It’s been apparent now that Indiana Hoosiers basketball is officially back to being on top again after an amazing run last season. The Hoosiers are looking to capitalize on that with their core featuring Christian Watford, Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and incoming freshman Yogi Ferrell.
The Hoosiers had their first practice on Friday at Assembly Hall, which is aired live on ESPNU networks, along with being streamed live on ESPN3.com. The practice was aired just in time for the network’s Midnight Madness special that they are airing.
Indiana received some good impressions from practice and head coach Tom Crean saw a lot of potential.
“I thought our guys, the anticipation of getting here, were phenomenal and sometimes when you have that you lose your wind or you lose your intensity at some point and time early in the practice and that never happened,” Crean told the Hoosiers official website. “Our fatigue level is something our guys really worked hard to get over today, I thought we went extremely hard, but I thought we also were very competitive more importantly. There was a lot of efficiency inside the practice, the good news is there is a lot of room for growth and the players are good enough to reach it and that is exciting.”
A lot of people have noticed that Indiana basketball is back, and ESPN has saw that, too. It definitely helps when you’re back on getting national attention and coverage.
“I think it’s great for our fans, I think it’s great for recruiting. It’s an honor. ESPN is about ratings and they wouldn’t be in a situation where they would come to a school that wasn’t going to draw some ratings. I think it was phenomenal,” Crean said. “It was an absolute honor to have ESPNU here, to have Dan, Jay and Bram here and their whole crew and I thought our players never reacted or did anything where they played to the camera. They’re used to big crowds and they are used to attention.”
A player looking to make a difference is junior guard Maurice Creek, who missed these past two seasons due to severe knee injuries. The redshirt junior was wearing two knee pads for precautionary reasons and is really happy on being back for the first time in 20 months.
“It felt pretty good to be able to come out with the guys and get a feel of the game again,” Creek said. “I feel like we went long and hard and I’m ready to give my body an ice bath and relax a little bit.”
Creek was the main focus of Hoosiers basketball after Eric Gordon left for the NBA, but that’s when IU basketball went on the decline. Creek is back and looks to make a difference for a team that is finally good again with a lot of big pieces that can generate a National Championship title.
Creek looks like another player that can add that, as he did very well in practice with a strong shooting performance.
“I knew I had to have a quick release with the athletes we have on this team and with the tempo that we play. I focused on that and it felt really good today.”
IU looks like a solid team so far, and just from their first practice, many teams need to watch out.