Christian Watford Archive

HD Video: Crean, Hulls and Watford preview Michigan

Tom Crean, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford met with the media on Friday evening to preview Saturday’s game with No. 1 Michigan.

Watch and listen to both press conferences in the embedded media players below:

HD Video: IU players react to win over Michigan State

Yogi Ferrell (11 points, three assists), Victor Oladipo (21 points, seven rebounds, six steals, three blocks) and Christian Watford (12 points, six rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 75-70 win over Michigan State on Sunday at Assembly Hall.

Watch and listen to the press conference in the embedded media player below:

Quotes available after the jump.

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Hoosiers ready for physical game with No. 13 Michigan State

012612ieAfter last season, you figured maybe Michigan State would take a step back in the Big Ten. The Spartans lost the heart and soul of their team in Draymond Green, a guy who tortured Big Ten teams and fans for four years.

But here come the Spartans, sitting atop the conference rankings with a 6-1 league record and a No. 13 ranking as they prepare to enter Assembly Hall for Sunday afternoon’s showdown with No. 7 Indiana. On paper, it’s the same old competitive Michigan State team.

“I’m used to the Tom Izzo that’s gloom and doom and ‘the sky is falling’ and he’s only happy when he’s miserable,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said Saturday. “And reading some of the comments coming out of Michigan, those guys are really excited to play. That’s nerve-wracking.”

Green is gone, but almost everyone else is back, including explosive point guard Keith Appling. The 6-foot-1 Appling nearly single-handedly beat the Hoosiers (17-2, 5-1) in the teams’ first meeting a year ago in East Lansing, going for a season-high 25 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

In his only career game at Assembly Hall, though, Appling scored only six points on 2-of-6 shooting.

“He’s the guy who beat us a year ago,” Crean said. “He’s tremendous. He can turn it on at any point in time. He’s excellent in transition, he wants to get to the foul line for his pull-up jumper. He’s delivering the ball, he’s getting to the rim, he’s just creating a lot of havoc.”

Added senior guard Jordan Hulls: “Lot better shooter. He’s added that to his game and he’s very explosive in transition, just getting to the rim or pulling up. We know we have to try and contain him.”

The problem for Indiana is, Appling is not the Spartans’ only weapon. Not even close. He’s joined in the backcourt by Indiana native and 2012 Indiana Mr. Basketball, Gary Harris, who is averaging 12.3 points per game in his freshman campaign. He’s also shooting nearly 39 percent from 3-point range.

“He’s very athletic, likes to get to the rim,” Hulls said. “We just have to do a good job of keeping him outside and not letting him get penetration. He’s a very capable 3-point shooter and he can play different areas on the floor. You just have to be aware of him.”

The backcourt matchup should be interesting considering the Hoosiers usually start Hulls and Yogi Ferrell, two guys right around 6-foot. Either Appling or Harris is going to be a difficult matchup for Hulls, so whoever he guards could dictate who Michigan State (17-3, 6-1) runs its offense around.

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HD Video: Crean, IU players preview Michigan State

Tom Crean, Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls met with the media on Saturday to preview Sunday’s game with Michigan State.

Watch and listen to both press conferences in the embedded media players below:

HD Video: IU players react to win at Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. — Cody Zeller (21 points, 13 rebounds), Christian Watford (14 points, six rebounds) and Jordan Hulls (15 points) met with the media following Indiana’s 67-59 win at Northwestern on Sunday afternoon.

Watch and listen to both press conferences in the embedded media players below:

HD Video: Buckley, Hulls and Watford preview Wisconsin

Associate head coach Tim Buckley, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford met with the media on Monday to preview Tuesday’s game with Wisconsin.

Watch and listen to both press conferences in the embedded media players below:

Five takeaways from Indiana’s win over Minnesota

IUMinnITH0012It was pretty for one half and ugly for a good part of the other, but the No. 5 Hoosiers withstood a rally from No. 8 Minnesota on Saturday afternoon to prevail 88-81 and moved to 15-1 and 3-0 in the Big Ten.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s sixth straight win:

· Indiana’s first half was their best of the season: 52 points against one of the nation’s top 15 defenses? That’s what the Hoosiers managed in the first 20 minutes on Saturday. But equally as impressive was Indiana holding the Gophers, also a top 15 offense, to just 29 points before intermission. As Dan Dakich remarked on Twitter, Indiana’s first half defense may have been the best effort we’ve seen in college hoops this season. Minnesota did shoot nearly 46 percent in the first half, but Indiana never made anything easy, was able to force 12 turnovers and allowed just five second chance points to the nation’s best offensive rebounding team. 

· Victor Oladipo deserves to be in the national player of the year race: It wasn’t the best night defensively for IU’s star junior guard, and he admitted as much in his postgame remarks, but Oladipo’s first half set the tone for the game. He was 6-of-6 from the field, including a 3-pointer, and added two rebounds, two assists and two steals. As he’s done for much of the season, Oladipo made off balance looks around the basket look easy. Prior to the season, Oladipo was viewed as a very good defender who was somewhat limited by a one-dimensional offensive game. He’s morphed into a player that can consistently do damage in the halfcourt. A performance like Saturday’s should vault Oladipo into the national player of the year discussion.

· Yogi Ferrell played like a veteran: Saturday’s performance might have been Ferrell’s best of the season. Offensively, he was effective going to the basket with both hands and finished with 13 points, just one short of his season-high of 14 against Georgetown. After having a shot erased at the rim by Trevor Mbakwe less than three minutes in, Ferrell didn’t get discouraged. He kept attacking and finished the first half with three layups which is impressive when you consider the size he was giving up to the Minnesota front line. He was also the facilitator on three of Indiana’s seven first half 3-pointers and assisted on seven of IU’s 21 first half field goals. Ferrell logged a team-high 37 minutes, which also happened to be a career-high. “He leads by example and he leads with his defense and he is a great teammate but he has got to get more verbal,” Tom Crean said of his freshman point guard. “That’s the next step for him.”

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