Hoosiers zero in on Bader, Mondy of Oakland

  • 12/10/2013 9:38 am in

When Indiana coach Tom Crean saw that tonight’s game against Oakland (2-7) at 7 p.m. would be broadcast nationally on ESPN2, he immediately knew why.

“They’ve got some high-level players,” he said at his pre-game press conference Monday afternoon. “That’s one of the reasons that ESPN chose this as a game for us. They want something that’s going to draw some attention.”

Yes, the Golden Grizzlies started the season with seven straight losses, but they have also won two straight games, most recently coming against a then 6-1 Ohio team on Saturday. And leading the pack for Oakland are two national leaders in statistical categories: senior Travis Bader leads the country in made 3-pointers per game, and senior Duke Mondy tops the nation in steal percentage.

Those two players have Indiana’s attention heading into tonight’s game, and the Hoosiers know they are in for a challenge with each of them.

“Every player has certain traits that they want, in this game, to get to,” Crean said, “and you’ve got to do a great job of doing your best not to let them get to those.”

With Bader, the Hoosiers simply want to limit his touches. The 6-foot-5 Okemos, Mich., native averages 10.9 3-point attempts per game, and more than 40 percent of those shots go in. At 4.4 makes per game, he ranks No. 1 in the country in the category and also is No. 12 in the all-time NCAA career makes list with 397.

“He’s only a threat every time he has it,” Crean said. “He’s one of those guys where if you relax for a second, it’s going up.”

But stopping Bader is much easier said than done.

Sophomore Yogi Ferrell compared his shot to that of Syracuse’s Trevor Cooney in the sense of how Bader can shoot very quickly and off either foot. Crean noted how Bader “never stops moving,” how he “knows how to set you up” and how the Hoosiers cannot afford to lose him on the court.

Though his players might not necessarily understand the comparison, Crean said Bader is even similar to former Ohio State player Jon Diebler, who was a special matchup in himself.

“There’s going to be no hair space when we are guarding him because he can fire from NBA range or anywhere,” Ferrell said. “We’ve just got to limit his touches. And that’s going to be our key, especially defensively and in transition, is limiting his touches and taking away their outlets.”

Bader, however, only has the lead role in an offense that makes almost eight 3-pointers per game. Sophomore Mitch Baenziger is second in the team with 14 3-pointers this season and is shooting 53.8 percent from beyond the arc, while four others have made at least three 3-pointers this season.

“We’re going to have our hands full, defensively,” sophomore Jeremy Hollowell said. “We can’t get them lost in transition. We have to really do a good job with that.”

Figuring out Oakland’s offense is only one half of the puzzle. Led by Mondy, who averages 4.2 steals per game, Indiana is also concerned with the Grizzlies’ defense. Crean said Oakland operates out of a 1-1-3 zone that can work as a 2-3 or 1-3-1, like somewhat of an “amoeba.”

“The bottom line is it’s very active and aggressive,” Crean said. “They create a lot of steals and turnovers, and when you’ve got a couple of national leaders like they have with Duke Mondy in the steals department and then Travis Bader in the 3-point department, you have be very cognizant of that.”

With Mondy, a 6-foot-4 Providence transfer, his 7.2 percent steal rate has Crean’s attention.

He has quick hands, he’s fearless, he’s very active on defense and knows when to put his hands up. In fact, Crean likened him to a football player on defense, as he sees an ability to coil the ball and simply take it away from someone.

“He’s fearless when it comes to absolutely going after the ball,” Crean said. “Much like Victor (Oladipo) became last year. The older Victor became just fantastic at taking the ball from people. Mondy reminds me a lot of that.”

As Indiana has realized in its first nine games, though, many of the keys to the game lie in its own hands. When the Hoosiers stray from the game plan — such as in the second half against Syracuse — disaster strikes.

Whether they can stop Oakland tonight might come down to a matter of execution.

“The most important thing is that we have great energy, that we continue to understand that every game is its own mission with the way teams want to play, with the way that they want to attack us,” Crean said. “And the most important thing for us is to keep gaining confidence, keep gaining understanding of what it takes for us to be successful.”

Crean ‘doubtful’ about Davis

After he re-aggravated a sprained ankle on Saturday that he originally sustained at Syracuse, freshman Devin Davis is considered a game-time decision for tonight’s game. That said, Crean is “doubtful” he will play, though Davis has undergone “triple sessions” of rehabilitation for the injury.

“That’ll become Tim (Garl)’s call and the doctor’s call, but I’m not holding out hope that we’ll have him tomorrow,” Crean said. “You go day-by-day based off what it is.”

In nine games this year, Davis is playing about 11 minutes per game and is averaging 3.4 points and 4.4 rebounds.

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  • WisconHoosier

    When I first read the headline, I thought these were two new possible recruits (“Hoosier zero in on . . .”).

    I was hoping they would commit to IU since Bolden chose UCLA.

    It’s probably time I exited the Internet for a while. I’m trying to follow recruiting too closely.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Hearing Crean talk about this Mondy character and his talent for stealing the ball (a la Oladipo) I can only imagine how frustrating it must’ve been to try and put the ball on the floor against Victor. I would love to have Stan or Troy develop into the kind of defensive spearhead that Vic was. Sounds like this Bader guy could be dangerous. I’m guessing Sheehey will draw the assignment.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Breakout game for Will tonight…..

  • kyle jenkins

    Naw breakout game for Stanford Robinson. I think He needs to be the 1st man off the bench. He’s the prototype 6th man. Energy and great defense.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Am I the only one who is missing the love for HP? Luke IMO is a much better option. HP Still can’t catch the ball, finish near the rim or have a post move. On the other hand, your love for STAN is spot on. I would have him start and bring Will off the bench.

  • kyle jenkins

    Your not looking at the facts. Hanner has been better in every meaningful stat category except blocks which Luke has 8 and Hanner has 5 while they have been getting almost the same amount of playing time. Look it up.

  • SCHoosier

    Why even risk Davis tonight..save him for ND..give Perea ..AE and Hartman more minutes and see what they can do.

  • Earl Scheib

    Totally agree. I feel we’ve been too rough on him. Bleacher Report piece was kind of true. He’s still adjusting to his new role. Look at the bright side — his shooting can only get better, and hopefully, just in time for the BIG. Will strikes me as a very cerebral guy who plays emotionally. If he can level it out and just play basketball, there will be no stopping him.

  • Rie

    Reading “Bleacher Report” is worse than watching Skip Bayless, almost.

  • William Hagenmaier

    Indianas weak schudule is not helping anything show me how they beat a good team

  • David Macer

    Y’all stop with the weak schedule. Everybody has got to remember that the athletic department'[s cash cow is men’s basketball. If we want to get a stronger schedule, we are going to have to give up at least 3 home games each season. Don’t know the numbers, but 18,000 tickets at $30 per ticket is $540,000 + the value of concessions, t-shirts, etc. Plus the impact to the economy in Btown. Would think the department would be giving up at least $1.5MM a year. How are we going to replace that ?? Guess what, we can’t.
    BTW, our NCSOS is better than 10 schools ranked higher than Indiana (#38) in KenPom.

  • dingo

    on a side note, Moe Creek is killing it for GW. he’s their leading scorer. Can’t even put into words how happy i am for that dude.

  • Southport65

    I want to say this early but this is the last post before we crush this team. Maybe I can get it on a minute after but likely I will be comment 80 on that post. Therefore before everyone starts talking about IU cupcakes I wanted to say this. The last team we played N.Fla also played top 15 teams of Florida, Oklahoma State, and Michigan State. Tonights team Oakland has North Carolina, UCLA, Gonzaga, and Michigan State on their schedule. My point is that highly ranked teams are playing these cupcakes not just IU like many commenters would like you to believe!!!

  • William Hagenmaier

    I been hoosier fan all my life but the truth is there schudule is terrible only 2 teams they played that were good they got beat sorry if that offends you

  • David Macer

    No offense taken. Since you have been a Hoosier fan all your life (like me), you understand how important the men’s team is to the economic benefit to the Athletic Department. I would love a tougher schedule but the economics dictate otherwise.

  • William Hagenmaier

    true everybody does I didn’t mean to say it was just IU

  • William Hagenmaier

    First Iu game I can remember early 60’s Michigan was number 1 in country with cazzie russell we had a 7 point lead in last minute and lost I was crushed