No fun and games for IU in trip to New York
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent November 19, 2012 12:06AM
BLOOMINGTON, IN - NOVEMBER 15: Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean talks with Yogi Ferrell #11 during the game against the Sam Houston State Bearkats at Assembly Hall on November 15, 2012 in Bloomington, Indiana. The Hoosiers won 99-45. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Updated: December 20, 2012 6:33AM
It’s not going to be all fun and games in New York City for No. 1 Indiana. After all, there are, well, games to be played.
The Hoosiers (3-0) face Georgia (1-2) tonight in the Progressive Legends Classic at Brooklyn’s new Barclays Center, then will face either No. 13 UCLA or Georgetown on Tuesday night.
“It’s a great opportunity,” freshman guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell said of the Hoosiers’ first road trip of the season. “I know it’s a business trip, you know, no fun and games this whole trip, but we’re going to try to go out there and have fun.”
“I think (Tom Crean) does a great job of allowing the players to experience the atmosphere that we are in so they get the full experience of New York City while we are here,” IU assistant coach Tim Buckley said. “But when it is time for business, it’s time for business, and our preparation is key.”
The Hoosiers have to prepare for a more athletic team than they’ve faced yet this season in the Bulldogs, who stumble into Brooklyn having lost two straight. Georgia’s top player is sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who’s averaging 20.3 points and six rebounds.
“He can beat you off the dribble, he can shoot it from deep and he is really good at cutting and moving without the basketball,” Buckley said. “You have to get very good individual defense on him, but also the team has to be ready and in position on defense.”
IU’s defense has been formidable thus far, allowing 53.3 ppg while limiting opponents to 34.5 percent shooting from the field. Of course, the level of talent the Hoosiers are facing will take a dramatic jump in these two games, especially if the expected championship matchup with the Bruins comes about.
First, though, the Hoosiers must avoid the upset-minded Bulldogs.
“They have really good athleticism and they will try to attack you inside-out,” Buckley said.
If the Hoosiers can match the energy they showed at home, they should come back to Bloomington with their undefeated record intact.
“We had a really good energy level (against Sam Houston State on Thursday night) and if we’re going to win the way we want to, we’re going to have to have that every game,” Jordan Hulls said.