Sheehey making progress, but still day-to-day heading into Michigan game

Tom Crean isn’t budging from the “day-to-day” diagnosis on Will Sheehey even though his injured left ankle has now kept him out for two weeks.

The sophomore swingman has missed three games now since stepping on a basketball during a scrimmage on Dec. 21, but Crean still won’t rule him out for Thursday’s 9 p.m. game against Michigan. He also won’t say when he’ll definitely return.

“His status is still one where we’re not sure when he’s going to play again right now,” Crean said. “We’re gonna keep it at day-to-day.”

Crean has made it very clear that the Hoosiers have missed Sheehey, who was averaging 10.7 points per game off the bench and giving them perhaps their most versatile player on both ends of the floor. He also said that he is making progress toward returning.

“He’s spent a lot of time on it,” Crean said. “He’s still to a point where he’s gotta heal. It’s measured a couple of times a day, but it’s getting better. There’s no doubt about that. It’s really just a matter of time.”

The Hoosiers asked more from their starters in Sheehey’s absence and have had to cobble together contributions from the rest of their bench, especially senior forward Tom Pritchard, junior forward Derek Elston, senior guard Matt Roth, and freshmen guards Remy Abell and Austin Etheringon. In a way, the Hoosiers have needed all of them to give them what they were getting from Sheehey.

“I think you have to accept that when somebody’s out, you’re not necessarily gonna replace them with someone who does the same things,” Crean said. “So you better make sure you’re trying to utilize their strengths. I think in coaching, we get away from that. I know I do some times. It’s always a reality check to make sure you’re locked in to getting the most of that individual depending on that individual.”

Sheehey’s loss has been an issue in both of the Hoosiers’ Big Ten games, though they managed to upset No. 2 Ohio State without him, and Crean certainly wishes he had him for this game. John Beilein’s teams have always been perimeter based and featured lots of wing players who can shoot. This Michigan team is no different. The Wolverines have five players on the roster who have hit at least 19 3-pointers this season, and Northwestern is the only team in the Big Ten that hits more 3-pointers per game than Michigan.

“Their 3-point shooting is outstanding,” Crean said. “The thing that is so good is they get so much of it off penetration. Trey Burke is doing a great job of not only shooting the basketball but creating shots for others. Tim Hardaway Jr. shoots the ball extremely well, but he also creates shots for others. In the course of transition, in the course of their half-court offense, and in the course off offensive rebound kickouts, they’re very, very dangerous in the way they shoot the 3.”

Hardaway averages 15.6 points per game and Burke scores 14.0 while averaging 5.0 assists per game. Burke is Indiana forward Cody Zeller’s top competition for Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors.

“That’s a high-command position when you play the point guard in John’s offense,” Crean said. “There’s a lot of things you have to do, but the ball is going to be in your hands. I think the thing he’s done is adjusted to the strength and speed of the college game. … He’s very good at getting to the basket. Very good. He’s outstanding in the pick and roll. He’s creating so much offense for himself and for his teammates based on his speed and penetration. … It’s probably what a lot of people look at when they see Cody. They don’t see a typical freshman. You look at Trey Burke, you don’t see a typical freshman. He looks like he’s been doing this for a long time.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls and Cody Zeller


  1. Excited as usual for the game.

    Just listened to some interviews by a UofM media outlet and can someone please explain why it bothers me so much when they say “University of Indiana”?

    Anyone bothered by that or is it just me?

  2. Spe-

    Yeah, it bothers me. Don’t know if it’s rational to be bothered by it, but yes, it does. If we were “U of I” then we would be confused with the universities of Illinois, Iowa, and Idaho.

    Also, its just one of those thinks like when your name is Janice and then call you Janet.

  3. Back in the ’70s Curt Gowdy of NBC was awarded the coveted “Bronze Turkey Award” during one of his telecasts after calling IU the University of Indiana throughout the NCAA Tournament.

  4. IU being called “U. of Indiana” is bothersome, but understandable given universities (especially from the geographical midwest) that are referred to as “XU” such as CU for the Univ. of Colorado, KU for the Univ. of Kansas, MU for Univ. of Missouri, OU for Univ. of Oklahoma, etc. Does anyone know if there are any other state universities named “State U.” like IU rather than “U. of State”?

  5. I the way I understand the situation, IU started out as Vincennes University, in Vincennes, then, many moons ago, some local offical of the University sold the ‘university’ grant to someone else and the U was moved to Bloomington and became IU. Is there any historian out there that can verify this. And maybe, just maybe, that is why IU is called IU.

  6. From what I remember, Gowdy did say University of Indiana and then in 1976, Bryant Gumbel (when NBC had the NCAA exclusively) picked against IU in every game they played and insisted on calling IU the University of Indiana even after it was pointed out to him that he was wrong. 36 years later, it still annoys me to no end.

  7. Hmmm, no on the Vincennes part. An act of the Indiana Legislature established a state seminary in 1820. The Board of Trustees chose Monroe County for the location. Classes begin in 1824, with an enrollment of 10 men, at what initially was named the State Seminary. In 1828, the legislature changed the name to Indiana College and in 1838 changed the name to Indiana University.

    Tig, the naming thing is confusing. Most state universities are named “U. of ,” but some states have more than one state university so there are names other than “U. of .” Rutgers was the first state university in New Jersey and is still the state university of New Jersey but its name isn’t “U of .” And then there is the University of Pennsylvania which is a private university and not a state university at all. The first state university in Ohio was Ohio University, so there is one example of a name similar to Indiana University.

    I always get irritated when TV announcers call us the University of Indiana because that is not our name. As Avocadon’t said, it’s like being called Janet when your name is Janice. I consider it to be laziness on the part of announcers to not bother to get the name correct.

  8. Back to Will — Crean said, “It’s measured a couple of times a day, but it’s getting better.” Does that mean they are measuring the amount of swelling? This is beginning to sound more and more like a high ankle sprain – which take a good bit of time to heal. I hope not – would love to see him back sooner rather than later.

  9. Thanks to Boomer for the detailed information on the genesis of IU. I was about to send that in as well.

    Regarding announcers laziness in calling us U of Indiana vs IU… it is indeed laziness. It is the easiest thing in the world to check with the Media guide most schools hand out through the Sports Info Dept. This info covers pronouncation of players names as well as info on the university; and yet, we get announcers butchering Oladipo’s name as well as U of I versus IU. Plus, in Assembly Hall there are signs everywhere with IU, the yell teams shout “IU”, the crowd shouts “Go IU”. Amazing. Announcers are either lazy, blind, or stupid.
    Go IU, beat Michigan!!

  10. In the case of Bryant Gumbel I am sure he really believes it is U of I because he would think that is what it should be since he is so bold and intelligent. What a Maroon. He would have to stand on his Great-Grandmothers shoulders just to kiss a good reporters butt.

  11. Thanks, Chet. I like your reason for measuring – “I’d guess they are measuring function such as range of motion and/or strength” – much better than my concern that they were measuring swelling. I did hear that he’d been observed walking without the boot, so that’s good news.

    Ankles can take a while to heal, so we’re just gonna have to understand that he’ll be back when he’s back. We sure could use our 6th starter, tho, so I hope it can be soon. Go IU (Indiana University)!!!

  12. I had my first real ankle sprain at age 29 but it was a good one. I was playing one on one hoops with my wife on an unfamiliar parking lot goal. I drove to the hoop and planted my right foot on a curb I hadn’t noticed, turning my foot 180 degrees upward. I torn every ligament from the base of my little toe to the arch on the opposite side. It turned blue/black in 10 seconds. I wore a cast for 2 months and the ankle wasn’t fully functional for almost 2 years.

  13. Once upon a time anyone referring to the University of Indiana was referring to the college in Indiana, Pennsylvania. That college now goes by the name Indiana University at Pennsylvania, further complicating thier identity issues

  14. I don’t think we are going to get a straight answer on Will from the coaching staff. It is not in their interest to be open on this. I am surprised how little we have heard from folks on campus. It is usually only at game time we find out if Will is traveling, on crutches, wearing a boot, etc. I am surprised nobody seems to be able to talk to his friends on campus to see what is going on.

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