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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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Video: Tom Crean roundtable session at Big Ten media day

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media in a roundtable session earlier today at 2014 Big Ten media day at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Watch and listen to his comments below:

Video: Nick Zeisloft, Yogi Ferrell at Big Ten media day

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Indiana redshirt junior Nick Zeisloft and junior Yogi Ferrell met with the media in a roundtable session earlier today at 2014 Big Ten media day at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Watch and listen to their comments below:

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Video, Transcript: Tom Crean at Big Ten media day

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Indiana coach Tom Crean took the podium this morning at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare for his annual preseason comments at Big Ten media day. Here’s the full video of his comments and a transcript is available below:

TOM CREAN:  First of all, the State of Illinois and the history of the Big Ten lost a really, really good one yesterday with Wayne McClain’s passing.  I didn’t know Wayne as well as most, but had great respect for what he did as a coach certainly in high school and then what he brought to the Illini and the Illini Nation and was a big part of the history of this state in many ways.  Indiana basketball sends condolences to his family and friends and anybody that worked or played for him.

As far as us, we’re trying to get ourselves to a point right now where we can look at every day and know that we are tenacious, that we are on the attack, and that we are fundamentally driven, and that’s the goal.  It’s been the goal since the season ended when we started spring workouts the week after our season, and it has been the goal with every new player that’s come in.  We’re at 60 percent of a new team right now, but getting the team to understand every day the compete level that they have to have, the togetherness that they have to have, the ability to move the ball, to move their bodies, to understand the value of defense.  If you’re going to be any good in this league, you have to defend and rebound.

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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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O.G. Anunoby’s high school coach on his decision, long term potential and more

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Blair Thompson, the coach at Jefferson City high school in Missouri, has an up-close perspective on IU’s latest commit, O.G. Anunoby.

As a junior at Jefferson City, Thompson was on the sideline as Anunoby averaged 21.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.4 blocks per game and was named first team all-state in Missouri for Class 5.

Inside the Hall caught up with Thompson for an in-depth conversation on Anunoby and we discussed what put Indiana over the top in his recruitment, how Anunoby handled the recruiting process, his long term potential and much more.

Here’s a transcript of our conversation with Thompson:

On what pushed Indiana ahead of the other schools in O.G.’s recruitment:

“The relationship he developed through the recruiting process with the coaching staff was a big key. I think he was thankful to be part of the Indiana tradition and compete at the highest level in a very good conference. I feel like all that along with his visit to Indiana went really well.

“All those things considered, I think, gave him the information he needed to base his decision off of. I think in the end, everything he was looking for in a school, Indiana offered. I think through the process of going through that, when all the smoke cleared, Indiana is where he wanted to go.”

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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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