It's Basketball Season At Indiana
Oct. 18, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Faced with the challenge of putting one of the most inexperienced teams in the history of Division I basketball on the floor for the 2008-09 season, first-year Indiana men's basketball coach Tom Crean, close to two dozen former Hoosier standouts and a crowd of 10,000 fans ushered in a new era for the storied Indiana program at Hoosier Hysteria Friday night in Assembly Hall. The event annually marks the first official practice of the season.
Indiana, who has won five national champions in its long-celebrated history, returns just 30 points (Kyle Taber- 28) and (Brett Finkelmeier -2). With a total of five walkons, five scholarship freshman, two junior college transfers adding to the above mentioned Taber and Finkelmeier, Hoosier fans were anxious to see the many new faces donning the Cream and Crimson.
With a theme based on a passion for the past and an excitement for the future, the introduction of the Hoosier legends set the tone for the hour-plus workout for IU. Among the legends on hand were All-Americans Mike Woodson, Steve Green, Ted Kitchel, and Archie Dees. Next, the team was introduced one-by-one to a rousing ovation and each player made their way around the circle of legends before the past and present Hoosiers gathered at center court and the evening was under way.
"We have been working hard on the court and in the classroom," Crean said to the crowd, "so that we can put a team on this floor that you and every Hoosier fan is proud of."
Near the end of his address to the crowd, Crean even quoted a line from the movie Hoosiers.
"Just like Norman Dale said, `My team is on the floor.'"
Crean then put the team through a series of ball-handling and shooting drills, which served as warm-up to the shooting competition with six current players teaming up with a legend for a three-point shooting contest. Freshman Matt Roth and Todd Leary, currently a member of the IU Radio Network, came out on top by defeating Kyle Taber and Adam Ahlfeld in the finals.
The team was then presented with a surfboard from the Maui Invitational as a token to commemorate the team's upcoming participation at the 25th Annual EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Fans were then treated to 12 minutes of the team scrimmaging full court with the Crimson team coming out on top by ten points.
The Hoosiers closed the evening with a 12-minute scrimmage with the Crimson team defeating the Cream squad, 33-23. The Crimson was led by Indianapolis native and fan favorite Devan Dumes (11 points) and freshman Verdell Jones III (10 points). Freshman Nick Williams led the Cream with seven points while fellow frosh Malik Story added six.
The Hoosiers next public event will be next Saturday at 4 p.m., following the IU/Northwestern Homecoming football game. A Cream and Crimson scrimmage will be free and open to the public in Assembly Hall.
Check back soon