Hoosiers downplay significance of ranking

Indiana was ranked for the first time this week. Read what Tom Crean and the IU players had to say about it.

Indiana was back in the Top 25 this week for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 season. The Hoosiers came in at No. 23 in both the AP and the coaches polls after their road win over Illinois on Sunday.

Indiana coach Tom Crean and some of the players were asked about the ranking on Wednesday, and both parties downplayed the significance of it.

"The key is not to internalize any part of it," Crean said. "We didn't internalize all the negativity and all the things that were swirling around when that was going on, and don't start internalizing praise or taking any of this for granted. The younger players, sometimes, you've got to make sure they don't have a tendency to live in yesterday, whether it was good or bad.

"If you spend time getting distracted by other things, you won't be very good."

Junior point guard Yogi Ferrell was one of the only current players on the roster when the Hoosiers (14-4, 4-1 Big Ten) were last ranked. Indiana spent much of the 2012-13 season ranked No. 1, and it earned a top seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers lost to Syracuse in the Sweet 16.

"That just makes us work harder because you just want to keep moving up in the rankings," Ferrell said. "What I've learned, especially from my freshman year, is being ranked doesn't really mean anything. You've got to get out there, at the end of the day, and just play the games."

Indiana will have a chance to prove it deserves to remain in the Top 25 when it hosts No. 13 Maryland (17-2, 5-1) on Thursday night at 9 p.m.

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