Expectations for Indiana’s Hoosier Hysteria

The Indiana Hoosiers men’s and women’s basketball programs are one day away from the official start of their respective 2017-18 seasons. Each team will take part in the annual Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night, an event put on for the fan base to get their first glimpse of the players representing the cream and crimson.

While it is considered the official beginning of a new season, Saturday’s festivities should be observed with cognition at this stage. For Indiana fans, it’s about enjoying the event, cheering on the players – both returnees and newcomers – and witnessing what new Head Coach Archie Miller brings to the program and his first Hoosier Hysteria. Oh, and acknowledging the highly-regarded recruits that will be in attendance.

The bottom line is, this year’s Hysteria will be brand new for everyone. It will be different than the previous almost-decade under former head coach Tom Crean. For better or worse, the changes will nevertheless present excitement for those in attendance.

Here are a few things to watch for and understand ahead of Saturday night:

  1. Expect a twist to the schedule of events. In line with previous years, there will be a dunk contest and skills challenge, but the men’s scrimmage has been changed to 40 minutes — the length of a typical regular season game. This change offers Miller, his staff and the fans a chance to see what the roster is capable of in a competitive environment. Also unknown is what kind of court entrance the team will show off. This is purposely kept secret, but has always received one of the loudest ovations from the crowd.
  2. Whether a full house or not, Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall should be loud and near capacity. Two top-ten recruits in Darius Garland and Indiana-native Romeo Langford are expected to be in attendance, as well as at least three already-committed players for 2018. Aside from that, there is a high degree of anticipation for the general public to greet Miller for the first time in Assembly Hall, as well as his players. The Hoosiers should be energized and ready to put on a show under a new coaching regime.
  3. Temper your predictions. While the team has been practicing and conditioning together for a little while now, this is the first time they’ll break a sweat in front of a large audience. It won’t be anything new for the upperclassmen and even the sophomores, but the freshmen will trot onto the court for the first time with “Indiana” printed across their chest before this large of a crowd. The players will settle into their own, although that doesn’t mean they won’t be nervous. No matter what transpires Saturday, stop short of predicting an outcome for this squad. Under Miller, I envision this group to surprise some teams and steadily improve throughout the season.
  4. Miller suggested some players may be held out of the scrimmaging due to minor injuries. This is not uncommon, and Crean normally did this as well. It is unclear who will be held out, but more importantly, none of the injuries are considered serious and Miller referred to them as “nicks and bruises.”

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