Jordan Hulls’ lack of recent scoring prompted one caller on Tom Crean’s radio show Monday night to ask if Hulls was being told not to shoot.
Though it has never appeared that Hulls was dealing with a coaching mandate, there has been some reason to wonder why he hasn’t shot more. Hulls went scoreless against Northwestern on Wednesday, shooting 0-for-3 from the field, then was 1-for-5 against Iowa on Sunday for two points. He remains the team’s third-leading scorer with 11.4 points per game, but the recent point production was noticeable.
“He gets a great matchup,” Crean said. “He gets one of the other team’s best defenders. There’s no doubt about that. He’s gotta do a very good job of being aggressive coming off screens, reading the pick-and-roll the way that he has. We want Jordan to shoot the ball more. Has Jordan passed up some shots? I don’t think there’s any question he has. Matt Roth is passing up shots. Those are guys that need to look for their shot. They’ve got quick releases. We’d rather have them be shooting in the flow of the action rather than trying to feel like they’ve gotta create a shot at the end of the shot clock. Jordan certainly has got some of those capabilities. As far as his role, yeah, he’s asked to do a lot. He’s a starting point guard in the Big Ten. Shooting the ball is certainly one of the things that he does best.”
Crean was asked a few questions about the team’s energy, and whether or not he felt like his team was hitting a wall.
“Every team is tired,” Crean said. “Every team has got issues. Every team has got frustrations in dealing with successes or adversities and all of those different things. The most important thing is to make sure that you’re getting your work done, that you keep it intense, that you keep it short, but at the same time, players gotta improve. … Players are always getting better or they’re getting worse.”
Crean was also asked about leadership, whether he chooses or a leader or simply allows one to emerge.
“It’s the same group of guys that went up to Purdue, and I’m not sure if there were one or two guys that led the team,” Crean said. “It was the team. Now, would you like to have somebody that rallies the team from one point to the next? Yes. I think you can try to create that, but it’s never as good as it is when it’s natural and you’re just enhancing it. I think it’s different. You’ve gotta have a team of guys that understand they’re going nowhere without each other and that’s where the communication comes in. A lot of times, the best leader is the bench. The bench can be a situation where it can get a guy adjusted. It can give a guy a chance to catch his breath. But it also can be an eye-opener that, ‘We’re gonna play without ya.’”