Monday, October 17, 2011

Hoosier Hysteria Exceeds Hype; Football Team Does Not

So what did Hoosier Hysteria tell us about Indiana’s basketball prospects?


That’s fine. Basketball, like life, is about mystery and anticipation. And Indiana basketball, with its never-ending drama, has plenty of that.

Anyway, Hoosier Hysteria has evolved from just a public practice under Bob Knight to a dramatic event full of videos, rapping, rocking and a little basketball thrown in.

It’s about selling the program and boosting enthusiasm, and it works, big-time. Saturday night was raucous entertainment with the goal of convincing some of the Midwest’s top talent, including one Gary Harris, to join the Hoosier program.

Will it work?

That’s the million-dollar question. Harris already has visited Purdue. He’s set to visit Kentucky next weekend and Michigan State on Nov. 5. After that, he’ll announce his choice, and we’ll go from there.

Harris was around two dozen recruits to attend Hoosier Hysteria. Another one was 6-9 junior forward Derek Willis, who had committed to Purdue last spring and then de-committed over the summer. He’s still looking at the Boilers and attended a Purdue practice before heading to Assembly Hall.

As far as the current Hoosiers, Will Sheehey has emerged as the best dunker on the team, supplanting Victor Oladipo with a soccer header pass from Daniel Moore (a former high school soccer player from Carmel) that bettered Oladipo leaping over people.

Oladipo, by the way, showed his entertainer potential with a strong performance of Usher’s “U Got it Bad” song. It is a song of which we at Hoosier Hoopla can say we’d never heard before, although we think it’s a remake of a Frank Sinatra classic.

Anyway, Oladipo was very good.

IU officials put the crowd at 16,100. It was as big as anyone could remember, a reflection of the optimism for the season and the stronger hunger for a winning team.

The drive is on for the Hoosiers to return to their winning ways. How likely is that to happen? If you believe former Hoosier greats Eric Gordon and D.J. White, who both attended Hoosier Hysteria, it might come this season.

The bottom line –- it can’t come soon enough.


IU’s football team needs to stay far, far away from Camp Randall Stadium. It is so out-gunned by Wisconsin right now that it’s hard to believe that could ever change.

It can, you know. Nothing stays the same except the are-you-kidding-me tans on Jersey Shore.

For now, though, Hoosier fans have to live with a 59-7 beat down, which is better than last year’s 83-point debacle, but still not nearly good enough.

IU still needs a quarterback. Ed Wright-Baker and Tre Roberson were a combined 8-for-20, with Wright-Baker throwing two interceptions when he wasn’t holding onto the ball too longer.

The youth in its secondary continues to result in broken coverages in which opposing receivers set NCAA records for getting open.

It doesn’t help that receiver Damarlo Belcher tweaked an already gimpy knee and didn’t play in the second half against Wisconsin.

The Hoosiers did get a big rushing day from tailback Stephen Houston, who busted out for more than a hundred yards. That reflects his improvement as well as that of the offensive line.

IU now gets to travel to Iowa, which is coming off a victory over Northwestern. Is it a winnable game? Sure, if this was Michigan State. The Hoosiers are firmly in build-for-the-future mode and playing the young guys more seems the best approach.

It won’t be pretty, but IU football fans are used to that.

No comments:

Post a Comment