Traditions[ edit ] Candy striped warm-up pants[ edit ] Indiana players wear warm-up pants that are striped red and white, like the stripes of a candy cane. They were first worn by the team in the s under head coach Bob Knight. IU star guard Steve Alford said, "As you watch television and you watch the IU games, that's the first thing you saw, was the team run out in the candy stripes.
So when you finally got to put those on, those are pretty special. However, changes in licensing agreements permitted the general public to buy them as well.
Simple game jerseys[ edit ] Players huddle before a game in their iconic candy striped pants The team is widely noted for their simple game jerseys. Unlike most schools, Indiana doesn't have players' names on the back of jerseys that players wear on the court. In keeping with Indiana's longstanding principle of putting team over player, the Hoosiers have never retired any jersey numbers.
Adidas is the current outfitter of Indiana athletics. When coach Mike Davis succeeded Bob Knight , he suggested adding names to the jerseys. However, the Hoosiers' minimalist look had become such a part of the program's brand that the proposal was dropped after considerable backlash from fans.
The school's colors are cream and crimson, but in the s Knight and football coach Lee Corso started using uniforms that were more scarlet or bright red. But those colors reverted mostly to cream and crimson in the early s, after then-athletics director Michael McNeely decided that the team uniforms needed to reflect the school's official colors of cream and crimson.
William Tell Overture[ edit ] During the third time-out of every second half, the Indiana Big Red Basketball Band performs the William Tell Overture with cheerleaders racing around the court carrying myriad flags that spell out "Indiana Hoosiers.
Because the actress who had appeared in the original ads was unavailable, singer Sheila Stephen stepped in as the new Martha. Starting with the —11 season , video of the original ad was shown at home games after the National Anthem and right before tip off.
Early years — [ edit ] The first Indiana basketball team —01 Indiana fielded its first men's basketball team in the —01 season , posting a 1—4 ledger under coach James H. In their first game the Hoosiers traveled to Indianapolis and lost to Butler 17— After the first few games there, spectators complained that they couldn't see the game because of opaque wooden backboards.
Therefore, new backboards were installed that contained one-and-a-half inch thick plate glass allowing fans to see games without an obstructed view. As a result, it was the first facility thus the Hoosiers were the first team in the country to use glass backboards.
The Hoosiers also won conference championships in and Dean coached Indiana until The Hoosiers would again win the Big Ten the following season in — Just a few years later the team won back-to-back conference championships in —57 and —58 behind the leadership of two-time All-American Archie Dees.
A few years later the Hoosiers were led by two-time All-American Walt Bellamy , one of the few African-American players in college basketball at the time. In the fall of the Indiana Hoosiers football program was hit with devastating NCAA sanctions that impacted every varsity sport at the school, including basketball.
Lou Watson era — [ edit ] Sandwiched between two iconic coaches in Branch McCracken and Bob Knight , McCracken's longtime assistant and former lead scorer Lou Watson coached Indiana from through , with a leave of absence in where Jerry Oliver stepped in as acting head coach.
The —67 team, which won a Big Ten championship, was known as the "Cardiac Kids" because of their many heart-stopping finishes. Watson ended his Indiana coaching career with a 61—60 record.
Bob Knight era — [ edit ] During Bob Knight 's 29 years as head coach at Indiana, the Hoosiers won games, including 22 seasons of 20 or more wins, while losing but , a remarkable.
The following season, —74, Indiana once again captured a Big Ten title. In the two following seasons, —75 and —76 , the Hoosiers were undefeated in the regular season and won consecutive Big Ten games, including two more Big Ten championships. The —75 Hoosiers swept the entire Big Ten by an average of However, in an 83—82 win against Purdue they lost consensus All-American forward Scott May to a broken left arm.
With May's injury keeping him to 7 minutes of play, the No.
The following season, —76 , the Hoosiers went the entire season and NCAA tournament without a single loss, beating Michigan 86—68 in the title game. Indiana remains the last school to accomplish this feat.
The following season, in —81 , Thomas and the Hoosiers once again won a conference title and won the NCAA tournament , the school's fourth national title.
However, with an injury to Kitchel mid-season, the Hoosiers' prospects were grim. Knight asked for fan support to rally around the team and, when the team ultimately won the Big Ten title, he ordered that a banner be hung for the team in Assembly Hall as a tribute to the fans, who he credited with inspiring the team to win its final three home games.
Nevertheless, in the tournament Kitchel's absence was felt and the team lost to Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen. The —86 Hoosiers were profiled in a best-selling book A Season on the Brink.
To write it Knight granted author John Feinstein almost unprecedented access to the Indiana basketball program, as well as insights into Knight's private life. The team won Indiana's fifth national championship against Syracuse in the NCAA tournament with a game-winning jump shot by Keith Smart with five seconds of play remaining in the championship game.
From —91 through —93 , the Hoosiers posted 87 victories, the most by any Big Ten team in a three-year span, breaking the mark of 86 set by Knight's Indiana teams of — Teams from these three seasons spent all but two of the 53 poll weeks in the top 10, and 38 of them in the top 5.
They captured two Big Ten crowns in —91 and —93 , and during the —92 season reached the Final Four. During the —93 season, the 31—4 Hoosiers finished the season at the top of the AP Poll , but were defeated by Kansas in the Elite Eight.
Throughout the mid and late s Knight and the Hoosiers continued to experience success with superior play from All-Americans Brian Evans and A. However, would be Knight's last conference championship and would be his last trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Moreover, his portrayal in the media often brought as much controversy to the school as success.
The controversial reputation, combined with a strained relationship with then-University President Myles Brand , resulted in Knight's controversial dismissal in The following year, in the —02 season, Davis was named the permanent coach.
Following months of speculation, he announced his resignation in February , saying the basketball program needed to move on with a new coach.