Editor's Note: Some may have noticed already, but I've switched to my real name from the KickSewly pseudonym. Coinciding with me becoming EL JEFE 'round here and being proud of what this blog has done / continues to do, I want my (real) name on it. Let's boogy.
Each year, Indiana University hosts "Hoosier Hysteria," their take on college basketball's "midnight madness" events that mark the beginning of basketball season (literally at midnight the day the NCAA allows practices to begin) at universities across the country. In recent years, IU's event (among others) has been scheduled when it works best
to give the event maximum exposure to recruiting targets for attendance by all you beautiful students, alumni, and fans.
While showing up at midnight on a Wednesday might sound like fun, it doesn't work in a practical sense when
the event is being showcased for high school recruits who may not be able to come it's just easier to have it on a beautiful Saturday afternoon when nothing else is going on, athletically, in Bloomington.
So what can you expect from this
massive recruiting tool fan-based event? That's what these installments are all about. All the important details regarding times / directions / etc. can be found through Indiana's website. But you'll have to read on if you want to see the handicaps for the three-point shootout.
For the first time in my memory (which is bad) IU Athletics is encouraging tailgating for Hoosier Hysteria. Parking is free and there'll be a number of things going on around Assembly Hall in the lead-up to the big production. There will be a massive 3v3 basketball tournament which will be the only basketball you can watch on campus while legally drinking a beer, so that's probably worth checking out.
Tailgating for basketball is probably a novel concept for most, as the weather is often far too cold for extended outdoor drinking as basketball season comes around. I demand that the alumni and fans give this event the respect and effort it deserves. They're ENCOURAGING TAILGATING, we best oblige. The weather is currently forecasted to be LITERALLY PERFECT with temperatures approaching seventy degrees and abundant sunshine. If you aren't consuming domestic light beer in a parking lot on a day like that, you're beyond help.
Make sure you head into the actual event when it starts, though. THIS ISN'T A FOOTBALL GAME.
Literally anyone who has laid a finger on the basketball program in the last fiscal year is going to get introduced and you're going to yell your brains out for them. Yogi Ferrell? Yell your brains out. Max Hoetzel? Yell your brains out. Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Whosits McWhatsits? YELL YOUR BRAINS OUT. The more important they are, the bigger introduction they're gonna get. Tom Crean is probably awake at all hours trying to figure out a way to top former Big Ten fraternity brother TUBBY SMITH when he busted this out at his new gig in Lubbock:
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Sure, he wrecks the rig (and it's hilarious), but that's not the point. The man DRESSED UP AS SHAFT and rode a MOTORCYCLE INTO A BASKETBALL ARENA. I've emailed / tweeted Tom Crean to get serious about this, because if his entrance doesn't include a parachute and some sort of open flame, there's no point in coming out at all.
Eventually the teams will move into a three point competition, where the guys will compete on one end and the girls on the other, once a champion has been crowned from each team, the girl and guy will shoot against one another to be the THREE-POINT KING AND / OR QUEEN. Let's take a look at some favorites and dark horses in each field:
Note: I have no idea who will actually be in the contest, but these are my best guesses.
The Gentlemen (Odds to win their side):
- Yogi Ferrell (2-1): the Hoosiers' go-to option to hit any shot that wasn't a dunk last season. His delivery looks like he's taking off in a jetpack. Hit 40% from deep last season and won the HH shootout last year.
- James Blackmon Jr. (5-2): the freshman Burger Boy has been lights out at every stage of his basketball career, and no one is anticipating that to change now. He won the three-point contest during the McDonald's All-American Game festivities earlier this year, meaning he's also got ability AND experience in meaningless three-point competitions.
- Max Hoetzel / Tim Priller (12-1): both under-recruited freshman who are each very tall and showed some range in limited action up in Canada this summer, at this time TCQ cannot confirm if they're actually two separate people. PRO TIP: while tailgating prior to the game, tab either as a dark horse to win the event and people will think you know a lot about basketball.
- Nick Zeisloft (6-1): Kid has shown flashes of being a deadeye this year: up in Canada he hit over 50% from distance (which is a foot further back than in the NCAA) and shot 36% in his last season at Illinois State. He's not short on confidence either, declaring himself the best shooter on the team up at B1G Media Day last week.
- Kaila Hulls (3-2): Kaila could have shot 2% from deep last season and I'd still put her as the favorite. When you've got that surname in a jumpshooting contest, you're the favorite. Doesn't hurt that she hit 37% last season and is also the reigning women's champ from HH last year. Lost head-to-head against Yogi in the final.
- Larryn Brooks (3-1): similar to Yogi's role for the men, the ladies' floor leader hit 38% from distance last season while leading the team in assists. Her 67 made 3-pointers last season are a freshman record at IU. She also has the greatest hair in the history of the program.
- Tyra Buss (7-1): arguably the greatest basketball player in Illinois high school history, Tyra arrives on campus with quite a bit of fanfare. Shot 39% from (HS) distance as a senior, bet against her at your own risk.
- Taylor Agler (6-1): trailed only Larryn in minutes played last season while shooting a healthy 36% from threeball-land.
- Karlee McBride (10-1): shot three pointers at a 34% clip last season, likely while others attempted to guard her. How good could she be when that isn't happening? #analysis