Crean talks early impressions of Jordan Fuchs

Indiana coach Tom Crean was asked what he's seen from Jordan Fuchs so far in practice. Fuchs, a tight end for the football team, was added to the basketball roster on Wednesday.

Some have suggested that Jordan Fuchs will be nothing more than a practice player for the Indiana basketball team.

Not true, Tom Crean says. Not true at all.

Fuchs, a freshman tight end on the football team, was added to the basketball roster before Wednesday's game at Maryland. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound Fuchs played high school basketball at Christ the King in New York and had a number of Division 1 scholarship offers to play basketball.

"We wouldn't have brought him over here if we didn't think he could help us," Crean said Saturday. "We didn't just bring him over to practice and we didn't bring him over with a timeline. We brought him over to help us, to help us compete, to help us win."

When we might see him on the court is unclear, but the opportunity may present itself with four of Indiana's final six games at home. Fuchs has been practicing with the team for less than two weeks due to an injury he suffered in the final game of the football season, but Crean says the physical freshman has made his presence felt already.

"He's shown tremendous athleticism, competitiveness, toughness," Crean said. "He's got very, very good second and third reactions and short-space quickness, which is huge. It's real easy to see why he's a very good football player and it's easy to see why he's had success on the basketball court, too. Not only does he give that second and third effort, but he gives that second and third reaction, and they're two different things. A lot of guys, they get beat and they wanna give the effort. Well, he's got the quickness and speed to do something about it.

"He picks things up very fast. You can tell he's been well-coached. He's got real good basketball instincts. Been impressed with his attitude. He brings a competitiveness to practice. He goes to the glass. He listens. We're excited to have him."

Could Fuchs see the floor during Sunday night's game against Minnesota? Stay tuned.

Crean proud of Oladipo, Zeller

Former Indiana standouts Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller played in Friday night's Rising Stars Challenge in Brooklyn as part of the NBA's All-Star Weekend. Oladipo was named the MVP of the game, and he will also compete in tonight's Slam Dunk contest.

Crean was asked Saturday about the significance of having his two former players in a game like the Rising Stars event.

"I think that's fantastic," Crean said. "It's fantastic for Indiana, it's fantastic for them. It says a lot about the way they've developed in that league. I don't think any of us are surprised. We're proud of those guys."

Both Zeller and Oladipo are expected to attend Sunday night's game at Assembly Hall. Christian Watford will also be in town.


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