Indiana started a cool new tradition at Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night.
After a speech from Tom Crean about the privilege of wearing the candy-striped pants and honoring the players that wore them before, Indiana's newcomers had to receive their candy-striped pants from former Indiana players. IU's returning players came out of the locker room wearing the candy stripes, but the freshmen and other newcomers did not.
It's a new tradition Crean believes will be around for sometime.
"I can't take credit for that. That was a great idea that was presented to me and I loved it," Crean said. "I think it's fantastic and I think it will really take off and something that we can make a big part of this. That's really what this has to be. I don't have the personality to dress up and do those things. I'd love to have Vic Oladipo come back and sing, but it's not about the hottest act necessarily. I'm not saying we wouldn't do that, but it really is about the tradition of the program."
The entire lower bowl was full at Assembly Hall on Saturday night with a few fans sitting in the balcony. It was a better turnout than last year and the atmosphere was electric before the event started.
BLACKMON, JOHNSON LEARNING TO LEAD
Crean put freshmen guards James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson on a separate team than junior Yogi Ferrell in Saturday's scrimmage, and there was a good reason for that. Ferrell led his team to the win while Blackmon Jr. led all scorers with 19 points.
"It forces them into a leadership role," Crean said.
Blackmon Jr. had some early success in the scrimmage, but had a much tougher time against Ferrell, Indiana's best on-ball defender.
"There's only one Yogi here to guard," Crean said. "If I say, 'OK, this guy needs to be shut down,' Yogi goes to that guy. We put him on the post. He's as good as many post defenders that do it for a living in this league.
"The one guy that will go at Yogi the same way Yogi goes at him is Robert. James has made tremendous strides in every part of his game. But it was great for him to have to deal with Yogi. We've got to do more of that in practice."