Hoosiers ready to play someone else

(Dustin’s Note: Apologies in advance for the quality and angle of the video.)

At this point, it doesn’t matter much to the Indiana players who they line up against on Thursday, just as long as it’s somebody other than the same 17 guys they’ve been playing against since June.

“We’ve been beating up on these guys for so long in the preseason,” freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell said. “Now we get a chance to go up against some other competition. We’re not gonna take this very lightly. We’re gonna go out there from the get-go, hit them in the mouth first before they hit us.”

For Ferrell and the other three members of the freshman class, today’s 7 p.m. exhibition against Indiana Wesleyan represents their first time truly under the lights at Assembly Hall in an actual full-length basketball game. It won’t count in the standings, but nonetheless, it will be a chance to wear the candy-stripes and the uniform and to try to beat someone else who isn’t wearing the same uniform.

“It’s gonna feel great,” Ferrell said. “I’ve been waiting for this day ever since I committed my junior year. It’s been a while. To finally go out here and play with people I’ve been watching for a couple of years and to finally be on this team is a great honor.”

In Indiana Wesleyan, they believe they have an exhibition that can at least show them something and be competitive to some degree. The NCAA’s rules for open exhibitions effectively require that Division I teams play schools below their level, because they cannot play other Division I teams and they can’t play barnstorming squads either because of NCAA rules changed in the last decade. Indiana Wesleyan is an NAIA school.

But the Hoosiers are at least playing one of the best teams they can find at that level. The Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in the NAIA. They return four starters from a team that was 21-12 a year ago and they are coming off a 91-74 win over St. Xavier in their season opener.

“They averaged 75 points last year,” Indiana assistant coach Steve McClain said. “They’re a team that plays uptempo. They run a lot of motions, a lot of back-cutting, a lot of ball-screen actions. They’ve got four returning starters from last year, and one of those guys didn’t start last night. … They’ve got a veteran team. What you want out of an exhibition game is a team that has a purpose, and they have a purpose, there’s no question about it.”

The Hoosiers are looking forward to the pace, of course. They led the Big Ten in scoring with 77.3 points per game a year ago, return the top five scorers from that team and add the speedy Ferrell to turn it up a notch.

“It’s pretty cool, because we like to play that way too,” junior guard Victor Oladipo said. “Get up and down the floor. Not shoot too many shots, we don’t want to go crazy, but shoot good shots and get up and down the floor. It’s going to be interesting. They’re a good team and we’re looking forward to playing someone else.”

The Hoosiers say they believe they’ve accomplished a lot in the five months they’ve mostly been together as a full squad and the nearly three weeks they’ve been engaged in full-tilt practice.

“We’re more confident,” Oladipo said. “There’s better togetherness. We were really together last year, but I think this year, we’re more together than we’ve ever been because we know we’re going to always have the target on our backs.”

And beyond emotional maturity and cohesion, Oladipo said he believes the Hoosiers are better on the court across the board.

“Our communication has gotten way better since the first day, especially with our younger guys,” Oladipo said. “They’ve come a long way in doing that and being leaders and they realize that they have a high road and we expect to play everybody.”

Note: McClain was asked about the eligibility of freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin. IU coach Tom Crean had been asked about their eligibility last week and did not say whether or not they had been cleared. An IU spokesman intercepted the question to McClain and said that everyone would be available for Thursday’s game except for the injured Derek Elston and transfer Jonny Marlin. Of course, Thursday’s is an exhibition game and would therefore not be affected if there were to be an issue with Perea and Jurkin’s eligibility. The spokesman said he was just speaking about Thursday’s game and did not say if they would be available for the opener.

AUDIO: Victor Oladipo and Yogi Ferrell

AUDIO: Steve McClain


  1. This game is on btn.com right?

    On another note, it looks like we are out of the Anya sweepstakes, and committing all our attn to Vonleh. Obviously I think that’s a good choice. Another cool deal is that a men’s league team I occasionally play on (called a barnstorming team in this article) is going to play New Hampton Prep in a couple weeks. I doubt I’ll be playing, but I will definitely make the trip and go see Vonleh up close and personal. I’ll make sure to wear some IU gear so he knows we’re everywhere. Always interesting to talk to my buddies after they match up against a big time recruit to get their take on him. I’ll also be interested to see how he looks standing next to guys I know are legit 6’8″ – 6’10”

    I can actually smell basketball season now. It wasnt long ago that we were clamoring for the season to start…

  2. I would either make a call to the NCAA office to see what the status is of Perea and Jurkin are and if it is in the NCAA hand we are dealt a blow which be hard to deal with once the teams get better. But we are what we are that is still a good basketball team. Just very short handed in the front court. I just do not understand but have to follow what NCAA says..
    Though i have heard they are good in classroom.
    Guess it is a waiting game which we been waiting for three years to get back to the tournament and last year we did just we have to wait to see if we can get our help in the front court to help Cody. Wonder if IU already knows if the players can play or not just waiting on appeal again?

  3. The one to watch though will be Crean.

    The guy will put on a show for the ages.

  4. Beejay Anya is out for I.U. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Geoff, I agree Vonleh is a better player overall. But I have read nothing to indicate he was a lean our way. It would be a very good get for I.U.!

  5. The IU website lists the game as being on iuhoosiers.com (the actual IU website). Seems curious and sketchy to say the least. There may be some swearing and throwing of nearby objects in my living room at 7.

  6. I clicked on that link and it sent me to BTN.com where you have the option to subscribe to individual events or do the monthly or annual subscription. I think last year I did the IU-only monthly subscription for November, because after that everything was on TV.

    TJ – yeah, I guess what Crean is saying is that’s it’s Vonleh or we’re all set for 2013. Seems like a decent philosophy to me. The Williams commitment took almost all the pressure off IU and guaranteed a productive class. Vonleh is gravy, but he’s the only one worth the headache of the crunch it might create. That’s my read. On a positive note, he cancelled his visit to Syracuse and now IU will get to make the first impression on his official visits. I think that’s 1) a sign we are very high on his list, and 2) a benefit because there is no way that he can fall in love with another school before seeing us… He will compare all his other visits to the IU visit. Let’s dazzle him.

    I am hoping to talk to him a couple days after his trip and see if he gives me any indication of how it went…

  7. Soooo… Burke went and got himself suspended for a game… That brought attention to the fact that UM has very little backing him up. They are starting a 1-star freshman in his place for the exhibition. Made me realize they are much more fragile than IU if our star were to have to sit for a period of time. I wonder how well they’ll function with that kid running the show…

  8. I am upset over not being able to watch IU’s game on TV tonight as most fans are. I don’t understand they are ranked #1 in the country and we can’t watch the 1st game of the season. Kentucky is on TV tonight as well as Louisville and Purdue. What is wrong with this picture? BTN is not working for the fans of IU and neither is ESPN they never have. IU has a big fan base and want to watch their team win. What happen to days of where you could watch your team on local channels? BTN is money hungry. Not fair to the fans.

  9. So if you created an account and paid to watch Hoosier Hysteria (I think it was $6.95), do you need to make another account with btn.com and pay $14.95 to watch tonight’s game?

  10. Here’s the link to watch the game tonight: http://www.iuhoosiers.com/multimedia/all-access.html

    You’ll need to pay $6.95

    If you already subscribed for HH, I think you may have to subscribe again b/c its a new month and the renewal goes by each month and not the actual number of days from the time you sign up.

    IYAlum10 – the $14.95 fee is if you are subscribing to BTN online for a month… to just sign up for the Hoosiers all-access its only $6.95. Use the link I pasted at the top of this post

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