Overnight, this Indiana basketball squad turned into "the hunted." How will Indiana residents handle it?


Tamar Bates made a valid point in Bloomington.

On the IU basketball Twitter account, a video montage of conditioning can be found. Bates's moving speech was featured in one of the videos.

"The sophomore added in the video, "Everybody coming for our neck, bruh. "Like we're no longer hunters. We are the prey."

The Hoosiers are one of the Big Ten favourites this season, if not the Big Ten favourite. That is most likely a result of attrition elsewhere in the conference rather than a sincere notion that Indiana is the top team in the league. But for the first time in a while, the consistently high expectations held by Hoosiers themselves might actually line up with those held by others.

"Guys, I can't stress this enough: I returned here to win Big Ten crowns and a national championship. At IU's media day last week, he declared, "That's all I want. "I won't nudge the group in another direction. They shouldn't be here if they're afraid of that task. I kind of view it that way.


I'm aware there are high standards. I comprehend. That's advantageous. But we must demonstrate on the playing surface that we are capable of winning both a Big Ten championship and a national championship. I'm only thinking about that right now.

The expectations IU faces this season make for an intriguing storyline in more ways than one. This programme has a history of managing high expectations. But what about the nearer future? less than that. More precisely, IU hasn't handled external expectations at the college level in this way as it relates to this season's group.

The juxtaposition between then and now is apparent. How IU navigates the peaks and valleys of external perception could be a major factor.

“I just got to keep everyone level-headed,” star Trayce Jackson-Davis said. “You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low… We can’t get too ahead of ourselves and talk about Big Ten championships, national championships. We got to take it one win at a time and that’s what we’re going to do.”

The second season of Woodson's time as head coach at IU is about to begin, and it seems like the team is headed in the right direction. The previous season was somewhat of a rollercoaster, with IU playing both extremely well and quite terribly at different times. A remarkable Big Ten tournament prevented the regular season's final stretch from taking a dive. By defeating Michigan and Illinois, the Hoosiers appeared to have secured a spot in the NCAA tournament. It was Indiana University's first Big Dance appearance since 2016. That stretch also appeared to validate the program's course.

However, the relationship between IU and outside impression is still compelling.

Naturally, Jackson-Davis added, "I came in here my freshman year with really no expectations, just kind of being the new kid on the block." "I don't really know how old this programme is. I mean, I had some knowledge of it. Although I was aware of the championships, I didn't really get their significance to college basketball.

It's incredibly significant that we have learned that over the past three years and that coach Woodson has come in and has kind of explained the history to us. And ultimately, simply being relevant on a national level once more. only existing as the hunted, as Scoop (Tamar Bates) put it. It's significant not just for us but also for college basketball because, as many people say, "college basketball is fantastic when Indiana is terrific." Even Xavier Johnson and Miller Kopp, who began their college careers elsewhere, played on terrible teams at their former institutions while good players. at Pittsburgh, Johnson. at Northwestern, Kopp. Their teams had a victory percentage below.500 when attending their former colleges.

Ratings are what they are, according to Woodson. "You still have to compete, my man. What takes on in between these two lines is what matters. And it will be my responsibility to raise the standard of play on this squad every night and put them in a winning position each time they take the court. To me, that is the main issue. Rankings exist as they do.

Dealing with external expectations is one of those things. IU may be able to theorise about this issue at this time, but the true results won't be known until the games start. The precise solution is one that IU might have to discover along the way; it will determine if it can continue to be the hunted.

This season, IU has a strong opportunity to win the Big Ten. Its focal point is Jackson-Davis. It has the potential depth and talent around him to succeed. But there are still uncertainties. Who is capable of scoring from beyond the 3-point arc? Jordan Geronimo and Bates' chances of success? Can IU win games in the end?

Woodson has a somewhat distinctive viewpoint. In three of his four seasons at Indiana, the Hoosiers were placed in the AP preseason top-10, so Woodson had to deal with high external expectations.

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