Notebook: Hoosiers “anxious” to get on the court

  • 10/26/2013 9:50 am in

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Only a year removed from being the preseason No. 1, a new team and a new season has arrived. Later today, fans clad in cream and crimson will pack a sold out Assembly Hall for Indiana’s first game of 2013-2014 against Southern Indiana.

Yes, it’s October, and yes, it’s only an exhibition, but the Hoosiers are ready to get on the court against someone other than themselves in practice.

“I’m tired of beating up on these dudes, I’m telling you,” said Yogi Ferrell on Friday afternoon. “It’ll be a good test. I’m glad we’ve got our first game tomorrow. I’m ready to get back at it.”

Even more anxious to get game experience with this year’s squad is Indiana coach Tom Crean. In a season in which the Hoosiers only return one starter and 23 percent of its 3-point production from one year ago, there remains a lot to learn about this year’s team.

Having opened his press conference on Friday with the words “We’re anxious to play, I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Crean said it perfectly: Now is the perfect time for his squad play someone other than themselves.

“It’s hard to believe you’re going to play a game on October 26th, but we are,” Crean said. “And we’ve been in practice almost a month. And we’re anxious to see where we stand. I like this team.”

Even freshman forward Noah Vonleh, one of the players that has stood out this preseason and is expected to start from day one, said he is excited heading into game time.

As far as if there are any nerves heading into his first game as an Indiana Hoosier?

“Nothing right now,” Vonleh said, “but I’m sure there will be.”

Hoosiers adjust to NCAA rule changes

After the NCAA passed new rules that limit hand-checking in games, Indiana coach Tom Crean observed carefully as other teams played in secret scrimmages over the past two weeks.

In one instance, both teams were in the bonus with 17 minutes left in the half.

With the rule changes, Crean knows his team has to be careful and has spent much of the preseason adjusting his players’ defense to limit as many hand-checking fouls as possible. But with its first game on the horizon, he admits there is a bit of uncertainty heading into tip-off.

“You keep reading all these different stories and talking to colleagues that have scrimmaged at this point,” Crean said, “and you start to know everybody’s in for a wild ride for a while here until we figure out how the games are going to be officiated.

“We want to make sure we understand that this game is changing, and it’s going to be universal. Early on, everyone is going to have to make the adjustment to it, us included.”

To combat that, Crean said he has put referees in 75 to 80 percent of his practices to help his team further understand the new rules, that a player can’t put both hands on an opponent or continually get one hand on him, as well.

He has put an increased emphasis on defensive communication and movement. It’s been a learning process, but Ferrell knows exactly what the new rules mean.

“They’re pretty much going to call, I feel like, anything now,” Ferrell said. “You can’t be as aggressive as last year. You just have to try and work with it.”

As Crean determines starting lineup, positions go to wayside

As the preseason has progressed, Crean has become less and less committed to players playing at only one position.

Take Vonleh, for example. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound freshman has played at the small forward, power forward and center positions thus far.

Or, in even a more dramatic case, 6-foot-8 sophomore Jeremy Hollowell has even played at point guard in practices.

“He’s good,” Ferrell said. “He’s a big guard, really.”

With plenty of preseason injuries challenging the depth of Indiana’s roster, Crean has tested players at multiple positions. And heading into tonight’s scrimmage, he said he has yet to even determine a starting lineup.

“People start looking for labels and ‘he’s this, he’s that,’ but not really,” Crean said. “We had an NBA guy in yesterday that mentioned one of the guys where he thought he was positionally and I’m like ‘Wow, I never even thought of that.’ It blew my mind.

“And that’s where it’s at. Everybody sees the game through their own lens, and the one lens that is starting to be more commonplace is that positions matter less.”

Other notes:

· Crean updated the status of Luke Fischer, Peter Jurkin and Troy Williams yesterday. Stanford Robinson will likely miss tonight’s exhibition with a bruised knee sustained in Hoosier Hysteria.

· Southern Indiana’s leading scorer from last season, Orlando Rutledge, is ineligible and will miss today’s game. The Screaming Eagles are 71-21 in the past three seasons and have 11 upperclassmen on their roster.

· Crean said he is holding his team to the standard of last year’s production. He admits that “there’s a huge difference between last year and this year, right now,” but that is what his team is reaching for.

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  • HoosierCruz

    no hand checking = Bo Ryan retirement???

  • GoIU811

    No hand checking= Aaron Craft averaging 3 minutes a game??

  • IUMIKE1

    If it could be retroactive it would make Craft ineligible this whole season.

    Credit for that goes to Andrew Walker who made that comment on another story but I liked it so much I had to put it out there again for anyone that didn’t catch it in the other story or dislikes Wittle Wosey Cheeks as much as me. Additionally it was, in a round about way, a method for me to be able to hit the up vote more than once. lol

  • freethrow

    This should be called the ‘Aaron Craft Rule’.

  • marcusgresham

    It won’t help Louisville either.

  • Joe Dowdell

    This is huge, it makes teams with larger guards vulnerable. They will actually have to keep both feet in front of a “yogi” or Frazier. Sounds like a lot of zone to me.

  • BKLock

    I’m not quite as old as dirt and no I did not use peach baskets to shoot at, but I remember as a kid that you could not touch the other player when playing defense. You were taught to keep your body between your opponent and the basket. Today the same principle is taught on defense but has evolved into this hand checking, lean all over the other guy style of defense.

    I welcome the rule change but it will be interesting to see how close the officials call the game. We have cried for years that the officials should not have any real bearing in the outcome of the game. How loud are we going to cry in the waning seconds of a close game and a hand checking foul is called and the free throws cause the opponent to win the game?

  • Tucson Hoosier

    or Michigan State….

  • Dflahardy

    I need some help, are they going to play this game on btn2go or not, I have the app and I can watch live games but I don’t see it on there???? I wanna watch this game!!

  • Snookafly

    If you make it retroactive we’d probably be hanging a banner.

  • Dflahardy

    Help me, please help me, Alex, anybody!!

  • ILive4IUBball

    I’m not sure, but just wait until Monday at 730 and watch it on BTN.

  • Snookafly

    An earlier article says it will be on the “Big Ten Digital Network at 7:00 p.m.” It’s also going to be replayed Monday on BTN I believe.

  • Dflahardy

    Yeah, unfortunately I think btn2go only plays things that come on Btn, not btdn, it’s so stupid, I’m kinda po’d,,,

  • marcusgresham

    My guess is they’ll call it close for a few games, but by conference play all will be forgotten and the Aaron Crafts of the world will be allowed to resume their regularly scheduled fondling sessions.

  • Quickiedahoosier

    Wisconsin and Louisville will have big problems if they can’t mug the ballhandler, talk about being in the bonus!

  • Quickiedahoosier

    Louisville sure as heck wouldn’t have won it all

  • benchwarmer32

    No hand checking last year would have equaled IU banner #6.

  • denglishiu

    Does anyone know how to watch the game without paying extortion money to BTN?

  • Joel Thomas

    check out response to Dflahardy above. it worked for me.

  • Joel Thomas

    go to ulive.cbssports and sign up for an account using ULFREEWK as a code. it will give you a free week trial. be sure to click “apply coupon” when you type it in. you can then use the same login info for BTN digital network login access. it worked when i did it.

  • Steve Fischer

    Hey Y’all can ya help out a fellow from Texas who wants to see the game? Is there a live stream – or will they have such for most games this year? If i ordered a Big Ten Network they’d give me the Big 12 and I’d have to watch Jayhawks , Cowboys, trams named after cattle and Sooners and other hokey schools.

  • Ole Man

    Same here. I’m down in North Carolina.

  • Joel Thomas

    did you try this?:

    go to ulive.cbssports and sign up for an account using ULFREEWK as a code. it will give you a free week trial. be sure to click “apply coupon” when you type it in. you can then use the same login info for BTN digital network login access. it worked when i did it.

  • yimyames

    agree

  • Ole Man

    I tried it. And it let me into the BTN network! Now if the game streams properly!
    Thanks, Joel!!!