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.”

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  • Gregory J. Haggard

    It goes without saying Ottawa is a good team.
    An excellent exhibition test, should let us know right away how much improvement has been made on defense.

  • And One

    This ain’t no Athletes In Action exhibition game. I can’t wait to see how we play against their up-tempo style. Light ’em up, boys.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    Ottawa lost to UK last night 117-58 in Rupp. Could mean they are tired or perhaps they saved all their energy for us. Haven’t watched any of the highlights but #33 Norfleet had 20 pts and went 4-8 from behind the arc. Ottawa as a team shot 17-65 from the field, including 6-27 from 3 pt. They got outrebounded 59 to 28 and only had 5 assists. The one good thing they did do was shoot free throws where they went 18 of 20.
    Credit to the Ottawa coach for scheduling probably the toughest string of exhibition games I’ve ever seen. No doubt it will get them ready for their season.

  • bleeding crimson

    PukE played Ottawa from KS, not the same team. That’s what I thought when I seen their schedule and it made sense that they would play us soon due to the travel times.

  • Not the same team. Ottawa (Ontario) is the team IU is playing tonight. The team Kentucky played is an NAIA team.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    Sorry for the confusion everyone. I’m blaming the time change lol

  • Young Hoosier

    Boeheim’s final word on the rule changes comes back to the argument, shared by many, that college basketball could easily match the 24-second shot clock used by the NBA (and the rest of the world) if the game’s decision makers want to make the game more free-flowing.
    “[The shot clock] in and of itself will not make the game more free-flowing,” Boeheim said. “I think if they enforce the rules as they’re written, to get the physicality out of the game more, that will help. The 24-second clock would do it without that. You can do anything you want in 24 seconds, but coaches think they can’t get a shot in 24 seconds.
    “Funny they can in all the rest of the world. All the rest of the world can get a shot up in 24 seconds, and we can’t.”

    Jimmy B is a smart man. And tonight we’ll be going up against a college team that uses a 24 second shot clock. I love the idea. Would be great for CBB to get on the same page as the rest of the world.

  • Arch Puddington

    “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.”

    *reaches for Pepto-Bismal*

  • straight no chaser

    Any team that accepts to play us in our Exhibition line-up is a team that has already accepted defeat. Let’s destroy them by at least 20. Put on a show kids!

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Can’t wait! Let’s get this season started. Baby steps and I know this is an exhibition but still can’t wait!

  • PBzeer

    If nothing else, this should give us a hint on our perimeter defense.

  • straight no chaser

    Folks, how bad are seats like Main Course Level B and Balcony Level DD and Balcony Level FF. I’m cheap and don’t want to spend more than $10 (each for two people) on the game tonight? Have any of you used StubHub for buying tickets before? Looks like I’ll have time to go with my 6-year-old.

  • TomJameson

    Ottawa (Ontario) is a very good team. They will test IU with their tempo, their 3-point shooting, their passing, their maturity, and their overall game. Just not sure about their defense, but they went to the final game of their version of the NC. Plus they have a very good point guard that can score and distribute. Heck, sounds like we’re playing ourselves! LOL

    Seriously, they can practice all year, get coached all year, and have already had (I think) 9 games under their belts this season. IU will get all they want from this team, but I still think we win. One reason is that Ottawa has to be a little tired from the string of games they’re going through.

    GO IU!

  • straight no chaser

    LOL, I don’t think Andrew meant to imply that they *will” spend time in the post. In the Crean presser-stresser (lol), he said it in the context of what we found ourselves having to do last year, in contrast to what we are hopefully able to do this year with THE BIG MAN.

  • Arch Puddington

    Whatever he meant, I threw up a little in my mouth. We have had half a team for each of the last two years, one with no offense and one with no defense. Between inexplicable substitutions the first year and inexplicable defensive “strategies” the second, I have become conditioned to cringe.

    I do think this year will be better. We have a much more balanced lineup, and I suspect we have fewer knuckleheads on the roster. Here’s hoping Yogi, Troy, and Bryant all stay healthy.

  • Ole Man

    Not this team. They beat us last year. They’re experienced and have played numerous times this year.
    Tonight will be no walkover.

  • Ole Man

    No, nope, and uh uh.
    The game is already too much like the NBA. Doesn’t need any more movement in that direction.

  • Why don’t you give us all a synopsis on what you saw, when it’s over… We’d appreciate it, for sure.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    just imagine the comments if IU loses tonight… which i do not think they will but if so …. CTC on the hot seat already!! BTW the BIG is going to be brutal this year. can’t wait!!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    yes, it could get ugly in here! haha! personally, i’d love to see our guys hold em to under 80. i think that’s a modest goal.

  • Young Hoosier

    It isn’t to “become like the NBA.” It is to catch up with the world.

  • Bob,notBob

    I think we will lose. I don’t want it, but I a team of similar talent and 9 games of experience is not a good match-up. Poor scheduling. We should be facing them later in the month after we’ve played a few games.

  • ArghSonOfOhCrap

    Ken73 is right… It would nice to see somewhat live feeds

  • CreamandCrimson

    Another thing that I’ll be factoring in (beyond the excellent points you made) when I evaluate this performance/result is that Tom Crean and the coaching staff are going to be working on some different concepts and different lineup combinations. In addition, we’ll be without Hartman and several guys will be on minutes limits.

    Although it will be tempting to jump to conclusions, I’m going to try and just let each game be one brush stroke in the painting that is this season.

  • BigAl24

    Ok i’m just going to ask the question everyone wants to know about. What’s the deal with Quentin Taylor? Let me explain for those who don’t know. There were pictures of the team on social media that included all players as well as this mystery guy (QT). There was no release on him or anything, and not even a mention of him at Hysteria, but there were signs that had all the players listed for their designated autograph corners, and QT was on there. I’ve found that he is a sophomore here and played some major ball in high school. Does anybody know anything else? He obviously isn’t “on” our team, but he travels with the team and played basketball so who knows. Are we trying to add him as another walk on and some point in the future, are we using him as some sort of master decoy? Who knows?

  • CreamandCrimson

    We can’t play a Canadian team during the regular season. If we are going to play them, it must be done as an exhibition.

  • straight no chaser

    I know that, but we are playing in AH, and let’s see if we are a team worthy of playing against Duke. LOL.

  • straight no chaser

    Well I hope you become a foreign policy consultant and not waste your time on basketball, LOL.

  • Young Hoosier

    Foreign policy consultant for basketball. Lol.

  • “…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…”

    What could possibly go wrong?

    It’s actually a little unfair to hold these guys responsible for poor defense (arguably not Troy) last year, considering the size mismatches. Yogi guarding Hammons was horrible, and it’s not going to be repeated. Seriously, what else could you possibly expect, especially with Hanner injured? Not understanding this very basic (bad) situation is simply a sign of obtuseness, intentionally so in some quarters.

    With recent additions and maturity, this is precisely why I’m not worried about this year’s defense. Because the mismatches are unlikely to be repeated. Won’t be great, but won’t be bad. And it will be tested tonight. Keep ’em under 80 and that’s a big success.

  • straight no chaser

    Plus, if you are of a worldly mindset, shouldn’t you be more accepting of Adidas?

  • I imagine the environment is good for at least a dozen missed shots, as well.

  • Young Hoosier

    No way. I just don’t like their product. Basketball shoes are cheap. They just keep losing ground in the US too. Recently they’ve gained James Harden and the NHL. But they’ve lost Dwight Howard, Michigan, Wisconsin and the NBA. Smarter thing for Indiana would have been Under Armour.

  • Well put, on the stroking.

    But to challenge the metaphor, can’t the first few brush strokes in large part determine what the rest of the work will look like?

    Let’s go with it, Jackson Pollack style…one big splash at the very end!

  • why not just blame kuntecky? as in, the entire state.

  • seconded. With vehemence. I don’t watch pro sports for a reason. If you want to watch NBA, go for it. Nobody is stopping you, so leave my college sports alone.

  • pretty sure the rest of the world is trying to catch up with USA basketball. It is, after all, our game.

  • Dennis Rodman and North Korea.

  • just curious…did you swallow it?

  • this year’s team is better, and it’s a home game. And not during the summer. IU wins by 15.

  • Same. Probably going to watch the IU-Michigan (fab 5) game as warm up. Dress up the dog in IU gear. Maybe run around the house a couple times. Flag is going up!!!

    WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEe!!!

  • I see perimeter d as the key. I also see this as our most likely area of major improvement. Better down low, but much better on the outside. IU is the darkhorse team for a big rise in steals. Looking at you, Troy, Yogi, James, and Robert!

  • if they were going to lose an early game, this is the one to drop. it is exhibition, doesn’t count. And will be a good challenge, to boot.

  • straight no chaser

    Ha ha, Bob,notBob, not sure if I should trust the prediction of a man with a severe identity crisis.

    But seriously, on paper we are much better than last year. Maybe they are better too. But now we have an inside game and hopefully some D. And the home crowd. If we lose this game, I might call it a season. LOL.

  • straight no chaser

    Agree, but I think they are better too. Not sure if they lost anyone since last year, and weren’t they playing without one of their better players last year? In any case, Ottawa or no Ottawa, if I lose an Exhibition game I’m totally pissed. Not an option! Have we ever lost an Exhibition game?

  • Ole Man

    They played poor D on the perimeter. They are responsible for that.

  • HoosierStuckInKY

    I could blame George Bush too. He signed a bill that made daylight savings time end 1 week later. So the time change really could have been a week earlier, and my brain would have adjusted by now and I wouldn’t have made such a careless error.

  • Ole Man

    Just last year to this team.

  • Young Hoosier

    They’re trying to catch up to the NBA. But CBB is trying to catch up to the rest of the world. CBB has to catch them before anything.

  • straight no chaser

    LOL, yes, of course. But those weren’t Exhibition (with a capital “E”), or were they?