What to watch for: Hoosier Hysteria

  • 10/21/2016 11:43 am in

With the 2016 version of Hoosier Hysteria just a day away, here are three things to watch for on Saturday in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall:

· The scrimmage, typically the most informative part of the evening: We’re three weeks from the regular season tipping off and this will be the first opportunity to get a glimpse of where things stand in a “game like situation.”

Among the things to watch for are James Blackmon Jr. in his first return to the court in front of fans since last December, the talented IU frontcourt of Thomas Bryant, OG Anunoby, Juwan Morgan and De’Ron Davis as well as the guard rotation.

With Blackmon Jr., he’s talked several times in the preseason about where he’s at physically and with his athleticism, but this will be our first up-close look the IU junior.

The frontcourt battles could be especially intriguing, particularly if Anunoby and Morgan go head-to-head. Likewise for a potential battle between Davis and Bryant. Anunoby and Bryant are receiving the preseason headlines and accolades, but Morgan reportedly had a terrific summer. Davis has battled some minor offseason injuries and is playing catchup after arriving on campus late. How will his conditioning look in a scrimmage setting?

Indiana’s backcourt should be a strength this season because of its depth. The losses of Yogi Ferrell and Nick Zeisloft are significant, but in Blackmon Jr., Robert Johnson, Josh Newkirk, Curtis Jones and Devonte Green, there will be no shortage of options in the Hoosier backcourt.

· Skills contests: If Freddie McSwain was completely healthy, he’d be one of the favorites to win the dunk contest, but he’s still working his way back after knee surgery. Assuming McSwain is out of the mix, Anunoby has to be viewed as the favorite in the dunk contest, assuming he participates.

If he participates, Morgan is another guy to watch as is Newkirk, who regularly finished above the rim before injuries set him back at Pittsburgh.

The 3-point shooting contests typically include everyone on the roster and Troy Williams was the surprise winner last season. This year, Blackmon Jr. might own the purest stroke, but this roster includes no shortage of players capable of filling it up from the perimeter, which makes things wide open.

· Recruits in attendance: Hysteria is typically a big recruiting weekend in Bloomington in terms of the volume of visitors on campus and this year should be no different.

The headliner is class of 2017 five-star prospect Billy Preston, who will be in Bloomington on his official visit. Preston, a native of California, has taken recent visits to Kansas and Syracuse and is also strongly considering USC.

Beyond that, there will be a large volume of visitors from around the state and the midwest from the 2018 class and beyond. It’s an excellent opportunity for the program to sell itself to younger players who are just emerging on the radar.

Hysteria schedule:

– 5 p.m. – Doors open
– 5:10 – 5:40 p.m. – Women’s Basketball Shoot Around
– 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. – Men’s Basketball Autograph session
– 5:45 – 6:20 p.m. – SAB Candy Stripe Classic Final Four Games & Championship
– 6:30 p.m. – Women’s Basketball Introductions Begin
– 6:50 p.m. – Women’s Basketball 3-Point Shooting Contest
– 7:05 p.m. – Men’s Basketball Introductions Begin
– 7:20 p.m. – Men’s Basketball Shooting Drills
– 3-Point Contest
– Men’s vs. Women’s 3-Point Contest
– Delta Low-Flyer Student Dunk Contest
– MBB Dunk Contest
– Following Dunk Contest: Men’s Basketball Scrimmage

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  • sarge

    I hope Billy Preston enjoys himself. That guy is very good, and I hope he receives a warm welcome from my fellow Hoosiers. Any word on whether Romeo Langford will be in attendance? Those two along with KW would be great additions to the squad.

  • inLinE6

    This is honestly the best picture of… Josh Newkirk. Hilarious!

  • inLinE6

    It always puzzled me why Trendon Watford was not on the visitor’s list. He visited UK a few days ago. I understand we’re not offering 2019 class yet, but that’s a special player from both family and skills perspective.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I’m wondering if Juwan Morgan, Freddie McSwain and/or DeRon Davis are even going to be participating in the scrimmage portion of the evening. They are all recovering or waiting to be cleared after injuries or surgeries so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them held out with guys like Tim Priller and Zach McRoberts seeing a bunch of time as “interior” players. I’m hoping they are all good to go but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see them held out, as a precautionary measure if nothing else.

    I take very, very little from anything in this event but…since we are all desperate for even the tiniest grain of insight which may prove predictive: I’m hoping to see how expanded the offensive games of Anunoby and Morgan are (all signs point to them being incredibly improved). How dominant does Thomas Bryant look? Is James Blackmon Jr. showing signs of being a complete top-level player and not just a top-level shooter? Do Curtis Jones and Devonte Green (and possibly Johnny Jager) appear ready to contribute as early as the Kansas game and give us strong backcourt depth? The answers won’t come on Saturday evening but we’ll at least have a tiny bit of actual visual evidence to begin piecing the answers together. Go Hoosiers!

  • sarge

    I love this picture and am personally glad they keep posting it. Love it!

  • Davis participated in the scrimmage last weekend. And Morgan said he’s close to being cleared on Wednesday, so it’s possible he participates. We’ll see.

  • inLinE6

    No Romeo Langford or KW for the visit, per an independent source. BP is the lone 2017 recruit.

  • Fivelefts

    I think that’s good! Billy is kind of a long shot.. However, getting him here alone is HUGE!

  • Swishmac IU

    Is anyone else concerned that Preston is the only 2017 recruit at HH? I realize we don’t have any scholly’s left (yes I know they always work themselves out) however given the number of 2017 recruits still considering IU, you would think we would attract a few more.

  • randy

    Forgive me if I am wrong, but Kris Wilkes had prior obligations not related to basketball (not sure what that means or suggests, if anything). I’m not sure about Romeo Langford.

  • inLinE6

    So I checked the 2017 board for the uncommitted players still holding IU interests. Jordan Tucker is out because Justin Smith committed. David Beatty was not seriously considering us AFAIK. Nick Richards is UK bound. Hamidou Diallo seemed to be another UK bound. The only player that remains mutually interested is KW. It’s good to see Billy Preston here but it’s a long shot. I believe his first option is UK but currently does not hold a UK offer. That’s probably why he’s not planning to sign until spring. If that doesn’t work out, I’m thinking he stays home with USC.

  • inLinE6

    RL is 2018 so not totally surprised if he can’t make it.

  • Ian Karanovic

    Don’t count Tucker out, especially if KW goes elsewhere. Having Smith on the roster doesn’t preclude having Tucker as Tucker can play like a big guard while Smith has a combo forward game right now. If Jordan truly waits until the spring and Kris is out of the picture, we could be in the hunt.

  • Ian Karanovic

    Hi Alex, fellow Serbian American here. Don’t forget about Devonte Green as a potential slam dunk contest guy. I’ve seen some vids in which he had some great hops and was able to do some pretty decent dunks as a shorter guard.

  • BL4IU

    Surprised if Morgan’s first scrimmage is during HH.

  • Bill Graham

    I’ll be there. Looking for a couple things (I’ll give my take in a later post).
    Looking for:

    Biggest improvement
    Best Defense
    Best Shooter
    Best PG
    Biggest let down (or just somebody that doesn’t play well)
    Combos (who seems to play well together – vs who doesn’t)
    Best Comeback (from an injury)
    Best Hair (ya this category is for you Steve)

    Sure to be an exciting night. Cheers

  • Bill Graham
  • SilentBob

    I think you’re gonna have some difficulty finding all those things tonight Bill. Especially the latter half of the list. I honestly wouldn’t look for much. Just kickback and enjoy. Certainly not discouraging you from taking notes though lol. I won’t be able to watch, so I’m looking forward to everyone’s analysis

  • Outoftheloop

    Come on Billy Preston, grab a pair of Candy-Stripes! Indiana is the best choice for you to grow your game and to become a Lottery pick after 2 years! The Hoosier Nation will go wild if you commit at Hoosier Hysteria!