Saturday night was the annual Hoosier Hysteria pre-season basketball rally at Assembly Hall. It is a free event open to the public, and it doubles as a canned food drive for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank, (we took a can with us and dropped it off at the doors).
Doors opened at 5pm and the actual event started at 6:30. We got there around 6pm and the only seats we could find were halfway up the upper section. Eric spotted seats right in the middle so we wound up with a pretty good view.
Hoosier Hysteria welcomes both the men's and women's teams (with an obvious focus on the men's), hosts a bunch of contests for players and a few fans, introduces all the staff, and the cheerleaders get to show us the main cheers. The one they led off with is my favorite (it happens at the under-8 timeout).
The women's team has 10 people on it. There was a row of guys behind us who were obsessed with Tyra Buss, and they made for an entertaining evening. She won the women's 3 point contest.
Between teams, the lights dimmed and this happened:
No day at Assembly Hall is complete without a shot of the banners.
Both teams came out to fireworks.
Part of the men's tradition is former players giving the newbies candy stripes. The pants are iconic.
Troy Williams won the dunk contest. He also won the 3 point contest, the first player in HH history to win both contests.
Then the men's team got to scrimmage (cream and crimson). Right before the scrimmage started, about half the crowd left. We thought, "that's weird, normally the point of these nights are to see the team play". Well...they scored 4 points in the first 3 minutes. So those people all knew something we didn't. We actually wound up leaving early as well, because the clock gets stopped at this scrimmage (and also because they weren't playing well). A 15 minute game turns into something much longer.
After the game, the players give out autographs. Signs posted around Assembly Hall let you know who will be where. We didn't stay to get any autographs, but on our way out saw the long lines that were already forming.
We hadn't been to Hoosier Hysteria before and I am glad we went. It was fun to get excited about basketball again. Hopefully IU will be good this year!