Crean pleased with Hoosiers’ progress in exhibitions

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OMAHA, NE - MARCH 20: Head coach Tom Crean of the Indiana Hoosiers reacts on the sideline against the Wichita State Shockers during the second round of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the CenturyLink Center on March 20, 2015 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (November 10, 2015) – When No. 15 Indiana opens the college basketball season Friday at Assembly Hall hosting Eastern Illinois, head coach Tom Crean will know he got all he could out of the Hoosiers’ exhibition slate.

“We couldn’t have asked for it better, in terms of playing two championship level programs,” Crean said.

Indiana played two exhibition games: First against University of Ottawa, the No. 1 team in Canada’s preseason rankings, then second against Bellermine, the No. 4 team in Division II preseason rankings.

“The biggest thing that our team has got to take away is that champions play till the final second,” explained Crean. “They never go away. They’re well coached. They’re very skilled. They’re versatille. When you’re going against teams like that, you have got to be engaged, you’ve got to have not only mental toughness but tremendous mental quickness to be able to get into the game immediately, and you have got to impact the game.”

Veterans Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams had a particularly good impact in the Hoosiers’ most recent exhibition, Monday night against Bellermine. Ferrell netted 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting, while Williams chipped in with 20, going 7-of-14 from the floor.

“It was very good for us,” said Crean. “We made a couple of great runs in both games, and we have a lot to learn from both games.”

“Hopefully, the competition brings consistency, and that’s what we’re finding out right now.”