Editor's note: shortly after we published part one of this primer, we got some truly rotten news regarding the women's basketball team, as Kaila Hulls and Nicole Bell have been forced to end their playing careers at Indiana prematurely due to injuries. All of the luck to them in their recovery and future.
So, yesterday, we discussed the importance of Tom Crean's introduction and handicapped the three-point shootout. The ladies' team has been kind enough to reveal their participants in the contest, going as far as to put up a poll as to who you think will win. And as of writing, the competition wasn't even remotely close.
The much-heralded freshman from Illinois is practically unable to be bet on at this juncture, we've got MASSIVE MOVEMENT on the board with Kaila Hulls being out. I had Buss at 7-1 yesterday and now she's the odds-on favorite; let's look at the UPDATED BOARD.
- Larryn Brooks (6-1)
- Tyra Buss (1-2)
- Taylor Agler (8-1)
- Karlee McBride (11-1)
- Maura Muensterman (9-1): another freshman we didn't talk about, this time out of Mater Dei (HS) in Evansville. Shot 52% (!!!) from deep during her senior year. Related reminder: Tyra Buss shot 39% during her senior campaign.
- Amanda Cahill (10-1): a freshman forward out of Ohio who shot the three at a 50% (!!!) clip her senior year. This competition is gonna be fierce.
Perhaps Hoosier Nation is getting caught up in the Tyra Buss hype (which is well earned and deserved) but she's up against some truly terrific shooters in this contest. It will certainly be a must-see event
The men's odds remain unchanged, as they have yet to confirm who will even shoot in the contest. Incidentally, I'll give 15-1 odds on right-handed Stan Robinson stunning the world.
In what is generally the most anticipated event of Hoosier Hysteria, the men participate in a standard dunk contest. I like this contest for two reasons:
- Gives a roster brimming with raw athletic ability a chance to showcase it in ways they otherwise would be unable to during a standard basketball game.
- Dunking is seriously the best thing. Korean basketball recognizes it, they make dunks worth 3 points. You can work your whole life and never be able to dunk a basketball on a regulation rim, anyone can hit a deep jumpshot.
- Troy Williams (3-2): The sophomore forward has shown some absolutely ridiculous athleticism last year, combine that with reports he's increased his vertical by six inches since arriving on campus and you've got your favorite. Troy landed some pretty memorable dunks during last year's forgettable campaign. I recall during the home game against Michigan State, he snagged a rebound from a trajectory that we surmised could only be achieved by someone jumping out of Assembly Hall's rafters.
- Hanner Mosquera-Perea (3-1): This will be his third competition, and he's winless in his previous two despite making it to the final round each time. I believe he was bested by Oladipo in 2012 and he lost out to darkhorse Devin Davis last year. I don't like assigning season-long prognostications to meaningless preseason frolics but if Perea wins the dunk contest this year it will prove he's ready for 30 minutes a night in conference play.
- Devin Davis (5-2): The reigning champ and Indiana native has gone from unheralded freshman to fan favorite thanks to some hard-nosed play down the stretch last season. It's tough to repeat as champion, but he's got a creative arsenal. Essentially: if anyone on this roster was going to dunk over a car a la Blake Griffin, it would probably be Davis. Then the NCAA would deem him ineligible for being too close to a nice car, or something.
- Stanford Robinson (10-1): You don't think of The Tree as a big finisher, but he showed off some vicious dunks in warm-ups at the games I attended. That said, he's the underdog here, mostly because of this gaffe against Illinois:
- James Blackmon Jr. (8-1): JBJ can score any way he wants. He can hit treys, elbow jumpers, dunking the ball after trampolining through a wall of flames. The latter of which would be his best bet to win this particular competition, the formers being his best bet to win actual basketball games.
- Nate Ritchie (9-1): The Michiana walk-on has some pretty significant ups. Don't be surprised to see him go a long way in this competition. He would be the first walk-on to win the dunk competition in the history of the program probably.
Hoosier Hysteria will conclude with a scrimmage, dividing the men's team into two squads. We don't know who these teams would be, but I think this would be the most entertaining iteration:
RED: Yogi, Zeisloft, Ritchie, Holt, Perea, Priller, Burton
WHITE: Stanford, Blackmon, Rojo, Williams, Davis, Holt
That gives you balanced backcourts on both sides and likely sets up a lot of Williams / Davis on Perea, where hopefully Perea EATS. Wouldn't mind Davis and Perea on the same squad, freeing Davis to play out from underneath the basket. There's a lot of good combinations. Ideally, in a game of meaningless basketball, we usually want to see guys making contested shots. You want the guys playing defense to do everything they can and you want the guys on offense to hit the shot anyway.
And remember: the only thing you should ever really be rooting for in a scrimmage is that ...
NO ONE GETS HURT. NO ONE. NOT ANYTHING.
Nothing would run the mood of Hoosier Hysteria more than any of those guys limping off the court at any point. So not matter how good / bad the guys look during pretend basketball, as long as they're breathing and unbroken when the buzzer sounds, Indiana wins.