Highlights from Sampson’s Thursday presser
Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson addressed the media today and touched on the team’s exhibition opener this Sunday against North Alabama, the progress of Jordan Crawford and Eli Holman and his outlook for the upcoming season.
We’re having our first live blog/game thread on Sunday for the exhibition opener, so be sure to stop by and drop some comments.
Here is some of what Sampson had to say, courtesy of IU Media Relations:
– On his gut feeling about this season’s team: “I like our team. As long as we keep getting better on defense, I think our team is going to be good. We are going to throw some freshmen out there that are going to make mistakes, but Armon and D.J. have played in the Big Ten. Lance has played in the Big Ten, Mike has played in the Big Ten and so has A.J. Those guys are with our young kids. It’s a really good freshman class. As long as we stay healthy, this team will continue to progress. D.J. and Armon, those two guys, we need them to play good every night. And Eric can score.”
– On Eli Holman, Jordan Crawford and Eric Gordon: “The guy that has really improved in many different areas since we started practice is Eli Holman. He is starting to do some things, instead of thinking about things, going slow and making sure he is doing them right. Eli is so raw, he just isn’t a finished product. But, boy he is going to be good. He has such a high ceiling. Jordan Crawford has such a high ceiling. They are freshman playing in one of the toughest leagues in America and they are going to get beat up at times, but that’s where D.J. (White) and Armon (Bassett) come in. It’s not fair to call Eric (Gordon) a freshman, he’s just a good player. He gets lost a little bit away from the ball, but that will come with experience. His talent can get him out of a lot of problems.”
– On the importance of the next 11 days leading up to the season opener: “Really important. I think our biggest improvement will come between Nov. 5th through Nov. 9th. Those days will be very important for this team. One of my former assistants is actually the coach for North Alabama. He will bring a good team in here. Our kids will be hungry to play.”