The Gazette: B1G players’ poll: Indiana toughest basketball venue
Indiana’s record matters little to the players experiencing Assembly Hall. In 2009, the Hoosiers finished a school-worst 1-17 in Big Ten play, yet ranked 16th nationally in average attendance at 14,331. Now the Hoosiers rank No. 5 nationally and lead the league at 17,346 tickets sold per game.
“It gets ridiculous,” said Purdue’s Terone Johnson. “The atmosphere is crazy, whether they’re on a three-game losing streak or a three-game winning streak.”
The fans’ intensity doesn’t change for a longtime rival like Purdue, a top-ranked team like Michigan State or an average Big Ten opponent like Penn State.
“Indiana is the toughest arena to play in. It’s so loud,” Michigan State point guard Keith Appling said. “It remember playing there thinking, ‘It’s too loud.’ We couldn’t even call our sets for the full 40 minutes. The fans, not just the student section, but all the fans were into the game, constantly screaming an