Video: Tom Crean roundtable session at Big Ten media day

WASHINGTON — Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media in a roundtable session earlier today at 2016 Big Ten media day at the Marriott Wardman Park.

Watch and listen to his comments below:

Additionally, Crean joined Dave Revsine and Jon Crispin on the BTN set:

Video: IU players at 2016 Big Ten media day

WASHINGTON – Indiana juniors James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson and sophomore Thomas Bryant addressed the media earlier today at 2016 Big Ten media day at the Marriott Wardman Park

Inside the Hall was there and we’ve got video of all three players from the event:

Additionally, all three players joined Dave Revsine and Jon Crispin on the BTN set:

Video, Transcript: Tom Crean at Big Ten media day

WASHINGTON — Indiana coach Tom Crean took the podium on Thursday morning at the Marriott Wardman Park for his annual preseason comments at Big Ten media day.

Here’s the full video of his comments:

TOM CREAN: First and foremost, it’s great to be in this area. Love this area for a lot of reasons, and the fact that the Big Ten is a huge part of it now with the success that Maryland has had over the many years that made them such attractive part of adding them to the Big Ten means that much more. It’s a great area to visit. Certainly a great area to recruit, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to play the conference tournament here. The success Maryland has had and is having, continues to have a lot to do with things like that. I think Mark is one of the best coaches in the country. Not only in the Big Ten, but in the country. I think their team continues to get better and better with his leadership and the way that they play. I think he’s been a fantastic addition to this league. Before we get into our team, I’d like to welcome on behalf of Indiana, too, Steve Pikiell to the Big Ten. We competed against him at Stony Brook, and an outstanding coach. I mean, they made a great hire when they hired him. His teams are tough, hardnosed, competitive. Don’t beat themselves. And over a period of time as he gets to put his stamp on that team, that will happen. Then one guy that I think was in so many close games last year, so many games that could have gone either way, including two with us, is Richard Pitino. And I think he’s on the cusp of getting that team to where he wants it to be, playing the style of play that they want. Again, you need — to have a great league, you’ve got to have everybody from top to bottom doing their very best. I don’t know a lot of people talking about Richard’s team, but there are a lot of us thinking about it, I know we are, in the realm of how much better they’re getting.

As far as us, we lost a lot of guys, obviously, that were very successful for us over a period of time. And we had a lot of injuries that we had to deal with this past summer. We didn’t play five-on-five as a group until our second or third practice. Third practice, I think it was, here this year because we’ve had so many guys that were missing. So I hadn’t seen our guys play five-on-five since the North Carolina game. So we’ve started to do more of that. I think in our realm right now, we’re trying to make sure that we’re learning to compete and concentrate through fatigue, especially over the last couple days. Trying to make it a strenuous affair fatigue-wise, where they’ve got to learn to really not only concentrate for themselves, but build a responsibility for each other. Everybody asks about the leadership around our place and what we’re going to do without Yogi. And I don’t know if you replace a guy like Yogi and replace what we lost with Troy Williams, Max Bielfeldt and Nick Zeisloft with one guy. If there was one guy that was going to be that guy, it would probably be Collin Hartman because of his experience, but he has to do that from the sideline now. So what we have to get is responsibility for one another. It sounds kind of trite and simple, but the more you can do that for each other when you’re tired and fatigued and take that responsibility to help each other get through things, then all of a sudden, your leadership starts to take shape because then you’re making the game easier for each other.

If our team had one main strength last year, it was that they made the game easier for each other. We got better defensively. We made the game so much more simple for each other on offense because of the way the ball moved, and we’ve got to be able to do that. So we’re trying to get those things accomplished right now defensively. We’re trying to understand what level of ball pressure we can play. We haven’t started to put our pressures in yet. But we want to pressure the ball in the half court to three-quarter court area. We want to do a great job of protecting and supporting each other, and that’s where the communication comes in. Because older teams have a hard time understanding how important it is to communicate with each other. Young teams really have no idea. Even though we have some experienced guys, they are now going to have to be those experienced guys in the realm of taking real control of the team for one another. So that, along with building a physical and mental toughness that we’re going to need to play a fast-paced style of play and a hard-nosed defensive team, is what we’re after. I love our team’s spirit. I love their energy. We’re nowhere near healthy enough, which means we’re not even close to having a real understanding of where we can be as a team, but it’s a great team to be with every day. And we’re trying to run our own race, and I think that’s the most important thing that these guys can understand is that you don’t pick up from
where you left off, you build on where you were at. It’s constantly a new challenge every day to get that understood, but we’re definitely working at it.

Q. Can you talk about Thomas Bryant’s decision to come back, and in terms of the maturity that showed as well as the fact that he and guys like Melo Trimble and Swanigan are back in the league after those two flirting with the NBA?

TOM CREAN: Well, when it comes to running your own race, Thomas is a great example of that, because he had to do what was absolutely going to be best for his long-term career, and I don’t think he made a shortterm decision. He made a long-term decision. You can talk to him more in depth about it. But it really wasn’t that hard of a decision for him. He’s a very honest person in what he needs to get better at. He understands how far he’s come. But I think he’s one of those rare kids that really, really gets how much better he can get. I think he’s enjoying himself. He’s a
humble person. He’s got a great level of energy, and he’s very young. He just turned 19 two months ago.

But bottom line is he’s really got an old soul. He really does. He’s great with his teammates, loves the gym, and really, really wants to have a long-term career. And there’s really no reason, when he leaves Indiana, that he shouldn’t have an extremely long career at the next level.

Q. You mentioned Yogi and replacing him from a leadership standpoint. But can you tell us how the first couple of weeks of finding a new point guard and how that competition has been going?

TOM CREAN: Well, it’s not as much about that to me. The point guard is going to be the guy that, after the made basket, gets the ball on the break and can make the best decisions, advance it with the dribble or the pass, can score at the rim, score in a pull-up situation, hit a three, get into a ball screen, those type of things. Then everything else has got to be free flowing so that the decision-making process for us is really on that break.

After missed baskets, it’s really the majority of the guys that we have should be able to bust out with the ball. That’s why we work so hard at developing their skills and treating the forwards just like the guards when we do our breakdown work.

But we’ll be a little different offensively. I think the most important thing is not to find that one or two guys that are just going to set it up and control the tempo, but have a team of guys that understand how to make the game easier. Again, it’s building skill. Juwan Morgan at the end of the year when Rob Johnson was our back-up point guard and as a 6’8″ freshman. Now he’s not been healthy enough to do anything of live contact yet. We’re probably a week to two weeks away from that.

But, really, with the three juniors that we have in Josh Newkirk, James Blackmon, Rob Johnson, and the two freshmen we have in Curtis Jones and Devonte Green, it’s a matter of having the ball moving and really making the reads and decisions for one another that is so important. Build confidence in their own games. We put very few plays in. We put very, very little offense in other than concepts, and spent much more time on defense this year and getting that acclimated with the commitment level you have to have to the talk and to the help. So that’s going to take some time for us. But I haven’t been displeased with anybody. Everybody’s had certain days where they’ve been really good, and no one has had a day where they’ve not been good.

Q. I was wondering, you have Kansas and North Carolina in your schedule in the first few weeks. Can you tell us a little bit about what that’s going to tell you about your team and how that will prepare you for the Big Ten season?

TOM CREAN: That’s very poor scheduling. I mean, there is no question about that. Especially the Kansas game. But, no, in all honesty, that’s something everybody’s looking forward to. Then you throw in what we have in December with Louisville and Butler. I mean, our non-conference schedule is going to be ridiculously challenging for this team. But that’s okay.

Because so is the league. And the more experiences that we can get, we’re going to go against one of the hardest-nosed, toughest-minded, best-coached teams in the country right off the bat in Hawaii, and really, what it does is it just kind of increases your urgency a little bit in the non-season. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t reference one of those two teams at least four or five times in something that we’re doing. We haven’t started to prepare for them per se yet, but it will be a great challenge for us. Physicality-wise, mental toughness-wise, we’ve got to do a lot in a short period of time to get ready for games like that.

BTN to air Indiana practice live on Saturday at noon

Indiana’s practice this Saturday will be aired live on BTN from noon E.T. until 1 p.m. ET, the network announced today.

The program, titled “Inside Indiana Basketball,” will air following BTN Tailgate, which will broadcast live from Bloomington beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET. Later in the day, Indiana football will host No. 10 Nebraska, which will also air on BTN at 3:30 p.m. ET.

According to a release from BTN, analyst Jon Crispin and Tom Crean will both wear microphones and discuss drills, Indiana’s 2016-2017 team and also a team scrimmage.

Indiana began practice on September 30 and will tip off the regular season on November 11 against Kansas in Honolulu.

“Inside Indiana Basketball” will be also be available via the web on BTN2Go.

Indiana announces additional Hoosier Hysteria details

Hoosier Hysteria, the annual tip-off to the Indiana basketball season, takes place Saturday, October 22 in Bloomington as Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall doors will open at 5 p.m. ET with the event beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

According to a release from Indiana, fans who arrive by 6 p.m. ET will receive a free men’s calendar schedule poster.

ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenburg will serve as the emcee of this year’s Hoosier Hysteria. E! personality Catt Sadler hosted Hysteria last season.

Hysteria will feature skits, skills contests, scrimmages and opportunities for autographs. Admission is free, but fans are encouraged to bring a canned good to donate to the Hoosier Hills Food Bank.

In previous years, Hoosier Hysteria has been streamed online via BTNPlus. No details have been released yet on streaming plans for this year’s Hysteria.

Video: DraftExpress breaks down strengths, weaknesses of Thomas Bryant

DraftExpress continued its breakdown of NBA draft prospects in the Big Ten on Tuesday and Indiana’s Thomas Bryant is regarded as the conference’s second best prospect in the preseason.

Via DraftExpress, here are video breakdowns of Bryant’s strengths and weaknesses from Mike Schmitz:

Introducing Josh Margolis

Editor’s note: We’re excited to announce that we’ve hired two new writers, Hailey Hernandez and Josh Margolis, for the upcoming season. Hailey and Josh will be taking over all of the day-to-day duties that Andrew Vailliencourt had last season and we’re thrilled to have both of them on board.

Make sure to follow Josh on Twitter and look for his coverage in the weeks and months to come. His introduction post follows.

Basketball has always been a large part of my life.

Growing up just outside Minneapolis, I spent much of my youth participating in rec leagues, skills camps and shooting hoops on our driveway with my younger brother Matthew.

During the Timberwolves 2004 run to the Western Conference Finals, my uncle gave my family tickets to a few playoff games.

I was only eight at the time, but the games made quite an impression on me. Never before had I seen such an insane amount of passion, both from players and fans, on display. It truly felt like more than just a game.

I’ve been hooked on basketball ever since.


I didn’t become a Hoosier, however, until much later. During my junior year of high school, my family took a road trip across Indiana touring various colleges. After underwhelming visits to Ball State and Butler, we made our way to Bloomington. It happened to be the weekend of Little 5.

Before the end of the fall of my senior year of high school, I had committed to attending Indiana University.

My senior year at Hopkins High School was my first real taste of covering basketball. A writer for my high school paper, I had the opportunity to cover the state tournament courtside at Target Center alongside Ben Segelbaum (now a sophomore at Indiana working in the athletic department).

In the state semifinal game, Amir Coffey (now a freshman for Minnesota) threw up a 60 foot shot at the end of the fourth overtime to win the game. I tweeted from our school paper’s handle throughout the game, interviewed Coffey outside the locker room and wrote the postgame recap.

That’s when I knew I wanted to work in sports.

After spending my freshman year at Indiana taking in sports from the student section, I became an intern with WTIU/WFIU, the NPR and PBS affiliate for the Bloomington area.

There, I learned how to work in a newsroom setting, collaborating with professional journalists and gaining vital multimedia skills. But I also managed to spend plenty of time covering sports.

I gladly volunteer scores of hours of my time covering the IU basketball team. Over the course of the 2015-2016 season, I covered dozens of press conferences, the majority of home games, producing video pieces, photo slideshows and just about anything else that was asked of me.

Somehow, I convinced my boss to let me cover Indiana’s NCAA Tournament run (on my own nickel). I relished every second of my time in Des Moines and Philadelphia, talking and learning from reporters from across the country, going into locker rooms and talking to various players and soaking everything in.

Throughout my time in Bloomington, I’ve tried to learn as much as I can about IU basketball; the history, the traditions, the legends, and the atmosphere. It’s why I had chills down my body in the hours leading up to the Kentucky game, why I stop and look around every time I have the privilege of walking into Assembly Hall, and why I will drive 11 hours just to cover a basketball game.

There is a lot that makes covering IU basketball so special, and much of it is because of the passionate fanbase. People want to know everything and anything about their Hoosiers, and I’m more than willing to do my part to give them what I can.


Feel free to reach out via email at or follow me on Twitter @MargolisNews. Can’t wait until basketball season.

Bryant, Blackmon Jr. named to preseason All-Big Ten team

In advance of Thursday’s media day in Washington D.C., the Big Ten announced its preseason 10-player all-conference team on Tuesday afternoon. Indiana was represented with two players on the 10-man team.

Sophomore Thomas Bryant and junior James Blackmon Jr. joined Wisconsin’s Bronson Koenig, Nigel Hayes and Ethan Happ, Michigan’s Derrick Walton, Maryland’s Melo Trimble, Iowa’s Peter Jok, Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and Malcolm Hill of Illinois.

Hayes was the only unanimous selection to the team, which was voted on by a panel of conference media. The Wisconsin forward was also voted the Big Ten preseason player of the year.

The full release from the Big Ten is available below:

Rosemont, Ill. – Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes has been chosen as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year heading into the 2016-17 men’s basketball season as voted on by a panel of conference media. The media also selected a 10-member preseason All-Big Ten team, with seven conference squads represented.

Hayes was also a unanimous selection to the preseason All-Big Ten team. Illinois’ Malcolm Hill, Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr., and Thomas Bryant, Iowa’s Peter Jok, Maryland’s Melo Trimble, Michigan’s Derrick Walton Jr., Purdue’s Caleb Swanigan and the Badgers’ Ethan Happ and Bronson Koenig also earned preseason All-Big Ten plaudits.

Hayes was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree by both the coaches and media last season. Hill, Jok and Trimble were named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media contingent, Bryant, Koenig and Walton Jr., earned third-team All-Big Ten plaudits by the coaches, while Happ was a third-team honoree in the media ballot and claimed honorable mention plaudits in the coaches’ poll. Happ was also named to the All-Defensive Team and was a member of the All-Freshman Team along with Swanigan.

Video: DraftExpress breaks down strengths, weaknesses of OG Anunoby

DraftExpress started its breakdown of NBA draft prospects in the Big Ten on Monday and Indiana’s OG Anunoby is regarded as the conference’s best prospect in the preseason.

Via DraftExpress, here are video breakdowns of Anunoby’s strengths and weaknesses from Mike Schmitz:

A look at where former Hoosiers are playing professionally this season

The NBA tips off later this month and several professional leagues around the world are already underway. Here’s a look at where former Indiana players will be suiting up professionally this season:

Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets (NBA)

Zeller is entering his fourth season in the league and he’ll earn $5.3 million as he remains on a rookie scale contract. He’s yet to play in the preseason for the Hornets as he battles a knee injury. In fact, Hornets coach Steve Clifford recently said Zeller “isn’t expected to play anytime soon.”

Noah Vonleh, Portland Trailblazers (NBA)

The 20-year old Vonleh is entering his third NBA season and will earn $2.7 million in Portland. In his first preseason game, Vonleh recorded a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Victor Oladipo, Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)

Like Zeller, Oladipo remains on a rookie scale contract and will earn $6.5 million this season. It will be Oladipo’s fourth NBA season, but first in Oklahoma City following an offseason trade from Orlando. In two preseason games, Oladipo is averaging 22 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game.

Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets (NBA)

Gordon agreed to a four-year, $53 million deal in Houston in the offseason as he continues to be the highest paid former Hoosier playing professionally. In three preseason games with the Rockets, Gordon is third on the team in scoring at 14 points per game and is shooting 53.6 percent from the field.

Yogi Ferrell, Brooklyn Nets (NBA)

Ferrell’s deal with the Nets is partially guaranteed and is reportedly worth $100,000. If Ferrell doesn’t make the Nets roster, he will likely be assigned to the Long Island Nets, the Development League affiliate for Brooklyn. In two preseason games, Ferrell is averaging 6.5 points, two assists and 1.5 rebounds per game.

Troy Williams, Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)

Williams also got a partially guaranteed deal with a reported value of $150,000. If Williams doesn’t make the Grizzlies, he will likely to be assigned to the Iowa Energy, the Development League affiliate for Memphis. In two preseason games, the former IU forward is averaging nine points and 2.5 rebounds per game.

Will Sheehey, Raptors 905 (NBA Development League)

Sheehey, who did not play in the NBA Summer League, will play for Raptors 905, the Development League for Toronto. He has spent the offseason working in Chicago.

Christian Watford, Fort Wayne Mad Ants (NBA Development League)

Watford also did not play in the NBA Summer League, but has signed to play for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Development League affiliate for the Pacers. Watford spent much of the offseason in Birmingham and also traveled frequently to watch his younger brother, Trendon, play in events across the country.

Nick Zeisloft, Indiana Pacers/Fort Wayne Mad Ants (NBA/NBA Development League)

After not being invited to play anywhere this summer, Zeisloft inked a partially guaranteed deal worth $25,000 with the Indiana Pacers and appears headed for Fort Wayne. He is in training camp with the Pacers, but has played in just one of the team’s three preseason games.

Jordan Hulls, Eisbären Bremerhaven (Germany BBL)

Hulls is in his fourth professional season and is with Bremerhaven in the Germany BBL. In four games, he’s averaging a team-high 29.8 minutes per game. Hulls is also averaging 13.3 points, 4.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game. He recently penned a blog entry discussing his season so far in Germany.

Earl Calloway, Istanbul BBSK (Turkey BSL)

Calloway’s season just got underway in Turkey and in his first game, he finished with six points, five rebounds and five assists in a loss. Calloway has played in the NBA Development League, Croatia, Spain and Turkey.

Bracey Wright, Acibadem Universitesi (Turkey-TBL)

Wright’s team in Turkey is off to an 0-2 start, but he’s averaging a team-high 15.5 points. He’s also averaging 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 rebounds per game. Wright was a second round pick of the Timberwolves in 2005, but played in just 26 games over two seasons.

Marco Killingsworth, Maccabi Kiryat Gat (Israel-Winner League)

Killingsworth is coming off a productive season in Israel where he averaged 15.6 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. Maccabi Kiryat Gat lost their opener on Oct. 10, 90-68.

D.J. White, Auxilium CUS Torino (Italy-Serie A)

White is currently averaging 22.5 points, 11 rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes per game in Italy. Auxilium is currently 1-1.