BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - Amid all the smoke and music, Indiana put aside the excitement of a new basketball season to look back one more time at a year of achievement.
Indiana marked the unofficial beginning of the season Friday night by cheering a highlight video of its outright Big Ten title last season. Coach Tom Crean then unveiled a new Big Ten championship banner, commemorating the Hoosiers' 21st title overall.
Crean's first words to the crowd said it all.
"How's that banner look?" said Crean, who then pivoted toward the south end of Assembly Hall where five national championship banners hang. "We're working every day to make room for another over there. These banners, you don't buy them at Wal-Mart. You have to earn them. Everything that's ever happened at Indiana has been earned. We worked for five straight years to hang a banner. This is a hard-nosed, blue-collar program."
At the latest installment of Hoosier Hysteria, Indiana's version of midnight madness, fans packed Assembly Hall's lower levels soon after the school opened the doors at 5 p.m.
Near the end of a 16-minute intrasquad scrimmage, freshman guard Stanford Robinson injured his right knee and had to be helped off the floor. Crean said it appears to be a bruise.
After losing four starters, this season has a totally new feel for the Hoosiers, who bring in eight freshmen and one transfer. Point guard Yogi Ferrell returns, but the team lost two NBA players in Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller and key senior contributors in Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford.
With Crean at the helm for his sixth season, the Hoosiers still must live up to the expectations of one of the country's most passionate fan bases.