Commentary

CBB Summer Buzz: Indiana

Tom Crean is hoping more toughness will yield better results for his Hoosiers

Updated: August 5, 2011, 11:02 AM ET
By Ryan Corazza | ESPN Insider
CreanAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesTom Crean has an experienced roster and a big-time frosh in Bloomington, and now he just needs wins.

Insider knows you're hot for hoops during the summer, so we're bringing you a closer look at a few of the big-profile schools before most freshmen have even moved into their dorms. We continue with Indiana.

Indiana Hoosiers

2010-11: 12-20

Is this the year Indiana crawls out of the Big Ten cellar?

With some turnover at other programs in the league, an established group of upperclassmen -- seniors Matt Roth, Kory Barnett, Daniel Moore, Tom Pritchard and Verdell Jones III along with juniors Christian Watford, Maurice Creek, Derek Elston and Jordan Hulls -- and much-heralded McDonald's All-American Cody Zeller now on campus, the opportunity is there.

"I feel like we are a lot more mature," says Hulls. "We know what to expect and we know what is expected of us."

But for the Hoosiers to take such a leap, they'll likely need to improve their defense and cut down on fouls. They gave up 1.14 points per possession last season, a league worst. Indiana also allowed for an opponent's free throw rate (FTA/FGA) of 52.2, which also ranked last in the Big Ten. Such a free throw rate was so poor that Northwestern, which finished 2010-11 ranked one spot ahead of the Hoosiers in 10th, sported a far superior mark of 39.4.

"You have to have an individual intent and a team will," coach Tom Crean says of his team's defense. "It always comes back to the fundamentals -- the effort, the footwork and the team concept of how we are moving.

"We have to get to the point where we have enough high-quality Big Ten players to where we can compete in this league, and we are getting closer all the time. This team wasn't tough enough last year to finish; we were close. We were close enough but we weren't tough enough."


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