True Hoosier players watch the pre-game highlight reel before their game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
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or Back Home Again in Assembly Hall

2013.12.08
Soon after my biology test on Friday, Mike Fender texted me wondering if I was up for shooting an IU men's basketball game for the Star.

I replied, "AM I? Of course!"

For the first two months of this blog, the primary content on here was IU men's basketball. I was one of the beat photographers for the Indiana Daily Student, and during that time, I had grown quite accustomed to Tom Crean's pacing, Martha the Cleaning Lady, and the dedication of student fans, even though the team was not yet good again. I also grew accustomed to the fellow photographers on the baseline: Chris Howell of the Bloomington Herald-Times, the Associated Press guys, Mike Dickbernd of IU Athletics and his intern (Peter Stevenson at the time), and whoever came down that night from The Indianapolis Star (usually Matt Kryger, source of endless jokes and well-placed distractions). I was a little sad when the season ended, but as I was used to endings in my senior year, I didn't make a big thing of it when I shot my last game at Assembly Hall. It helped that IU finished last in the conference that season.

I've been back to Bloomington multiple times since then, and once I was even on the floor of Assembly Hall, but when I got that text, I was so excited to go back. I stepped onto the floor, all the memories came rushing back, and I HAD to share it on Instagram. It just felt right. The Martha the Cleaning Lady video played, Tom Crean paced down the sideline, hiking his pants up all the time, and even some of the same photographers were there.

The only big differences were these: IU was a good team again, the IDS photographer (Caitlin O'Hara) and IU athletics intern (Steph Langan) were younger than me, and I had grown up to be, effectively, Matt Kryger, the guy the Star sent down for the night. All of that made the experience even better, and I hope I get another chance to go back home.

The full 19-photo gallery appears here, but fair warning: The crops are weird. The Star just moved to a new website layout, and I think they have a bit of work still to do with their photo galleries. I definitely did not crop photo 5 that way, and it showed up full-frame in the paper this morning.

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Hoosier players watch the pre-game highlight reel before their game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier players watch the pre-game highlight reel before their game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier forward Troy Williams falls after making a basket during IU\'s 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier forward Troy Williams falls after making a basket during IU's 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier guard Stanford Robinson drives for a rebound over North Florida guard Aaron Bodager during IU\'s 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier guard Stanford Robinson drives for a rebound over North Florida guard Aaron Bodager during IU's 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier forward Will Sheehey flies toward a dunk during the first half of IU\'s game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier forward Will Sheehey flies toward a dunk during the first half of IU's game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier head coach Tom Crean yells instructions to his players during the first half of IU\'s game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier head coach Tom Crean yells instructions to his players during the first half of IU's game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
IU students cheer as they see themselves on the big screen before IU\'s game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. IU students cheer as they see themselves on the big screen before IU's game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier forward Will Sheehey drives toward the basket during the first half of IU\'s game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier forward Will Sheehey drives toward the basket during the first half of IU's game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier forward Troy Williams blocks a shot during the first half of IU\'s game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier forward Troy Williams blocks a shot during the first half of IU's game against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier forward Jeremy Hollowell drives from the corner of the court during IU\'s 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier forward Jeremy Hollowell drives from the corner of the court during IU's 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier forward Austin Etherington helps up Hoosier forward Troy Williams after Williams\' basket during IU\'s 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier forward Austin Etherington helps up Hoosier forward Troy Williams after Williams' basket during IU's 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier guard Yogi Ferrell drives past North Florida guard Dallas Moore during IU\'s 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier guard Yogi Ferrell drives past North Florida guard Dallas Moore during IU's 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris
Hoosier forward Jeff Howard dives for a rebound during IU\'s 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Hoosier forward Jeff Howard dives for a rebound during IU's 89-68 victory against the University of North Florida at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. Alex Farris

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