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Indiana University

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Indiana
vs. LIU-Brooklyn
When: 6 p.m. today
Where: Bloomington
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1250 AM; 102.9 FM

IU planning on pushing the pace

Crean has Hoosiers ready to run

Indiana is taking full-throttle to a new extreme this season.

It is doing so by eliminating the outlet pass.

IU coach Tom Crean has given most of the Hoosiers the go-ahead to push the ball up the floor. Only a handful of players have to look for the point guard, which promises to take up-tempo to new heights.

The Hurryin’ Hoosiers might be back.

“Somebody’s open, throw it ahead, but if you’ve got one man to beat, beat him,” Crean said after his team’s 100-72 win against Chicago State, which featured 82 possessions for IU (1-0). “When you can skip that outlet pass, you can create some real havoc, and hopefully we can continue to do that.”

Centers Luke Fischer and Peter Jurkin and forwards Austin Etherington, Collin Hartman and Hanner Mosquera-Perea are the only scholarship players who have to look for the outlet.

It creates extra incentive to go for defensive rebounds, Crean said, and players, including freshman forward Noah Vonleh, operate better in a free-flowing system like this.

That doesn’t relieve point guard Yogi Ferrell of his duties, but it does make for more chances at advantageous numbers off rebounds.

“I’m real comfortable bringing up the ball,” said Vonleh, a 6-foot-10 forward. “I did that a lot in high school. Coach Crean, he wants me to be real versatile in our offense and things like that, so he said whoever gets the ball, just push it up the court and Yogi can run up, and then we’ll start our offense.”

He certainly looked comfortable on the break against Chicago State. Vonleh had 11 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks en route to Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors.

Forwards Devin Davis (6-7), Troy Williams (6-7) and Jeremy Hollowell (6-8) also have the green light to go coast-to-coast, and all three did so against the Cougars. They will likely look for those chances against LIU-Brooklyn today at Assembly Hall.

The style lends itself to turnovers, especially with a young group.

The Hoosiers had 19 of them against Chicago State. But it also leads to more points in the paint, opponent fouls and lends itself to the squad’s athleticism.

Despite their size, all of those players have proven they can handle the pace, Crean said.

As those players gain experience and a feel for each other, things will move even more quickly and it will become more effective.

“With Devin and Noah, it’s something that they’ve had coming in here, and I think we’d be stifling them,” if the staff took that aspect of their play away, Crean said. “We’re still not running to the spots like we need to. … That just takes some time to get to.”

smorrison@jg.net

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