Hoosiers head into Savannah State game with everything clicking

All of the numbers from Wednesday night’s game against Evansville indicated to Tom Crean that his team is listening.

The ball was moving, as evidenced by the 24 assists the Hoosiers got on 33 field goals. And the players were active on defense, as evidenced by posting a deflection total in the 60s. Deflections are not a standardized statistic and coaches often have their own definitions of what determines them, but it’s an evaluation of defensive activity.

“The deflections have been really high in the games and the assists have been really high in the games,” Crean said in media availability Friday in preparation for Saturday’s 8 p.m. game against Savannah State (1-2) in Assembly Hall. “That’s a great indication that we’re getting it off the D and we’re moving the ball and making the next pass.”

Other numbers have risen and fallen in response to that. The Hoosiers shot 55.9 percent from the field in that game, and through three games, they’re a5 57.1 percent, which puts them second in Division I. Four players are averaging double digits and seven players are averaging seven points or more. The Hoosiers scored 94 points in the last game even though not a single player took more than eight field goal attempts.

“The balancing act of how it’s turning out is really not by design,” Crean said. “It’s not where we look at it and say let’s hope that this guy gets x-amount of shots and this guy gets this group of shots. No, it’s ‘Let’s play, let’s see what we get out of our defense. Let’s get the ball moving.”

It starts, as Crean said, with getting the ball inside to Zeller and it progresses from there. Unlike last year, Crean said, the team is closer to having five guys who are a constant danger to score on the floor at all times.

“We’re heading there, there’s no doubt about it,” Crean said. “It was definitely different the other night looking at the game tape from a year ago against Evansville to looking at it after we played. Last year the lane was just completely jammed up and clogged. They played great help defense because they could. They could sag off different people. It was not easy to do that the other night. We’ve gotta continue to improve at that pace for that to happen.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 1

AUDIO: Tom Crean Part 2

AUDIO: Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford


  1. I REALLY want IU to do well this season and I think they will. Playing “bums” as they have done thus far does not tell me a thing as to how good they will be. Though I think one can learn something by playing Savannah State, I don’t think much can be learned. I’m waiting for the ACC Challenge and Kentucky to see how good these guys may be.

  2. None of the schools IU played are ‘bums’. Chattanooga is one of the favorites in the SoCon, whose winner, a few years ago, came within 2 points of making the Final Four. SUNY Stony Brook is a solid team of D1 NYC kids. Evansville may well win the Horizon League, whose winner has made the NCAA Championship game the past two years.

    UNC lost to Binghamton not that long ago. THAT’S a bad loss. But that’s basketball.

    We’re playing as good a non conference schedule as anybody but Michigan State, but nobody is playing their brutal schedule AND they’re 0-2.

    Savannah State is the first school we’ve played that I don’t see as a legitimate post season tourney team. I could be wrong about that.

  3. What a moron!! Just goes to show some people on here don’t know what they are talking about. If I didn’t know anything about basketball I don’t think I would post on a basketball website. Chattanooga is a good team, everyone… well almost everyone knows how good stoneybrook is and the aces beat butler!! And even if their not good we are beating them soundly!! As far as waiting until we play uk to see how good we are what do you consider good? That’s the best team in the nation. What do we have to do against uk to get you back on board?

  4. …and that is key about the scheduling…”we are beating them soundly”…the downside is every bit as impactful as the upside…

  5. The absolutely first thing you learn about competitive sports is to respect the game and to respect your opponent. IULongAgo, your statement about playing ‘bums’ says a whole lot more about you than about Chattanooga, SUNY-Stony Brook, Evansville or any other team we face. You embarrass us. Please don’t claim you represent any real Hoosiers; very,very few share your demeaning perception of other basketball (or any other sport) schools who do us the honor of competing with us.

  6. Second that statement. This team is clicking for sure. Looking forward to the Butler game. Will be down in Indy to see the ND game first hand. Looking forward to seeing this before “The Movement” team up close.

    The national media’s take is that it is happening now. I tend to agree.


  7. The good part of where we are right now is that Tom Crean has learned to not get in the way. Players win games, coaches lose them. We have not lost a single game so far so both team and coaches are doing well at the moment. Let’s hope we are still undefeated come January 1st. This team can go very very far.

  8. Seems as though people have nothing to complain about with Coach Crean, so they have to demean the teams IU is playing. Steve Mc Brian

  9. Chet, you’ve really got a scoop if Evansville wins the Horizon League. That’s b/c they’re actually a member of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC).

  10. Chet, not to nitpick but speaking as a UE alumnus, Evansville can’t win the Horizon League. They joined the Missouri Valley Conference back in the 94-95 season. But they *were* in the now-Horizon League (formerly known as the MCC) before that.
    Sorry this isn’t related to the overall post but clarity’s clarity.

  11. Oops! I stand corrected. You’d think that, after they mentioned that about two hundred times during the broadcast, it would have sunk in. I can’t keep up with the mid majors anymore. For that matter, I can’t keep up with the Big East.

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