Scrimmage, five-star recruits headline Hoosier Hysteria

  • 10/21/2017 10:50 pm in

Indiana’s 2017-18 campaign unofficially tipped off on Saturday evening with Hoosier Hysteria.

Unlike previous editions of Hoosier Hysteria, there was no guest host. Besides the fireworks during the introductions, the pizazz was kept to a minimum.

Before the festivities started, the thousands gathered in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall roared as one by one, IU recruiting targets and commits were paraded across the court to their designated seats. Among the recruits in attendance: five-star 2018 guards Romeo Langford and Darius Garland and 2019 five-star forwards Trayce Jackson-Davis and Keion Brooks. Class of 2018 commits Damezi Anderson, Jerome Hunter and Robert Phinisee were also in the building.

The loudest ovation went to Langford. The New Albany star was at the center of fans attention for much of the night, as his name was chanted in unison across the arena on at least four different occasions.

The men’s team was introduced one-by-one, with Archie Miller walking onto the court last. Every fan in the building stood up and applauded for Miller, who spoke for roughly four minutes.

“Tonight is a prime example of why you want to be a part of Indiana basketball,” Miller said to the thousands gathered. “This is a great celebration for our storied and unmatched past, all the tremendous players and coaches, the unbelievable championship pedigree. This is the start of our staff’s ability to recognize the great fans that represent us every year.”

Miller’s speech ended with a surprise tribute to Bill Garrett the first African-American basketball player to play in the Big Ten. Following Miller’s remarks, two of the late Garrett’s children joined the men’s team at center court to a raucous applause.

The next event was a 3-point shooting contest featuring four teams of two, with a men’s player paired with a women’s player. The team of Josh Newkirk and Ali Patberg won the contest, defeating Robert Johnson and Tyra Buss in the final round, 34-28.

The dunk contest was somewhat of a dud, as the two freshman participants, Clifton Moore and Justin Smith, failed to get quality slams off within the 45 second time limit. Sophomore Curtis Jones blew away the competition by dunking over De’Ron Davis in the second round.

The scrimmage consisted of two 12-minute halves. Josh Newkirk, Al Durham and Collin Hartman were held out for precautionary reasons.

Sophomore Devonte Green led all scorers, pouring in 14 points. Green shot the ball with confidence and knocked down a pair of threes, but his most impressive play came on a drive in the second half, when he hit a runner over Race Thompson while drawing a foul in the process.

Sophomore De’Ron Davis struggled in the first half, picking up fouls and committing a travel inside. In the second half, Davis showed improvement, scoring nine points. Davis posted up Freddie McSwain often and even hit a contested elbow jumper. Davis’ best moment of the night came early in the second, when he used an up-and-under move to blow by Clifton Moore for an easy layup.

Other players that impressed were Robert Johnson, who scored 12 points and nailed several shots from well beyond the 3-point line and Tim Priller, who set strong screens throughout and crashed the boards.

The scrimmage was marred by turnovers and lacked the offensive execution that will be necessary once the regular season comes around, but the defensive effort was encouraging.

“We played good defensively, but I think we could definitely cut down on the turnovers and work as playing as a team,” Green said after the scrimmage.

Indiana’s two-game exhibition slate begins next Saturday with a contest against Marian University. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.

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  • E Foy McNaughton

    It was sloppy offensively and shot selection was difficult to watch. Downright painful to watch several really rough 3s. But it was fun and the reduced hour or so of misc before was a welcome change.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Gonna be a long season…

  • Arch Puddington

    Based on the first scrimmage under a new coach, and with multiple players out due to injury? Nonsense. How much playing time do you think Quintin Taylor, Johnny Jaeger, and Vijay Blackmon will get this year? I’ll wager not 100 minutes combined, but all three saw major minutes tonight. No one knows how things will turn out, but your immediate pessimism is based on a wholly non-representative sample of what is to come.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I agree and would say having point guards play should make a difference.

    I was pleased overall with DD and FM’s play. RJ was still the best player on the floor. CM showed some flashes.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Ok.. great a 17 win season… I stand corrected

  • Arch Puddington

    That and the search for a new coach should make for a great few months, now that we know with certainty how bad things are.

  • ScoopGeoff

    Thank God Louisville got in so much trouble because I think that may have hurt our recruiting…

  • Johnny Jaeger looked decent.

  • You mean it WAS a long OFFseason?

  • I watched a bit of some games from early last year recently. RJ was amazing. I think a LOT of people are really sleeping on RJ, probably due to his falling off at the end of the season. Same for Morgan and Newkirk (who both finished the season very strong)…there is a lot of returning talent and experience. RJ is absolutely one of the best guards in the entire conference…probably 2nd team honors. These guys are going to win some games.

  • TomJameson

    Okay now, come on. This was the first scrimmage in front of 12,000 (ish) fans at AH. I seriously hope nobody expected a finely tuned offensive juggernaut, or a lock-down defensive exhibition. And we can’t read too much into the fact that a few players were held out for precautionary measures, being careful at this point is smart. This event WILL NOT tell us how our season will go ….. good or bad.

    All-in-all, I think this HH was good. Not as much show and glitter, and more substance. I liked that. I actually think that defense really was being played (it’ll get better), and the offense started picking up as the players got a little more comfortable. As they say, we saw flashes of what can be.

    Not a bad start to the season. Go IU!

  • Dialogos68

    Maybe with Langford… but I would be more worried about Kansas now…

  • E Foy McNaughton

    In past HHs they have had a solid hour of videos and done presentations and such. Yesterday 1 short video, then got into it. Also, 3 Point contest was much more efficient

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Langford was looking at his cell phone every time I looked over at him. I get that it is today and all – but gee

  • N71

    I was curious what the vibe was from the recruits…sound like Romeo was disinterested? Loved Archie wearing the old-school Adidas Superstars.

  • marcusgresham

    I had to think about what near-injury you were talking about, and then I remembered, “oh yeah, THAT play.”
    There was far less “glitter.” It was a lot less fluff–no dance routines, no special emcee, just the one short video, shorter autograph session.

  • marcusgresham

    Some of that was him posting, from what my daughter was saying.

  • marcusgresham

    McSwain was, from my perspective, hands-down the most improved from last season.
    There were also two guys who be among the leaders in most minutes played (and seniors, no less,) who weren’t on the floor, so that should also hopefully clean up some of the sloppiness.

  • Arch Puddington

    The “problem” with RJ (please note quotes) is that he is a supporting player, not a lead player. I means this as a matter of personality, not skill level. It is no insult to say that some people are simply not wired to take the lead on things. Circumstances may bring some latent or reluctant leadership traits, but even then it’s hard to turn Robin into Batman. Basketball teams, businesses, the military, and every other endeavor benefit from the range of human “types”, and are most likely to succeed when people are allowed to play the roles for which they are best suited. I think RJ is really good, but we have seen for three years now that he is a role player, not a leading player. Will Sheehey wasn’t either, and CTC spent an entire year unsuccessfully trying to get him to be one. I think some of that same thing happened last year, and explains in whole or in part why RJ became so worn down and dispirited last year. He was being asked to do something for which he was not well suited, and I think the strain that placed on him, especially as the team went south, took its toll.

    As a senior he will naturally lead by example, but RJ will be at his best if DG or JN or someone else can take the lead, and he can be the swashbuckling complementary player.

  • marcusgresham

    I’m I the only one who thinks it feels like Tyra Buss has been on the women’s team forever? Not at all saying that’s a bad thing. She is a dead-eye shooter, seems to have a fantastic personality, and looks like a super-model. I bet she owns that campus!

  • Arch Puddington

    He showed some moves and some ball handling we hadn’t seen before, but still missed just about every shot he attempted, including at least one layup. I won’t conclude anything one way or another based on that scrimmage, but I’m still far from convinced about his ability to score. I will say this: he is so incredibly strong that even DD couldn’t back him down. As a post defender and hard-working glue guy, he has a role on this team.

  • HoosierDom

    I didn’t see the scrimmage, but if Davis didn’t look particularly good going against McSwain, I’m afraid the NBA bound savior people have been talking about on here all summer isn’t going to materialize. My guess is he plays 50% more minutes and his numbers go up 60%, which leaves him as a middling Big10 big man. Not bad, but with a lack of size behind him, a lack of a true scorer and uncertainty at the guard position, that leaves us about where the national publications are predicting. Maybe a bit higher, but not much.

  • Jay Skibbe


  • HoosierDom

    Wow, that’s a really well reasoned response. You should be sure to pass that along to all of the outside observers who aren’t terribly impressed with our team. As long as you stick to your trademark style of hitting that caps lock and throwing a good number of exclamation points at the end I think you will really change the national perception of our team. You should have us ranked by week 2.

  • Outoftheloop

    Who cares about the “national perception”? The games will be played and the W’s wi

  • StudentHoosier

    Wow. What a day yesterday was.

    I was staying with a buddy in New Albany the night before (actually went to NAHS football game and saw Romeo in the stands). Then I decide to go to Kroger by College Mall to pick up some canned goods for HH. While I’m at Kroger, all of the sudden I realize something and I start to panic. I had completely forgot that my application to the grad program I’m looking at was due at midnight. I had started it before, but it just completely slipped my mind that the deadline was last night. I checked out with my 5 cans, maybe a frozen pizza or two, and flew back home. For the next few hours I was just completely swamped with completing my application in time. I actually was wondering if I was even going to be able to finish it before HH and make it out. I had been looking forward to it all week. I finally complete it at about 6pm, and at this point I was able to go to HH but just didn’t even feel like it anymore. I was so exhausted and drained from the past few hours that I just wanted to stay in and recap myself through ITH. I lay on my couch for about 25 minutes literally just doing nothing. I was beat. I had decided I wasn’t gonna go. Then I get a text from Kevin and it’s a link to some youtube video. I watch it, and while I was in the youtube app, one of the “recommended” videos caught my eye. It was highlights from our 2016 win over Kentucky to go to the Sweet 16. I watch it, and I just feel this spell cast over me. I was suddenly revamped.

    There was no chance in hell I was gonna miss HH. I turn on This Is Indiana on my speakers, crack open a couple brews, throw on my 11 jersey, grab my cans and leave. And I’m so glad I did. The whole time I was there I was just reminded about what unites us all – IUBB, and why it is truly so great. I completely forgot about all the stress and madness I just dealt with. That’s what sports can do to us, and it’s amazing. HH was awesome. This is the start of a whole new year. LETS GO!!!!!!!

  • TomJameson

    No, I wasn’t there. But, thanks to technology, I watched BTN2go via my phone, while at work. when I got home late last night, I watched the rerun on BTN2go on my PC, and this morning watched it again.

    The lack of glitter and the streamlined format are details that have been pre-released as early as the first announcements of “what to expect” at this years HH. Should be no surprise to anybody.

  • TomJameson

    This was like his third or fourth HH.

  • TomJameson

    I don’t think Romeo was disinterested, I think he’s just really connected to social media.

  • TomJameson

    Yes, I agree. You can’t force anybody into a leadership role and expect them to succeed. Sheehey is a perfect example of that. As far as leaders on the floor (regardless of position) we’re going to see Juwan, Collin, and Josh step up into that role.

    Saying that, I still expect others to (as you say) lead by example. And I expect everybody will be fairly vocal with each other. Communication is so important, so I really hope they ALL become pretty vocal and talk to each other on the floor. That doesn’t mean get into fights (lol), just being vocal.

  • marcusgresham

    He made a couple of moves he would not have been able to make last year, which was encouraging. He also didn’t have the full compliment of guys around him who would generally be feeding him the ball. I noticed a couple of times he was pretty wide open and whomever had the ball missed him (and there’s a good bet that person was walk-on, although I don’t remember for certain.)
    Also, McSwain was the most improved player on the floor and even though he’s giving up about 4 inches to Davis, Davis isn’t going to play against a lot of guys this year who are any stronger than Freddie.

  • TomJameson

    I’m glad they took it down to two 12-minutes halves. My biggest worry at things like this is the possibility of injuries. Glad everyone is okay.

  • marcusgresham

    When you consider physics, there is no way any human should be able to get as much as Freddie has as far off the floor as he does. Other than put-backs and dunks I’m not entirely concerned with him shooting. His job is to guard people, rebound, and provide a physical presence. Any points he provides will simply be a bonus.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Archie Miller’s speech was fantastic!

  • calbert40

    Hard not to be excited about the future. I think Archie is going to have The Hall rocking this year and for years to come.

  • 100% agree with that and felt much the same last year. I think I compared him to a Greg Graham without the Calbert. Good thing about this year is that there will be a plethora of other potential leaders to share the load, including Colin, Juwan, and Josh. And like you mentioned, this is just another great reason for Devonte to (finally) blow it up. Teams are going to struggle containing all of them, if things come together properly…which tragically didn’t happen last year.

  • HoosierDom

    What? That is by no means the worst scenario for Davis. I am assuming some pretty substantial improvement over last year. I might add that every national, objective commentator that I am familiar with comes to the same conclusion.

    I’m not sure what foreseeable future you’re referring too, but I am talking about this year’s team. Next year’s team looks better. Having Davis back for his junior year will help us a lot; we will have some solid experience in the back court; and we will have some big freshman that should all be talented enough to contribute from day 1. I don’t think we have those things now.

  • Freddie is the quintessential Big Ten bruiser. But this one can also fly. Those attempted dunk-backs…wow. He gets those to go down and he’ll be a regular regular* on SportsCenter.

    *Easy Rider reference, for those unfamiliar with the young Jack Nicholas’ early work.

  • But we don’t need him to score. Just rebound and play defense. The put-backs alone should get him 6-10 points a game. I’d prefer he not shoot jumpers unless left wide open.

  • exactly

  • Ole Man

    It was one raggedy-A scrimmage.
    I wouldn’t read any tea leaves from it.

  • Ole Man

    Yours isn’t any more reasoned if you were to stop and think about it.
    Just more words strung together, without the caps.

  • Arch Puddington

    I agree that he does not need to shoot jumpers, but he will be a liability if he can’t hit his put backs, layups, and free throws. He looked much smoother with the ball in his hands last night, but missed multiple shots of just the sort you say will get him 6-10 points. I’m not saying he can’t or won’t hit them at some point, but he hasn’t shown in yet. And until he does, his contribution will be limited.

  • HoosierDom

    Fair enough, but it’s all we have seen of this newly rebuilt player. I feel like every summer we have tales of amazing workout warriors who are now in unbelievable shape and that rarely/never shows up on the court. I’ll take the comment below that McSwain looked good and hope that was some good defense he was playing.

    Maybe it’s just the high level of optimism on this board that brings out the contrarian in me, but I can’t shake the idea that we don’t have a lot of guys that were big time recruits nor guys that have performed as collegians, so I have a feeling coach inherited a tough situation and this year could be tough.

  • bleeding crimson

    Keep in mind that he was up against Freddie “The Beast” most of the night. Even though Freddie is rough on the edges he is a Beast to go through. Freddie held his own pretty well, even his missed dunks and put backs were off, they were still monstrous and solid. I only saw DD push him back into the basket once, otherwise he held his own quite well. My point is not only did Freddie give DD fits but I think he will also give other quality bigs fits as well. Just my take, it looks as if Freddie has worked over the summer and my be paying off….we’ll see.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    loved the format this year. not a bunch of fluff, just got er done. i do have to admit, they didn’t look so good in the scrimmage. kind of expected more points on the scoreboard.


    Spot on !

  • Ole Man

    I agree with the caveat that a lot of pushing and shoving on both sides might be called in the regular season.

  • Mr. Shep-dizzle

    I’ve never seen someone get crucified so much over giving his own opinion of the event. You don’t have to agree with HDom but he’s allowed to say his thoughts without being ridiculed. Isn’t that what an open forums about?
    I don’t agree with u Dom but I can see how u and others might see it that way. I don’t hate u for it that’s for sure.