BLOOMINGTIN, IN – Another year, another Hoosier Hysteria in the books. This time around was a little different and a little more special. The IU faithful fans lined up hours before being let in to grab the best seats possible for the first look at the 2021-2022 Indiana Hoosier men and women’s basketball teams.
Between the official introduction of head coach Mike Woodson, the return of Indiana legend and NBA champion Isiah Thomas, and the multiple contest that were held throughout the night, Indiana fans were able to head home more than happy from Assembly Hall.
First on the to-do list for Hoosier Hysteria was to introduce both the men’ and women’s basketball teams along with their coaching staff.
First was the women’s team. Fresh off their first ever Elite 8 performance, head coach Teri Moren and her team received a well-deserved ovation as each player and coach entered the arena. Moren addressed the crowd and expressed her love for not only her team, but all of Hoosier Nation.
Up next was the IU men’s team. Junior Trayce Jackson-Davis received the loudest ovation of the night…but only until new head coach Mike Woodson was introduced.
Woodson proclaimed to the audience that he is excited to be a part of what puts Indiana University back at the top. He expressed that it is going to take not only all 17 players, but all of Hoosier Nation to help get the program back to where it once was.
Former Indiana teammate or Mike Woodson, National Champion, NBA Champion, and Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas made his return to Assembly Hall to address the crowd.
Decked out head-to-toe in IU warmups and candy stripes, Thomas delivered a powerful speech that even brought him to tears. As he discussed the last time he hugged Mike Woodson, after a loss to Purdue in 1980, Thomas began to choke up and show his emotions.
Thomas explained that we are all witnessing the turning point for IU and expressed how Mike Woodson is going to bring the Hoosiers back to the top.
Three-point contest, skills contest, and dunk contest
First up was the three-point contest.
Parker Stewart, Anthony Leal, Xavier Johnson, and Tamar Bates all competed for the men’s team and were all partnered up with a player from Teri Moren’s squad. Stewart stood out as IU’s sharpshooter for the day as he caught fire from behind the arc. He and Grace Berger brought home the victory in the contest, and both proved to be top shooters on their teams.
Next was the skills competition.
Point guards Xavier Johnson and Rob Phinisee helped their teams secure a spot in the final round. Both guards showed poise and had a sense of calmness that the rest of the players in the competition did not show.
In the end, it was “Big Shot” Rob Phinisee who sealed the victory for himself and women’s junior forward Mackenzie Holmes.
Last, but not least, was the dunk contest.
Jordan Geronimo, Nathan Childress, and TJD competed in the competition. Khristian Lander was scheduled to compete but could not due to injury.
Jackson-Davis dominated the contest and walked away as a two-time Hoosier Hysteria dunk contest champion.
Scrimmage (or lack thereof)
After going through what seemed like the beginning portion of a practice, Mike Woodson called off the scrimmage and said it was due to wanting to get everyone healthy.
With the season officially underway, the Hoosier will now look towards their first game on Nov. 9 against Eastern Michigan. Until then, the Cream and Crimson will continue prepare and practice for their highly anticipated 2021-2022 season.
Photo from Indiana Basketball