BLOOMINGTON, IN – “HOOSIERS” chants echoed throughout Assembly Hall as fans rally before another Hoosier basketball season. The women’s team finished 21-5 with a Sweet 16 appearance in 2021-22. The men’s team finished 21-14 with their first NCAA Tournament berth in six years. Hoosier Hysteria was here.
The crowd was electric and Assembly Hall was packed in anticipation of the kickoff of the 2022-23 Hoosier basketball season. The MC’s for the night’s event were Courtney Cronin, IU alumni and currently the NFL Nation reporter for the Chicago Bears, and Rhett Lewis, former IU football player and current football analyst on the IU Radio Network.
After back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances, the women’s team came out to lively music and on their feet. The only member of the team not standing was Teri Moren, pulling up in a retro red hot rod. She thanked the fans and made sure they felt like a part of the program. The women’s team returns seven veterans and introduces seven new faces for the 2022-23 season.
The men’s team, coming off an appearance in the round of 64, received a hearty welcome with senior Trayce Jackson-Davis stealing the show. Mike Woodson came in a close second, also rolling in on four wheels. Woodson addressed the crowd and when asked what was next, he said, “a Big Ten title and a national title.” The men’s team returns four starters and ranks second in the percentage of returning minutes.
Reggie Bush and Brady Quinn
Special guests Reggie Bush (USC) and Brady Quinn (Notre Dame) joined emcee Rhett Lewis on the floor ahead of the IU versus Michigan football game as a part of the “Big Noon Saturday” Fox Sports team. Bush casually hit two back-to-back threes, energizing the crowd. Quinn asked all recruits in the crowd to stand up and asked them to look around. He told them that nowhere else in the nation does this happen and pointed them in IU’s direction.
Snoop Dogg also sent in a surprise virtual message for the Hoosiers, shouting out the team during Hoosier Hysteria.
3-Point, Skills, and Scrimmage
With the formalities over with, the competition began starting with the 3-point shooting contest.
Sara Scalia, Sydney Parish, Chloe Moore-McNeil, and Yarden Garzon were paired up with Xavier Johnson, CJ Gunn, Miller Kopp, and Tamar Bates, respectively. Scalia and Johnson faced off with Moore-McNeil, who hit eight consecutive threes in the first round, and Bates in the final. Moore-McNeil and Bates came out on top 28-27.
The 3-point contest was followed by the skills competition:
4 teams of 3, each composed of a women’s player, a men’s player, and a special guest, faced off and attempted to hit a mid-range jumper, a free throw, a three-pointer, and a half-court heave. Mackenzie Holmes, Race Thompson, and former Hoosier Collin Hartman won by 11 seconds with a final time of 24.0 seconds. Thompson hit the half-court shot in one go to seal the deal.
After the skills competition, the men’s team put on a ‘scrimmage.’ It would be better defined as a backyard-barbecue pickup game as Coach Woodson put an emphasis on not wanting any injuries to result from the scrimmage. Despite the limitations put on the game, Xavier Johnson was still able to throw one down, and Jalen Hood-Schifino found crowd-favorite Trayce Jackson-Davis for a roaring alley-oop.
With the inaugural event of basketball season complete, Indiana now turns their attention to three weeks of practice before the first exhibition game against Marian on Oct. 29 at 3pm at Assembly Hall.
Photo from Indiana Basketball / IndianaWBB