Gordon, Others To Attend Hoosier Hysteria

Tonight's "Hoosier Hysteria" is big not only because it kicks off the 2006-07 IU basketball season, but it also means a handful of recruits will be in attendance as well. HoosierNation.com looks at tonight's event, and at some of the recruits who will be courtside...

Bloomington, Ind. - Let the festivities – and the Kelvin Sampson era – begin.

Sampson will lead the 2006-07 Indiana basketball team onto the Assembly Hall floor at 11:30 p.m. tonight, officially kicking off his first season as Hoosier head coach. It's all part of "Hoosier Hysteria," a made-for-the-fans event that will give those in attendance a chance to watch a handful of Hoosiers participate in a slam dunk competition, a 3-point shooting contest as well as get autographs from the Hoosier players.

There also appears to be a chance the men's team may scrimmage tonight as well, although that remains up in the air.

For the Hoosier players, it's an opportunity have a bit of fun after some grueling preseason conditioning and individual workout sessions.

"It's going to be great to see the fans again, seeing this place packed," said Ben Allen.

Tonight's event promises to be big not only for what unfolds on the court, but also because of who is expected to be watching from the sidelines. IU is expecting a handful of recruits to be in attendance tonight, headlined by Indianapolis guard Eric Gordon.

The 6-3, 185-pounder from North Central H.S. is Scout.com's second-ranked player in the 2007 class, and he's been the subject of a recruiting tug-of-war between Big Ten rivals Indiana and Illinois. Gordon originally verballed to Illinois Coach Bruce Weber last fall, but has been re-considering the Hoosiers since Sampson took over for Mike Davis in the spring.

Gordon's decision to attend tonight's Hoosier Hysteria event is a huge coup for Sampson, and it is viewed by many as a sign that Gordon will ultimately pick Indiana over Illinois.

But Gordon isn't the only recruit who will be in town for tonight's event. Indiana has invitations out to a slew of recruits, and there could wind up being a double-digit total in attendance from players ranging from the '07- '10 classes. Besides Gordon, others who are expected to be sitting courtside include:

Bud Mackey, 2008 – A 6-4, 180-pound combo guard from Scott County H.S. in Georgetown, Ky., Mackey averaged 15 points per game as a sophomore and is a four-star recruit according to Scout.com. In addition to Indiana's interest in him, he already has scholarship offers from Kentucky, Mississippi State, Xavier, Clemson and Tennessee.

Stephen Van Treese, 2009 – The 6-8, 210-pounder from Indianapolis' Lawrence North H.S. played a secondary role last season to Ohio State-bound recruits Greg Oden and Mike Conley, but that hasn't kept him from getting plenty of early interest from college programs. Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue have already offered scholarships, while Duke, Wake Forest and others have been showing interest as well. Van Treese is a big part of Indiana's plans to once again get the best in-state players going to Bloomington.

Philip Jurick, 2008 – The 6-11, 255-pounder from Chattanooga, Tenn., is another big body who has been getting plenty of early interest. Indiana has already offered a scholarship, as have Tennessee, Clemson and Michigan. As a sophomore he averaged 15.3 points, 16.8 rebounds and 8.5 blocks per game.

Nick Fruendt, 2008 – A versatile 6-5 forward, Fruendt has drawn some comparisons to former Glenbrook (Ill.) North forward and current Duke Blue Devil Jon Scheyer. He averaged 14 points per game as a sophomore and had a big summer AAU season with the Illinois Wolves AAU squad.

Angel Garcia, 2008 – This 6-10, 200-pound forward has only been playing basketball for four years, but he's already emerged as a top-100 player in the '08 class, someone with a very good perimeter game and a huge upside. A native of Puerto Rico, Garcia averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks last season at Lake Forest H.S. in Illinois, but has since moved to East Chicago (Ind.) Central H.S.

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