BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana associate head men's basketball coach Tim Buckley, along with sophomore Cody Zeller and redshirt junior Maurice Creek preview the Hoosiers' game vs. Central Connecticut in Assembly Hall on Saturday, Dec. 8.
"We are looking forward to getting ready to play again. We have a really good basketball team coming in here tomorrow with some very good individual players. They obviously have the nation's leading scorer in Kyle Vinales and I think it's going to be a good test for us, defensively. They are a team that's averaging roughly 75 points per game. They run a lot of pick-and-rolls and they're very athletic and quick and they like to push the pace, so we're going to have to get back in transition, get our defense set, and do a really good job of defending them. We really have to do a good job of defensing without fouling because they're also the nation's leading free throw shooting team so it should be a very good test for us."
On having a week in between games:
"I think we've done a really good job of balancing preparation and individual skill development throughout the week. We prepare for this one the same way we do every other one. I think our team is ready to play someone else, but they also understand that we've had really good balance throughout the week and we will be ready tomorrow night."
On what makes Vinales so special:
"I think he can score in a variety of ways - he can beat you off the dribble, he can go right or left, he can shoot the pull-up, he has a step-back to his game, he does a terrific job getting angles whether it's off the dribble or coming off the pick and roll - and when he gets an angle he's very difficult to stop. You have to keep him outside the elbows and you have to keep your chest in front. We can't give him any open looks."
On whether or not they plan on using the full court press more often once they get the entire team back and healthy:
"I don't know if a lot more will be the case. A lot of it has to do with game preparation and who the opponent is and what we need for that game. We are really a big "game plan" type program, so if we feel like that fits into the game plan of what we want to do then we will utilize it. Fortunately, we've got a lot of versatility on our team so we can show quite a few different looks. I would say with the guys who have been out - in particular Hanner and Peter - they will cover up a lot more mistakes on guarding the dribble because they can erase some of those mistakes for you, so it will add another shot blocker or two for us, but Cody had obviously done a very good job of that as well. We want to try and do the best we can to keep our guy in front because once you start rotating to block shots, then it can hurt you in your block-outs and rebounding."
On bringing fatigue to the game against CCSU:
"I've seen all of their games, and I've had yet to see them get tired. They are a team that is pretty resilient that way, but we will find out. I also think that we will put more stress and pressure on them in bringing the ball back at them than some of the other teams that they've played. As you saw in the North Carolina game, there were a lot of strike-back baskets and opportunities for us to try and get back quickly off the make or the miss and we like to put pressure on people that way. We will try to add that defensive fatigue component to them maybe a little bit more than their opponents have."
Cody Zeller On Indiana's full court pressure:
"We definitely want to get after it. We want to turn up the speed of the game and score a lot of points. If they try to slow us down then we go to the press. We take pride in scoring a lot of points so we have to do it somehow."
On how fatiguing it is on the players running a full court press:
"I feel like we are one of the better conditioned teams. We go into a lot of games feeling like we are in better shape than the other team because of how much hard work we put in during the summer. We have enough guys we can move through that are in good enough shape that makes us have an effective defense."
On what they're seeing from Kyle Vinales:
"I think he's so quick, on film he's just driving right around guys. When he shoots he gets it off quick and he knows how to score in a lot of different ways with floaters and getting by his man. Obviously nobody can say they're averaging 26 a game, and that's saying something right there. No matter how many games he played or how many shots he takes, that's saying a lot."
On whether Vinales reminds him of anyone in the Big Ten:
"That's tough. Maybe I'll tell you after the game, but just watching a few clips on film, he definitely looks talented and he can definitely score in bunched. We are going to have our hands full."
On the difference in preparation when they focus on team's personnel rather than sets and plays:
"It's a lot of concept things that they do, not as much running plays or anything. They want to push the tempo so it's a lot of random ball screens and coming down quick. It's kind of just a lot of chaos, not as much set up and run plays. It's just going to be one of those games."
Maurice Creek On Indiana's full court pressure:
"I think it's motivative because when it's called we know that we need to speed it up and get points on the board and start creating turnovers- that's what it's for. I think everyone is motivated and ready to go when the press is called."
On whether they expect the press to be used more once they get Derek, Hanner, and Peter back:
"I think they will add on to what we already have. They give us more length and more size and they've run the press in practice so they know what to do when it's called."
On being able to come at teams in waves:
"Us having depth and Coach bringing in other guys, you just have to be ready when your number is called."
On what they are seeing in film from Central Connecticut State:
"They're a real talented squad. They have the leading scorer in the country who knows how to get buckets, so we will have to lock him down and be ready to go. They have a talented point guard who's left handed so we definitely need to know what the personnel is with this group. They've been sticking with teams so we have to come out with fire and be ready to go right off the break."
On having a week in between games:
"It gives us more time to practice and get prepared for our next opponent. We had to work on some things and we got them done and I think we are well prepared for this game."