Video: Christian Watford, Will Sheehey meet with the media

Via the IUAthletics Channel on YouTube:

For those that don’t want to watch the presser in it’s entirety, some highlighted notes and quotes are available in the post below.

Presser Notes and Quotes: Will Sheehey, Christian Watford

Indiana sophomore Will Sheehey and junior Christian Watford met with the media on Thursday afternoon in Assembly Hall and here are some notes and quotes from that session:

– Let’s go dancing: Watford didn’t shy away from increased expectations this season. Behold: “If we didn’t make it (the NCAA Tournament), I feel like it would be a failure. With what we’ve got now, the time is now.”

– Freshmen transitioning: Sheehey hasn’t said much to the three freshmen, but is trying to lead by example: “You don’t really tell them much. It’s kind of a thing with freshmen that you kind of let them learn on their own because it helps them in a sense. They learn from what you do and follow after so we have to set a good example. They have really caught on and have been doing really well.”

– Cody Zeller’s impact: Watford acknowledged that the arrival of the first McDonald’s All-American of the Tom Crean era should allow him to step out on the perimeter a bit more and also talked about his potential impact: “He is going to draw a lot of attention, more than anything. He’s a big guy that can pass the ball and can see the floor. That’s what we need. He can also finish down there so that’s going to help us, too.”

– A down Big Ten? Not so fast: Preseason chatter has the Big Ten being down this year, but Watford still believes a tough haul lies ahead for the Hoosiers: “It’s going to be tough. The Big Ten always reloads every year. Good players leave and good players come in. It’s always going to be tough and you are always going to have your teams like Ohio State and Wisconsin that are always tough, no matter if it seems like they are having a down year or not.”


2011-2012 All-Big Ten Preview: Draymond Green

With the college basketball season inching closer, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next few weeks. Today, we continue our look at our preseason All-Big Ten team with Michigan State’s Draymond Green.

After two straight trips to the Final Four, it was presumed that the leadership of Draymond Green, along with former Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas, could help guide Tom Izzo’s club into a battle with Ohio State for a conference championship and another deep run in March.

Instead, the Spartans were the country’s most disappointing team in the regular season and fell to UCLA 76-74 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Green went out on a high note individually in that narrow loss as he notched just the seventh triple-double in tournament history (his second triple-double of the season) with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, but could only lament his disappointment that his days playing alongside Lucas were over afterward.

Looking at his advanced stats profile over at KenPom, Green’s shooting percentage from inside the 3-point line dipped by 10 percent last season, which is a significant decline. That was a product of settling more for the mid-range jump shot and doing less work in the paint.

But with those added shots from the perimeter, Green knocked down close to 37 percent of his 3-pointers (37-of-101) after only attempting a total of 17 during his first two seasons. This added dimension helped morph Green from a player defenders could sag off to one that now demands attention all over the floor.


2011-12 All-Big Ten Preview: Jordan Taylor

With the college basketball season inching closer, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next few weeks. Today, we continue our look at our preseason All-Big Ten team with Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor.

The 2010-11 Hoosiers got a taste for Jordan Taylor’s deadliness on senior night. Taylor took over in the second half of a game Indiana was in, hit a bunch of highly-contested threes and put the Badgers on his back en route to 39 points and the W.

It was a punch right to Assembly Hall’s gut.

But Taylor makes the cut here not just for his deep-threat shooting (42.9 percent from beyond the arc last season), but for playing with startling efficiency. According to KenPom, Taylor’s turnover percentage was just 8.5 percent last season, good for second in the nation. His assist rate was 30.4 percent (77th in the nation), meaning nearly a third of buckets made by Wisconsin with Taylor on the court came via a pass from him. His offensive rating — which measures personal offensive efficiency — clocked in at 126.9, which put him ahead of guys like Jared Sullinger and NBA lottery picks Derrick Williams, Tristan Thompson and Marcus Morris. And this was all from a guy that had the ball in his hands a lot, as he runs the point and played 90.6 percent of available minutes last season.


2011-2012 All-Big Ten Preview: Jared Sullinger

With the college basketball season inching closer, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next few weeks. Today, we begin our look at our preseason All-Big Ten team with Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger.

After the Buckeyes’ disappointing 62-60 Sweet 16 loss to Kentucky in last year’s NCAA Tournament, Jared Sullinger was tasked with a decision many felt was a no-brainer.

The choices? Bolt early for the top five of the 2011 NBA Draft or return for a second season and a chance to win a national championship. It’s not often that a player passes up that type of position in the draft, but in a NBA labor climate that was uneasy and headed for a lockout, Sullinger quickly announced his decision to return to Columbus.

His father, Satch, didn’t mention the pending NBA labor problems as a reason for Jared’s decision to return, but instead cited unfinished business at Ohio State in an interview with The New York Times. Not only was Sullinger’s return predicated on his desire to win a national championship, according to Satch, but it was also important for him to play more minutes at the four, which will become his position at the next level.

A quick peek at Sullinger’s advanced stats profile on Ken Pomeroy reveals just how productive and NBA ready he appeared to be as a freshman. Pomeroy compares Sullinger’s 2010 season with Tyler Hansbrough’s 2006 season, Greg Oden’s 2007 season, Blake Griffin’s 2008 season and Kevin Love’s 2008 season.


Harris family hosts John Calipari for in-home visit

Louisville Courier-Journal: Calipari does in-home with Gary Harris

University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari made a quick – and surprise – in-home visit on Monday with Fishers, Ind., Hamilton Southeastern guard Gary Harris.

UK has been checking in on Harris for a while and assistant coach Orlando Antigua watched him several times in late July. Calipari saw him one time in late July.

The Wildcats haven’t been mentioned regularly as one of the schools Harris was looking at but the staff has remained in contact with the family.

Crean says Maurice Creek not 100 percent, team needs to cut down on fouling

Yahoo! Sports: Q-and-A with Indiana coach Tom Crean

Q: How is Maurice Creek coming along after last year’s season-ending knee injury?

A: “He’s not 100 percent. He’s not ready to practice. He’s done some one-on-one in limited settings but it hasn’t been with his teammates, unless he’s sneaking in here late at night and doing that along with his shooting drills, which I don’t think he is. He’s smarter than that. We’re not in a rush with him. His rehabilitation has been fantastic. He’s getting stronger. Right now he’s doing things in controlled settings with managers and coaches. We haven’t put him into live action drills yet. There’s not a time period on that just yet. He was evaluated at length again [on Friday]. He’s definitely doing the right things. The mental part was the biggest hurdle for him last year, as far as overcoming that injury. As a coach I’m more concerned with that than the physical aspect, because we’re certainly not going to put him out there and ask him to do things that the doctors and trainers tell him he can’t do.”

Q: You lost the final nine games of the 2010-11 season. What was the most frustrating aspect of that streak?

A: “l look at those losses and say, “What’s the common denominator in those games?” That’s what we’re focused on more than anything. We’ve got to cut down our fouling in a big way. We averaged 22 fouls a game last season and finished last. Ohio State averaged 15 fouls a game and won the league. Right there, that statistic alone, you put a bright light on that, because that’s a big deal. You know injuries play into it and you know that not having enough scoring threats plays into it. But when the new year comes, you don’t focus on any of that. You just focus on what you can do to get better and what you can eliminate that has been getting you beat. It’s time for us to string some successes together, not just one here and there.”

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