July 23, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Will Sheehey and Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell talked with the media today (July 23) about their experience with USA Basketball at the World University Games earlier this month as well as getting back into the flow with their IU team once they got back on campus.
Here is a full transcript of what they had to say:
"First of all it was a great opportunity. I was very excited to even have the opportunity to try out, than once we got there I just tried to play my normal game- play hard and make plays for everyone on the court. The coaches were great; they made sure to really coach me through things. I learned a lot through this experience and I think Yogi can say the same."
On his progression from the beginning of camp through the final game:
"I tend to struggle at the beginning, but I got more comfortable. The rules are a little bit different and I had to get used to them. Our team started to gel and I knew I could find my niche throughout the team and my teammates really did a great job of finding me throughout the whole thing. The guard play was fantastic but the big unfortunately didn't play as well as we should have. It was still a great experience for all of us."
On what his niche was for the team:
"My niche for the team was pretty much the same as when I play at Indiana- moving without the ball. Once I realize where players like to get the ball I can feed off of that, knowing when to cut, when to move, when to pass and things. Once I got a feel for everyone else's game they started to get a feel for my game as well."
On what he learned from the experience:
On what it was like playing against such a high talent level:
"The coaches were really quirky when it came to certain things. They taught a lot about how to balance your offense and defense which is something I can really take heading into next season and preach to the other guys on the team."
"Any time you can raise the level of competition it really helps everyone. I couldn't say anything bad about any of the guys they brought to Colorado and once we got to Russia everyone brought the same intensity. Unfortunately we didn't make as many shots as we wanted to and our defense wasn't as great, but the competition was great and that will help me out in the long run."
On what stood out most traveling to Russia:
"There were 136 countries represented in the World University Games and 10,000 athletes so you can imagine what it was like for us all staying in the village that was probably the size of Indiana's campus. We all ate in the same place; we all hung out and saw movies in the same place, so it was really cool to interact with people from different cultures. You see people from different countries that you would never see otherwise. That was the coolest part. It was the moments off the court. To see the pride that everyone took wearing the USA jersey was special. Unfortunately we couldn't medal but everyone really played to a certain level just because we had the USA on our jersey. That's something special that I might not get to experience again."
On what was most challenging about the style of play overseas:
"It's difficult to explain but the game of basketball is completely different over there- the way everyone moves, the way screens are set. When you are playing in the Big Ten you kind of know when a screen is going to come and where it is going to come from, but overseas they set screens in the middle of the lane, you have guys running out of bounds, it's wild."
On if he can take anything from playing the game differently and apply it to his college game:
"The style of play is so much different and they want to do so many different things, and the players all play differently. The guys who can transition from the European game over are the best players, but I think the American game is where I want to be."
On the officials overseas:
"You can't use your hands at all but you can use your chest and body the heck out of a guy so that was the kind of stuff we had to get used to. The big guys really struggled throughout the whole thing trying to learn to not use their hands. Traveling calls were an absolute disaster but we got used to it after a while. The travels were called really tight. When you first catch the ball and put it down than once you pick it up it seems like you can take seven steps in that game."
On what he can tell others about his experience playing international basketball:
"I'd tell the younger guys that the game is different everywhere. You have to learn to develop your game to where you can play anywhere. Don't try to focus on one specific thing. Try to watch film of a lot of different types of players and pick up things from everyone."
On how his game is developing this summer:
"I think mentally I've become a better player over the summer. I've learned a lot this offseason, not just through my Team USA experience but also here at school being the oldest guy. My freshman and sophomore year I was so scared of the older guys all I wanted was to play hard and show them that I could do that. Now that I'm older I can sit down and really analyze the game. I think mentally I've learned a lot."
On what he's noticed being separated from the team for so long and then returning:
"The guys who have been here throughout the summer and who have developed as leaders on this team are going to keep doing so because it's best for our team to have a group of leaders than just one or two. It's really exciting to come back and see other guys do the things that I would want them to do. The strides that the freshmen have made throughout just six weeks has been absolutely incredible. You can tell by their work ethic that they are starting to change. Every guy coming out of high school doesn't really know exactly what it's like. To see them embrace the work that needs to be put in and for them to see results is really good."
On what it meant to wear the USA jersey:
"It meant a lot just putting the jersey on. Even just the picture day in Colorado when we first got them made everyone so excited. Unfortunately I don't have Twitter or Instagram or Facebook but everyone else was snapping a ton of pictures."
On being able to play on the team with Yogi Ferrell:
"We were both excited to make the team. Yogi was playing absolutely fantastic in Colorado so I knew he was a lock and it was more me that was on the fence. For us both to get our names called and to play there was a great experience for us."
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell
On his experience with USA Basketball at the World University Games:
"The experience overall was great. Kazan, Russia, is very different. Even before we got over there, while I was in Colorado Springs, I was able to get pretty close with all of my teammates.
"The type of play was very different, it was much more physical. In a lot of those games, you have to pay much more attention to detail because those teams have been playing together for so long and they run their sets to a `T'. So you have to pay attention to screens and things like that.
"Another thing is they are knock-down shooters and you can't take plays off over there. So bringing that back here to Indiana, I can tell guys about it. And the Big Ten Conference is very physical and they run their stuff to a `T' as well. So I feel like if I can bring the knowledge I gained from playing internationally back here, my teammates here can see that and see if it can help us win some games."
On playing with a new set of teammates with USA Basketball:
"I had to let everyone know that I wanted to try to lead the team to some wins. I felt like they allowed myself and the other point guard, Spencer Dinwidie, to do that. I think they listened very well and even though we didn't come away with the gold medal, as a team, we felt pretty accomplished just by winning those last three games. And we still had a fun time over there together."
On what the team did in Russia when it wasn't playing basketball:
"Off the court, we went to the mall. We stayed in the Athlete Village over there with athletes from 150 different countries were also staying. And the mall was just outside of that. We went over there and saw the different things they had.
"Another thing we did was go to the Kremlin too. It was interesting. It had a weird smell. I can't really describe the smell. I guess you could say it was an `overseas smell' and I know I will never forget it."
On playing well in the tryouts:
"Yeah, I felt like I was playing pretty well in the elevation. I was just showing the coaches how I have improved since last season and showing them what I had been working on and what I was capable of doing to help the team win gold."
On what he did well:
"I would say being more of a leader and doing whatever it took, defensively or offensively. I felt like I definitely shot the ball a lot better than I have prior and I felt much more confident."
On the difference in styles of play in international competition:
"That one rule they have over there, the travel rule. It's not a good rule. It lost us a game, really, and it really hurt us. Over there, I felt like they may not have had as athletic or skilled players as we did, but they play so well together and they have known each other for so long that they could do all the little things to find ways to score. They also play great defense - they are more disciplined in my opinion."
On the USA Basketball team only playing together for a short period of time before the World University Games:
"It was a definite disadvantage but I felt like we could still came out a little better than we did."
On what Coach Crean told him prior to the trip:
"He told me to go over and enjoy the experience and learn how they play, internationally, and bring back what I can to the program here. And to try to help some of the young guys out and the other guys that weren't over there by sharing my knowledge about what we need to do to be successful this year."
On what it meant to put on the USA jersey:
"It meant a lot. It was a great honor to represent my country. When I put that jersey on, I got chills. I felt like I was representing everyone back home so putting on that jersey felt great."
On playing against a high level of competition with USA Basketball and how he improved from it:
"It helped me improve by watching whenever I was on the court or on the bench. I felt like I had to play a lot harder when I was over there just to try to squeeze out a win. But I tried to learn by watching others playing."
On going through the experience with
"It helped a lot because we obviously know how each other play. I was glad to have him on the team, especially when we were on the court together because I knew where he would be. Will killed it in Colorado and he killed it in Russia. He was on top of his game, doing the little things and the coaches really loved that. But to have him there was great."
On the improvement of his 3-point shot:
"I have been mainly working on my jump shot this offseason. That's one of the things I know I need to do better with. In Russia, the 3-point line was about a step behind the college 3-point line, so we had to get adjusted to that. But once we did everything was good."
On coming back a more confident player:
"I feel a lot more confident coming back because I know what to expect this year, whether it's practices or games. And I know what kind of tendencies everyone is going to have. I am going to continue to work on my game to help get me more confident."
On who he became closer with over there:
"I roomed with Will, Luke Hancock and Spencer Dinwidie. So I became really close with those guys. Adrien Payne (Michigan State), Aaron White (Iowa), Tylew Haws (BYU) and Doug McDermott (Creighton)."
"And it was my first time playing against or with any of them."
On losing a game while representing the United States:
"It's very tough to lose a game representing your country. Even over there, everyone still showed us a lot of love. Even the fans - we had a lot of fans come out to our games. But the players on the other teams hated us. It got real chippy sometimes.
"Even though it wasn't a dream of mine growing up, it came up while I was on the path of my main dream and I am definitely using it to my advantage. Going out to Colorado to show what I can do and to be able to say that I played for USA Basketball, that's going to feel good."
On what he has seen from the freshmen in workouts since being back:
"The freshmen have gotten a lot tougher. They are definitely more conditioned than when they first got here. They know a little bit more `stuff' than when I left. I feel like they know our system a little better and they give us a lot of great energy. They are going to play hard for us this year. Us older guys have been playing hard and they have seen us play hard and they know we want to win and they want to win too."
On how the training camp in Colorado with USA Basketball more beneficial than the actual tournament in Russia:
"Maybe a little but not too much. While we were in Colorado, we were just playing games. But to go over to Russia and play against different teams, their style of play was completely different."
On building the on-court relationship with the older guys to set an example for the younger guys here:
"Like I said before, Will and I can bring back what we learned. Over time in Russia, the game got easier because the teams were running the same thing and they had the same defensive tendencies for us. I felt like we can bring that back and show everyone that everything doesn't have to be that hard really, especially if you know your stuff in regard to defensive and offensive tendencies of what you like to do."