Bloomington, Ind. – Indiana's first practice under first year head coach Kelvin Sampson got off to an exciting start and a slow finish.
The new-look Hoosiers entertained a packed Assembly Hall during introductions and warm-ups, but a lackluster dunk contest and scrimmage sent them home wanting more. Sampson did his part to get the crowd excited for the upcoming season, making three promises to the enthused fan base.
"I can't wait to see what you guys will do when we win a championship," said Sampson.
"I want you to understand three things we're going to do. First thing, I want you to hear this - we're going to graduate our players. Number two, we're going to follow the rules and do things right. Number three, we're going to compete our butts off to make you proud of us every single night."
Senior guard Errek Suhr walked away the men's 3-point champion after falling behind early to fellow Indiana-native Armon Bassett. Bassett, a freshman from Terre Haute, Ind., led the competition after the first round, making 15 3-pointers. However, Suhr came back to win in the second round with 15 three's of his own.
Junior Nikki Smith won the women's competition after coming into the contest the heavy favorite. She won both rounds with scores of 15 and 14. Freshman guard Jamie Braun put on a good show, knocking down eight shots in the first round and 11 in the second.
The usually exciting dunk contest was anything but this time around for the Hoosiers. Roderick Wilmont earned a perfect score with his first dunk, but his teammates struggled in their attempts. Redshirt freshman Joey Shaw, freshman Xavier Keeling and junior college transfer Mike White each took multiple attempts to complete their dunks, leading Sampson to grab the microphone and call an end to the competition, bringing out his big guns in D.J. White and A.J. Ratliff.
"This is the worst dunk contest I have ever seen in my life," said Sampson jokingly. "I'm declaring Rod (Wilmont) the winner because of the process of elimination. Rod don't try another one, D.J. get out here. A.J. you too."
Ratliff responded with a dunk similar to last season's Hoosier Hysteria when he jumped over the then-entire-sophomore class. This time he jumped over the heads of D.J. White, Earl Calloway and Keeling to draw perfect 10's from the judges of IU President Adam Herbert, former Indiana guard Kyle Hornsby and women's head coach Felisha Legette-Jack.
The 10-minute scrimmage that followed was also lackluster as the teams combined for just 26 points as Red squad led by Bassett and D.J. White beat the Ben Allen and Calloway led White squad.
Bassett led all scorers with seven points on three-of-four shooting while grabbing three rebounds. Shaw added four points and four rebounds for the Red, while D.J. White added just one made basket in five attempts.
For the White team, Allen led the scoring with five points and four rebounds and transfer Lance Stemler added four point and four rebounds. Mike White was as advertised in the paint, hauling in a game-high six rebounds.
Wilmont, Suhr Win Hysteria Competitions
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