The Hoosiers’ opening practice of the 2012-13 seasonis currently airing on ESPNU. A few notes as we go along here:
- Remy Abell appears to be wearing a soft cast/brace on his left wrist/thum area. That was nowhere to be seen at last week’s Media Challenge.
- Early on, I noticed Cody Zeller stepping out and drilling an 18-footer, perhaps an early sign of that perimeter game we’ve heard about.
- IU is sporting gray shoes — discuss.
- A good point from Dan Dakich and the ESPNU on-set crew — IU has gone from fans rushing the floor after a win to a team that opponents rush the floor if they win. We saw a small sample of that at Nebraska last year.
Tom Crean joined the ESPNU set in the last segment. Had some interesting things to say:
ON DEPTH: Crean says playing time will “take care of itself.” (Sounds familiar, huh?) But he also talked about playing fast and increasing defensive pressure. “You can’t do that with six seven eight guys. You have to have team full of guys,” Crean said. “You have to deal with injuires. When those injuries come, you have to get to the point you can deal with those without dropping off.”
ON WILL SHEEHEY: “He’s a 365 day a year player,” Crean said. “There’s not any time this kid takes away from the game. He’s got an edge to him.” Also, Crean said when Dwyane Wade visited last spring and told Sheehey and Victor Oladipo that their ballhandling wasn’t close to NBA standards. “When you give Will a challenge, he keeps going with it,” Crean said. “He never feels like he’s arrived at any point.”
ON CODY ZELLER: “Cody is stronger, he’s really improved his mindset with the basketball, because you know defenses are going to be built to take him away. He’s better with the ball, his shooting is much improved, his vision on the perimeter is catching up with his vision in the post.” The one question for Crean is: “Can he really put himself in position to guard away form the rim?“
ON DEFENSE: “We’ve gone in preseason to more defensive work than I ever have as head coach. … More fullcourt, more breakdown drills, more technique taught early in season. A big preach for us is how to get three mores stops in a game,” Crean said. Crean said that if IU had gotten three more stops in games it lost last year, it could’ve had three more wins. He also said if you take away three stops, IU would have been down to 20 wins instead of 27.