The real start of practice

While players kept saying they were excited about Hoosier Hysteria Friday night, Kelvin Sampson was already talking about Saturday.

Speaking to members of the media before his team took the court late Friday night, Sampson was obviously looking ahead to the first real practice the next day. He said he doesn’t mind public speaking and public events, but those things aren’t his passion.

“I love to coach basketball,” he said. “I love to teach, to see kids succeed.”

Sampson said he’s pleased with the hard work his players put in during off-season conditioning, but the work will get a lot harder starting Saturday.

“Kids usually don’t know how good they can be,” he said. “You have to raise their standards, raise their expectations.”

Sampson said D.J. White will have to work to become consistent every day in practice because opposing players will be looking all season to make a name for themselves by playing well against him.

And Sampson said Earl Calloway, not White, needs to be the team’s MVP, even though White is its best player. That’s because Calloway, as the starting point guard, will have the ball in his hands more than anyone else and will play a critical role in the defense by defending at the point of attack.

“The toughest thing to guard in basketball is dribble penetration,” Sampson said.