BLOOMINGTON – Samford coach Bennie Seltzer didn't have a smooth homecoming Friday.
Seltzer, a former Indiana assistant coach, watched the Hoosiers dismantle his Bulldogs 105-59 from the same sidelines he used to stalk along with IU coach Tom Crean.
Still, walking on Branch McCracken Court brought back memories for Seltzer. It also showed him how big a difference two years makes.
"There's no doubt it's a different team than the one I left a few years ago," said Seltzer, who was an assistant for Crean for two years at Marquette and followed him to Bloomington. Seltzer left for Samford after the 2011-12 season. "The athleticism of that team is completely off the charts. That's probably the most athletic team I've seen in a very long time. With that size and that athleticism, Indiana's going to be a very tough team to beat."
The versatility of the IU lineup stood out to Seltzer. He saw players who could switch in and out at all five positions, and the Hoosiers (3-0) didn't miss a beat when they went deep into their bench during their blowout of the Bulldogs (1-2).
Seltzer also got to see one of the few players he remembers from his days in Bloomington: senior forward Will Sheehey. That brought him back.
"Will's always been one of my favorites," he said. "I hope he has a good last year here. I couldn't say enough good things about that kid."
Nor could he say enough about Assembly Hall, where he built his coaching chops and earned the jump to a head coaching position. Regardless of the final scoreline, this was a fond moment for Seltzer.
"There are so many things I thought of," he said. "The practices we had in that building and the wins we celebrated in that building are brought to mind. All those years and that place was still packed, through the good times and the bad.
"This is a special place."