Hoosiers use dead week to rest, focus on improvement

  • 12/10/2016 7:39 am in

For the first time this season, Indiana went an entire Monday to Friday without a game. The time off from game action was needed after a stretch of four games in eight days, allowing players to study for final exams, rest and prepare for the challenges ahead.

“We’ve tried to focus really hard this week on development, improvement, refinement, some reminders,” coach Tom Crean said Friday.

Crean gave the team both Monday and Wednesday off from practice. Crean called Tuesday’s practice ‘good’ and said Thursday featured a lot of scrimmaging and was ‘very energetic and not overly long.’ The team spent much of Friday in the film room, where Crean gave each player a specific area of focus to improve on the court.

“In some cases, it’s development, in some cases, it’s just reminders,” Crean said. “Seeing it on film and at the same time getting out into practice and having accountability for it. There’s a lot of energy to be gained from even your best players realizing they need to get better. We try to focus on that every day, but when you’ve got four games in eight days, it’s very hard to get better at that.”

One player Crean singled out his praise for was sophomore Juwan Morgan. The last several weeks have been perhaps the best of Morgan’s Hoosier career.

Morgan followed up a stellar night against North Carolina with consecutive games where he lit up the stat sheet, putting up double-digit scoring totals while dishing dimes, swatting shots, and grabbing offensive boards.

Crean, however, said Morgan’s contributions go far beyond the box score.

“(Morgan’s teammates) are not only dependent on his abilities and his personality, they’ve become dependent on his execution and they feel comfortable with him out there,” Crean said. “He’s going to make plays, get big rebounds, be a part of big stops. He moves the ball well. That just brings a comfort level to guys that makes it even easier for me to say what needs to be said when it needs to be said.”

Letting leaders develop

Crean has taken time in the majority of media availabilities to talk about the need for leadership, and Thursday was no different. Over the last few games, Crean says he has been letting different players address the team during timeouts.

“It’s something that’s just a spontaneous thing. As a coach you just try and find those moments where they can impact a team. It’s not like you can come in with a plan of how you can make a player a better leader. You’ve gotta react to what the moment is. At times it’s great to be proactive with it, but it’s more the reaction and the feel of it.”

Davis blossoming

After a relatively quiet start to his freshman season, De’Ron Davis’ has quickly become a crucial part of Indiana’s rotation. Over his last three games, Davis is shooting 63 percent from the floor and is averaging three offensive boards and 1.7 blocks per contest.

Fellow big man Thomas Bryant said he’s been impressed with Davis’ recent play, and loves his footwork and tenacity in the post.

“He’s a big body down there so he knows how to move and use his ankles to the best of his abilities down there (in the post),” Bryant said. “He doesn’t just give up on anything. If he doesn’t get it the first time, he’ll go back and post up a second and third time and go in there and get the rebound as well.”

Bryant also discussed the time he’s spent alongside Davis in the front court, saying it’s allowed the duo to showcase their passing abilities when defenses hone in on the post, giving the guards space to roam and attack.

Anunoby update

Crean didn’t provide much in the way of an update when it came to the status of OG Anunoby, who has not played since suffering a high ankle sprain in the victory over UNC on Nov. 30.

“He’s definitely improving,” Crean said. “It’s still too early to tell for us when he’ll be back. He just continues to rehabilitate. Does a little bit more at times. It’s still truly a day-to-day type deal.”

Crean did go on to say that while Anunoby is not involved in scrimmages or other strenuous activities, he hasn’t become any less engaged.

“It’s not like he’s in another room while we’re practicing,” Crean said. “We have a daily plan for him and he’s a part of the team whether he’s involved in the action or not.”

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  • pcantidote

    A lawyer run athletic department is nauseating.

  • Ole Man

    Sorry, but that’s really negative and uncalled for.

  • Outoftheloop

    There are a million different types of “lawyer”. Your comment has no content. You seem content to live in a very stereotyped, shallow world.

  • IULaw10

    Congrats, PCAntidote, you win the Most Ridiculous Non Sequitur of the Year Award!

    When you accept your award, we’d appreciate if you could give a short speech covering why or how you feel nauseated, why you attacked IU’s Athletic Director in an ITH press conference story in which Fred Glass did not speak and was not referenced in any way, and how you chose your Commenter/Twitter Handle.

    We hope you feel better soon, and again, congratulations!

  • SCHoosier

    I actually see it as an advantage….especially the specific one IU is fortunate to have. But as they say…”Different strokes…for…”

  • ForeverIU

    You mean all the secrecy about OG?

  • Bill Graham

    Maybe the lawyer comparison was a bit much…but I still agree with you it’d be nice to know more about O.G. and Collin….even a hypothetical timeline would be nice.

  • pcantidote

    I’m just tired of the mealy mouthed gobbeldygook with the injuries. This is just not how people normally talk about these things. It is frustrating and unnecessary. Every other school seems to be much more open about it.

  • pcantidote

    I only said lawyers because we know Glass is a lawyer, we know he likes to lawyer up, and I really cannot come up another logical explanation why they cannot be more transparent. I know some people like to use HIPAA as an excuse, but it does not seem to be an issue for other schools.

  • ForeverIU

    Maybe he wants to keep our foes wondering, LOL.

  • vicbert caladipo

    You can’t say FOREVER without foe.!!!!!! LOLOLOL

  • ForeverIU

    Haha, never thought of that one before!

  • vicbert caladipo

    I got a million of them. Stay tuned. Your body of work is quite impressive.

  • pcantidote

    Yep, gotta keep Houston Baptist guessing 😉

  • Yeah, it’s not HIPAA, unless IU’s players are less willing than on other teams to allow the university to communicate their status (and yes, it’s entirely up to the 18+ year old players where HIPAA is concerned). The university for whatever reason is being less transparent than some, and maybe CTC himself than some coaches.

    I do wonder though if it’s not just because they really don’t know. What would they tell us different that would meaningfully change things? If they told us the actual diagnosis of OG’s ankle, what would we do with that information? We’d just speculate more. I think CTC telling us it’s day-to-day is enough–basically, OG will be back when he’s ready, and nobody knows when that will be.

  • pcantidote

    I’d agree that it is possible they don’t know if this was isolated, but you and I both know this has been going on for years. I almost feel like they are being intentionally vague and borderline deceitful about it. I mean at this time last week they were teasing the possibility that he might play last Sunday, and now it turns out he is still really not practicing. It’s ridiculous.

  • vicbert caladipo

    The tone in CTC’s voice seemed different. He seemed kinda peeved for a guy on a winning streak. Thinking that’s why he opened with vague OG update. Probably tired of being asked. It would be nice to know but you know this is the norm around here.

  • cbags05

    They said “day-to-day” at the same time i read that he wasn’t even shooting from his feet…still in a chair. That just doesn’t sound like day-to-day in my mind. But it sure is a convenient term to use when you want to hide the truth. I agree with the general frustration of lack of transparency.

  • Fifer39

    Anyway, glad to hear about the fairly light schedule this week. Another key change in last season seemed to be taking it a bit easier in practice which seemed to reap benefits. It certainly seemed to be the case that in previous years we have looked fatigued by March so here’s hoping we’re pacing ourselves for that deep run this year.

  • Fifer39

    Deceitful? What would be the motivation for that?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Nice point. Hell, our lives are day to day.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    CTC sure loves the 3 guard offense. Even when it runs rough. 12:22 in the Houston Baptist game so far.

  • Well, thing is (and I don’t mean to be pedantic here), OG _could_ one day have _just_ too much pain to stand up and move around in drills, and then the next day be improved _just_ enough to do so. And so, it really is a day-to-day thing, and it’s not scientific at all. How can such a thing be predicted in a way that would make a rabid fanbase happy?

  • Austin Alexander

    I tell you what, PC…what he’s saying is, “He will be playing again when he’s healed, and we’re not going to rush him.” Why you think an ankle sprain is the subject of conspiracy theory is a little bizarre. I’ve sprained my ankle many times, it heals, trust me. CTC’s not hiding the body.

  • Austin Alexander

    When you put definite timelines on an injury it causes undo stress on the player healing. If he’s expected to be healed by a certain date (one that is in no way related to the actual injury) it may cause the player to present himself as 100% when he’s really 60%. This leads to re-injury. I’d prefer the day to day approach…and I’m sure the players appreciate it as well.

  • Austin Alexander

    They are lying because OG’s really an alien, and his ankles don’t heal like human ankles…get your tin-foil hats!

  • Austin Alexander

    Apparently our fanbase requires medical insight so we can maul it over instead of doing work. If you want to help OG send him a get well soon card.

  • cbags05

    Hbu was a tiny team.

  • cbags05

    Oh come on. You have a short memory. RJ last year had the same initial diagnosis as OG this year. If your mind hadn’t started thinking about OG needing surgery your’re quite special.

  • cbags05

    Right. The universal diagnosis. I get that the future can’t be predicted. I hyperextended a knee 5 days ago….no clue when i can do anything fun again. I just want to know that he is definitely going to be ok as opposed to what RJ went through.

  • Austin Alexander

    Still follow the above instructions…send the poor fella a get well soon card 🙂

  • We never got a firm diagnosis about OG. CTC barely mentioned his sprain being “high” in his post-game presser, but he said at the same time that OG was at that moment being assessed by the trainers. After that, I don’t remember anyone in the program providing any diagnostic information–which if I’m not mistaken was our most initial complaint. I don’t remember hearing specifics about RJ’s injury until some time later.

    Really, I think this debate is turning into something over nothing. I think the coaching staff didn’t say much about OG’s status because they didn’t know. They never implied that it was a long-term thing that would require surgery, and if anything they made it clear that it wasn’t that bad. The only thing we have to complain about is that they haven’t 1) given us an ICD-9 code and 2) let us know with some certainty when OG will be playing again. And we’re not really owed either of those.

  • See, this is getting silly to me. They don’t know when he’ll play–that’s the nature of “day-to-day.” It means one day it’s one thing, then the next day it’s another. Can get better, then worse, then better again.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I heard at least 3 announcers say he was playing against Butler. This time I’m not dreaming. I also heard CH would return. I was questioned about quality of my sources. Rick Pizzo and Shon Morris of BTN and Homer Drew and the other guy announcing the game from BTN. Those of you listening and paying attention heard what I heard so either that’s not a quality source or the people giving me flack should retract. Drew said he watched him run around and he ran like a guy already ready just Crean was being cautious.

  • Funny thing is, after all this debate, apparently CTC addressed this in his presser. Sounds like OG has been medically cleared, and now it’s up to him to feel 100% ready to go. I’ll be listening to the presser when I get a chance, but sounds like Butler is definitely a go.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    So play 3 bigs.

  • pcantidote

    Last weekend: He could go
    This weekend before the game: He isn’t even practicing
    This weekend after the game: He is 100%

    I am not calling it a conspiracy, but WTF.

  • Bill Graham

    While I understand your argument. As a former college player who suffered a serious injury. My timeline gave me a goal. Something to strive for in the rehabilitative process. Timelines are usually used with injuries…and Hartman and O.G. probably have some sort of timeline…it would just be nice to know more