Nov. 12, 2009
Bloomington, Indiana -
Indiana University's season opening men's basketball game with Howard in Assembly Hall is nearly sold out the department announced today. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. To purchase your ticket before they are gone, call 866-IUSports or stop by the Assembly Hall box office. Sophomore Verdell Jones III also met with the media and talked about the season opener.
On the difference from last year:
"I think it's a lot different. We're expecting a lot more from our team and each player this year. Last year we didn't have a lot of expectations of what we were going to do. But I think this year we have a sense that if we keep working we can go far."
On whether the practices have been more competitive:
"A lot more competitive because now you're fighting for playing time. Last year we knew certain players had to play so I think we were a little more relaxed but this year if you want to get on the floor you have to compete every day."
"They're very guard oriented. They have a nice big man that we're going to have to stop, he's very explosive and powerful down low. They can all shoot it so we have to get on the three-point shooters."
On what the team wants to accomplish in the Howard game, besides winning:
"I think we want to get our execution down and limit our turnovers, really get out and run and work on our transition defense."
On playing a lot of games in a short time period:
"I like more games because practice is no joke. Practices are a lot harder than games, so more games is better."
On whether practices have been any easier lately:
"He's still training us like it's preseason. We figured it would get easier but it hasn't yet, so hopefully it gets easier pretty soon."
On the difference between practice this year and last year:
On the depth of the team:
"I think it's a little harder this year because now we have a little more experience - last year nobody had any experience so I think he knew that - but now he's really pushing us because he knows the potential our team has."
"He tells us to play `til we're fatigued. Play until you can't play anymore and then we'll get you out and get you back in. So we're just going to play hard until we can't play anymore and then come out and come back in."
On the excitement to play real games:
"We're really excited. At first we were excited to play exhibition games because we weren't playing against each other, but now we're excited because the games finally count, so I think you'll see more intensity and more passion from each of us."
On the possibility of a sellout in the first game:
"That would be great, especially coming from last year when we only had a few sellouts. To have our first game sold out means a lot."
On communicating to the freshmen what game day is like:
"Every day we tell them that game day is a business day. There's no goofing around, playing around, it's serious."