May 1, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Indiana Men's Basketball Associate Head Coach Steve McClain gives an update on a number of topics around the program.
On the number of new players coming in providing energy:
"I don't think there is any question it will be quite a change from a year ago and we had a really veteran team coming back and we had some very talented freshmen coming in. We knew that we had a senior group that had been through four years and a junior group that had been through three years. So I think it is always exciting as a coach when, all of a sudden, we still have some very talented young players coming back, but we are adding a talented group.
"This is where we love the new rule where we can work with them in the summer. It is going to be a great jump start for a young basketball team a year from now."
On the impact of Cook Hall on the program:
"From a recruiting point of view it has been unbelievable. It has been a great thing for the whole program. Whether a kid is a recruit or when someone walks in this building and what it means to the former players and the fans. But when you get to the basketball part of it, Victor Oladipo is a great example of what this building has meant to the program. Five years ago, we would have had access to a gym, but to be able to come into a facility night or day, morning or night, and really work on your game ... we also saw it in Christian (Watford), Jordan (Hulls) and Will (Sheehey) and now we see it with Yogi (Ferrell) and Jeremy (Hollowell). It is like anything - you have to show that you can get the use out of it and our guys have shown that they can do that."
On why the Big Ten his so highly regarded and the outlook moving forward:
"To start, there are two or three leagues that are stable and we (Big Ten) is one of those. We may add but it is never going to change what the league is with the tradition of Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. Those things are never going to leave. I don't think you are ever going to see one of our teams jump out of the Big Ten to join the ACC.
"And then to have the stability in the coaches in this league, when you look at the upper echelon of it, now you have tradition rich programs that are going to stay there. From a national perspective, when you have that, then the respect of the league stays at a higher level. And then you have to do well. I think all of our teams had a great showing in the NCAA Tournament. It is why the talk for next year is that once again our league will be one of the best leagues. When you throw all those things together, it has been what has brought Big Ten basketball back to a high level again."
On the most common question from a recruit and their parents:
"If a kid is doing his homework, he wants to know exactly where he is going to fit in. That is where in recruiting, we have a done a great job of this, is finding guys that fit what we need. We don't recruit just to recruit. We are recruiting for a specific reason whether it be a shooter or a point guard. I think that is the question that we get the most out of kids is `where do I fit into your program?' and `where do you see me going?' The next thing they want to know is `can you make my son better?' and I think that is one thing this program has proven is that we can take a kid and change their game, if the kid wants to, they have to want to do it. We can take their game to a higher level and give them something to go after."
On what has changed on the recruiting trail after the success of the past two years:
"There is a big difference. Indiana basketball has always had the respect but now you see us with people coming up to us and recruit their team and their kids. You can have so little contact at events but it is amazing the calls and emails we get from coaches asking us to make sure we see their kid. It is not just any kid, it is a kid that is a top 10 kid in the country and they want to make sure that Indiana knows where the kid is playing and Indiana knows that the kid has an interest. There is no question that when a kid sees us sitting by their court right now, it has a different feel to it than it did three or four years ago."