IU ready for first test against Ottawa

  • 11/03/2015 7:56 am in

After a month of practices and two public scrimmages in Assembly Hall, Indiana will finally have the opportunity to welcome an opponent to Bloomington later today.

The University of Ottawa, the only team to beat the Hoosiers last August during a five-game exhibition tour in Canada, should present a formidable exhibition challenge.

The Gee-Gees are 8-1 through their first nine games, but are coming off a 74-70 loss on Sunday to McGill University.

“They’re coming in off of a loss, so I’m sure they’ll be in a good mood,” Tom Crean said on Monday afternoon. “We have a lot of respect for this team, that’s why we scheduled them… They play at an extremely high level.”

Ottawa relies heavily on 3-point shooting as the Gee-Gees have made 119 shots from behind the arc through nine games. It also plays with a 24-second shot clock and rarely uses that much time before shooting.

“I think they move the ball extremely well,” Crean said. “They can play out of the post, where they try and create some four-around-one to create some isolation in the post, to try and get you to over-help, then kick it out. Their whole offense is predicated on penetrate and kick. Getting you to over help.”

Fifth-year senior Mike L’Africain is the Gee-Gees leading scorer at 16.6 points per game. He is shooting 50-percent from behind the arc and has 40 assists in nine games. In last year’s game in Saint Lambert, L’Africain scored 27 points and made 6 of 8 of his 3-point attempts.

“(L’Africain) gets us ready for seeing other really good guards,” Crean said. “We think it’ll be an excellent test.”

IU is expected to be without forward Colin Hartman, who suffered a rib injury in practice a couple weeks ago after setting up to take a charge on Troy Williams.

Crean also said James Blackmon Jr. will have his minutes managed, so he isn’t pressed more than he needs to be following offseason knee surgery. Freshmen Thomas Bryant, O.G. Anunoby and Juwan Morgan will all also see their minutes watched.

“It’s a long season and they’ve all dealt with different things throughout the preseason,” Crean explained. “We want to play through fatigue and get to a point of fatigue, but we don’t want to put them in situations that their not ready for. They’re extremely ready to play someone else.”

Crean said the biggest things he will be looking at are how his team is able to build on leads and how the team plays on defense.

“It starts with transition defense, because we have to get back and find the shooters,” Crean said. “That prepares you for all the good teams that you face.  Everyone that runs the floor for them (is skilled), they are a quick moving team, and they play off the pass far more than they play off the dribble.  There are a couple of guys that will really penetrate and kick but they make the next pass like it is breathing.”

He also noted that IU’s post defense would be tested with Hartman being the only inside presence returning from last year’s team. He said while Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams have each had to guard players occasionally in the post, he doesn’t want them being down there too much.

“Defensively, we want to do a sound job of containing the ball,” Crean said. “They are coming in here with a lot of experience, they are game tested, and they are a veteran group to begin with.  I kind of like that, I did not realize at the time that we scheduled this that they would have this many games, but they do, and I think that is great for us.”

While it’s certainly a topic of preseason discussion among fans, Crean said on Monday that he hasn’t determined a starting lineup and plans to use a variety of different looks throughout the exhibition.

“I said a long time ago that I am not married to playing with three guards all season,” Crean said. “I am married to Joanie, not a lineup.”

Filed to:

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    SNC, Your 6 year old I am sure would love it as well as you. Like Ken73 mentioned please give us your opinion. I can only see it tomorrow at noon. Replay only on my BTN channel.

  • they have to do nothing of the sort. That’s like saying because there are a few billionaires in the world, I too need to hurry and “catch up” with them. No I don’t, and neither does college basketball. Completely arbitrary and unfounded assertion, on your part.

  • The Assembly Call does this quite nicely. I assume they’ll be live after the game. Highly recommended.

  • I agree with that, but Yogi in the post isn’t perimeter D. It’s overtaxing guards to make them play 4 or 5 positions. But I do agree with your basic point, nonetheless. Perimeter D will be key this year.

  • it’s that kuntecky rubbing off on you!

  • Arch Puddington

    I managed to fight it off before anything too horrific took place.

  • bleeding crimson

    More than likely the game won’t be sold out…so out of respect….just move down to the lower level either mid-way through the 1st half or at half time. That way you know who doesn’t show up plus it gives up a louder fan base.

  • marcusgresham

    IU played last summer’s game with no real post player because Hanner couldn’t get clearance to travel to Canada because of his DUI and Holt hadn’t yet joined the team.

  • marcusgresham

    I think he is a walk-on, but I don’t know if he or someone else decided against him being on the team or not. He wasn’t mentioned at HH and his name was marked off the place where he was to be signing autographs…which is pretty much what you just said. lol

  • straight no chaser

    Yep, I remember very well. Devin was playing as well. Not using the argument to say we were really good last year. But if I remember correctly Devin was a rebounding monster in Canada, although I’m not sure how he did against Ottawa. Oh, and we will miss Collin tonight. And maybe James.

  • Wasn’t that impacted, though, by the guards being out of position due to the lack of post defense? I seem to remember that occurring at times.

  • BigAl24

    No it’s not. I didn’t say i went to where he was autographing at. As I was going to my seat, I saw a sign on just a random wall. This sign was divided up into four sections for the four corners of the stadium and said which players would be there after to sign. And QT was on that sign

  • I think all of that makes for a great matchup. The team gets experience playing against someone that’s been playing for awhile, with the opportunity to assess some things (e.g., perimeter defense), and it doesn’t even count? I think that’s awesome. There are plenty of challenges coming up in the pre-Big Ten season.

  • bleeding crimson

    Links are not encouraged due to possible virus. But you’ll have to refer to Alex.

  • TomJameson

    Ottawa does not return everybody, I think I read somewhere that 3 starters returned. I could be wrong on that though. LOL … Ottawa had everybody last year, it was another team that was missing a piece, and we beat them.

    I think we’ll win, but remember that CTC really seems to want to play with lineups, and type of play. Can’t wait to watch the game!

  • Meadows007

    He is a sophomore from Indiana (Brebeuf High School), but beyond that, I do not know his role on this time. Like you and Marcus mentioned, he was not announced at Hysteria, but he definitely has a more significant role than other managers because he is in the locker room with the team and wears an official practice uniform as opposed jus an Indiana T shirt like most managers. So maybe he’s in the process of trying out for the team? We only have two walkons, no? Fagan, Calomeris, and Ritchie have all left in the past two years so maybe Crean is looking for another. I’m just speculating here.

  • thanks. news to me.

  • BigAl24

    No problem, Clyde Escope. I’ve gotta feeling crean’s got something up his sleeve.

  • Young Hoosier

    Completely different things. And you should try to be a billionaire. Why wouldn’t you? And CBB NEEDS to be more like the NBA. This isn’t just coming from me. But from CBB analyst and multiple big time CBB coaches. It is a bigger opinion than most want to think.

  • straight no chaser

    My 6-year-old opted out, so just hanging out at a pub in downtown Btown to watch the game. Go Hoosiers!

  • I know, sir.. I listen to them after every game. I just thought it’d be cool to get the viewpoint of a novice that was there. Jusy to see what his opinion was. I do appreciate your input though…

  • Ole Man

    A bit. But it was impacted more by guards playing “ole” defense.

  • Ole Man

    They were.