Q & A: Indiana junior guard Jordan Hulls

  • 10/10/2011 12:56 pm in

Following Thursday’s media challenge at Assembly Hall and Cook Hall, several members of the 2011-2012 Indiana Hoosiers were made available to discuss the upcoming season. Inside the Hall will have transcripts of each interview.

Christian Watford was firstfollowed by Remy Abell and Victor Oladipo. We conclude with junior Jordan Hulls, who averaged 11 points per game last season and shot 91.2 percent from the free throw line.

Q. What will Remy (Abell) bring to the table for you guys this year? What do you see as his role on this team?

A. “He’ll be able to come in and guard. He can guard. He’ll get after it, play hard all the time. We don’t really have to worry about him working hard. And he can come in and get to the rack, get to the free throw line. He’s been shooting the ball a lot better since he’s got here. That’s something he’s been working on. We’re excited to have him.”

Q. Where do you think you’ve improved the most over the summer? Getting a chance to play in the (Indy) Pro-Am and work on your game, what do you think has come along the most?

A. “The thing I was working on the most was my defense. Just trying to keep my man in front of me. That’s probably been the biggest part that I’ve improved upon. It still obviously needs a lot of work, but it’s something I’ve really tried to make the most important thing that I need to get better at.”

Q. What do you think the key is for you guys to improve defensively as a team? I know that’s something Coach Crean’s talked about in the offseason is getting better defensively. How does that come together when the season starts?

A. “Rebounding, steals, force turnovers, deflections. We’ve got to get all of those things and that will be whether we press or drop back into zone. Whatever the case may be, we have to have active hands and get into people and make it hard for the offense. If they can make a pass real easy, then that’s just hurting us. As long as we can be in that and get help side defense and all of that stuff, we’ll be alright.”

Q. Do you feel like you have the most number of guys that can handle and drive the basketball that you’ve had since you’ve been here and what do you think that can do for you guys offensively?

A. “Yeah, that will definitely open up the floor. Drive and kicks, we’ll have guys that can shoot outside, so that’s definitely going to help. Remy, like I talked about earlier, he can get to the rim really well. That’s something he’s going to have to learn to do is drive, but also be able to kick. And Verdell obviously, he’s been doing that since he’s been here. It’s definitely a different feel for this team and it will open up the floor and hopefully score a lot more points.”

Q. People talk about Cody (Zeller) with his post presence, but does he give you a little bit of an option stepping out to 15 or 16 feet?

A. “Definitely, he can shoot. He shoots some 3’s sometimes. Not very much, but he can definitely step out and maybe pick and pop. Just brings out a lot of different options and he’s really good with his head fakes. We’re real excited to have him and have someone who is 6-11 and can be down there and be another post presence to help Tom (Pritchard) out.”

Q. How much do you think he (Cody Zeller) helps Christian (Watford)?

A. “He’ll also help Christian out because he’s pretty agile himself and like I said, he can step out and shoot. So when people are guarding Cody, it’ll open things up for Christian. He’ll be able to get to the hole, drive and kick, that kind of stuff.

Q. You’ve seen him (Cody Zeller) in open gyms when he was being recruited, what has the physical maturation and strength and conditioning done for his game?

A. “Everything. It helps everything. Once you get strong and build that central strength that you need it’s just going to help you in every aspect of your game. And he’s really getting better at being able to stay on balance, not letting people push him off balance when he drives to the bucket. That’s probably the biggest thing I’ve noticed.”

Q. Last time we talked to you we talked about leadership and that sort of thing, getting on people. Where do you feel like you’ve progressed with that now that you’ve gone through individual workouts? How have you tried to carry that along as you’ve gotten closer to actual practice this season?

A. “You can always become a better leader so I’m just trying to encourage guys. Whether I have to get on them, encourage them, do whatever I need to do for us to do the workout better or win more games, that’s what I’m going to try to do. It makes it a whole lot easier when people are doing what they need to do in the first place which is what I feel is going on. It’s just really good to see that.”

Q. What’s it meant to you guys to finally have some four year players? How has that changed the way everything’s going having that many guys that have been through it that you don’t have to teach?

A. “We’re all a lot more mature. We’ve got seniors, juniors. I’m a junior now. It’s flying by. It’s going to help us out a lot. We only lost Jeremiah (Rivers) so I feel like with that maturity, we know what it takes to play at this level in the Big Ten, the Kentuckys, all those types of teams. I feel like we know what we need to do in practice and how we actually do have to work.”

Q. Is this the most stable offseason you guys have gone through?

A. “Definitely. Like I said, us being older, knowing what needs to be done, how hard we have to work, those kind of things. That helps us tell the freshmen how it needs to be because they’ve never done anything this hard in their life. We’re bringing them in and they’re learning pretty well and pretty fast, which is always good.”

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  • Anonymous

    Hulls has a lot to work on defensively, it’s good that he realizes how important that will be for his success and the team’s success. If Hulls, Wat, and Verdell can take a step forward defensively the team is going to be muuuuch better.

  • stonaroni

    If this kid isn’t a successful college coach someday, I will be shocked.  Good answers and this guy focuses on his deficiencies and how to improve.

    I am really looking forward to this season and finally seeing a team with ample ball handlers that will allow Hulls a few more shots.  This kid needs to shoot 5 3’s a game, spread the floor and get more shots in the lane which then will open the floor for more shots for everyone.

    I am loving the projections of IU being soft and placing 9th in the Big Ten. I think IU puts together a 22 win season, solidifies the program, solidifies the CTC hire, and solidifies future Big Ten basketball domination in 2012-13 and beyond. 

  • Anonymous

    With Mo’s latest injury..its even more important that Hulls bring the ball up and start the offense. He does it quicker than Jones..and is a better passer. Crean can design an offense with JH getting 3 pt shots even if he is running the point. Can he guard the opponents point guard…??We’ll see..other than VO..no one has proven they can guard on the perimeter. Maybe Remy is the man!

  • IUeconAlum

    Hulls is straight money. I hope he’s rubbing off on Remy.

  • millzy32

    It’ll be nice to see a real basketball team out there this season.  This is the year that it needs to happen.  No more we are too young stuff these guys are getting mature and should become leaders.

    Looking forward to the season.  Everyone is saying the right things now it’s getting near the time when it needs to just happen on the court. 

    I think 5 3’s per game (attempts) for Hulls is low, I’d like to see him hitting 4-5 per game which would mean he’d be taking 8-10 of them.  He’s such a great long range shooter and I think this year he’ll finally start to be open on a more consistent basis instead of having to force contested shots. 

    Zeller’s presence will stop the double teaming on Hulls and Watford and really free guys up to get some good looks.

  • Anonymous

    It is good to know someone has finally stepped up to be a leader.  I think Hulls is the perfect guy to do so.  He has such a high basketball IQ.  I look for him to have another good year.

  • It’s great to see Hull’s coaching the kids during the early workouts. I also look for Remy to help out more than some think because this kid can play some tight D as well as take it to the rim. VO and WS are gonna get some strong minutes this year and look for VO to have a break out year. This is just thte beginning guys so hold on and enjoy the ride from here on out. GO HOOSIERS!!!  See you all Saturday night for the Madness!!

  • Guest

    I would just like to point out that Remy is only a freshmen. While I hope he is as good a defender and point guard as everyone on here likes to say he is, chances are it will be just as much a transition to the college game for Remy both defensively and handling the ball. If im wrong, terrific. It is a much easier transition for a big like cody into college basketball then a point guard.

    I would also like to point out now after watching Hulls for the last two years that our offense simply runs smoother with him making the calls. A lack of size and physical ability are completely made up for with basketball IQ.

    Lastly everyone on here is sitting here saying who they would start and all this…we haven’t seen anyone even play yet. What if Hulls made huge strides this summer in the defensive department. What if Jones has just been sitting here this whole summer seeing everyone count him out of the starting lineup and comes back with a chip on his shoulder playing the best ball we’ve seen from him? My point is noone on here knows where returners have improved, or if the incoming freshmen (mainly remy and austin) are already ABLE to displace ppl who have had at least one big ten season under their belt.

  • Plane1972

    I wish we were hearing more about Elston. It would be so huge if he takes a big step forward this year.