Crean: Abell not ‘scratching surface of how good he can be’

  • 11/06/2012 8:42 am in

Depth has been cited as one of the many reasons Indiana is the preseason pick to win the national championship.

But Tom Crean has been careful in the preseason to not prematurely anoint his team as deep until he can substitute without experiencing much of a drop off in production and consistency.

A big piece to establishing that consistency from the bench is sophomore guard Remy Abell.

As a freshman, Abell played sparingly for much of the season. But he filled in and played key minutes down the stretch with Verdell Jones out in a win at Purdue. He also did so in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament and three NCAA Tournament games. Those experiences should pay off for Abell, who is expected to take on a bigger role in his second season in Bloomington.

“It was big getting more playing time, especially on a big stage like the NCAA Tournament,” Abell said earlier this fall. “That stage was huge and coming into an even bigger stage, it’s definitely going to help.”

Like he did a season ago, Crean is hopeful that he has a solid core of players that can be interchangeable as starters and, right now, Abell appears to be squarely in that mix.

“I want to be able to look at it and say ‘we’ve got seven starters.’ Remy’s one of those guys,” Crean said after Thursday’s exhibition win over Indiana Wesleyan. “If I had to look at it today, he’s one of those seven guys that I’d say, ‘he could start for this team.'”

This preseason has been a productive one for Abell as he’s been one of the most consistent perimeter players for the Hoosiers through the first two public scrimmages and the exhibition game. In the win over Indiana Wesleyan, he stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal in 13 minutes.

“He got better throughout the game. He was not as aggressive as he needed to be,” Crean said. “He’s playing in a box, which is one of my terms for when you’re very narrow and you’re not spreading out and bringing that spacing to the game and creating havoc for your man. He got better at that.”

Getting to the basket was one of Abell’s strengths throughout high school and as a freshman, but working on his perimeter game was an offseason necessity to grow more confident offensively. Thus far, he’s appeared more confident in taking the perimeter shot and knocking it down, even with a man in his face.

“I wanted to work on my jump shot, hit it more consistently,” he said at the media challenge last month. “I know I can get to the rim, but if I know I can hit that, it can open up things for my teammates. I feel like I’m much improved with my game and with my strength.”

To his credit, the Louisville Eastern product, who originally signed a National Letter of Intent with Bradley before re-opening his recruiting following a coaching change, isn’t getting ahead of himself about an increased role or the prospect of more playing time.

His approach and tone hasn’t changed from last season, when he was hungry to earn more time and contribute in any way possible.

“I’m just trying to do whatever I can to help the team,” Abell said on Thursday. “When my name is called, come in and do what I’m supposed to do. Everybody’s got a role on this team and I’m just trying to play mine to perfection.”

It’s that attitude that has the coaching staff excited about his potential, which is still largely untapped, according to Crean.

“Remy doesn’t have an idea of how good he is. He really doesn’t,” Crean said. “I love him to death and we’re coaching him every day to figure this out, but he doesn’t have an idea of how talented he is, how tough and strong he is.

“We’ve gotta get Remy to go from flashes to consistency. He’s one of the most well-loved guys in that locker room. He’s a great kid, great personality, incredibly hard-working student. And I don’t think he’s scratching the surface of how good he can be when he’s out on the court. And that’s what we need from him.”

Filed to:

  • jack_j100

    I believed Remy was a mistake when recruited. I was wrong!

  • freethrow

    Remy scored 7 pts in 13 minutes. Excellent spark off the bench. 3assists, 1 to. He would be a star starter on most teams. I thought he was our most consistent guard in the exhibition.

  • SCHoosier

    This kid is going to be a contributor in many ways..not afraid of tough situations. He if plays within himself and doesn’t try to do too much..Crean is really going to trust and use him effectively.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Jeff Rabjohns has reported on Peegs that a decision on the eligibility of Hanner Perea-Mosquera and Peter Jurkin will be handed down today. Let’s all hope for some good news there.

    Remy has always been very physically impressive. He is one of the most effective slashers this team has and during the Haunted Hall of Hoops scrimmage, his confidence in his outside shot appeared to be up. I think he can be an elite rebounder for his position and an elite defender. If that outside shot continues to come along and if he can keep getting to the rim and consistently finish, he could be a very good guard for us this season. I would also say, I’m not worried about the back-up point guard position next season, I think Remy will be more than adequate if that’s the role the team needs filled.

  • 812Hoosier

    You can easily tell this guy is a competitor. If you see him off the court he always has a big grin and smiling. Once he gets in the game, hes got a serious determined look. I really like the kid a lot, and hes only gonna get better.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Crean stole Remy from the rest of the power conference teams IMO. We didn’t follow his recruitment closely, and maybe we (some of us; myself included) even grimaced a bit when he was brought in because of the scholarship crunch. But he has proven me and many others wrong. He’s athletic, smooth, talented, long, and a great example of how recruiting rankings can lose a guy in the shuffle.

  • Geoff_85

    That’s a good point. He certainly wasn’t known for his perimeter game, but he came in and knocked down a huge 3 against pUKe in the final minute (I think) of the first half. When that shot went up, I was too shocked to be mad. I just thought, “what the hell??” but when he knocked it down, I was always comfortable with him being on the floor in any game. I can’t wait to see the strides he’s made against some decent competition this season. Let’s not forget that he’s also a very good defender.

  • So_Cal_Hoosier

    Just like Vic & Will, I need to stop doubting CTC when it comes to recruiting AND developing a player. Remy doesn’t get near the same amount of attention as some of our other players, but I’m definitely glad to have him on the team

  • Luke72

    Remy not only will be a solid contributor but I really belive he has an NBA future!

  • Oldguyy

    The three assists are what caught my eye. He needs to be a better distributor than he was last year; hopefully three assists in 13 minutes means that he is.

  • moanders

    And the important point to consider is that, for long term success…a program needs guys like RA, DE, JH, etc…guys who aren’t threatening to jump pro every year. Guys who provide continuity and leadership that you just can’t get from the top 50 guy who’s looking to jump when his market value tops out.

  • Jethro Troll

    There wasnt much of a recruitment to follow. If you remember, Abell decommitted from Bradley and then pretty quickly committed to IU. I believe we were the only school he visited after he decommitted. I also believe that all of these events transpired within a week.

    It was like one moment we heard he was visiting in Bloomington, and the next he was a Hoosier. Nobody knew much about him. Im glad to have him on board though.

  • Jethro Troll

    There wasnt much of a recruitment to follow. If you remember, Abell decommitted from Bradley and then pretty quickly committed to IU. I believe we were the only school he visited after he decommitted. I also believe that all of these events transpired within a week.

    It was like one moment we heard he was visiting in Bloomington, and the next he was a Hoosier. Nobody knew much about him. Im glad to have him on board though.

  • HoosierPat

    Remy was an absolute steal. You have to give it up to CTC and his staff for landing him. Remy is an extremely strong individual. That combined with his size, speed, and quickness makes him an elite athlete. If Remy can become more controlled with the ball and become consistent with his shot, he can be one of the best players on the team.
    I will never forget his defensive performance against OSU this past season. I remember him keeping his hand on Craft’s hip and Craft kept brushing his hand away. Remy made him very uncomfortable and that really helped guide Indiana to a big win. I can’t wait to see the impact Remy makes after an offseason to improve.

  • HoosierPat

    Remy was an absolute steal. You have to give it up to CTC and his staff for landing him. Remy is an extremely strong individual. That combined with his size, speed, and quickness makes him an elite athlete. If Remy can become more controlled with the ball and become consistent with his shot, he can be one of the best players on the team.
    I will never forget his defensive performance against OSU this past season. I remember him keeping his hand on Craft’s hip and Craft kept brushing his hand away. Remy made him very uncomfortable and that really helped guide Indiana to a big win. I can’t wait to see the impact Remy makes after an offseason to improve.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    yes, ctc definitely has a nose for talent. if you have doubts, just check his wiki page. haha!

    i do appreciate remy’s game. his strength makes him a tough defender, and i love his fearlessness and aggressiveness on the offensive side. his improved jump shot is going to be a huge factor this season.

  • MitchellBMitch

    Many thought, myself included, when CTC signed Remy that he shoulda saved the scholly or it shoulda gone to someone ranked higher. But Remy is clearly a team player, a important asset on this team and someone who I am proud to call a Hoosier.

    So glad he is on the team and I believe he will take a big Frosh to Soph leap. Looking forward to what he can do.

    Given CTC’s ability to coach up players and the fact that Remy will most likely be a 4-year player. Does anyone think the has pro potential. Either NBA or overseas? Interested in your thoughts because I think its possible.

  • Hoosier7883

    Totally agree! When Remy gets more confident, when he figures out how good he really is, he is going to light it up.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Total glue guy. I made this comparison before but I will again. Remy and Cody attitude wise are in the absolute same arena. Remy will be a force by the time he is a senior.

    I am not trying to start anything here but IMO Abell right now at this very moment is a better player than Peyton Siva. I get to see all of the Louisville coverage first hand as well, and generally watch every game of theirs too. There is a lot of downside to the reckless turnover ridden play with Siva. Some plays are downright mind boggling when it comes to decision making and much of his past poor play has been covered up for whatever reasons. I just don’t see Abell giving up in the same circumstances I have watched Siva become defeated. All in all, Abell would outplay Siva every day of the week and give him nightmares to boot.

    Remy can be a very physical guard with his build and I think we will need that at many points during the season. He also has decent touch, finesse, and a lack of fear. I loved the remarks made about him last year during games that he is a big shot type of player. I myself do not care how many he hits in practice, but if he knocks them down when the lights are on then that is all that matters.

    I can’t wait to see Remy explode this year, and he is going to turn A LOT of heads nationally when he does. Mark my words.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I think after this season he will be on all of the scouts radar for his athletic potential alone. 4 year player though.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    It is always nice getting more than what we as fans anticipated from a player coming in. It was a home run for Remy, Indiana, and all of us when he came on board.

    Totally different players but I would compare him to Kyle Hornsby. There weren’t massive expectations when Kyle came in but by the end of his career he was a leader and a go to player. The team could not have had as much success without him. I look for Remy to contribute like that as well in the future.

  • I remember it was when we were playing at Michigan last season and I believe Verdell hurt his shoulder and Remy came in and was not only high energy (we were playing one of our worst games of the season at that point), but he was also driving to the hoop with extreme confidence and being very active on defense. That’s when I really started to take this guy’s game seriously and thinking he should be in the rotation more. Crean really knew what he was doing when he recruited him and I am so thankful to have him as a part of Hoosier Nation!

  • aHoopandaPrayer

    IU is up one point with 12 seconds on the clock. Opponent has possession and inbounding at half-court… which defensive, lock-down five does CTC roll out? Is Remy in that group? I’m thinking

    1- R. Abell
    2- V. Oladipo
    3- W. Sheehey
    4- H. Perea
    5- C. Zeller

  • SCHoosier

    Unless their point guard is 6-4..u need Yogi on the ball…forget Perea..until he gets cleared..gets out of the boot and in shape…his history is …he is too prone to foul to have in there…at least at this stage. I’m just hoping he’s eligible.

  • SCHoosier

    I will say this about Remy..he should get some court time in the final two minutes of a close game because:

    1) He is fearless
    2) He can defend and rebound
    3) He can get to the hole and knock down an outside shot if he has to take it
    4) Most importantly..his knees don’t appear to knock on the FT line.

  • SCHoosier

    I will say this about Remy..he should get some court time in the final two minutes of a close game because:

    1) He is fearless
    2) He can defend and rebound
    3) He can get to the hole and knock down an outside shot if he has to take it
    4) Most importantly..his knees don’t appear to knock on the FT line.

  • SCHoosier

    Not sure he has the quickness to be an NBA point guard..and would need to improve his shot immensely to be a pro-shooting guard. Pro future likely in international b-ball..but hey..let’s get him to All Big 10 status and see what happens.

  • yimyames

    Rivers is still playing ball, so, yeah!

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    I’m probably Remy’s biggest fan . living in louisville and having the same H.S alma mater I follwed Remy’s Eastern team tear through the state with 4 d – 1 players. Remy is a complete team player . I can’t wait to see the sophomore jump this year .

  • yimyames

    Bet Pitino wouldn’t mind him coming off the bench spelling Siva when he’s in there trying to do too much. Ha dude was in your backyard and you didn’t even look. Good eye CTC!