BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Indiana assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson, along with senior Jordan Hulls and freshman Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell, previewed the Hoosiers' game against Coppin State on Saturday, Dec. 1 in Assembly Hall.
On Coppin State:
"They are a very fast-paced, aggressive basketball team. They are averaging 27 attempted 3-pointers per game. They are turning teams over 20 times a team with around 11-12 steals per game. They are an aggressive offensive rebounding team at about 14 a game, which in comparison - North Carolina averaged 18 offensive rebounds per game, which was a point of emphasis for us to try and defend that. They've got two guys that are carrying them in scoring. (Patrick) Cole, who has been two-time MEAC Freshman of the Week already, is averaging about 15 points per game. They have a senior transfer in Troy Franklin who is averaging around 12-13 a game, who is pretty aggressive. We expect them to come in and pressure us and be in attack mode, and also look to shoot the 3."
On Coppin State's 3-point shooting:
"Well they are getting a lot of open shots and I think it's a new team with some turnover from last year's roster, so I think they are in the process of just trying to gel. It's more of a concern when you identify their philosophy that they are trying to accomplish and it's not that they are bad shooters, they are missing shots. You don't want to give them the opportunity to have that many open shots.
On how Coppin State is able to turn teams over:
"It's a variety of things. They start with ball pressure. They aren't always in a full-court, man-to-man, type of look, but they do a good job of scrambling and helping. In the passing lanes they are aggressive, they are overplaying so they are forcing you into unforced turnovers at times. Other times, they are just always going to be there. You're not going to have any space to operate. They are going to be constantly moving their feet and communicating, and they are playing 10-11 guys, as well, so they are able to stay fresh."
On IU's fastbreak:
"I don't know that we've ever quantified the exact amount of time. It's as fast as possible and pushing tempo, but being selective. Just quality possessions - that's always going to be a goal of ours. The tempo being pushed is something that we try to constantly set the tempo in practice, which leads to us setting the tempo in games, for the sake of wearing teams down. We have the best rim-runner in the country and we have athletic wings that are able to get down the court, and any time we can space the floor, it allows our shooters and our penetrators to get in the gaps. It helps to get a lot of early offensive scores. I wouldn't say there's necessarily a particular time. I know some teams in the past have said that they want to score in the first five seconds, score in the first seven seconds - that's never something that we've discussed.
On Cody Zeller:
"My time being around Cody, I've realized that I don't know if he gets the credit for the competitor that he is - he's just an absolute competitor. He wants to win at everything he does. He competes to try to win sprints in practice, in the game I really believe he has a thought of dominating - he's trying to wear the other team out with the type of pressure that he's putting on them. He takes pride in the fact in how hard he runs the floor. He's getting up ahead because that's what's going to help us win, whether we throw ahead to him or not, he's still going to run to that rim every game. He hasn't necessarily gotten the ball in those situations like he did against Carolina in previous games this season like that rate that he got it, but if you go back and look at it, he's still running the lane that hard. I think it's just his competitive nature."
On what he's seen on film from Coppin State:
"We know they like up-tempo kind of like North Carolina. We know they like to get out in transition, especially on turnovers, so we know we are going to have to take care of the ball. We know they shoot a lot of threes - I think they're fourth in the country on three point attempts. We know we are going to have to get out on shooters and make sure to keep our guy in front of us."
On what has helped them has a good assist/turnover ratio:
"I think our team does a great job with cutting on offense, especially Will (Sheehey) and Victor (Oladipo). They backcut behind defenses better than anyone in the country. That's what I tell them to do, especially when I drive. Most teams like to ball-watch on defense, so they just go behind their guy and Jordan or I can dump it right off to them for an easy basket."
On what Coppin State does well to create turnovers:
"A lot of ball pressure, and a lot of deflections. We know we are going to have to take care of the ball and make good decisions- make the right pass, make the right plays."
On who Coppin State reminds him of:
"That's tough. They're so quick so I guess VCU would be a good comparison because they like to get up on the ball and pressure you. That's the one that comes to mind."
On whether or not the team worries about a let-down after an exciting game like North Carolina:
"No because we are approaching every game the same way. We are going to get everybody's best shot and they're going to get our best shot as well so we can't afford to play bad."
On how the rhythm of their practices has changed from when they had many games with little time between to now having a few games spaced out:
"Just more practice time; more time for us to go out there and get better. As far as how we approach the game, it's the same way every time. Having more time will be a little different because we will have different rest times, but we still be competing in practice. It's different because we like to play a lot of games, but then again it's also time for us to get better in practice."
On being on the court with Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell at the same time:
"I think it is working out pretty well. We are playing pretty well together and I think we feed off each other, as far as him getting in the lane and kicking it out or things like that. He is getting better and better at shooting the ball and we have a lot of confidence in him with that. He doesn't play like a freshman so we have a lot of confidence in him to make good decisions when he is bringing the ball up the floor. And then we can also switch on and off, so the dynamic is working pretty well."