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It’s time to give Indiana basketball’s student section an assist

Indiana’s students show up and show out game in and game out to keep Assembly Hall energized. It’s about time Indiana helps them out in turn.

Syndication: Evansville MIKE LAWRENCE / COURIER & PRESS, Mike Lawrence

One of the worst things you can do as a basketball player? Rile up the opposing crowd.

Sure, it’s fun and injects some energy, but you have to hold up your end of that bargain. If you poke the bear and then play sloppy basketball, you’re gonna have to pay the piper. Morehead State’s Jake Wolfe learned that the hard way.

He jeered at Indiana’s students, many of whom were wayyyyyy up in the Assembly Hall balcony, and they accepted the challenge.

Boos rained down on Wolfe whenever he touched the ball. Poor decisions usually followed too, be they turnovers or trying to outmuscle uhhhhh Malik Reneau and Jordan Geronimo in the paint.

Reneau in particular seemed to feed off of the students’ energy, yelling in Wolfe’s face on defense to force him into further bad decisions. Indiana’s students were the sixth man, getting firmly into Wolfe’s head throughout the night and helping the Hoosiers earn an even more dominant victory.

Granted, it would’ve taken absolute disaster for Indiana to lose to Morehead State, but just think about what Indiana’s students could do when teams like Michigan, Illinois and No. 1 North Carolina come to town.

North Carolina in particular should be circled. Indiana’s Student Athletic Board and Barstool Sports affiliate have planned a whiteout for the occasion to give Assembly Hall that extra little bit of The Juice.

Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 9:15 p.m. Circle that date.

That being said, Indiana needs to go all-out for that game. Get the students as close to the court as possible and let them cook. Put them behind both baskets and around the court, there’s no excuse to not leverage that.

And I’m not just talking about doing this for the North Carolina game. Just do it for every game. Students only get four or so years of college, they’ll get it when they’re alumni and may have to sit a bit higher here and there.

This is college basketball, man, and Assembly Hall is no silent cathedral to the sport or whatever. It is a basketball arena. Those get loud and Indiana can make its historic, proud arena even louder.

Don’t wanna listen to me? Well, there’s always the hometown kid.