Former Indiana All-American and Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo isn’t the only former Hoosier standout who will get a taste of USA Basketball this summer.
USA Basketball officially announced the roster for its 2014 men’s select team and Cody Zeller will join Oladipo on the 13-man roster.
Zeller, who was a second team NBA All-Rookie selection, averaged 6.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in his first professional season in Charlotte.
Indiana’s trip to Montreal in three weeks won’t be the first foreign tour for Tom Crean as a head coach.
In the fall of 2003, Crean took his Marquette program that was coming off a Final Four appearance to Costa Rica for a five-game exhibition trip. That group played for the first time following the loss of Dwyane Wade to the NBA, but it still had a solid core of upperclassmen, including senior Scott Merritt and junior Travis Diener.
The Indiana team that will travel to Canada next month will be considerably younger, but Crean is viewing the five-game schedule as an opportunity to see how this group responds to adversity.
“I’m really anxious to see who is real up when we are playing well and who gets real down when we are not playing well,” Crean said earlier this week. “And then you’ve got to have guys that can impact the game on both ends of the floor.”
This will be the first foreign tour for Indiana basketball since it went to the Bahamas back in the fall of 2007. That Indiana team crushed its opposition by an average of 58 points over three games. The competition level in Canada is expected to be significantly better.
Indiana’s third opponent on the trip, Carleton University, beat Wisconsin last year and took Syracuse to overtime. After a conversation with Badgers coach Bo Ryan, Crean opted to move the game against Carleton, which will take place in Ottawa, to later in the trip to allow his team to get a few games under its belt to prepare for that challenge.
As part of his press conference on Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall, Tom Crean broke down the 2014-2015 Indiana roster on a player-by-player basis.
We’ve organized his quotes on each player below:
Yogi is getting a lot better. He’s getting a lot stronger. He’s benching 245 right now which is phenomenal. He’s always been a strong young man but nobody really lifts in high school like they did in college, and that wasn’t a big part of his day. I mean, he is a force in that weight room right now; and he’s not only a force with what he’s doing and the way that he’s lifting but in the way that he’s talking and leading.
What I really like about him, and I’m going to put him in front of you here pretty soon so you get a chance to see, he’s starting to grasp what he’s capable of. And I don’t think he’s even grasped what he’s capable of on the court yet and I know he’s showing flashes of it.
I had a gentleman in this league tell me that his team they had polled their team on some different questions about the season, and he said, when it came down to the hardest matchup in the league, to a man, everybody said the hardest matchup for them to deal with was with Yogi. I haven’t even told him that yet.
We want people across the country saying that when they run into him. And he’s working towards that. The keys right now, that he become as great of a lead guard in the sense of, do multiple things but make others better constantly.
Indiana added a sixth member to its 2014 recruiting class on Monday with the addition of Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft.
The 6-foot-4 guard, who averaged 6.9 points and 3.4 rebounds last season for the Redbirds, will have two years of eligibility remaining and will be able to play immediately for the Hoosiers.
Inside the Hall talked to Zeisloft in-depth on Monday evening on a variety of topics and our full Q & A is available below:
Inside the Hall: The process of finding a new school for your last two years, how did you reach the decision that you wanted to pursue something different and how did it lead you to Indiana?
Nick Zeisloft: I decided to transfer in early April. My AAU coach, Steve Pratt, knows coach (Tom) Crean really well. And coach Crean did some studying on me and he was very satisfied in what he saw from the sound of it, from his pitch and stuff. I was very intrigued to play for coach Crean and I’m just very glad it’s finally here and official now.
ITH: When you went on your visit, obviously the academic part was a big piece of it, but from a basketball standpoint, what stood out to you the most about what you saw and about the guys who were already there?
NZ: I enjoyed it a lot. The visit was great. I have seen the campus plenty before, but I saw even more of it. The Kelley School of Business is wonderful and playing for coach Crean is even that much better on top of that.
ITH: One of the things that coach Crean talked about in the release was the leadership and the experience that you’re going to bring. What kind of impact do you think you can have on what may be the youngest team in the Big Ten?
Indiana announced the addition of Nick Zeisloft on Monday, a 6-foot-4 guard that transferred from Illinois State University.
Zeisloft will be a redshirt junior this upcoming season and will be eligible immediately after he graduated from ISU in just three years. The La Grange, Ill., native averaged 6.9 points per game last season in 30 starts, also making 60 3-pointers on 169 attempts (35.5 percent). Only one Hoosier made more 3-pointers last season — rising junior Yogi Ferrell, who made 88.
“The addition of Nick allows us to spread and space the floor even more and play with more pace,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said, according to a press release. “More importantly, we are adding a young man that has been raised well and has been well coached throughout his career. He brings a physical and mental toughness that has allowed him to play at a strong level and brings leadership and maturity to our program.”
Zeisloft joins a recruiting class that already is regarded for its shooting, featuring 6-foot-2 James Blackmon Jr., the McDonald’s All-American Game 3-point shootout champion, 6-foot-8 Max Hoetzel, the Derby Festival Classic 3-point shootout champion, and 6-foot-9 Tim Priller, who shot 51 percent from behind the arc as a senior at Richland (Texas) High. The class also features 6-foot-3 guard Robert Johnson and 7-foot big man Jeremiah April.
The full IU release, which also features quotes from Zeisloft, is available after the jump.
(Photo credit: seantmnews on Twitter)
Ryan Burton, a 6-foot-8 forward from Bedford, spent his first two seasons of college basketball at Bellarmine University, a Division II power in Louisville (Ky.) before deciding to transfer to Indiana to focus on academics.
After sitting out the 2013-2014 season, Burton expressed interest in walking on for the Hoosiers and began working out with the team earlier this spring. The Bedford North Lawrence product will be a part of IU’s roster for the 2014-2015 season as a walk-on and last week, he talked to the media for the first time as a member of the IU team.
A full transcript of his comments is available below:
On the opportunity to walk-on at Indiana:
“Growing up just 20 minutes from here, my parents having season tickets all the time, me coming up here when I was little, it’s definitely a dream come true. Playing at Bedford North Lawrence with Damon Bailey coming out of there, it’s definitely an honor just to be mentioned in the same sentence as him.”
On his decision to pursue walking on at Indiana rather than just continuing as a student:
“The first thought, I mean I was transferring mostly for the academics, going to the Kelley School (of Business), taking a year off to focus on that. But definitely, when the opportunity came up to play here at Indiana, the thoughts definitely changed about not playing anymore and I definitely focused on getting back in the routine and it’s been a great experience so far.”
The complete 2014-2015 Indiana basketball schedule won’t be announced until the fall, but IU’s Big Ten opponents have already been confirmed as well as several non-conference contests.
The latest non-conference game to be confirmed is Grand Canyon University, which is coached by former Phoenix Suns guard Dan Majerle.
The Antelopes finished last season 15-15 overall, No. 241 in the KenPom.com rankings, No. 205 in the RPI and will visit Assembly Hall on Dec. 13.
According to AZCentral.com, Tom Crean was a student at Central Michigan when Majerle played there in the 1980s, which helped facilitate the game.
Grand Canyon, which is in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), added 2,000 seats to its arena this offseason.
Thus far, Indiana has three neutral site non-conference games confirmed for next season in Louisville, Butler and Georgetown and five non-conference games at Assembly Hall.
The home non-conference games released so far are SMU, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Lamar and Grand Canyon.
NBA summer league to feature several Hoosiers
We’ve already highlighted the additions of Christian Watford (Detroit, Golden State) and Will Sheehey (New York) to the NBA summer league, but each of IU’s lottery picks over the last two years will also participate.