Indiana Basketball Makes 2010-11 Debut at Hoosier Hysteria
Oct. 15, 2010
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The 2010-11 versions of the Indiana University men's and women's basketball teams made their official debuts Friday night amid fireworks, on-court contests, choreographed entrances and 13,100 Hoosier faithful at the annual Hoosier Hysteria celebration at Assembly Hall on the Bloomington campus.
The festivities got underway with the introduction of the women's basketball team. Head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, who is entering her fifth year at the helm of the program, her staff and players each got a moment in the spotlight, with selected team members dancing their way to center court. The pep band joined in as senior Andrea McGuirt made her entrance to the "Macarena."
"Hoosier Nation. That is what we are," Jack said as she addressed the crowd. "These seniors have been here since I have been here. This is their last season. We are asking you to come out and support them. I know what we can do along. But when you have a village, when you have a Nation, how good can we be?
"I have a great staff, a great team. And we are doing things we never thought we could do."
The men's squad took the floor just before 9 p.m., with each player making his way through the crowd. Head coach Tom Crean was joined by his family at center court as the basketball support staff was introduced.
Crean addressed the crowd, thanking them for their support.
"We have sold so many season tickets in the last few days that we're completely where we need to be which is at the top of the country," Crean said. "We're asked all the time how you can help with recruiting. Well, this is how, by being here and supporting the team.
"All over the Big Ten and all over the country, they don't want to see the comeback. But it is coming."
With introductions out of the way, the real fun began, starting with the 3-point/distance shooting contest. Sophomore Jordan Hulls topped sophomore Maurice Creek in the first matchup. The second matchup saw Matt Roth beat out freshman Will Sheehey. Christian Watford was one-point better than Derrick Elston 16-15. It was a shootout between Verdell Jones III and Victor Oladipo, with Jones III taking it in extra time, 5-4.
The final four participants moved on to a distance contest where shots farther back were worth more points. Hulls opened the action with 32 points in one minute, followed by Roth. Roth started strong by making a half-court shot, earning him 10 points, and finished with 38 points. Watford took his first three attempts from half court, missing high and wide, but a string of four-straight shots from five-point range, and five total, put him back in the mix with 38 points.
Jones III also started by trying his luck from half court, missing four shots before moving in closer to the basket. Five makes from three-point range netted 15 points.
That left Roth and Watford in the final matchup, each getting 30 seconds. Roth hit a steady stream from 3-point range but capped his time off with another half-court make for 32 total points. Watford was unable to find the magic again from five-point range and was shut out on the scoreboard, giving the three-point title to Roth.
That led up to the fan favorite, the dunk contest. Women's basketball seniors Whitney Lindsay, Hope Elam, Jori Davis and McGuirt were joined by former Hoosier golfer and Ryder Cup U.S. team member Jeff Overton, former IUPUI standout and current San Antonio Spur George Hill, and a selected IU fan.
Pritchard was up first but could not get his dunk in order. Sheehey made his first attempt, a reverse off the backboard and earned a total of 34 points. Bobby Capobianco. A reverse two-handed dunk drew applause from the crowd and he finished with a tally of 27.
Oladipo wowed the crowd with a flying leap over a group of six kids picked from the crowd, looking Michael Jordan-esque with his one-handed slam. He also took a backboard feed from Creek and put hit home, totaling 40 points.
Sheehey and Oladipo advanced to the final. Fans had a hand in the championship outcome with their texts determining the winner. Sheehey was first, taking a feed off Daniel Moore's head but came up short on the slam. His other attempts also fell short, setting the stage for Oladipo.
The freshman did not disappoint with an under the legs, over the top dunk to take the crown.
The event closed with a 14-minute controlled scrimmage. Hall of Fame announcer Don Fischer, Dr. Larry Rink, Dr. Steve Ahfled, announcer Royce Waltman, former players Chris Reynolds, John Laskowski, Brett Finklemeyer, Tijan Jobe, Kipp Schutz, Landon Turner, Errek Suhr, Matt Nover, Wayne Radford, Brian Evans, Haris Mujezinovic and Damon Bailey, along with IU Hall of Fame member and former Herald-Times sports editor Bob Hammel served as guest coaches.
The scrimmage opened with a 14-minute period with the Crimson and Cream teams trading baskets for much of the time. The Cream squad staked itself to a seven-point lead at 23-16 with a minute remaining and finished with a 26-19 victory.
Oladipo led the Cream squad with nine points, while Hulls added eight points, three assists and a steal. Tom Pritchard finished with a game-high four rebounds, while freshman Taylor Wayer had three points, one rebound and two steals. The Crimson team was led by Jones III's seven points, with Watford finishing with five points, three rebounds and a steal.
The Hoosiers will celebrate Halloween on Friday, Oct. 29 with "Night of the Living Red" at Assembly Hall. The event begins with trick-or-treating at 7 p.m., followed by a scrimmage at 8 p.m. Admission is free.
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