The Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team entered the 2015-16 season with great expectations. But the season was soon in shambles after a miserable trip to Maui and a pathetic loss at Duke in early December.
Would this talented team sputter, splinter, and fall apart? Would senior leader Yogi Ferrell go out with a whimper? Would embattled head coach Tom Crean finally draw the ire of even his most ardent supporters?
No, no, and no.
Though many people left these Hoosiers for dead in Durham, this group of Hoosiers never stopped believing, never stopped working, and finally started defending with some purpose. As a result, they started winning ... often, and in impressive fashion.
The Hoosiers finished the regular season on a 20-3 stretch after that ignominious Duke loss, capturing the school's 22nd Big Ten Championship along the way. The Hoosiers would also defeat hated rival Kentucky in an epic Round of 32 battle.
Yogi Ferrell broke Indiana's all-time assists record and joined the annals of IU legends along the way. Tom Crean, was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, a well-deserved honor given where the Hoosiers were and where they ended up.
And along the way, numerous other storylines emerged — which is what made this one of the most memorable seasons of Indiana basketball in recent memory.
— Graduate transfer Max Bielfeldt proved to be a godsend who was undoubtedly "better than advertised."
— Highly touted freshman Thomas Bryant endeared himself to IU fans far and wide with his prodigious offensive skill and infectious enthusiasm.
— Disregarded freshman OG Anunoby burst onto the scene, going from being discussed as a redshirt candidate to becoming one of the the country's most exciting players.
— Super sophomore James Blackmon Jr. succumbed to injury around the time of Indiana's turnaround, giving the Hoosiers yet another hurdle to overcome.
— Additional injuries began to stack up late in the season — Robert Johnson's ankle, Collin Hartman's wrist, Juwan Morgan's shoulder — yet the Hoosiers kept on winning anyway.
— A backloaded schedule hung over the first half of the Hoosiers' Big Ten schedule like a pall, but the Hoosiers would buck recent history and play their basketball in February and early March.
And many, many more.
Better Than Advertised: The Story of the 2015-16 Indiana Hoosiers is an anthology of this remarkable season, as told by the hosts of The Assembly Call IU Postgame Show.
The season spanned 37 total games, each providing its own unique contribution to the tapestry of the Hoosiers' overall body of work. This book goes game-by-game, taking you back to the thoughts and feelings, the excitement and doubt, that smart, passionate IU fans were feeling as the season unfolded.
This was a season of moments — most of them good, a few of them not-so-good — and this book is your portal to reliving them all.