McClain, Hulls, Oladipo on Northwestern

Preview quotes via press release follow.

Steve McClain, Associate Head Coach
On the challenges that Northwestern presents:
“I think anytime you play a Northwestern team, you understand their system, what their system brings to the game. This is a team that continues to get better. They’ve had to go through the injury phase and new guys getting into the system. There’s no question, they showed at Illinois the other night that this group looks like they’re getting more and more comfortable in the system and running the system to what it gives them to each individual. They are a team that’s coming off a big win at Illinois. You look at their wins on the road – at Illinois, at Baylor – they’ve been to some tough places and came away with wins, so going to their place, we know it’s a game where you’ve got to go in and be sharp defensively.”

On Reggie Hearn:
“He’s a guy who’s a veteran. He’s a veteran in the system. You saw a year ago when they have five veterans out there running that system, it creates unbelievable problems. Reggie is a guy who is a senior and feels like it’s time to step up and he definitely did that the other night at Illinois and has shown the ability to step up and have big games.”

On Dave Sobolewski:
“He played a lot of minutes last year, so he got a year of understanding and running the Northwestern system, so he can direct everyone. He can tell people when they are in the wrong spot and he’s such a good driver, he’s a good reader and he finds a way to get to that rim. So you’ve got to do a great job on him or he can have a big night.”

On getting the mindset the team needs to have for the Big Ten schedule with two games a week:
“I think one, it’s good. When you get into this part, it’s two games a week and you know it. You can prepare both mentally and physically for it. It helps your players. I think the other side of it is that this league has already shown that playing at home isn’t a given that you’re going to win and going on the road doesn’t mean you can’t win. I think that’s what this league has always been about and we’ve got enough guys that should understand that every team is one big win from feeling good about themselves and Northwestern is coming off a big road win at Illinois, feeling good about themselves coming home. I know this, our veteran guys will be prepared to go in and know that you’re going to be at your best in this game.”

Jordan Hulls
On playing at Welsh-Ryan Arena:
“It’s a little bit of a different environment. It’s a smaller gym, but it gets pretty rowdy in there. You just have to have the same mindset that you have when you play in every other gym and play together, communicate and make sure we’re doing all the things we can do to win.”

On practice this past week:
“It’s been really competitive with a different edge. We’re just trying to build back that mindset that we need in order to win and focus on defense and rebounding.”

On playing against Northwestern:
“Their different offensive schemes – a lot of back doors that we have to be aware of. They can all shoot, so they definitely make it a little bit different in that regard, just different than most teams in the style of play that they run in transition.”

Victor Oladipo
On preparing for Northwestern:
“It’s hard because they are a very good team, especially on their home court. They run that offense where they move a lot and they won’t stop moving, so we have to come with our defensive hats on and be prepared and stay focused on both ends of the floor.”

On practice this past week:
“It’s been good. We’ve been emphasizing a lot of things and getting back on track and playing Indiana Basketball. The last couple of games, we’ve been losing that and we’re just getting back into the groove of things and doing a great job of that.”

On if it’s good to get back on the road after a couple of home games:
“Definitely. It brings us together because that’s what you have to be in order to win on the road in the Big Ten. We’re looking forward to it and definitely looking forward to playing at a high level and playing Indiana Basketball.”



  1. I know you’re just doing your job, but I think these quotes/pre-game press conferences are a waste of time.

    They’re all exactly the same:

    “The team we’re playing is super tough (even if they are #298 in the country) and we’ve had a great practice this week and we know we have to play our best to beat them.”

    Why bother?

  2. Every year we hash and rehash how important pre conference games could or should be and then there is Syracuse. They year in and year out play the weakest non-conference schedule of any big conference school in the USA. Then when the conference play starts they always already have 15-17 wins over cupcakes and still beat top ranked teams like today’s win over #1 Louisville. When conference play starts everything changes because you are playing team you play every year usually 2 times a year or more. Teams that should win don;t and top ranked teams always lose in conference play no matter how hard or easy their non-confernce games are. People want to see top teams play each other in the non-conference schedule because we like those games but do they really mean anything once conference play starts? I guess when March madness rolls around they could get you a better seeding. We will have a new #1 next week. Too bad we lost to Wisconsin but rankings don’t mean much either. It’s who’s left standing when March madness is over that counts. Let’s hope it is IU!

  3. How much fun is Butler to watch… Is it ok to admit they are my second favorite team? I love Brad Stevens. I love their toughness. Hinkle rocks like a mini-AH.

    Stevens has to be the best coach in the country. How do you get a group of such underwhelming athletes to consistently beat top notch competition… It’s just amazing.

    I think you can make a case for BU to be a top 5 team. They’ve beaten Marquette, UNC, IU, and now Gonzaga… Not to mention some other decent teams like Vandy, Northwestern, St Joe’s, Richmond, and Dayton.

    What a goal crapshoot this NCAA tourney is going to be… It’s tough to even figure out who a single #1 seed will be and we’re 2/3 of the way thru the regular season.

    I guess my top 10 on Monday will be:

    1. Kansas
    2. Michigan
    3. Duke
    4. Syracuse
    5. Butler
    6. Louisville
    7. Florida
    8. Arizona
    9. IU
    10. Gonzaga

    Although I’m sure the Establishment will put Duke and Louisville higher than I have them…

  4. It’s been a busy couple of days, so I’ve got a lot of of posts to catch up on. I’m sure you’ve all been waiting anxiously in front of your computer screens for me to return with my 2 1/2 cents worth…

    As I’ve said before and SP65 alluded to above, rankings are pretty much worthless– at least until they’re used to determine seeding and matchups in the tournament. But they’re also one of my favorite things to speculate on.

    Tough to argue with your rankings, Geoff. I do think Mich, Duke, and Kansas will probably be 1-2-3 at the top, but that could go either way(KU needed a near miracle to escape last week, and another comeback today to barely beat a good-but-not-great, bubble-caliber Texas team. Mich beat a top ten team on the road.) How long will voters continue to haunt ‘Cuse with that Temple loss nearly a month ago? And how many voters will put FL ahead of AZ, given that AZ has one fewer loss and won the head-to-head matchup. But the polls are very much a “what have you done for me lately” popularity contest and, as you said, it’s a crapshoot. Maybe they’ll just put UCLA back at #1 for posterity.

    Which brings me a few other points:

    Florida looked awfully good today. Awfully good. But good enough to jump past IU from the ten poll positions behind? (Keep in mind that Mizzou was playing on the road without out one of their POY contenders.) How much should one game change our opinion of a team, or its ranking?

    Our two losses have come to two unranked teams at the time. But Butler will likely be a top ten team come Monday, and Wisconsin will be at least top 25 and rising. Neither should end up looking like “bad losses” to the selection committee come March. But MN will drop a bit after another loss to a top team, and UNC hasn’t seemed so much like a quality win for a while now. How much stock should we put in what a team was ranked at one particular time vs where it is now?

    Finally, how much would Indiana have to beat an NIT-caliber B1G opponent (like Northwestern) on the road for it not to feel like a disappointment?

  5. The thing about Florida is, once conference play starts in the SEC it’s intramural ball time. Their strength of schedule has them 9th. So, they win some games in conference. So what?

    Until the SEC can produce more than one or two legitimate teams, in conference wins are pretty much meaningless.

    Speaking of NW, don’t you think they’d be a basketball power in the SEC?

    On the subject of conferences, even though the ACC is pretty pitiful this year, will the selection committee still send 75% if its members to the Big Dance as usual? One of the most misleading statistics out there is the historical performance of the ACC in tournament play. The thing is they get a ton of high seeds, win the first round, and then most of them go down in flames (other than Duke and UNC) in the second round. Other conferences, with equally skilled teams, get 8, 9, or 10 seeds and win half, or less, of their first round games. The statisticians then say, “Look at how well the ACC teams did,” and continue to award them with higher seeds than the other power conferences receive.

    That’s called “bad science”.

    Every win in the Big Ten is a big win. Just ask Ohio State.

  6. Not sure if anyone noticed this, but New Hampton School is playing on ESPN today at 5 pm…

    You’ll get a good look at Noah Vonleh and that PG I drooled over after the last time I saw them play (Jorgenson). My guess is Vonleh will be going head to head with Andrew Wiggins since they have similar size and athleticism (Wiggins is quicker and more of a natural wing, while Vonleh is more powerful but has wing skills). I’m pretty familiar with NHS’s roster and they don’t really have another guy to put on him, so I’m assuming that at least Vonleh will be guarding Andrew for most of the game.

    I know it’s a big football Sunday, and of course I’ll be watching the Pats, but this is exactly what they made DVR’s for.

  7. When referencing the ‘Establishment,’ one should really add a footnote with proper acknowledgment the source.

    Speaking of the critical eye of the Establishment ….Why don’t we see more commentaries from Scoop?

  8. Just watched the Iowa v. UW game on BTN… Where were all those foul calls against Wisc when we played em?

    Love seeing Iowa get that win.

  9. Uh oh… The Journey, featuring Dipo, is on again… You’re wish came true Harvard.

    although this time it will just be on in the background as I’m getting my chores done.

  10. Harvard,
    That commentary might be why we don’t see more commentaries.

    Hugh’s contribution to commentaries was similar to the Costa Concordia’s contribution to seamanship.

  11. They are still playing football?

    Since my infraction was self reported the ncaa (NobodyCaresAtAll) has released me to post again with two stipulations. 1) I must agree that Laffy is always right and 2) Harvard is to be categorized as a “master word-smith”

    Laffy. Did you read the Yahoo sports article I pointed out? The one that pretty much throws dirt on your player motivation techniques? At least according to the Michigan coach. Otherwise you are right.

    What a game by Butler. They continue to win the emotional games. Or they win on emotion? They should be a major force come tourney time. If Butler gets to the final 4 or 8, will Stevens be know as a coach who can’t win The big game?. Hope he stays at Butler for a long time. He seems to enjoy the place. What a coach. If I remember, he started at Butler as a non-paid volunteer coach assistant.

    Lookin at KenPom and Hoops Math. We’ve got numbers like eFG%, TO%, AdjD, AdjO, OReb%, AeiOu (sometimes Y). I’ve been perfecting an analysis on a different level. For example did you realize; yesterday

    Letter Teams (LSU, UCLA, etc) were 4 of 12? (data includes A&M’s 0/4)

    Directional Teams were
    North & Northern 5/8
    East & Eastern 5/10
    West & Western 2/4
    South & Southern 1/5
    Central & Middle were 3/4

    Muti-Directional Teams (such as Northwest) were 2/3

    State singular Teams (such as Indiana) were 22/39

    City names (such as Portland) were 19/42

    Singular Person Teams (such as James Madison) were 11/17

    Multi-Person Teams (such as William & Mary) were 1/4

    KenPom believes I have much tweaking to do before the above analysis becomes wide spread. So use with caution.

    What team shows up at 1pm today?

  12. Geoff,
    Do you think the Iowa coach is getting vilified today for squandering a 20 point first half lead?

  13. Good question Chet… Doesn’t it piss you off to see Wiscy just hit clutch shot after clutch shot?

    Ron, thanks for entertaining me this morning.

  14. Ron,
    Definitely valuable stats.

    Did you see, after their second trip to the championship game, that, when Coach Stevens was asked about leaving for greener pastures, he insisted he hadn’t been contacted by any other schools? That is probably a reflection of how small basketball money is compared to football money.

  15. Don’t you just get sick of all the name-dropping in Bloomington when it comes to Crean’s connections to the Harbaugh family?

    I know Doc Rivers…I found D-Wade…I can get tickets to any Heat game…I married a Harbaugh…I get to share nacho dip with Jimmy and Johnny…We’ll one day own a crab cake restaurant in Baltimore..

    I DON’T CARE! Here’s an idea…Know a sixth banner. Know beating Wisconsin once in the next 10 years. Know to keep a kid in the game after he hits a shot.

    Sorry, just had to vent.

    Go Patriots! Go Falcons!

  16. Ron, nice work. Although I think the more appropriate question should be: which team shows back up at 1:45 pm.

  17. Geoff wearing his Tom Brady jersey and mentioning Hinkle Fieldhouse is like a 40-year-old melancholic Vegas hooker talking of the days she was in the nunhood.

  18. Chet: Florida, Mizzou, and probably Kentucky all pile up wins in a weak SEC and get favorable, inflated seeds in March.

    ACC gets Duke and NC State, probably UNC just off reputation, and whichever bubble team happens to knock off the only two legitimate contenders.

    Meanwhile, the B1G will continue to beat itself up and find that it has 1 or 2 teams get left out even though they’re much more deserving than last ACC or SEC team to get in.

  19. Harvard,
    I guess my question to you is ‘who is it that you hear name dropping?’

    I see these references all the time, too, but it’s not CTC or theplayers saying it. Naturally, with two brothers among the 4 NFL coaches left their families are getting press time (I’ve only seen CTC mentioned in passing, though).

    Now, I don’t follow ‘tweets’ and such, so I don’t know their content, but as far as pressers and the like go I’m not hearing a bunch of name dropping from Coach Crean or the players. From the press? Sure.

    So, are you saying you’re hearing this from CTC and/or the players or are you asking the press to stop mentioning it until we hang another banner?

  20. Greatness by association don’t pay the bills.

    And why on earth do you give a contract extension a few games into the season?

    I truly don’t understand these excessively long contracts for coaches anymore.

    Giving Lovie Smith 10 years for the Bears only brought more misery against their greatest rival and more distance since their last Super Bowl…Bears fans have forgotten what its like to beat the Green Bay Packers.

    Beat Wisconsin a few times…Build a resume beyond beating cupcakes on the road. I don’t care who people are married to. I don’t care about ‘Journey’ programs and finding diamonds in the rough to wear future NBA jerseys. Butler has no diamonds in the rough..They play rough and they get deep in tournaments..That’s the only damn “journey” I care about.

  21. Just like you’re the only person sick of Crean “talking about Jesus all the time” (even though he doesn’t), you’re the only one sick of him “name-dropping all the time.”

  22. ) I’m not always right….just usually.

    2) No, I didn’t read your article…..pretty busy.

    3) Amazing end to the Butler game.

  23. Ron,
    Just scanned the stats again and I can’t find and formula that’s gonna help bring a win. Most are losers (not to be confused with ‘loosers’) and even the winners aren’t by much.

    Again, valuable stuff.

  24. Uhh Chet. I have some really nice land in way southern Florida you may want. Don’t even have to look at it.

    Trust me.

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