeldt was the best dressed on the team. The last three players got the biggest cheers as they were announced. As you probably could of guessed, those players were Junior Troy Williams, Sophomore James Blackmon Jr., and Senior captain Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell.
After the team got introduced, the three point competition and the dunk contest started. For the three-point competition, many people predicted Nick Zeisloft to win it. In the first round all members of the team shot and then the top two players would advance to a final round. As it turned out, there was a three-way tie between Zeisloft, Williams, and Ferrell at the top. Next, the team had a dunk competition, which was just dominated by the ultra athletic Troy Williams.
The part I was looking most forward to was the scrimmage. In the scrimmage Yogi Ferrell and Thomas Bryant’s team won. Those two had great chemistry throughout the game. On the other team, freshman Juwan Morgan looked pretty solid even though he had to guard Bryant. Also, I noticed a lot of the time Robert Johnson was handling the ball so look for the Hoosiers to have Yogi playing off the ball a lot. It looked like James Blackmon got stronger over the summer and Troy Williams improved his jump shot a lot. All players can hit the three ball including Thomas Bryant.
I think the team will be most comparable to the Golden State Warriors of the NBA as both teams love to run and gun and shoot the three ball a ton. But the difference between the Warriors is that they play great defense and the Hoosiers have not shown that stout defense thus far. Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. have the capabilities to make similar defensive transformations that Klay Thompson and Steph Curry made. I think this team will be the most fun to watch but still have a ton of work to do if they want to compete with the top tier of teams in the country. Hoosier Hysteria was a huge success for the fans and hopefully for some of the recruits in attendance.