FORT WAYNE – Indiana guard Victor Oladipo described the practices as intense in the days after the Hoosiers’ first loss of the season.
Whether it’s from coaches or players, it has been intense, Oladipo said Tuesday. We have been holding each other accountable, not that we weren’t already, but now it is every little thing. We have done a great job the last couple days, from the players to the coaches, and we can’t wait to play.
The Hoosiers (9-1) face Mount St. Mary’s (4-4) today in IU’s first game since Saturday’s 88-86 overtime loss to Butler. The loss dropped IU from the top spot in The Associated Press men’s basketball poll to No. 6.
Our players are resilient. I think when they walked in the door, even last spring, they signed up for a marathon not a sprint, Indiana assistant coach/recruiting coordinator Kenny Johnson said.
We are continuing on with the same process to make sure we maximize each individual day. That is our goal. It has never been about trying to have perfection in December. It is about making sure we maximize ourselves as a team each and every day.
The guys are obviously very disappointed. Coming back from the loss, there was some frustration and some hurt but you get back at it and get focused. You do some self-evaluation and attack the things that need to be attacked. That is what they have shown the last few days is that resiliency towards accomplishing those goals.
Indiana coach Tom Crean said the Hoosiers would focus on rebounding after losing the battle of the boards 40-38 against the Bulldogs.
I think that is the strength of the team is the competitive nature that they possess in general, Johnson said. Coach Crean does a tremendous job so that every drill we do has a purpose to it and everything has an element of competition to it. The strength of the players in the program is that desire to compete. So the rebounding drills fall in that same line where we go after it. We notice some technique things that we were trying to improve and will continue to try to improve until we get to the standard that we are looking for.
Saturday marked the debut of freshman forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea. He was suspended the first nine games by the NCAA along with fellow freshman Peter Jurkin for receiving impermissible benefits before arriving to IU.
Mosquera-Perea had two points and one rebound in three minutes.
It was a great experience being able to be out there with my teammates for the first time and being able to run up and down with my team, he said. I have been watching the games and wanted to be out there. It was a great feeling.
Note: Guard Paul Bayt transferred from Manhattan to Indiana and will join the team as a walk-on, according to multiple reports. The 6-foot-4 Bayt is a freshman from Park Tudor. He did not played in any games at Manhattan.