Indiana Basketball Begins Today

Indiana basketball began practice Friday for the Nov. 14 season opener against Mississippi Valley State. IU's annual Hoosier Hysteria event will be held Oct. 25. Check out this basketball season preview.

Basketball season has arrived at Indiana University.

The first official practice of the season is today and the Hoosiers will have five weeks to prepare for the season opener on Nov. 14 against Mississippi Valley State at Assembly Hall.

Hoosier Hysteria this season will fall on Oct. 25. Details on that event will be made available at a later date.

The Indiana media relations office put out the following IU basketball preview. Here are some excerpts from that preview.

The Indiana University men’s basketball team will begin the 2014-15 season on Friday with the first of 30 practices in the 42 days prior to the season opener November 14 against Mississippi Valley State in Assembly Hall.

The Hoosiers enjoyed a five-game tour of Canada in August and the 10 extra practices that came with it. The team averaged 102.2 points on 55.1% shooting, including 42.4% from the international three-point line. This year’s team includes six returning letterwinners, two transfers and seven freshmen.

Crean’s Staff Among Most Experienced in the Country

• The Hoosiers are in their seventh season under head coach Tom Crean who has led the program to a 73-31 record, two NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances and a 2013 outright Big Ten championship since the 2011-12 season.

• IU boasts perhaps the only staff in the country with four former Division I head coaches involved in the day-to-day operations of the program. Associate head coach Tim Buckley (Ball State) is in his seventh year with the Hoosiers, associate head coach Steve McClain (Wyoming) enters his fifth year at IU, assistant coach Chuck Martin (Marist) joined the Hoosiers this past summer and director of operations Rob Judson (Northern Illinois) will start his second campaign.

• IU leads the Big Ten with 15 regular season wins and a 57.7 winning percentage against the Top 25 in that same span.

• Over the last three years, IU leads all Big Ten teams in scoring (76.2), field goal percentage (47.5), three-point field goal percentage (39.4), free throw percentage (74.6) and free throws made (1,903). The Hoosiers three-point field goal percentage is the highest among major college conference schools in that time frame.

• Crean has seen six of his players score 1,000 points or more in a career at IU. Christian Watford (1,730), Verdell Jones III (1,347), Jordan Hulls (1,318), Cody Zeller (1,157), Will Sheehey (1,120) and Victor Oladipo (1,117). Junior Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell needs 176 points to become the seventh Crean recruit to join the prestigious club.

• Three Hoosiers have been selected among the first nine picks of the NBA draft the last two seasons (2013: Victor Oladipo, 2nd and Cody Zeller 4th and 2014 Noah Vonleh), an occurrence that hasn’t happened at IU since 1976 and 1977 (May, Buckner and Benson). IU and Kansas are the only programs the past two years to have three lottery picks.

• IU is now among the top academic programs in the country with four straight perfect APR scores of 1,000 and has received an NCAA Recognition Award each of the last two years. IU has been honored a league best 27 times on the Academic All-Big Ten team since 2010.

The Returnees

• Junior Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell is a consensus preseason All-Big Ten performer after he finished fourth in the Big Ten in scoring (17.3), first in three-point field goals made per game (2.8), third in free throw percentage (82.4) and sixth in assists (3.9). He has started all 68 games that he has played and averaged 15.4 points and shot 57.1% from the field in five games in Canada.

• Junior Hanner Mosquera-Perea will get the opportunity to contribute significantly down low this season. He appeared in 29 games off the bench and averaged 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game. He tied for second on the team with 13 blocked shots and shot 57.5 percent from the floor (23-of-40) and 72.3% from the line. He is expected to be one of the most improved players on the team .

• Sophomore Troy Williams will be one of the most athletic players in the Big Ten. He started all 32 games, averaging 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds. He shot 50.9 % from the floor and tied for second on the team with 26 steals. In Canada, he started all five games and averaged 18.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, a team-high 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steal.

• Sophomore Stanford Robinson was a rare player who saw his production go up during conference play a year ago. He played in all 32 games started nine times. He averaged 6.4 points per game overall and 7.6 points per game in Big Ten play and was second on the team in league play in free throws attempted with 52. In Canada, he averaged 12.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 steals and shot 58.3 % from the floor.

• Sophomore Devin Davis also will have the opportunity to compete inside. He came on strong at the end of last season and averaged 2.4 points and 2.6 rebound while playing 8.8 minutes per game . He tied for second on the team with 13 blocked shots. In Canada, he averaged 8.0 points, led the team with 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and shot a team-high 77.8 percent from the field.

• Sophomore Collin Hartman is recovering from a knee injury he sustained at the conclusion of last season. He appeared in 16 games last season and scored 11 points and had 15 rebounds. He did not play in Canada due to the injured knee.

Two Transfers

Nick Zeisloft, a graduate of Illinois State, transferred to IU this summer and will have two years of eligibility. In Canada, he started twice and averaged 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and shot 55.0 percent from behind the three point line. At ISU, Zeisloft started 31 of 59 games and averaged 6.9 points as a redshirt sophomore and 4.5 points as a redshirt freshman. He was a career 37.3 shooter from three-point range.

Ryan Burton, a product of Bedford North Lawrence, was attending IU and is enrolled in the Kelley School of Business. He averaged 1.8 points in Canada after joining the team as a walk-on. He averaged 4.1 points and 1.6 rebounds in 58 games at Bellarmine University.

The Freshmen

• Indiana native James Blackmon, Jr., will give the Hoosiers their fourth McDonald’s All-American in four years (Zeller, Ferrell, Vonleh). The former Marion Giant is expected to have an immediate impact and some have chosen him to be the Preseason Big Ten Freshman of the Year. In Canada, he averaged a team-high 18.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He shot 58.1% from the field and a team-best 86.7% from the line.

• A product of Richmond, Virginia Robert Johnson is another likely freshman who will play immediately. He averaged 9.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and led the team with 2.2 steals in five games in Canada. He shot 43.8% from three-point range and 72.7% from the line on the trip while dishing 19 assists with just eight turnovers.

Max Hoetzel, who grew up in California, is another outstanding shooter who should allow the Hoosiers to space the floor. He averaged 5.6 points and 3.0 rebounds and made four triples in Canada.

Tim Priller, a Dallas area native, is another big body who can shoot the ball from long range. Priller averaged 3.3 points and 1.8 rebounds and shot 55.9 from the field and 60% from three-point land on the trip to Canada.

• Another inside threat, Jeremiah April, who attended prep school in Arizona, did not play in Canada due to a foot injury.

• The Hoosiers final signee, New Yorker Emmitt Holt, had an outstanding summer and posted averages of 11.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per contest while shooting at a 60 percent clip from the field in the EYBL. He will also help inside.

• A Northridge (Ind.) High School product, Nate Ritchie is a walk-on who averaged 2.0 points in Canada.

Canada Follow Up

Tom Crean

"We've learned a ton. We saw a lot of different defenses and we didn't do as much set-wise or things like that offensively, but the ball movement and understanding how good everybody is and getting a feel for one another out there for this type of youth on this team is very, very good for us."

"We had to play very physical out there and it gave us a great indication of who needs what, it gave us a very good indication of what we need to prepare for. But, you cannot put a value on what it means for them to have come out there and have the ball movement, to have to play this type of intensity and in some cases, very good competition. Playing against some very good players who are extremely tough.”

Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell

“What we can take away from this is that this is a player-driven game. It’s important that everyone in our huddle talks to each other. It was great to be able to have so many shooters on the floor. It forces the defense to make tough choices and we played with great confidence.’’

Troy Williams

"Even though we don't have a senior, I thought we showed better maturity on the court as the week went along. Even after the loss, we came together to put the focus on this team being player-driven. This trip was invaluable for us and the chemistry was great."

Devin Davis

"We have a lot of people who can shoot the three so that is going to open up the floor for a lot of different things like driving to the basket and posting up the defender down low. I really like the way we bonded as a group and enjoyed spending time getting to know some of the guys I didn't know as well."

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WATCH: Canada highlights of Ferrell, Davis

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