Big Ten Network

Observations from Indiana's televised basketball practice

Notes, quotes and observations from the hour of Indiana baksetball practice televised on the Big Ten Network today.

Notes, quotes and observations from the hour of Indiana baksetball practice televised on the Big Ten Network today.

IU started with the three-man, three-ball drill.

IU coach Tom Crean said the drills are designed at times around the least mobile player and at this time that is Freddie McSwain.

Crean showed a lot of encouragement to McSwain and a surprising amount of attention to walk-on Zach McRoberts. McRoberts was someone he singled out on Thursday at Big Ten media day as one of the better passers on the team.

Collin Hartman sat  courtside with knee heavily wrapped up.

Crean said this practice could be run easily without him and pointed out that is because Hartman is right there on the sideline and that they  have "outstanding teachers" there.

Crean pointed out that at one time a couple years ago he had five guys in the program that had been Division I head coaches.

IU went on to do a ball handling drilling that started just inside the half court line where plays had to turn first one way around a cone and then around a manager holding a pad.

IU had a big emphasis on turning the hips at the right moment. Had it running in half court for each side of the basket (and finishing with the hand appropriate for that side).

Ramped up this drill later with earlier contact with second manager.

McSwain played in early three-ball drill but did not compete in this drill involving some contact with the manager pads

Crean got on Blackmon for fading too much when he pulled up for a jumper, told Bryant he flipped the ball too much when he could have gone for a simple hook.

Strength and conditioning coach Lyonel Anderson also was one of the guys with pads.

Bryant was shooting it well in this stretch, something we mentioned in ITLR about his Wednesday practice play when approximately 15 NBA teams were in attendance.

Sophomore forward Juwan Morgan mostly on the sidelines today

Couple quotes Crean repeated:

"Don't drag your foot, plant it"

"Get it off your hip"

IU moved on to 5-on-0 full court drill.

Anunoby was sporting even shorter shorts this year.


Crean pointed out the big start for NBA preseason for Troy Williams of the Memphis Grizzlies. Crean mentioned that he has the philosophy of letting talented players like that play through mistakes. That approach was key in Victor Oladipo's development.

Playing some five on five now in a drill. Started a bit sloppy. Crean: "We're rusty on this.”

Rob Johnson with nice strip on Newkirk that gives him a layup on the other end.

Anunoby with big dunk off nice a cut down the lane.

Newkirk with nice high arching layup off the glass over De'Ron Davis

Freshman Gelon draws a charge on Anunoby


"That's a big time pass" — Crean says that to Rob Johnson after he drove lane and kicked it out to left wing for open jumper for Johnny Jager. Johnson then made another nice lob pass down to Gelon on a semi break situation for an easy layup

After Anunoby was fouled after posting up inside out of a "new action" that Crean said was put in just yesterday.

Crean: ”With OG, one of the keys for him is getting a great first step whether he is hand whipping a guy over the top or taking his first step under because we play so much out of the corners"

Davis had a really nice block on Bryant. Bryant went to right hand half hook and Davis got it with his left hand.

Crean really praised Davis after a good bounce bass that led to an open look for Gelon for a made 3. Crean: “De'Ron is a skilled young man.”

Blackmon shooting it well and converted on the break. Had a nice dunk showing he's regained his explosiveness.

Another nice post up from Anunoby that leads to and one.

A few notes and quotes from the latter portion ...

IU is behind on offensive but can be a better running team, Crean said.

IU went 5-on-5 for a stretch but in controlled starts simulating a defensive rebound not off missed shots

Crean on one play: "You had one option because your eyes were down. You've got other options if your eyes are up.”

Crean on the same play to a defender: "You come out of the game on that. There's no way that's good defense. You can't lose your man like that."

On freshman Grant Gelon: "If we listened to conventional wisdom, we wouldn't have signed Victor Oladipo. We wouldn't have signed OG. Grant Gelon is going to be a good player here.”

Gelon later hit a 3 from the right wing when the ball went to a cutting Robert Johnson on the baseline, Johnson took one dribble and passed out to Gelon, who made the shot on a catch and shoot.

Other keys quote from Crean:

"I like our unselfishness but we need to make it quicker."

On playing big games like Kansas and North Carolina, particularly Kansas in the opener. "The urgency of playing them should be exciting.”

“We appreciate everyone’s passion and level of interest, but we’re here every day knowing what nees to be done.”

“We’re not getting away from any opponents on our schedule, but we’re getting rady for the best opponents on our schedule.”

— Mike Pegram and Jeff Rabjohns contributed to this report.

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