Media Archive

Roster turnover aids Hoosiers on and off the court

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After losing a lottery pick, a senior who scored more than 1,000 career points and several players via transfer, Indiana is going to look much different this winter.

And given that 60 percent of the roster is new and the Hoosiers are without a true post presence, much of the team’s offense is going to originate on the perimeter.

But change isn’t always a bad thing and in IU’s case, the roster turnover should allow Crean to avoid situations like last season when he was forced to put guys on the floor who couldn’t shoot or score with any consistency.

“Very few times do people (in the Big Ten) put players on the court that can’t make shots or aren’t bringing something to the table,” Crean said yesterday at Big Ten media day in Rosemont, Illinois. “There’s very few places to hide a guy.”

With guys like Austin Etherington, Evan Gordon and Jeremy Hollowell being replaced by James Blackmon Jr., Nick Zeisloft and Robert Johnson, the Hoosiers shouldn’t run into many scenarios where they won’t have a capable and confident shooter on the floor to go along with Yogi Ferrell, a first team all-Big Ten selection in the preseason.

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Notebook: Ferrell’s balanced role

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — The story goes Kevin Ferrell’s mom nicknamed him “Yogi” as a child as an ode to Yogi Bear, the Hannah-Barbera character with a similar voracious appetite. He certainly lived up to the nickname last season, eating up 25 percent of Indiana’s possessions in a year the team starved for any kind of offensive production.

But as the preseason first team All-Big Ten selection enters his junior year as the team’s longest-tenured leader, he’s due for a reinterpretation of the nickname and a role change on a squad with more shooting and playmakers. The root word of Yogi is yoke, which means “to unite” or “join together”. After a disappointing 2012-2013 season where the Indiana Culture struggled at times, Ferrell is in line to do just that for these Hoosiers.

“That’s how I feel like I have to start off each game, being more of a facilitator,” Ferrell said late Thursday morning. “I feel a lot more comfortable, I feel like now I can balance my game out a lot more. So I’m definitely going to try and find these guys more. And once they take them away, I’m going to try and score myself.

“What I want to focus on is not turning the ball over so much. I want my assist-turnover ratio to be a lot higher. I want to have one of the highest ones in the league. So watching some film, seeing what I do here wrong. Not making jump passes. Not trying to force.”

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Ferrell named preseason first team All-Big Ten, Wisconsin tabbed as league favorite

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Yogi Ferrell was named to the preseason all-Big Ten team and the Wisconsin Badgers are the unanimous pick to the win the 2014-2015 Big Ten men’s basketball championship, the conference announced earlier this morning at its media day.

Here’s the full release:

Rosemont, Ill. – Wisconsin has been chosen as the unanimous Big Ten favorite heading into the 2014-15 men’s basketball season as voted on by a panel of conference media. The media also tabbed Badger senior Frank Kaminsky as the Preseason Player of the Year. Michigan State and Ohio State were selected to finish second and third, respectively.

Kaminsky was joined on the preseason All-Big Ten team by Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell, Michigan’s Caris LeVert, Nebraska’s Terran Petteway and Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker.

The Badgers return four starters from last year’s team that advanced to the Final Four. Bo Ryan enters his 14th year at the helm after leading Wisconsin to a 30-8 record last season. Kaminsky was named to the 2014 All-Big Ten first team by both the coaches and media, while Dekker earned second-team honors from the coaches and third-team laurels from the media.

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Hanner Mosquera-Perea adjusting into ‘big role’

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During the offseason, Indiana coach Tom Crean was not shy about what he wanted to see from junior Hanner Mosquera-Perea this season.

He wanted to see the 6-foot-8 forward, who has missed time from suspensions in both of the two seasons he has played at Indiana, become more consistent on the court and more of a leader off it.

“It’s time to play,” he said in June. “It’s time to be really serious about playing extended minutes. It’s time to be an enforcer at the basket. It’s time to show that toughness that his body gives you. It’s going to have to happen or he won’t be out there as much. We need his consistency.

“It’s no more fun and games, now it’s time for you to lock in and mature and not anymore talk, let’s get at it.”

Nobody has received the message more clearly than Mosquera-Perea.

Just weeks into practice for this season, teammates are raving about the junior’s on-court performance. And the Colombia native said he has felt an increased responsibility to become more of a factor this season.

“My role right now is a big role,” Mosquera-Perea said on Monday. “Not just being that, being one of the oldest guys on the team. I feel like I have a lot that I need to accomplish with the team, helping the team on the court and off of the court.”

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Big Ten writers pick Indiana to finish ninth

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The Big Ten conference won’t release an entire preseason poll at Thursday’s Big Ten Media Day in Chicago, but will instead unveil just the league’s top three teams in the preseason.

Ohio State beat writer Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch completed his annual poll of Big Ten writers (27, up to two per program) for the upcoming season and released the results this morning.

The league’s media voted Indiana to finish ninth.

Indiana received 163 votes, which was 33 behind Illinois and just one ahead of Maryland, which was picked to finish 10th. The media’s top three teams, according to the poll conducted by Baptist, are Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State.

The full poll is available after the jump.

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Indiana announces Hoosier Hysteria details

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Indiana announced on Tuesday afternoon that Hoosier Hysteria will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 25, and that doors to Assembly Hall will open an hour before, at 5 p.m.

This year’s event also includes a 64-team 3-on-3 student-only basketball tournament, which will start at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday outside Assembly Hall. The final will be played in Assembly Hall just before the start of Hoosier Hysteria.

As always, fans are encouraged to bring canned food items to donate to Hoosier Hills Food Bank, even though admission is free as is parking. After the event, the team will sign autographs for an hour on the Assembly Hall concourse.

A full press release detailing this year’s Hoosier Hysteria is posted after the jump:

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Nick Zeisloft taking on leadership role

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When Indiana coach Tom Crean chose to offer Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft a scholarship over the summer, the Hoosiers coach said he saw “a lot on the table left for him.” What could have the Hoosiers’ coach potentially seen in the Redbirds’ seventh-leading scorer that was worthy enough of offering a scholarship with limited spots available?

“I think Nick is going to be a fantastic leader,” Crean said during the Montreal trip. “It’s going to take him a little while to get used to and get comfortable and all those things with the team, but we’re highly confident that he will.”

In the Hoosiers’ five-game tour of Canada, the 6-foot-4 Zeisloft showed some of the on-court value he has: averaging 8.8 points and hitting 11-of-20 3-point attempts. On a team that simply lacked 3-point shooters, Zeisloft already has showed he can be a solution.

On Monday at the Hoosiers’ first practice of situational five-on-five action, Zeisloft’s leadership role was already apparent, as well. The former Illinois State captain played a major role in communicating with his teammates, leading huddles and providing intensity on the court.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Zeisloft said. “A lot of fun just being very vocal with all of my teammates and them being vocal at me, helping me out if I make a mistake and if they make a mistake I’ll help them, as well. Whenever a team has each other’s backs, see, that’s the most fun about it. That’s when the win you most, too, is when you have every teammate’s back.”

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