Former IU assistant coach Bennie Seltzer is returning to the Hoosiers’ program as a Director of Player Performance. His first day on the job was Monday.
IU Coach Tom Crean announced the hire Monday night on his radio show with Don Fischer. The position is temporary and won’t be full-time, but Seltzer is expected to work with the strength and conditioning program and assist players both on and off the court.
“It’s like he never left,” Crean said. “He has a different role, but that role will be tremendously utilized.”
Seltzer will take over a large portion of Je’Ney Jackson’s player development responsibilities including community and campus outreach and mentorship in his position.
He will be working with Chris Virtue, who already works at IU, in managing the overall strength and conditioning program.
Seltzer previously spent four seasons as an assistant for Crean in Bloomington after previously working under Crean at Marquette.
He left Bloomington following the 2011-12 season to take a head coaching job at Samford, where he had a 24-41 record in two seasons before getting fired.
Crean doesn’t anticipate Seltzer’s position to be the start of anything long-term. He said Seltzer’s goal is to get back into coaching and that this position may help him get there.
“We’ll keep Bennie busy,” Crean said. “He wants to coach and he’s a great coach, a tremendous coach. But this gets him back in the environment.”
Crean surprised by Big Ten shooting woes
When Fischer showed Crean his team’s shooting statistics in the Big Ten season, Crean couldn’t believe how bad the Hoosiers’ numbers were.
In three conference games, IU is shooting just 37.7 percent from the field, ranking eleventh in the Big Ten.
IU is dead last in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage at 24.2 percent despite taking the seventh-most 3-pointers in the Big Ten. Crean admitted he had no idea the numbers were that low, but was able to joke about them.
“Those are scary numbers,” Crean said. “Hard to believe we’re 2-1 with those numbers.”
IU is still averaging 63 points per game, the eighth highest total in the Big Ten, despite the poor shooting percentages.
Crean said the key to hitting shots at a higher rate is to pass the ball more and look for higher percentage shots that aren’t as contested.
“When the ball moves, and it’s moving one dribble sooner rather than one dribble later, it’s amazing how open we are,” Crean said.
April still developing
When asked by a caller about Jeremiah April’s development, Crean complimented his freshman center’s growth but added that he needs to work harder to see any game action.
Seldom-used April has appeared in only three games and played just 14 minutes this season. The last time he was on the court was Dec. 9 when he played two minutes in a 94-74 loss to Louisville.
In total this year, April has grabbed three rebounds, scored two points and picked up a steal, block and assist in limited action.
“Jeremiah’s learning a lot and hopefully he’ll be able to contribute this year,” Crean said.
Crean wants students back in full force
Crean concluded his radio show calling for a large showing from the IU student section tomorrow night when IU takes on Penn State. It’s the first game since before the semester ended that the students who purchased season tickets will be back at Assembly Hall to watch.
Crean complimented the crowd in attendance for Saturday’s win against Ohio State. He said he’s expecting more of the same as he looks for those in attendance to give IU a home court advantage throughout Big Ten play.
“We need them to come in and continue making this a tremendous home court for us,” Crean said.