Off and running: Observations from IU’s first practice

  • 10/12/2012 7:15 pm in

Photo credit: IndianaMBB on Twitter

The college basketball season officially got underway earlier this evening with ESPNU’s broadcast of “Midnight Madness: Indiana practice,” which was hosted by Bram Weinstein, Jay Williams and Dan Dakich. (If you have access to ESPN3, you can watch a replay here.)

Here are some notes, observations and also some quotes from Tom Crean from the broadcast:

· A couple of injury-related observations: Sophomore guard Remy Abell’s left wrist was heavily taped (the photo above shows a black brace, but there was heavy white tape on the broadcast), but he participated in all of the drills. Freshman big man Peter Jurkin, meanwhile, was mostly a spectator with white tape over his nose in the contact drills. Jurkin’s injury occurred earlier this week in a workout. Neither injury was mentioned specifically on the broadcast. Cody Zeller also had a black left eye.

9:41 a.m. update: Freshman center Peter Jurkin stood off to the side for the majority of IU’s opening practice that was aired on ESPNU with a white bandage on his nose. Inside the Hall has learned via sources that Jurkin suffered a broken nose, which explains the bandage and why he was inactive for most of the broadcast. He is not expected to miss a significant amount of time due to the injury.

· One of the first drills showed Victor Oladipo putting ball pressure on Austin Etherington and Jeremy Hollowell and knocking the ball loose. Crean, wearing a mic, said this: “Good, Victor, good, Victor. Guys, yesterday should have taught you that. He’s going for steals. Good, good, Vic, dominate the drill, Vic. All day long.”

· Redshirt junior guard Maurice Creek participated for the entire broadcast and wore white pads on both knees. Creek looked to be moving better than he did when he returned in the fall of 2010. Crean said Creek doesn’t have all of his athleticism back, but “the confidence is back.”

· Yogi Ferrell had a strong upper body in high school, but looked noticeably bigger than he did over the summer in the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star game. That’s key for Ferrell as the Big Ten is arguably the most physical league in the country. Hanner Mosquera-Perea also looked to have made significant offseason gains in the weight room.

· Here’s a look at the new shoes and socks that were worn by the team. The shoes were the new adidas D Rose 3.

· Crean was asked by Dakich about how he’ll manage the off-court attention the players will receive as a result of being a highly ranked team. “I think the one thing that’s never changed, even when we weren’t playing well, is they were getting a lot of attention,” Crean said. “It was the wrong kind of attention in the sense of the negativity, but the school has always held the basketball players with such high esteem. I think they’ve had to learn to handle that since they’ve been here. And I think now the biggest thing is we’ve got really good kids, there’s a maturity about them. It’s not like we’re not going to make mistakes. It’s not like we’re not going to have issues. But the bottom line is, they’re pretty driven to do what they want to do. And I think it shows in a lot of areas. It definitely shows in their academics.”

· Crean was also asked about finding minutes with such a talented and deep roster. “I think that takes care of itself. It’s like starting lineups. I mean the bottom line is we want to play fast for the right reasons. We want to play faster to create more defensively. We want to play faster to get more guys to be able to play. We want to create havoc defensively and bring fatigue to the game. You can’t do that with just six, seven or eight guys. You’ve gotta be able to do that with a team full of guys that can go. And the one thing that every coach goes through and we’ve gone through it a significant amount here is you’ve got to deal with injuries. When those injuries come, you’ve got to get the point where you don’t have a drop off and you can keep moving.”

· Crean specifically mentioned building up the defense, rebounding, points per game and shots attempted per game as key areas for this group. “As long as they buy into the hustle stats, I think this team will get better all year long.”

· Crean told Williams that Sheehey is a 365 day a year player. “Some people think they are, and a lot of people brag that people are, he actually is. There’s not time that this kid takes away from the game.”

· When Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat was in last May, Crean said he hit the guys with some different things and he hit Sheehey and Oladipo with the fact that their ball handling wasn’t close to NBA standards. Crean said both guys took that to heart and the advice was invaluable coming from someone as respected as Wade.

· Crean was asked about improving IU’s defense and he said that in the preseason, he’s gone to more defensive work than he ever has as a head coach.

· During a shell drill, Crean made it a point to Austin Etherington to get down and be ready to catch the ball. “Look how you’re standing. You’ve gotta shoot the ball for us, right? If a pass comes and you’re standing like this, you gonna knock that down? How about getting down every time. Come on, do not practice bad habits.”

· Starting lineups are often a popular topic of discussion and while Crean said in an interview earlier this week he’d like to have eight starters, Dakich speculated a lineup of Jordan Hulls, Ferrell, Oladipo, Christian Watford and Zeller with Sheehey coming off the bench.

· On a drill near the conclusion of the broadcast, Crean was directing the group on the importance of stopping dribble penetration. As the drill moved on, Crean, impressed with Ferrell’s off the ball defense, stopped everybody and said, “Good, Yogi. You learn to do that, we’re rolling. We’re rolling. Stay with it. Good job, Yogi. Do it again.”

Filed to:

  • Btownie

    Saw Oladipo walking down Kirkwood today, dribbling a basketball. Must assume this was because of Wade’s comment. I like that he took it so seriously, and is working on it.

  • Thanks for that report -when you live far away from Indiana its hard to get detailed info on a practice. Has today’s viewing altered anyone’s pre-practice perceptions?

  • East Coast Hoosier

    Love the shoes and socks! They add some flare to the traditional uniforms.

  • Hoosierfan88

    Agreed!! I always hear how the uniforms shouldn’t be touched, but I like a little splash of something different.

  • Yogi and Cody look great, but the biggest difference is Perea. He’s a beast. I think he’s going to fight for more minutes than expected.

    How about Zeller’s black eye! Kid is a bruiser. Go Hoosiers!

  • Sorry not to know, but who was number 15?

  • Dagwoods

    Very impressed with Vic’s defense.

  • Raphael Smith. Walk-on.

  • MopLady

    HORRIBLE grey shoes/socks!!!

  • nate91

    Every single player looked so much bigger than before the summer, it is unbelievable. I do have a feeling that Hanner is gonna play a bigger role than any of us thought. Gonna be a fun season!

  • chip

    does anyone think the new shoes and socks resemble ohio states get ups?

  • Evansville Hoosier

    So are these are new team shoes for games? Cause those were sick.

  • New D Rose 3 shoes and socks.

  • Evansville Hoosier

    Gonna say this again, Perea looked like Patric Young. Huge. Hollowell looked big too, bigger than I expected.

  • Wow, kids with black eyes, broken noses, wrist taped up, and today is opening day for practice! I do not think the #1 rating is going to anyones head! I can not wait to see them whip up on the competition! I feel sorry for who ever CC puts Vic on to guard he is a beast! Great to be a Hoosier!

  • Geoff, the way these guys are banged up it looks like everyone is fighting for minutes!

  • Evansville Hoosier

    I’m gonna revise what I said earlier, I still LOVE the shoes, definitely better than the plain Adidas, but they’d be much better in red or white.

  • wmrobinson

    i agree. these would be great… for osu. We are Crimson and Cream. i dont see why we would tag on the coattails of osu and pUKe with these trendy socks that everyone of us will hate in 10 years.

  • IU317

    Watford looking primed and ready to have a NBA stock-rising year!!

  • Stevie

    Are the shoes and socks going to be worn for the official season? does anyone know??

  • Great to watch a practice like that! I saw it at Nick’s earlier today. Glad to be back in town.

  • IUHope

    I hope not….at least the socks.

  • Yogi, Zeller, Parea, Elston, and Jurkin are all huge, well cut. I was really surprised at how fit everyone looked this year. That was just a small taste of some great things that are gonna happen this year in Bloomington. Is there going to be and webcasts of Hoosier Hysteria or being played on tv at a later date? Unfortunately I just had back surgery 4 weeks ago and can’t stand in line that long to get in but no way do I want to miss it.

  • IUHope

    Crean was asked about improving IU’s defense and he said that in the preseason, he’s gone to more defensive work than he ever has as a head coach.
    This was my favorite comment by CTC!!!

  • MPmike

    I think he needs to shave his shaggy beard though.

  • HoosierDavey

    Yeah, gray works for OSU…I’d rather they be red/crimson for us

  • WiscHoosier

    Hanner and Hollowell are raw as expected, though Hanner looks very big and strong. Both will provide valuable defensive role minutes, The biggest improvement will be how the four will be and how that equates to defensive stops. Ferrell looks much better than his HS tapes, He will start and eventually Hulls will come off the bench as Will will gain minutes. What will be interesting is watching how Ferrell, Vic and Will pressure the ball at the time line and force turnovers.

  • I love how people complain about something as miniscule as shoes and socks. If the kids like them who cares? Heaven forbid IU change anything at all from a uniform that has looked virtually the same for a century.

  • DarkSouth

    Whoever came up with this idea was genius. Great branding opportunity for the program. While every other school has their cute little skits and coaches riding motorcycles or dressing like astronauts, IU is shown getting better. If you’re an elite recruit who wants basketball to be his life and wants to be challenged, I think this has to make an impression: IU uses its TV time celebrating hard work.

    Sure we’ll have HH later, but this was gold. Fun to watch, too.

  • 1. Perea – he already has an NBA body
    2. Yogi – way stronger
    3. Sheehey – if you watch the mini montage at the end of the broadcast you can see his dunk on VO is the 1 on 1 drill. How does he not start? I really hope he and VO get more minutes on the court together.

  • I imagine that he will dish more out (Jurkin’s nose) than he will receive.

  • Johninmi

    Anyone know where I can see the broadcast besides espn3?

  • IUHope

    I tried to post the link….however, I was blocked and not sure why.

  • RainCityHoosier

    Great to watch a practice. Been a looooong time with Hoosier BBall. I was impressed with the pace – not very much standing around. Couple of things that stood out to me.
    – Hollowell was bigger than I expected, but looked a bit slow.

    -Big Handsome seemed incredibly focused; watched EVERYTHING, even when he wasn’t in the drill.

    -Saw Hulls going around and patting guys on the rear; very much a leader.

    -Yogi did NOT look like a freshman (only one of them who didn’t). Can’t see how he doesn’t start.

    Not too much longer now, Hoosier Nation! Time to go get that 6th banner.

  • IUMIKE1

    Not a big deal but I did kinda think the same thing when I first seen them. Like I said not a big deal but at the same time mark me down as not being a fan of them. I guess as long as they do what they’re supposed to do it doesn’t matter.

    From the way Crean sounds the biggest concern with them may be whether or not the soles are glued on really good.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Most importantly I am very impressed with the team. It seems like our guys embrace the fact that work is never finished. They show a passion to always be improving. Less importantly, as far as the shoes and socks go….well ….time will tell if they fit our team. I don’t care for the black, grey, and orange looking red. Why? Well, they are not our colors. Indiana needs to be Indiana, and those shoes and socks do not emulate what IU is recognized as when it comes to the brand. In the end majority will rule so we will see how it plays out. Most importantly I am proud of our squad and am anxiously waiting for the first tip at center court.

  • IUMIKE1

    Probably figured if it could work for James Harden the way it did it would maybe help him in the same amount. Gotta love a player doing absolutely anything they can to get better. lol

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Yesterday was New Years day . Last year was great and much more than I hoped for . But for four years I have been waiting for 2012 ! I’ve been telling everyone that I know that 2012 will be the year . I feel that I have personally recruited these kids , I’ve watched them grow up on this site . WELLl IT’S HERE FOLKS , 2012 IS HERE ! I’M SO EXCITED ….JUST CAN’T WAIT TO GET THIS GOING ….HOO HOO HOOSIERS!

  • Arch_Puddington

    Pleasant surprise: Creek, who looked much stronger than the last time I saw him on a court. Didn’t see enough to make any bold predictions, but it was a hopeful sight.

    Unpleasant surprise: Perea. For all the talk about his physique, he appeared to me to be struggling. He dropped at least two passes, missed an awkward looking jump shot, and couldn’t quite keep up with the defensive drill. All of this may be due to simple conditioning. He was clearly fatigued — breathing hard, holding his hands on his head, etc. — and we know he is coming off a foot injury, so I suspect he just isn’t strong enough at the moment to play at his best. As long as he stays healthy and gets his wind back, I suspect he will be fine.

    Sheehey and Oladipo looked ferocious, but I guess that is not really a surprise. I have said all along I believe Hulls will start, but Sheehey would start on almost every other team in the country.

  • chiv86

    A few days ago, ITH had a transcript of an interview with Coach Crean and he said that Hanner was still not close to 100% or something along those lines. So I can see why he wasn’t sharp or quick off his feet. Keep in mind he was never said to be a complete player and was raw talent. I think everyone had this unrealistic expectation for him to be soo good that he would fight for Watford’s spot. But I see him more of a 3rd option possibly even 4th for the 1st half of the season behind, Watford, Elston, Hollowell in the 4 spot and behind Zeller, Jurkin, Elston in the 5 spot. Either way, I think he is a player that will stay a few years to develop.

  • IUfanlivinginNC

    I like them

  • Toad Hop Titan

    A close up of Cody in a drill showed him moving his lips slightly “C’mon, c’mon” as he anxiously waited on a perimeter pass. I know another player from southern Indiana who did that often at that age…….he was not a competitor for “Big Handsome” maybe “Big Beer Monster” at Rafters in Terre Haute. Pretty good basketball player.

  • Toad Hop Titan

    Dead On Brother!!!

  • Bob

    Couldn’t believe the size of Yogi’s arm…wow….he has some muscles!!

  • ace132

    what makes you say that?

  • Pritch24

    After such a long wait, did anybody else find it weird yet awesome seeing Yogi, Jeremy, Peter, and Hanner finally in an IU uni? We’re finally here guys.

  • InTheMtns

    Brian, it’s going to be streamed live online (on IU men’s basketball official site, I think). Alex has posted a couple times that he intends to post info next week with further details and the best way to sign up; so, stay tuned. Good success to you with recovering well from your surgery!

  • Kevin Tolliver

    Hate the grey, hope they are just for practice. The style is fine but the gray gotta go.

  • Just had to say, since I’m watching the football game, I really hope they decide on a pair of red/white shoes because that get-up in the picture is totally Ohio St with all that grey.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I think I know who you are referring to but would like to know if I am correct. Who are you making the comparison to?