BLOOMINGTON – Jordan Hulls has plenty of memories attending games at Assembly Hall.
Now, he is focused on creating some as a player.
Hulls, a Bloomington native and the 2009 Indiana Mr. Basketball, is one of six IU freshmen set to make their regular-season debut Friday.
The Hoosiers’ 110th season of basketball begins against Howard.
I’ve had a lot of instances where I could be here (at Assembly Hall) and see all the big games, Hulls said after last Wednesday’s 96-73 exhibition victory over Grace. Being on the floor, it’s a whole different world down there when you are looking up into the stands instead of looking down on the floor. That made it really special for me.
It was an amazing feeling. It’s finally here. The season is finally here. We’ve been working our tails off. Playing in this atmosphere is amazing for me growing up here. I’ve been to a lot of games, a lot of big games and just finally being out there on the court meant a lot to me.
Hulls will be the 25th Indiana Mr. Basketball to play for the Hoosiers.
Jordan is incredibly steady, IU coach Tom Crean said. He picks things up so fast because he’s smart, but also because he’s also the best question-asker on our team. He doesn’t ask because he thinks he should. He asks because he knows he has to. And that’s good.
Hulls averaged 15.8 points, 4 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 2.6 steals in helping Bloomington South to a 26-0 record and a Class 4A state championship-game victory over Snider.
As a junior, he averaged 16.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists.
Hulls is ranked as the No. 80 recruit overall, ninth among point guards, in the class of 2009 by Scout.com.
He’s been really, really well coached and well taught, Crean said. When you’ve got a guy like that, he’s so much like Travis Diener to me, who we had success with at Marquette, that it’s just scary.
Hulls and his family have some history with Assembly Hall. His grandfather, John Hulls, was a member of Bob Knight’s staff at IU during the early 1970s.
Hulls has played AAU basketball at the arena.
I’ve been over here since junior year getting some shots and seeing how it was, Hulls said. I live here, so that was easy to do. That helped me out, getting more comfortable.
That showed in the exhibition against the Lancers. Hulls had 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. He added three assists with no turnovers.
I thought he impacted the game every time he was in, Crean said.
Hulls also showed the ability to create his own shot, using a pump fake to get Lancers’ guard Daniel Goins off his feet. With an open look, Hulls hit his first jumper. If there were any nerves for Hulls, making the first basket helped erase them.
Later in the first half, Hulls made a no-look pass to fellow freshman Derek Elston, who finished with a layup.
That helped me out a little bit (hitting his first shot), Hulls said. I’m just trying to get into the flow of the game and get everyone else involved. I just try to do whatever it takes to win.
It’s just the beginning of a learning process for Hulls, who likely will be one of the first options off the bench.
It starts with the upperclassmen, Hulls said. We learn from them, and we are trying to grasp what coach Crean wants us to do. We have a lot to improve on. You can always get better.
I’m just trying to get the ball where it needs to be, whether I’m shooting the ball or getting the ball to a guy to shoot a layup. Whatever coach Crean wants. There’s lots of different aspects of the game you have to learn. I’m just trying to learn what I can and do the best I can.