In case you didn’t notice, the NFL started up yesterday, and a hot topic around these parts, given our readership — Bears vs. Colts — went about as well as I could have possibly imagined. It doesn’t much make up for that Colts Super Bowl win, but it feels good all the same.
But before you accuse me of trying to intentionally divide our readership between the Chicagoans and the Hoosiers, let’s re-unify: Tom Crean was on hand at Lucas Oil Stadium
last night Friday as part of an announcement about the Lucas Oil Showcase. Or something. I sort of zoned out reading that press release. Fortunately, the intrepid fellas at the Indiana Daily Student sports desk were on hand, and got some great stuff from Crean for their troubles. From the Basketblog’s Zach Osterman:
On the difficulty of the schedule:
“I look back at it out now, and I wish to a degree, that I would have said, ‘Hey, do we need to play this team or that team?’ Contracts were done, you know, it was one of those situations where there was so much going on, the schedule was it was going to be.
It’s the way that it is. There’s no way you can say no to this. I don’t think you can. It would really, really be a bad feeling to be sitting at home and watching somebody else open Lucas Oil (Field). That had to happen, the Kentucky game was gonna be there. Do I wish we were at home for an ACC game? I do, but that’s not the way the schedule works, they had a home game last year. Maui, you know, as much as we’re going to be challenged in that, how do you not take your kids to Maui?
So there weren’t many issues where we could look at it and make many changes. If you went through all the changes that we had inside of our team, every team is going to be an incredibly tough opponent right now.”
On his message for the team, which has to be slightly uncomfortable at this point:
They have to understand three things, really. No. 1, they’re part of an incredible tradition, there’s no doubt about that. They don’t totally know what that means yet, but they’re learning it.
No.2, they’ve got to come in and they’ve got to get used to college life. They’ve got to come in and get used to what it means to an Indiana basketball player at a school of 38,000.
Really, No. 3, they have to make up – I don’t want them to be held accountable for what the perception might have been in the past – but they have to be very cognascent of that. There are some people that were in the program that didn’t represent the school the way it should have been represented, that’s the way it is. I don’t want them to feel pressure because of that, but I want them to understand that, and that means that we really have to work as hard as we can to do the right thing all the time.”
And, finally, on adjusting as a coach to a new team with inexperienced players:
The one place where it’s been good for me is that my tendency is to go fast, teach the whole and then add the parts as we go, really try to get that tempo. When you have a veteran team, when you have players that have been around, even when we had the young guys at Marquette and we knew they were gonna play Jerel McNeal, Dominic James and Wesley Matthews, we still had a guy like Steve Novak, who’s in the NBA. We still had a couple of seniors. We don’t have that now, so we have to go really slow, and that’s good. I think Tim Buckley does a good job of keeping me in line on that making sure that we’re not moving too fast.
Filed to: Tom Crean