Figure freshman Yogi Ferrell will get major minutes this basketball season, which is what you’d expect from a guy coach Tom Crean expects to be one of the top point guards in America.
Ferrell is quick and aggressive and, well, the kind of point guard IU hasn’t had in years.
Still, the transition from high school to college, especially for a team expected to contend for a national title, isn’t easy even for the best of players.
“I feel I’m getting acclimated with a different kind of style Coach Crean wants to run,” Ferrell said. “I have a feel of what he wants me to do, which is lead this team to victory. I’ll do my best to do that.”
Much of that will come by playing defense. IU scored a ton last season and figures to score even more with the hyper pace Crean wants to set. But the Hoosiers will go as far as their defense carries them, and the point guard sets the tone.
“Defense has been a huge adjustment from playing a 2-3 zone in high school to now man to man,” Ferrell said. “I’m working on it every day –- on the ball and off the ball. I know that’s a huge key if we want to win a national championship.”
Another major adjustment has been the speed of play. Every level gets faster. Yes, Ferrell has noticed.
“During one of our individual practices we were doing a scrimmage and it’s just going back and forth, back and forth,” he said. “Some of the veterans have told me about what the first game will be like, that it’s like crazy fast. It took a while for them to get used to it.”
Again, the point guard sets the tone for that.
“As the point guard, you have to take control of the floor, not take too quick of shots, staying strong on defense. You control the tempo and the speed by controlling the game.”
By now you know that IU basketball practice officially begins on Friday, but the actual Hoosier Hysteria event won’t happen until Saturday, Oct. 20. That’s to accommodate Indiana’s fall break and ensure all students who want to attend, can.
The event will have a new twist –- Sage Steele, a 1995 IU grad and an ESPN SportsCenter co-host since 2007 will be the emcee.
A ton of recruits figure to show up, as they always do at this annual event.
Hoosier Hysteria is free, but fans are asked to bring a canned food item for the Hoosier Hills Food Bank. An autograph session for the men’s and women’s teams will run from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. In the past this has generated long lines, so get there early. The program is set to start at 7 p.m.
”Hoosier Hysteria will be an unbelievably exciting night and I strongly encourage our fans to come early because we will not be able to admit anyone after the capacity of Assembly Hall has been reached,” IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a university release.
The men’s team is a preseason No. 1 by many publications. It returns five starters, including All-America Cody Zeller, from a group that went 27-9 and reached the Sweet 16. Plus, the Hoosiers bring in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes.
Also, new women’s coach Curt Miller will showcase his first Hoosier team.
As far as what specific events will occur during Hoosier Hysteria, well, that remains a work in progress. Figure some kind of three-point shooting contest, a dunk contest and a brief scrimmage.
And if you want to catch some men’s games, tickets are available for Ball State (Nov. 25), Mt. Saint Mary’s (Dec. 19), Florida Atlantic (Dec. 21) and Jacksonville (Dec. 28).
If you believe CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, Zeller is the nation’s No. 1 player this season.
Zeller topped their top 100 players list. Forward Christian Watford came in at No. 38. Victor Oladipo was at No. 84.
Since when does a supercomputer, and a $53 million building to hold it, take priority over what’s REALLY important, which is building a new Assembly Hall and feeding the media?
It does at IU these days. President Michael McRobbie put academics over athletics when he announced IU will use money from the Big Ten Network to pay for it.
This computer will be the first at any U.S. university capable of calculations at the rate of one petaFLOPS, which is basically how many boos A-Rod generates at Yankee Stadium each second.
No. Wait! It’s a thousand trillion math calculations a second. The computer will be called Big Red II
Anyway, IU gets between $17 million and $20 million a year from the Big Ten Network, now known as BTN.