Video: Blackmon Jr., Johnson preview season opener

  • 11/13/2014 1:21 pm in

Indiana freshmen James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson met with the media on Thursday afternoon at Assembly Hall to preview Friday’s season opener against Mississippi Valley State.

Watch the full press conference below:

Quotes are available after the jump.

On the regular season opener on Friday:

James Blackmon Jr.: “For me, it’s just going out there and doing what we did in the exhibition games and picking up from our mistakes. In practice, we’ve been getting a lot better at what we need to do to improve every game, so just go out there and doing that.”

ROB JOHNSON: “I think the same thing, just focusing on the things that hurt us in the exhibition games and now that it’s really the real thing. We have to make sure we get better from those mistakes and not keep making the same ones.”

On what Johnson learned in the first exhibition games:

JOHNSON: “I just think the speed of the game is a little bit faster. I kind of learned that in the exhibition games in Canada, but that’s one thing I noticed and the key that we’re going to have to rebound from all the guard spots, I think that’s going to be one of the keys for the season also so that’s something I learned.”

On what Johnson has learned from working with NBA player Ben Wallace:

JOHNSON: “The biggest thing is he helped me when I’m in the weight room. He has a weight room in Richmond so whenever I go in there, it’s easier to do things because he gives me pointers and helps me with certain lifts, so that’s the biggest thing. He also tells me what to look for and talking to other guards, people he played with I played against them in open gyms and things like that. When you’re coming off the pick and roll and he’s there, it makes it easier when the college players doing so I think that’s something that helped me.”

On learning to play fast while also cutting down on turnovers:

BLACKMON: “I think this team has adapted real well to knowing that we can’t turn the ball over and knowing we have to get up and down the court because we’re kind of small. I think as we keep getting up and down the court faster, we’re a quick team and that’s going to help us.”

JOHNSON: “I think the key is going to be just making the easy play. I think sometimes as younger players, you sometimes try to make the home run play or the spectacular play. I think the key for us is just making the easy, insider plays.”

On the difference in preparation for a game in high school versus a game in college:

BLACKMON: “Really, just the preparation is a lot different, because you have to get ready for each and every game a lot earlier. In high school, sometimes you just go to the gym and warm up and that’s it. Here it’s a whole different mind set. You have to be locked in the whole day.”

JOHNSON: “I think it’s way more detailed than high school was. From a scouting perspective, they take every little detail into account – as far as a player’s favorite move, what percentage they shoot the best from on the court. If you know that and take those things away, it gives you a better chance to win so you have to pay attention and focus when you’re scouting.”

On what you’re doing different in practice to focus on rebounding for the guards:

BLACKMON: “Yeah, definitely – he’s always told us that that’s going to be a big key for our team. In practice, we’ve been doing a lot of rebounding drills. I feel like our guards are athletic though, so we’ll be able to get in there and we just know that that’s something we have to do.”

On if the regular season get here quickly enough for you or do you fell like you need more time to get ready:

BLACKMON: “I’ve been so excited to play here, so I don’t think it came too quick. I’ve been ready to play these games, so I’m just glad it’s here.”

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