Notes, quotes from Tom Crean on the Big Ten teleconference

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The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the ninth week of conference play. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:

On moving from man-to-man defense to zone inside of a possession and where the idea originated:

“Well, we’ve done it here throughout time. I think the first time we did it was when I was with Tom Izzo back at Michigan State back before I left to be a head coach at Marquette and we would do it at certain times with people that had plays that they really did a good job with at the shot clock. So we did it specifically for teams and through the evolvement (of it), it’s just become something that we do specifically for actions inside of something that somebody runs. Usually we’re pretty successful with it or we’re good at getting into it and then sometimes, we’re not as good. It’s just something that we feel brings, it just brings a little more uncertainty to the offense and it doesn’t mean that they’re not going to make the shot, but it gets them maybe potentially out of their comfort zone of what they want to run at a certain point in time.”

Are there teams that do that now that you would point to and say, maybe these two or three teams are a model of how you want it to look?

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Big Ten Power Rankings: March 2

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The Inside the Hall Big Ten Power Rankings are back for another week, as Wisconsin has clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title while five other teams remain in contention for top four Big Ten tournament seeding.

Here’s a look at where each team stands following the ninth week of play in 2015: 

14. Rutgers (10-19, 2-14, PPP: .89, PPP Allowed: 1.07) (Last week: 14) … The 12-game losing streak continues, but the Scarlet Knights showed life in Thursday’s loss at Purdue. They got down by as many as 20 points midway through the second half, but to close the game Rutgers outscored Purdue, 38-25, even cutting the Boilermakers lead to just six points with 21 seconds remaining. The game also happened to have the Scarlet Knights’ most efficient offensive output in that losing streak at 1.11 PPP, their best mark since their Jan. 11 win over Wisconsin. (Next up: March 3 vs. Maryland; March 7 at Michigan)

13. Penn State (15-14, 3-13, PPP: .95, PPP Allowed: 1.01) (Last week: 13) … They had just one game this past week, and the Nittany Lions nearly managed to earn their first win in three weeks. But an up-and-down game against Iowa ended in yet another loss for Pat Chambers’ squad, as it sealed a bottom-four finish in the league for the fourth straight year in Chambers’ tenure. The Nittany Lions, however, did give Iowa a run for its money — taking a 12-point lead early and coming back from a seven-point halftime deficit to force overtime. The stinging, game-deciding play, however? A D.J. Newbill turnover with 30 seconds left in his second-to-last ever game inside the Bryce Jordan Center that turned into two Iowa free throws and an insurmountable deficit. (Next up: March 4 vs. Ohio State; March 8 at Minnesota)

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Video: Crean, IU players preview Iowa

Tom Crean, Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell met with the media on Sunday evening to preview Tuesday’s game against Iowa at Assembly Hall.

Watch both press conferences below:

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: February 28

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), via email, submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

bk39 on the premium forum writes: Collin Hartman, how important is he to this team defensively, and is he expected to return for Iowa?

Collin Hartman has been huge to this team, defensively. Especially in the absence of Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Hartman held whatever semblance of a defensive post presence the Hoosiers had left with his physicality in dealing with opposing big men in the halfcourt. He held 6-foot-11 Illinois big man Nnanna Egwu to zero points and just two rebounds — in Champaign. Against Maryland, he shut down 6-foot-11 Damonte Dodd from the start. Despite being 6-foot-7 and undersized when he is used at the five, he really has done a solid job at not allowing himself to be dominated inside with good technique, quickness and simply being unafraid. And the numbers speak for themselves — the Hoosiers were 6-4 with him in the starting lineup, and while he doesn’t necessarily stand out in the stat sheet, he has accounted for 31.5 percent of Indiana’s blocks in Big Ten play.

As far as his playing status is concerned for Tuesday’s game, we should find out more on Monday — whether it be via Tom Crean’s Big Ten coaches conference call appearance, his pregame press conference or his radio show. But he has said that Hartman is day-to-day with that leg injury, and having this weekend to recover should help, as well. – Jordan Littman

@robosalt on Twitter writes: Why does IU switch from man to zone mid-possession? Never seen it before.

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Film Session: Northwestern

While Indiana’s 10:06 scoring drought was the lead storyline from its loss to Northwestern on Wednesday evening, its atrocious defense wasn’t far behind. It was especially bad in the first half, as the Hoosiers allowed the Wildcats — who entered the game with the league’s 8th best offense — to post 1.41 points per possession.

Indiana switching from man to zone often left Wildcats completely unaccounted for or with more space than they had just seconds before, while other times IU’s defenders made some head-scratching decisions or showed little effort.

We’ll take a look at six of Indiana’s defensive lapses from the first half in the latest edition of Film Session:

James Blackmon Jr. holds up “2”, as do some of the Hoosiers on the bench. Indiana will switch defenses mid-possession and sink back into a 2-3 zone:

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Blackmon Jr. initially has the left wing locked down:

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As he heads back down to the baseline,  Dave Sobolewski takes a ball screen from Nathan Taphorn:

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adidas unveils Heritage uniform for Big Ten Tournament

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Adidas on Thursday morning announced its 2015 Heritage uniforms, which Indiana will wear during the 2015 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago.

The Hoosiers will have both cream and crimson alternate jerseys, and the shorts will feature five stars on the waistband — representing the Hoosiers’ five national championships.

“We are pleased to once again work with our apparel partner adidas to have a special uniform for the Big Ten Tournament,” IU vice president and Director of Athletics Fred Glass said, via a release. “We hope our fans particularly enjoy the throwback cream option as well as the five stars on the back of the trunks representing our five national championships.”

Fans will be allowed to purchase the alternate jerseys as early as Monday, March 2, via adidas.com or via the IU bookstore.

The full press release, along with more photos, are available after the jump:

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Hoosiers struggle dealing with “rut” in 72-65 loss at Northwestern

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Indiana found itself in an unfamiliar position on Wednesday night in Evanston, Ill.

With their shots not falling in the second half — whether it be layups, jumpers, 3-pointers and even free throws — the Hoosiers were forced to play through their longest rut of the season against a surging Northwestern squad.

This rut — a scoreless drought from the 13:23 mark to the 3:17 mark of the second half — was far too much for Indiana to overcome. By the time the final buzzer sounded, the Hoosiers left Welsh-Ryan Arena with a 72-65 loss, their sixth in nine games on the road this season.

“The one thing we have got to learn is when the shots are not falling, you define how good a team you are going to be by still finding a way to win when it’s not there,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “And that’s where the defense, the rebounding, the stops, all those things come into it. And we’ve had some of that. Tonight we didn’t have that.”

Wednesday’s game was a story of two halves. The result was just overwhelmingly decided in the second.

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