Thursday Presser Transcript: Derek Elston, Victor Oladipo

  • 11/03/2011 7:07 pm in

Quotes from Derek Elston and Victor Oladipo’s Thursday afternoon media availability at Assembly Hall:

On whether the players feel ready to play an exhibition and what their excitement level is for the exhibition:

Elston: “The excitement level is definitely there. Every day after practice we get in the locker room and all you hear about is everybody wanting to play somebody else. We get out here in practice and everybody knows each others plays. Everybody cheats the plays. And our refereeing isn’t the best. We’re ready to get on the floor with some real refs and kind of just see how we do against somebody else.”

Oladipo: “I agree with him 100 percent. We’re ready to play against other people. We’re ready to showcase our talents. We’re ready to get things started. We’re anxious. We’ve worked really hard this preseason and hopefully it can carry over into the real season.”

On whether the lack of working on offense thus far is a significant departure from previous seasons:

Elston: “Yeah. I mean a lot during the season, we’re just going to want to get out and go. I know Verdell (Jones) said it the other day, we really haven’t worked on plays, we really don’t look like a halfcourt team right now. We’re the type of team that’s been running. Once we get that ball, we’re best when we’re on the fly. Plays, they’ll be put in and we have a couple. We do have a nice amount of plays. But really we’re a team that likes to get out and run and we’ll run it down your throat if we have to. That’s just what we’re about right now.”

On when they’ll need to focus more on playing in the half court:

Elston: “I don’t know. I just feel like it will come and go with the types of situations. Here in the exhibition games … that’s why we can’t wait to see. Against each other, you play situational games and you kind of check and see from there how you’re playing. Against other teams in these exhibition games, we’re going to see what works best. Whether we get out and run or whether we take our time and bring the ball up and play as a halfcourt team. I guess once we see that happening, then we’ll decide when we need to put in more plays or whether we just need to keep it on the run.”

(For Victor) On how this team is better now than it was at the end of last season:

Oladipo: “We’re more experienced. We’re more mature. We have more weapons now. We know what we have to do in order to win. We have to listen to our coaches and we have to play defense. We focus a lot on defense and we’re capable of taking our defense to the next level. I think we’re going to keep working on doing that and we’re going to continue doing that. And if we do that, I think we can be successful. I think we’ve improved a lot. We’ve added on three freshmen. You from even the scrimmages how they’re going to make an impact right away. I’m just ready to get things going.”

On the players pushing each other defensively:

Oladipo: “We’ve gotta do it every day because that’s what we’re going to expect out of the league. We’ve been through it. They’re not going to lay back on it. They’re not going to give us any second chances. We’ve gotta compete with each other every day and that’s what we’re doing at a high level.”

On whether seeing teams like Arizona and Butler fall to Division II teams in exhibition play will motivate them on Saturday:

Elston: “Yeah. That and we saw from last year Ferris State, they come in here and it just goes to show what happens when your mind slips away from your goal. Our goal is to win all of these games and we just got to come out with the right mindset and play from there.”

On whether this team is looking to move the ball around more this season:

Elston: “Yeah. We feel like last year the ball would kind of be caught and just stop right there. Not a lot of ball movement last year. This year, it’s kind of funny. We don’t even do drills where we don’t get to dribble. It’s just kind of the way it goes this year. Like Vic said, we’ve got a lot of weapons this year. In order for everybody to get to each person’s specific talents, that ball’s gotta move. Whether it be Vic off the drive, Will (Sheehey) off the backdoor, get it to Cody (Zeller) in the post, Christian (Watford) shooting, the ball’s gotta be moving around. And that’s what we feel like is going to help our team the best.”

On whether running the ball through the post has been much of an adjustment from the past:

Oladipo: “Just a slight one. You all have seen Cody. I don’t even have to speak about him. He speaks for himself. He’s pretty good. We have to use him. We didn’t just bring him here for nothing. And if we do, that’s going to open the floor for everybody. And it will and you’ll see that. We gotta get him the ball. Like Coach (Crean) said, if we work out of there, we’re such a better team. We even see it in practice. We get through stretches where we forget about Cody sometimes because we’re not used to him because he hasn’t been here for the past couple years. As soon as Coach, we get that click and Coach tells us, ‘get it to him, get it to him, get it to him,’ it’s amazing how much better we play as a team. We’ve just gotta get him the ball, get the big fella the ball.”

(For Elston) On the leadership of Jordan Hulls since the beginning of practice:

Elston: “Earlier I remember talking about how he was kind of the guy to get everybody ready whether you were doing good or bad in a workout or conditioning, he’d be the one to kind of kick you out or whatever. Right now, Jordy’s kind of like the floor manager. We’ll go red and white every day. And if you’re on Jordy’s team, he’ll tell you exactly what to do. There is no if’s, and’s or but’s. Coach Crean really works with the red team mostly. But really, if you have a question now, you go to Jordy. It’s unbelievable to see how far he’s come. Even if he knows he’s messing up, he knows exactly what to do. You really never have to worry about Jordy. Coach Crean will kind of talk to him a little here or there, but for the most part, he’s kind of on his own. And for everybody else who is in his position, Remy (Abell), a new guy, Jordy’s always on the side talking to him, telling him where he needs to be, what he needs to work harder at. You can see from the beginning of practice to now how far Remy’s come. It’s unbelievable. Really I thank Jordy for kind of getting everybody … in a sense we never really had that. Jordy really never had that when he first came. It’s kind of nice to see him help out Remy to get him ready for what’s to come. He’s kind of like the floor leader.”

On whether it’s easy to accept Hulls, who is in the same class, taking that leadership role:

Elston: “To be honest with you, I like it because he’s really helping me out. I’m not bringing up the ball as much as him. But for him to be around kind of telling me where I need to be for when he drives, where I need to be position wise so if he gets cut off by somebody else, I’ll be in his vision. It’s just kind of things like that, Jordy will be driving, telling me where he wants me to be on the floor and really the next couple of days after him doing that, I’m in spots where I wasn’t and knocking down wide open shots just because of the defense not knowing where I’m at. And Jordy’s really the one helping me through it, telling me where to be.”

On whether having a leader that knows how things need to be run helps to integrate a new player like Cody into the system:

Oladipo: “It helps a lot. To piggyback on the Jordan thing, you know Jordan came here, I know he was Mr. Basketball for Indiana. He came in here and from watching him at home and then coming here and playing with him, he’s been a leader ever since I’ve seen him play. He has the attributes to be a leader so I was listening to him when I first got here and I’m still listening to him today. When he did those things in the offseason to work on his leadership skills, it helps him even more. He’s more comfortable now talking to us and we’re more comfortable listening. And I know coming in, he’s helping Cody. Cody’s listening to him and he’s telling Cody what he has to do to work hard, bringing Cody in the gym to shoot extra and all that kind of stuff. It’s just kind of trying to string everything together so we can get this thing rolling.”

Filed to:

  • Anonymous

    Wow! Some of these comments were very impressive: “We’ll run it down your throat if we have to”  ………     “… if you’re on Jordy’s team, he’ll tell you exactly what to do. There is no if’s, and’s or but’s”………..  This sounds like a team poised to win a lot of games! 

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking the exact same thing.  This team wants to win and they want to win now.

  • cooper

    I like the comments they seem ready to play. My only issue is, this isn’t a team built to run. There isn’t a lot of athleticism and speed in the starting five: Hulls, VJ, and Watford are slow; I have no idea on Zeller and Oladipo is fast. That doesn’t really lend itself to running up and down the court. Plus with the issues the players had getting their own shots off, I think you have to run some plays.

    With that said, if they are able to run it will be a lot more fun to watch

  • Anonymous

    I watched Zeller a lot in high school. He can run and likes to cherry pick. He is alot like watching his bro Tyler at UNC, except more skilled coming in as a frosh.

  • Anonymous

    with how turnover prone this team has been in the past, not sure i want to see a loyola marymount type of mentality…all for persitance on pushing the ball, but patience and the ability to get a bucket when needed wins ballgames. Really glad of the emphasis being placed on the defensive side of the ball, but again it took 3 things to win those banners- coaching, a system, and players…we don’t have all 3

  • Anonymous

    To run the floor, you do not have to have an entire lineup of fast guys.  If you have a few guys that can run up the floor and guys with good floor vision, you can run.  You can’t run by having one person pushing the ball up the floor every time, the ball must be advanced to be successful in up-tempo play.  At Hoosier Hysteria Zeller did a great job of getting ahead of the defense down the court.  The other guys did a great job of advancing the ball to him which resulted in several transition dunks.  As long as the team is conditioned well, I think this can work for them.

  • Anonymous

    I think the turnover issue will be much improved this year.  I think immaturity had a lot to do with their turnover problem over the years.  But this team is much more mature, I think they will be more patient, smarter, and have better execution on both sides of the ball.

  • Anonymous

    I also liked a lot of the things that I read in this post.

    A lot of the quotes are real close to being the same ones we heard before last season started and it didn’t exactly translate into happening on the court as much as many of us thought it would. It will be nice to get the season underway and see if this is more of the same or if it actually shows up on the court on a consistent basis. The things that they said about JH being a vocal leader and all them not only being OK with it but even liking it is something that we didn’t really hear before last year and what I found the most encouraging out of everything that was said. We have really lacked that ever since Crean got here and I think it will remind all of us just how much not having that has hurt us in the last 3 years and how much of a difference it makes.

  • Anonymous

    Some of the turnover issues were a result of NOT playing the Loyola Marymount style.  There were tons of turnovers that were a result of the offense becoming stagnant, allowing undue pressure on whomever had the ball (and yes, some of that stagnation was a result of whomever had the ball not moving it.)  I’m all for getting up and down the floor faster.  You don’t always have to be the fastest to run a good break.  Just the threat of wings who can stop at the three point line and punish defenders opens up the potential for cheap baskets on dumpdowns on the break.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m still thinking the lineup of Hulls, Will, Vic, Watford, and Zeller could run, run, run!!!  Here’s how I see it. 

    Someone rebounds the ball and outlets to either Jordy, Will, or Vic who pushes the ball ahead or hits Cody (who can run like a gazelle by the way) out on the run.  If the ball gets cut off then you have CWat and Jordy to kick it back out to.  That should create a lot of run outs and then a lot of open kick out threes for Watford and Hulls who are the best shooters. 

    That’s just my opinion but you’re right.  Just because Jordy and CWat aren’t fast foot speed wise, doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of being trailers for guys who run like the wind.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree.  IU actually improved their TO% by 2.2% last year and was far better than that the last 3 games of the season.  If they improved by 2.2 again that would put them at about 14.6% which would be around 30th in the nation.  I actually think the defensive foul rate and points allowed per possession were the largest problems last year. 

  • Anonymous

    I’d take the running comments with a grain of salt. It’s possible there just focusing on proper implementation of their fast break and secondary break offense first. From a practice standpoint, it’s part conditioning and part foundation to transition into teaching the half court offense. They’ll probably be adding things up through the back end of the conference season.

    Then again, I’m not in practice…maybe they are going to be a running team.

    And with the fast break or secondary break its not so much beating your opponent down the court (though that’s nice) as it is getting opportunities before they get their defense set. A good fast break team doesn’t have to be fast if they can cause confusion or mismatches. Every team will work on it, even if they don’t use it much.

  • Anonymous

    I may just be an old Fuddy Duddy but am I the only one concerned about the fact that they haven’t been running any half court sets yet?  Am I the only one that thinks playing street ball isn’t exactly the way to win at this level? 

    I love the fact that they are getting in better conditioning and running the ball up the floor as much as possible because it will help their D as well since D is all about conditioning and hustle.  But, what happens when they can’t run it and they have to settle down into a half court scheme.  I know the dribble drive is a sort of free flowing offense but it just sounds to me like the players are playing street ball/AAU ball. 

    I am optimistic but concerned.  Hopefully the players are just glossing over the fact that they are focusing more on D and running and that the half court O is being worked on just not quite as much as other areas. 

    We’ll see in about a month once we actually play a real team.  I am not going to get false hope this year when we are beating up on bad teams.  I want to see us go into NC and beat State or at least give them a heck of a run.  I want to see us compete with Kentucky.  I want progress and I want it this year.

    Go Hoosiers.

  • creanfaithful

    Sounds like defense and energy is the emphasis at this point.  Elston said that “we do have a nice amount of plays,” after talking about how much they are running.  So I don’t think we need to worry that they won’t know what to do in the half court.  And I would hardly call uptempo, “run it down your throat offense” – “streetball.”  Just saying.

  • Anonymous

    Wow.  I want to say more but….I am impressed.

    I really do think this team can make it happen this year.  We need to.  UM doesn’t go to the tournament last year they likely don’t get McGary.  AZ doesn’t make that run they don’t pull the #1 class.

    I know 2012 and 2014 look solid, but if we really want to climb into the top 5 here in the next couple years we need to make a jump this year.

    These guys look and sound as if they are poised to do it.  I am as excited as I have been in years.  Hearing this kind of talk from our players makes me giddy.  I think it can happen guys!