BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Basketball season is here.
On Friday evening of Indiana’s Homecoming Week, fans packed Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall in anticipation of the official kickoff of the 2023-24 Hoosier basketball season. Rhett Lewis and Meghan McKeown were the emcees for this year’s event.
The Indiana women’s team finished 28-4 (16-2 B1G), securing the B1G title and making an appearance in the second round of the NCAA tournament. The men’s team finished 23-12 (12-8 B1G), also making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament. It’s time to turn the page to 2023/24.
The night’s festivities started with an electric Assembly Hall welcome as players and coaches ran through a crowd of fans to their song of choice.
Women’s head coach Teri Moren spoke on behalf of her team’s future with optimism, smirking while calling her team “pretty good.” The women’s team held their B1G ring ceremony shortly after introductions. A new banner was unfurled in the Assembly Hall rafters, commemorating IU’s 2023 Big Ten title.
Men’s head coach Mike Woodson’s introduction was drowned out by the thunderous volume of Indiana’s fans. Woodson was adamant that regardless of the players lost from last season, the men’s team will continue to work hard.
Basketball activities commenced with a skills competition made up of four teams, each with one men’s and one women’s player. Lenée Beaumont and Anthony Leal won in dramatic fashion, including a half-court heave from Leal to keep his team alive.
The next event was a classic three-point contest where players from both teams were again paired up. Gabe Cupps and Sara Scalia won the tournament, shooting 19-25 and 15-25, respectively. With that said, all six participants found their stroke from downtown.
Basketball players then competed with students in a game of knockout, in which Yarden Garzon eliminated Anthony Walker to win with a three. Garzon, who entered Assembly Hall with Israel’s flag draped over her shoulders, also shot exceptionally well in the three-point contest earlier.
The night was capped off with a competition in which two students were given the opportunity to shoot a half-court shot for free tuition. Unfortunately, neither made it, but both the men’s and women’s teams made sure to give their pointers beforehand for both participants to share in the fun.
Indiana’s men’s team will host University of Indianapolis in the first exhibition game of the season on Sunday, Oct. 29, at Assembly Hall. That game will tip at 1 PM ET on BTN+. IU’s women’s team will host Northwood in an exhibition on Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7 PM ET, also on BTN+.
Featured Image: Indiana Women’s Basketball / Twitter