Thanks to some tape recorder malfunctions — yeah, yeah, get digital, I know — I don’t have much in the way of direct quotes from the players from Thursday’s media availability, but had some thoughts from workouts and interviews I wanted to share.
- Despite having not played a game at Indiana yet, Jeremiah Rivers seems to actually be the Hoosiers’ unquestioned captain. Guards Verdell Jones and Jordan Hulls both spoke of how much Rivers has helped their games and said Rivers’ time at Georgetown gave him a good understanding of what it takes to win.
- Rivers, unsurprisingly, said IU’s style of play will suit him much better than Georgetown’s Princeton offense. In Thursday’s workout, he seemed more than comfortable in it, though his main weakness may be that he doesn’t know the strength and weaknesses of his personnel yet. For instance, he threw a beautiful no-look pass after a drive toward the basket that, for some, might have turned into an easy layup. However, he threw the pass to Tijan Jobe, who knocked it out of bounds.
- Not surprisingly, players and coaches the difference in depth and talent level from last year to this year is night and day. There’s more length, more athleticism, more speed, more numbers.
- Since last season, everyone has been talking about the improvements Verdell Jones has made. Jones said that improvement has come from morning workouts with his father, and that he feels more comfortable in every aspect of his game.
- Christian Watford could use work on his jump shot, but there is no player on the roster right now more athletic.
- Devan Dumes isn’t going to give up his role on the team easy. He sliced through the defense for a nifty left-hand layup in Thursday’s practice and knocked down a few deep 3-pointers.
- Tom Crean said the Hoosiers have, because he got a late start, worked guard Maurice Creek extremely hard to get him in shape for the season. Though he won many of the wind sprints he was involved in Thursday, he seemed a little tired by the time the Hoosiers went into half court play. “I think he’s right in the middle of the push-him-and-he-falls-over, shake-his-hand-and-it-hurts kind of deal,” Crean said.