Christian Watford Archive

HD Video: Crean, IU players preview Nebraska

Tom Crean, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford met with the media on Tuesday afternoon to preview No. 1 Indiana’s Wednesday meeting with Nebraska.

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

HD Video: IU players react to loss at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Christian Watford, Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls met with the media following No. 1 Indiana’s 74-72 loss to Illinois on Thursday at Assembly Hall.

Watch and listen to their postgame comments in the embedded media player below:

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Draft watch: Oladipo continues rise toward lottery

IUNDSITH0012It’s been a month since our last examination of the NBA Draft outlook for this year’s Indiana team and the key takeaway from the last month is the steady rise of junior Victor Oladipo toward the lottery. Let’s get to it:

Cody Zeller
ESPN: (7) Draft Express: (4) NBADraft.net: (3)

· Analysis: Zeller’s stock has remained as a high lottery pick, but the talk of him going No. 1 overall has cooled considerably since the initial 2013 mock drafts were revealed. But when you take a closer look, it’s hard to pinpoint a legitimate reason for much, if any, change in his stock. In one of the nation’s most balanced and efficient offenses, Zeller is the key cog. His recent play has him right back in the thick of things in the national player of the year and Big Ten player of the year discussion. He won co-Big Ten player of the week honors after Indiana beat Purdue and Michigan last week and through nine conference games, Zeller is averaging 16.1 points and 8.8 rebounds. Perhaps NBA scouts want to see more Zeller dominant games more frequently, but on a team with six guys who are capable of going out and scoring 20, that’s unlikely to happen.

· Expert opinion: “Zeller played with extraordinary energy and toughness against Michigan. When he plays like that, there isn’t a better offensive big man in the country. He doesn’t give that effort every night, but he does it enough that it’s hard to argue that anyone else in college basketball is obviously better.” – ESPN.com’s Chad Ford

Victor Oladipo
ESPN: (15) Draft Express: (21) NBADraft.net: (32)

· Analysis: ESPN.com draft guru Chad Ford has been leading the charge to promote Oladipo’s candidacy as a lottery pick and it’s hard to argue his point. The major hole in Oladipo’s game entering the season was his perimeter shot and he’s shooting 51.4 percent on threes as a junior. He’s also been ridiculously efficient on twos this season (67.8 percent) and his defense has also improved tremendously (5.1 steal percentage, 2.8 block percentage). His prowess as a lockdown defender was on full display Saturday night as Oladipo guarded four different Michigan players (Trey Burke, Nik Stauskas, Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr.) effectively in IU’s 81-73 win. Oladipo has shined all season on the biggest stages and as a result, his draft stock has skyrocketed.

· Expert opinion: “Given his trajectory and Zeller’s fall, I don’t think it’s out of the question that Oladipo goes ahead of Zeller on draft night.” – ESPN.com’s Chad Ford

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HD Video: Indiana players react to win over Michigan

Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford met with the media following Indiana’s 81-73 win over Michigan on Saturday at Assembly Hall.

Watch and listen to their postgame comments in the embedded media player below:

Quotes after the jump.

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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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