BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Archie Miller told an energized crowd at Assembly Hall that it’s nights like last night that made him choose to be a part of Indiana basketball.
The program’s new head coach took part in his first Hoosier Hysteria Saturday evening in Bloomington.
“This is a great celebration for our storied past, all the tremendous players and coaches and the unbelievable championship pedigree,” Miller said.
And Miller wasted no time embracing that championship pedigree as he addressed the fans.
“Hopefully in time, years go by, the tradition continues to excel, the players develop, more players arrive and we continue to push forward to the ultimate goal here at Indiana, which is to try our best to knock on the door to find a way to get the sixth banner hanging up there,” said Miller as he pointed to the Hoosiers’ five NCAA championship banners as the crowd cheered.
Indiana is in a transition year after James Blackmon Jr., OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant left early for the NBA Draft.
“This group has a great challenge,” Miller said. “But I’ll promise right now that who they are as people, how they’ve accepted and embraced our change, it’s going to give us a chance to have some special moments down the line.”
After Miller’s speech, there were two contests and a scrimmage consisting of two 12-minute halves.
Devonte Green and Clifton Moore led the Crimson team to a 40-31 win over the Cream team. Green poured in 14 points for the Crimson, while Robert Johnson led the Cream with 12 points.
“It’s just great playing in Assembly Hall,” Green said. “There’s no other feeling like it.”
“I think we played well,” said Curtis Jones. “It was fun to come out here and play in front of the crowd and with coach Miller for the first time. We can improve on some things, but I think we did pretty well.”
Columbus North product Ali Patberg, a transfer from Notre Dame to the women’s team, and Josh Newkirk won the three-point shooting contest, beating Johnson and Tyra Buss.
Jones was the runaway winner of the dunk contest, jumping over De’Ron Davis while jamming down a pass from Green.
“We’re all roommates, so we were just thinking and trying to be creative,” Jones said.
Fans roared at Jones’ dunk, but the biggest applause of the night came for the state’s top recruit. New Albany’s Romeo Langford sat behind the Cream team’s bench for the event and at one point, the crowd even chanted his name.
The Hoosiers open up their exhibition season next Saturday against Marian at Assembly Hall, then tip-off the regular season by hosting Indiana State on November 10th.