BLOOMINGTON, Indiana — Indiana’s assistant coach Yasir Rosemond filled in for Mike Woodson Monday night on the “Inside Indiana Basketball” radio show alongside play-by-play station Don Fischer. Woodson was not in town to attend a wake for Chris Ford, a member of the 1981 Boston Celtics championship team who is credited with the league’s first three-point basket.
Rosemond discussed his childhood playing basketball, Indiana’s recent victories over Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State, and an outlook on the Minnesota game. Here are the highlights of the radio show.
As for his basketball background…
- A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Rosemond was inspired to play basketball by his father, who coached at Tennessee State for eight years.
- Rosemond grew up a fan of Temple John Chaney, Georgetown coach John Thompson, and Indiana coach Bob Knight.
- “I needed the discipline. I was one of those guys who needed these trainers who can give you a little stiff kick in the butt.”
- He was an All-State player at Douglass High School and played one season at Okaloosa-Walton Junior College in Florida, then Butler Community College in Kansas, where he was a teammate of future NBA player Stephen Jackson. Rosemond finished his college career with two seasons in Oregon, followed by a four-year pro career in Brazil and Argentina.
- Rosemond joked that his friend Sharif Abdur-Rahim, an NBA All-Star, got him training with the Atlanta Hawks, but “I knew I wasn’t going to make it anyway.”
- He always knew he wanted to be a coach when his playing career was over. Before Indiana, he was an assistant coach at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma, Portland State, Oregon, Seattle, Samford, Georgia and Alabama.
- Rosemond said he learned a lot about the offensive side of basketball from Ernie Kent in Oregon, but the rest of the head coaches he’s worked for are more defensive-minded, like Mike Woodson.
- “I’m sick of moving, so let’s win some games.”
What changed during Indiana’s three-game winning streak…
- “We just kept pushing forward. We knew we were a better team than Thaw.”
- Rosemond said there was an adjustment without playing Race Thompson and Xavier Johnson. “Being a starter and coming off the bench is different. Now you’re a guy who’s at the top of the scouting reports.”
- In losses to Iowa, Northwestern and Penn State, “we didn’t defend at all”
- “The Northwest was hot and Penn State was incredible… We still thought we should have won.”
- “They had a players-only meeting that I didn’t even know about.”
- Rosemond said the win in Wisconsin really helped the team’s confidence. “They hear the noise and they want to do well, they’re trying not to lose.”
- “[Mike Woodson] follows everyone, but he’s really calm when it comes to wins and losses because he knew we weren’t far behind.” Rosemond said he and the coaching staff knew defense was the problem during Indiana’s rough patch , because the offensive was good.
- “We weren’t guarding anyone … We just went back to what we were doing last year and did the dirty work.”
- “Young people need confidence and their confidence has faltered a bit but it’s a tribute to the guys who stick together.”
- “We knew what we had to do, we just had to get them to do it and that was the defence.”
- “The casualties started to pile up and it was like, ‘We better start listening.'”
On Trayce Jackson Davis…
- “Trayce is going to be quite healthy.”
- “Trayce was incredible… I think Trayce’s leadership was better too.”
- “Trainer [Woodson] understands what it means to play in Indiana and he brings that to Trayce.”
- “He recovered better and defended better.”
- “He does most of the work and I’m proud of him.”
- “Hopefully we can keep him healthy and we can’t get too high or too low… We have to keep these guys on an equal footing.”
- “We still have the goal of winning the Big Ten championship and we’re fighting.”
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On Race Thompson…
- I believe [Trayce] was hurt more because Race was out than Race because that’s probably his best friend on the team…He said, ‘I’m not going to let my friend down.'”
- “[Race] You better be ready because the coach will let him in there.”
- “He’s the anchor of our defense, and he’s probably why our defense has suffered.”
- “He’s our captain, he’s our other captain and he’s probably one of the smartest players on the team.” Rosemond said Thompson always tells his teammates what to do defensively.
On Trey Galloway…
- “He’s a really, really good player … He plays as hard as he can play.”
- “He’s a guy, I had him on the second team [in practice] and I had him as a point guard on the second team, and I was like, ‘Let’s beat Trayce, let’s beat the coach today.’
- “He was off and on for two years and he’s finally healthy.”
- “I just left the office to come over here and he was in the gym working on his shot.” Rosemond said Trey knows on Indiana’s offense you have to be able to shoot the ball because Trayce Jackson-Davis demanded so much attention in color.
On Tamar Bates…
- “Trainer [Woodson] I had a great chat with him before the game and he replied… I can’t use that kind of language on the radio.
- “The coach let him know, and the coach isn’t a guy who’s going to hold back.”
Game in Minnesota on Wednesday
- “We can’t go to Minnesota and lay an egg because we just beat three really good teams, three tournament teams.”
- “They’re not a bad team. It’s the Big Ten, anyone can beat anyone in the Big Ten.”
- “They’re a matchup problem because they have big boys who can play on the edge.” Rosemond references 6-foot-7 Jamison Battle, who averages 12.1 points, and 6-foot-11 Dawson Garcia, who averages 14.9 points.
- “We have to make sure our defensive covers are solid… Our smaller boys have to be able to box their big boys.”
- “They are better than their record.”
- “[Jamison Battle] is a guy who can really shoot and score.”
- Ta’Lon Cooper is Minnesota’s point guard, and Rosemond said, “If he plays well, they win.”
- Rosemond said Minnesota was running a five-out offense with lots of dribbling passes. He said Indiana needs to be prepared to slow down the game and potentially play zone defense.
- Wednesday’s game has additional meaning for Rosemond. “It’s my boy’s birthday, so we better win.”
About Indiana’s goals for the season…
- “We still have the goal of winning a Big Ten title.”
- “We need someone to beat the other team [Purdue] what you were talking about… We plan to beat them twice, so that will be two losses.
- “We want to come to the NCAA tournament and have a chance to win the national title.”
- “Those have been the goals since coach Woodson got there… That’s going to be the goal every year.”
- BIG TEN POWER RANKINGS: After Purdue, our firm spot at the top, the next four teams all lost last week. But they’ve done enough all season to keep their spots. Welcome to Volume 5 of our Big Ten Power Leaderboard, which has been a real challenge to put together. CLICK HERE
- JACKSON-DAVIS COLLECTS AWARDS: Senior Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis was named Big Ten’s Player of the Week on Monday, and he also received several national awards after averaging 66 points in victories over Illinois and Michigan State. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA RECEIVES VOTES IN AP POLL: Indiana basketball just fell short of the Associated Press’s top 25 poll on Monday, earning 61 votes behind Duke’s 102. With losses from Houston and Kansas, Purdue returned to the top and is the only Big Ten team in that ranking Week. Here’s the full poll. CLICK HERE
- IU-MSU GAME HISTORY: Michigan State couldn’t find a way to protect Indiana on Sunday and it resulted in another convincing win for the Hoosiers, this time 82-69 for their third straight win. Trayce Jackson-Davis had 31 points and 15 rebounds, and Tamar Bates and Trey Galloway each added 17. It’s her longest Big Ten winning streak in four years. CLICK HERE
- FAMILY DAY FOR BATES: It was a big day for the Bates family as second warden Tamar scored 17 points and his daughter Leilani won the baby race at halftime. CLICK HERE
- SPARTANS RELEASED: In their last three games, Michigan State faced three of the Big Ten’s most physical teams — Purdue, Rutgers and Indiana — and caught up with the Spartans in an 82-69 loss to the Hoosiers at Assembly Hall on Sunday. CLICK HERE
- THOMPSON RETURN VS MICHIGAN STATE: Sixth-year Indiana forward Race Thompson has been out since his knee injury on Jan. 5 in Iowa but returned to action Sunday against Michigan State. CLICK HERE