Hoosier Hysteria Presented By Smithville Tips Off IU Basketball Seasons
Oct. 16, 2009
Bloomington, Indiana - The Indiana University men's and women's basketball programs finally got to lift the curtain on the 2009-10 season in front of one of the largest Hoosier Hysteria crowds in recent memory, 13,321. The event was presented by Smithville
The women's basketball team, led by head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, took the court first after a quick fireworks display. The players and staff threw a number of t-shirts into the crowd before coach Jack addressed the crowd.
"Just for tonight, we are not going to call you fans," coach Legette-Jack said, "We are going to call you family. We are only as good as the support you give us. We are committed to making this place special."
Following that, the women's team went through the layup lines and a couple fast break drills.
Coach Crean and the men's basketball team then took the floor as each player and staff member was introduced by Don Fischer, the voice of the Hoosiers on the IU Radio Network. Crean then addressed the crowd and stressed how hard the team is working each and every day to make the Hoosier Nation proud.
"There are three things we can guarantee you this year," said Crean. "Number one, this group of players will spill it every day to represent the fans, the alumni and everyone that follows college basketball. Number two, the Department of Athletics brings an incredible passion and intensity every day. And number three, if there ever was a question Indiana had the greatest fans in America, that question was answered last year. No one in the country touches Indiana fans. Thank you for being here, and we can't wait to play for you this season."
The men's team then held a three-point contest with Daniel Moore, Bobby Capobianco, Jordan Hulls, Devan Dumes, Maurice Creek and Matt Roth all competing. After the first round, Capobianco, Hulls and Roth each advanced to the finals with Roth coming out on top with a score of 22 in the final round. Representing the women's team in the contest were Jori Davis, Aulani Sinclair and Jamie Braun.
"It's easy to feel good in front of crowd like this," said Roth. "This is a special place with special fans, it's hard not to shoot well in this environment."
Next up was a slam dunk contest with Derek Elston, Christian Watford, Steven Gambles and Maurice Creek each getting two dunks apiece in the first round. Christian Watford took a pass off the side of the backboard from Gambles and finished with a two-hand slam to advance to the finals. Gambles followed with a smooth reverse dunk that put him on into the final round. In the finals, Watford was able to get a 360 windmill to go down but was topped by Gambles jumping over a manager sitting on a chair and taking a alley-oop pass and throwing it down to take home the title.
"In high school, I used to do it all the time but as we get into college we don't have the opportunity as often," Gambles said. "But tonight it brought back a lot of memories. I didn't really know what I was going to do tonight but it was a lot of fun."
To wrap things up, the team divided up into two teams and scrimmaged for 15 minutes with the Red team coming out on top. Devan Dumes and Verdell Jones III led all scorers with nine points while Watford had seven points.
In addition to basketball, this year's version also included added entertainment and some unscripted surprises.
Crean announced that practice tomorrow at 4 p.m. was open to the public prior to the Illinois football game.
Sheila Stephen recreated the famous "Mop Lady" role and sung Indiana, Our Indiana prior to the men's team introductions.
Coach Crean also introduced 82-year old Wes Hovis from Muncie, who he met in the lobby. Hovis, who is battling stomach cancer, told Crean that he has been attending IU games for more than 50 years and despite his doctor's wishes, he was not going to miss the first practice of the season.
The slam dunk contest was judged by Angelo Pizzo, Brian Evans, Tracy Smith, Legette-Jack, Eric Arnett and the IU Gorilla.
The group Straight No Chaser performed and sung with the IU men's basketball team.
During a mock scrimmage with the players, Coach Crean was told by one of the group's members that he needed a sub. IU grad and Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle.
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