Sept. 26, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana men's basketball team opened the 2013-14 season with media day on Thursday, Sept. 26, in Assembly Hall.
MEDIA DAY NOTES
FISCHER SIDELINED WITH SPRAINED SHOULDER
Freshman center Luke Fischer (Germantown, Wisc.), a 6-11 center, suffered a sprained left shoulder in a scrimmage earlier this week and will be out for a few weeks.
"Luke has made great strides and was playing with great confidence," said Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean. "He was being aggressive in his pursuit for the basketball when it happened."
He was a Parade All-American and Wisconsin Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year after he averaged 21.3 points and 9.5. He played for head coach Steve Showalter at Germantown (Wisc.) High School and was ranked No. 34 overall by ESPN100 and the No. 4 center. He led his Germantown team to consecutive state championships in his final two years, combining for a 56-0 record his last two seasons.
ETHERINGTON, JURKIN TO PRACTICE
Two players who missed the majority of last season due to injuries, guard/forward Austin Etherington (fractured left patella) and center Peter Jurkin (lower leg) both are expected to participate in the team's official practices this week.
CREAN TO SPEAK NEXT WEDNESDAY NIGHT
Coach Tom Crean will deliver his fifth preseason lecture at 7 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the IU Auditorium, according to a Union Board release. The lecture is free and open to the public. This year, the title of the lecture is "The State of the Hoosier Nation."
Will Sheehey, Sr., Forward
On what he's been working to improve during the offseason:
"I've been trying to work on my ball handling and shooting, as well as my over-all defensive presence. Trying to take my game to the next level is my focus. I'm not trying to re-define my game; I know what I do well and I know what I don't do well, so it's just fine-tuning things."
On what he's doing to be a team leader:
"I think the biggest key in basketball in general is knowing your role and playing it well. Not everyone can be LeBron James and score that much. My role on the team last year was not to be a big scorer like Vic (Oladipo) and Cody's (Zeller) role. As long as everyone knows their role and knows what they have to do and do those things well, they'll do fine."
On whether or not his role on the team will be the same this season as the last one:
"We're a very talented team and I don't think me taking more shots is going to make me a better player. Efficiency is key and if I can take less shots and make more of them than that's what's going to help us win. Realistically, taking more shots is probably not going to be the best thing for me. My game doesn't involve shooting in volume so I'm just going to try to do what I do well this year which is play off of others and create shots for others."
Evan Gordon, GS, Guard
On his relationship with the freshmen:
"I worked out with Devin (Davis) and my dad during the summer so I knew him before I got to Bloomington. Stan's (Robinson) just a character. He's very focused on getting better and is in the gym all the time, as is Noah (Vonleh). I think Stan will come a long way just as soon as he figures everything out."
On the game dynamic between him and Kevin Yogi Ferrell in the backcourt:
"Yogi is similar to the point guard that played alongside me at Arizona State, though Yogi is a little more `pass-first.' We've played against each other a lot during the summer though never on the same team. Now playing with each other I think we play well together. I think that he'll have the more dominant point guard role but I can play that position as well if the team needs me."
On the freshmen being expected to play a large role this season:
"I think they realize what's expected around here. They see how tough it is because we are competing hard every single day. They see the difference in the strength and the confidence of each other's shot all ready. I think they realize where they're at and they've done a good job about asking questions on how to push themselves further. We've all given them advice on different things and I really think they've taken it in."
Kevin Yogi Ferrell, So., Guard
On whether he feels more pressure to take on a bigger role this season:
"I do feel like I need to step up a little more, especially after the team lost four starters. We have a lot of young players and I feel like those guys are going to surprise people."
On Hoosier Hysteria:
"That's a special night for the team to get announced and show everyone what we've been working on all summer. It gives us a chance to have some fun and scrimmage in front of crowd. I think it will be a great experience, especially for the new people."
On people calling this season a "transition year":
"I look at it as a whole new year. It's a new team with new players and new roles. We put in a lot of work last year. Winning a Big Ten Championship was hard work and we are going to work just as hard to repeat that again this year."
Devin Davis, Fr., Forward
On whether he still feels like "the new guy":
"That wears off over the summer. You have to come in and get your mind right and be ready to compete against anyone immediately. Team chemistry is still coming together. Right now it's mostly just about playing hard, but chemistry will develop."
On having familiarity with the other freshmen from high school:
"From playing against each other in high school and in all-star games and AAU there is definitely a lot of familiarity between us even before we came to college."
On how his game has had to change from high school to college:
"Coach Crean and the whole staff have been helping me work on all areas of my game. My jump shot, my ball handling and my inside-outside game are the main focus right now."
Collin Hartman, Fr., Forward
On his excitement now that the season is starting:
"I'm so excited. To see how far this program has come in the past few years and to now be a part of it and being able to contribute is a huge honor. But it's also going to be a long process. There's a lot of hard work, time and energy we have to put in, but it's all going to pay off in the end."
On how important it's going to be to be patient early on in the process:
"We're ready to fight. We've already been working hard and we know what it's going to take. The older guys have been great role models for us and we are trying to soak in a much as we possibly can, but we are trying to be our best every day."
On what the veteran players have tried to pass down:
"The main thing is that you have to be mentally ready because in college there is much more of a mental factor than there is in high school. In high school you could just get by on your abilities and by going through the motions, but here you get tested every day."