What to watch for: Hoosier Hysteria

  • 10/23/2015 10:43 am in

With the 2015 version of Hoosier Hysteria just a day away, here are three things to watch for on Saturday in Assembly Hall:

· Scrimmage provides first glance for fans of 2015-2016 team: Although it’s not played with the intensity of a real game, the Hoosier Hysteria scrimmage is usually the most insightful part of the evening.

This year should be no different as Hysteria marks the first up-close opportunity to see the progress of returning players and also get a chance to see the incoming freshmen. Among this year’s most intriguing storylines is freshman McDonald’s All-American Thomas Bryant, who is expected to make a major impact this season but has been slowed down in the preseason by a sore arch in his foot. Fans are certainly excited to see Bryant for the first time in an IU uniform.

The scrimmage will also provide the opportunity to get a look at what could be the best backcourt in the Big Ten with Yogi Ferrell, Robert Johnson, Nick Zeisloft and James Blackmon Jr., who is of particular interest because of his offseason knee surgery. Blackmon Jr. is 100 percent healthy, but is still playing a bit of catch up to his teammates according to comments made by Tom Crean this preseason. With Johnson and Zeisloft, both have talked about improving their ball handling and defense this offseason. And Ferrell, who is likely to receive the largest ovation of any player when the team is introduced, takes the floor for his final Hysteria as a legitimate contender for Big Ten player of the year.

· Who wins the skills contests? Troy Williams should be the heavy favorite for the dunk contest, but as we saw last year when walk-on Nate Ritchie pulled off the upset, the favorite doesn’t always win.

Assuming he participates, freshman O.G. Anunoby is more than capable of pulling off the dunks necessary to challenge Williams. Given that it’s likely his final Hysteria, look for Williams to have a few tricks up his sleeve.

The shooting contest is truly wide open as Indiana boasts one of the best perimeter groups in the country. Last year’s contest was won by freshman Max Hoetzel and he didn’t even end up one of the six best shooters on the team percentage wise. In terms of having the best pure stroke, Zeisloft is the best in the program and should be considered a slight favorite.

· A major recruiting weekend: Hysteria is always the biggest recruiting weekend of the year in Bloomington in terms of the volume of visitors on campus and this year will be no different.

Both 2016 commitments, Curtis Jones and Grant Gelon, will be in Bloomington as will four-star target Mario Kegler. It’s the final official visit for Kegler, who is also considering Arizona State, Baylor, Maryland and Mississippi State.

The list of 2017 visitors is loaded as many of the top players in Indiana are expected to attend. Among them: Southport’s Paul Scruggs, North Central’s Kris Wilkes and Fort Wayne Snider’s Malik Williams. Aljami Durham, a 2017 guard from Georgia who holds an offer, will also be making his second visit to campus as will Stevenson, Illinois wing Justin Smith.

In the class of 2018, New Albany’s Romeo Langford, McCutcheon’s Robert Phinisee and Lawrence North’s Kevin Easley are all expected to attend. All three players have IU offers. Other 2018 names of note include Austin Boucher of Ft. Wayne Southside, Damezi Anderson of South Bend Riley, Musa Jallow of Bloomington North and Torrence Watson, a guard out of St. Louis.

There will be several 2019 prospects in attendance as well, including Keion Brooks of Fort Wayne Northside, Chase Jackson of Center Grove and Sydney Curry of Bishop Luers.

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  • TomJameson

    I hear you straight … that’s one of my “leaving” arguments. But I’m still staying with my lean for him staying for 2 years. Who know, maybe my “lean” is a product of my “hope”. LOL

  • mdtreat

    A new brand as opposed to what? At what time in this century has our program been at a better place? When Mike Davis took Knights last good team and found some magic in March to get us to the final game?

    And even when we had an elite coach it is not like he lit the recruiting trails on fire. So these “mid to bottom” top tier players (as ridiculous as that is as a classification) are doing really well for themselves at IU and working their way into lottery picks. That’s a great brand that helps us in the future. I think the line is blurry between the #1 ranked recruit and the number #10 recruit, I think they are all top tier and I doubt they spend time thinking about whether a coach is elite or not.

  • marcusgresham

    All that fluff is what raises the possibility of #2, so therefore, I say “Bring on the fluff.”
    Besides, at fluff at IU is better than fluffers at U of L.

  • marcusgresham

    Given the fact that he’s been in a walking boot, I’ll be pleasantly surprised if we even see Bryant in so much as a shooting drill.

  • marcusgresham

    Evansville kid? Who is that? Do you mean Nunge from Castle?

  • cooper

    I don’t know where you put Crean but for me it’s anywhere from 20-30. His results have been average at best. Without Wade or Zeller they are poor.

  • oldiugymnast

    And not for nothing, but Knight wasn’t as elite as his legend. He had a great 12 year stretch and then dropped off significantly. I have seen CTC get to almost all the right pieces a few times – so I agree, he can get there. Maybe – maybe not. Like with everyone else I can think of – there I things I like about him and things I don’t – and everyone includes me. I think a lot of IU fans behave in a fairly embarrassing way. But I am guessing that those fans think the same about me. All of us need to do a better job of disagreeing without making it mean and personal – and we need to find a way to disagree without becoming enemies.

  • oldiugymnast

    4 cheaters and one good guy with a bad temper problem. And I would say that the rarified air of making a final four makes you elite.

  • BigAl24

    BRING BACK NATE RITCHIE

  • straight no chaser

    Okay, so it’s coming down to numbers. Top tier I consider Top 100. Mid top tier is around 30-60, and bottom top tier is 60-100. Your examples were #1 to #10. LOL. How many of our recruits under Crean were in the top 10? I’m not concerned with attempting to define our brand in the past. What I do know is that we lost our brand, whatever it was, and we have been rebranding under Crean. Again, I have learned to accept what we have. Maybe you are younger than me. I was one of those fans who made history at the Fountain in 1987. Sorry, still can’t get that feeling out of my system. Have mercy on an old guy (well, 47 is not too old, yet).

  • straight no chaser

    I don’t try to rank coaches. For me a coach either “has it” or he doesn’t. The ranking is a function of a plethora of factors and probabilities, many of which are beyond a coach’s control.

  • cooper

    Well I guess IU shouldn’t have fired the elite Mike Davis.

  • straight no chaser

    Troy can hit the three Hoosier Nation.