It's hard to believe that October 15th is just about three months away.

That day marks the first time college basketball programs can begin official team practices in preparation for the 2011-2012 season. Though not under the close scrutiny and supervision of their coaching staff, several IU men's basketball players are taking matters into their own hands this summer, improving their individual game on and off the court with conditioning and workouts, as well as getting in some much needed scrimmage time.

Six Hoosiers including Jordan Hulls and Will Sheehey participate in weekly games at the Indy Pro Am. The summer league is a laid back environment where college basketball, European ball, and the NBA come together. Players are put on teams that play twice a week, Tuesday and Thursday, at IUPUI from June through late August. Some of the big names in the sport like Eric Gordon and George Hill participate in the Pro Am, giving college players the ability to learn from the top talent in today's game.

"[We're] playing against players at the NBA level, Europe level--whatever the case may be," Hulls said. "It's time for us to work on our defense and offensive skills. It's a great opportunity."

Tuesday night Hulls and Sheehey played alongside someone they'd been trying to contain the entire season. Former Purdue Boilermaker and current Boston Celtic E'Twaun Moore suited up for their 6 p.m. scrimmage playing alongside the two Hoosiers and making a crowd-roaring play complete as he put the ball in perfect position for a Sheehey dunk at the end of the first half.

Coming off another losing season, the 12-20 Hoosiers aren't waiting until October to begin game play, taking advantage of the time they get to scrimmage amongst some of top competition as well as improve their own game throughout the summer.

"I'm definitely working on my outside shooting," Sheehey said. "I'm shooting with confidence not only off the catch but also off the dribble."

For Hulls, it's about putting on healthy weight, getting stronger and working on defense, gearing himself up to defend against some of the Big Ten's biggest guards. Not only does the Pro Am help these Hoosiers play at a higher level but also at a faster pace. The 24-second shot clock and fast game in transition pushes the players to speed up their game and adjust their agility down the stretch.

"It's definitely an adjustment, the games a little faster and it's a lot more up and down," Sheehey said.

Playing the one and two spot all game gave Hulls a different perspective as to how he should be adjusting himself with the speed of the game. The guard has been working all summer on controlling the tempo when at the point and feels playing with 10 less seconds on the shot clock is beneficial.

"We like to play fast-paced at IU anyway but definitely in a setting like this you're not going to move the ball a whole lot because you don't have time, but definitely a good opportunity for us to get better at that," Hulls said.

The Pro Am continues on for the rest of the summer as players have the opportunity to drop in to the Tuesday/Thursday games as they see necessary. While beginning practice as a team under head coach Tom Crean's supervision doesn't start until October, these two players and the rest of their Indiana squad are taking the initiative to play basketball at a higher level, gearing themselves up for what will be another tough Big Ten season.