BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana marked the unofficial beginning of a new basketball season by cheering a highlight video of its outright Big Ten title last season.
At the latest installment of Hoosier Hysteria, Indiana's version of midnight madness, fans packed Assembly Hall's lower levels Friday soon after the school opened the doors at 5 p.m.
Some of the fans arrived with canned goods to donate to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. The goal was to collect 13,000 pounds of food.
More than 12,000 pounds of food were collected last year.
The crowd went wild during spotlight player introductions. Yogi Ferrell earned the loudest cheers.
Coach Tom Crean spent most of his time at center court thanking the fans, repeatedly calling them the best in the nation.
Many fans agreed the highlight of the night was hoisting the 2013 Big Ten Championship banner.
The team held a light scrimmage later.
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 Tom 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.
Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1