Transcript: Tom Crean at Hoosier Hysteria

WINSTON-SALEM, NC - DECEMBER 03:  Head coach Tom Crean of the Indiana Hoosiers yells to his team against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during their game at Lawrence Joel Coliseum on December 3, 2008 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)IU head coach Tom Crean met with reporters following Friday’s Hoosier Hysteria at Assembly Hall. A complete transcript of Crean’s comments is available below:

Opening Statement

“The energy of the crowd was non-stop. It was just fantastic. I know our players and the whole program appreciates that when you come out there and see that. This is the last fun time of the year when they get to come out, there’s no real coaching going on. Not taking anything away from the honorary coaches, but we’d had a hour and forty minute workout before we came out. Maurice, we’re just going to go very, very careful with Maurice. He’s not injured, but he’s also not ready to go every day the way that we need to. We’ve been going pretty hard the last few days and we’ll go twice tomorrow and it’s just kind of where we’re at. We always take the last two hours that we get and we put those in at the end of the week right before we start practice because it’s so hard to go from a forty or sixty minute workout to now all of the sudden, you expect them to go a couple of hours. We’re going to try to be very moderate with him and at the same time, building our team.”

On the crowd’s first impression of Victor Oladipo

“I didn’t have any doubt that they’d fall in love with him quickly. He’s got a tremendous personality. We’re talking about a kid that there’s 380 young men in his school in Hyattsville, Maryland, he was one of ten people picked out of the whole school as a junior to go have lunch at the White House with the President. He’s got some special qualities and I think people will see that in him. I think the same thing with Will and with Guy. Those are three guys that have come in and set a standard for what young guys should look like with the way that they work on their bodies and the way that they should work on their games and certainly with what they’re doing academically. And Victor, I think the crowd got a chance to see some of that.”

On Matt Roth being ready to go

“I think he is. And he’s only been back a week because he had a concussion that he got trying to draw a charge in one of our four-on-four games and he missed two weeks. There’s a huge amount of confidence when he’s on the court and he gets that ball in his hands. He’s got range and I didn’t know Christian (Watford) had that kind of range, but then Christian’s legs left him quick, but Matt, he’s got a feel for it and he knows how to get open and I think he’s going to be a bigger part of what we do. When you sit there and you watch him shoot the ball you realize how much we missed him last year.”

On expectations for Guy-Marc Michel

“I just think improvement. He really wants it. He really, really wants to be good. And I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s going to get a lot better. He’s got a good feel, he’s got the jump hook and we want to continue to develop that. We’ve got to get him tighter in every area of his game with getting the ball below his knee on his crab dribble, sealing with his back side, not his back and continue getting him in shape. This is hard for those guys. We’ve had a very challenging preseason by design and it’s not like we’ve put a lot of offense in and it’s not like you can run any offense in this first one anyways. We expect a lot out of him and he expects a lot out of himself.”

On Maurice Creek and easing him back into his role

“His knee is solid, there’s no issues there. He’s had some ankle injuries that he’s dealt with through the summer, but he’s just not strong enough yet. It’s going to take time for that. I’m very, very careful with him and I think our doctors are. I think Tim (Garl) is. And like Tim always says, full intensity, less volume for him right now. And I think that’s the theory we’re going to have with him for a while because he’s not going to be, obviously you guys know this and I think our fans know this and he’s got to understand this, you don’t just pick up where you left off. He’s still going through a very strenuous rehab. We’ve got to get through the drills, the scrimmages, the day after days, get into the games and then eventually I think you’ll see a kid that will really take back off. I just don’t want to rush it too quick for him.”

On setting up an event like Hoosier Hysteria with recruiting in mind

“I think you’re very mindful of that. But I think the recruits and the fans want to see the same thing. And there was tremendous energy in there tonight. When Victor was getting ready to dunk, I don’t know that I’d ever seen more camera phones or cameras being lifted up. Everybody knew what to anticipate, including looking into the recruit section, they all had their phones going. Those are exciting things. That’s what we’re trying to build. We’re trying to build a personality in this team, we’re trying to build a mindset on a daily basis, we’re trying to have them blend together with these guys. Before they earn the victories, they have to believe they can get them. And the only way they’re going to believe it is through hard work, competition and then once they believe it, now they’ve got to go out and earn it. You earn it by every practice, tomorrow morning at 9:30 is the most important day of the year right now for us. And it’ll be the same thing on Sunday and the same thing on Monday. That’s the mindset you have to have.”

On his expectations for the team this season

“I would hope that they would expect more for themselves all the time. I think that’s where expectations start. The bottom line is, they’ve (the returning players) got to carry a big load for us, but at the same time, we’ve got two freshman and a junior college transfer that fully expect to play and I think will compete to play. And I think that’s exactly what we want. I’ve had the question three of four times tonight, you’ve got five returning starters, I don’t even remotely look at it like that. We’ve got five open spots and I think every day the competition has gotta be high. Now are we ready for that yet? Not even remotely close to just got at it every day. But we will be. And that’s how you build the program back up to where it has to be.”

On the importance of Night of the Living Red in two weeks

“Very important because it’s a live scrimmage. I love the Halloween stuff. We want people to wear their costumes. Certainly, recruiting always factors in to decisions that you make there. But we want to go after it in front of a really juiced up crowd. That’s why we’re going to do it at night. That’s why we’re going to be very specific as to what we’re going to try to do. It’s going to be coached to win. There will be competition. There will be a winner and a loser. Somebody will be eating old soggy hotdogs and somebody will be eating steak when it’s all said and done.”

On not having the mic in his hand during Hoosier Hysteria

“I didn’t really want it. Plus my voice is just shot already from the last couple of days. Some day I’m probably going to have my vocal cords permanently damaged, but it’ll get better, we’ll get some medicine in it. I didn’t really want it, I wanted to watch and enjoy it. I thought JMV did a great job. I think anytime you’ve got Don Fischer there, it’s great. Chuck Crabb on the mic. We had 13,000, I couldn’t believe it when J.D. said that. That was awesome. And then for our student ticket sales to be flying like they have the past couple of days. It was just tremendous energy. We want to build on it.”

On Christian Watford having the green light from 35-feet

“In a 3-point shootout he does (laughs). Notice I wasn’t doing any coaching in that. The ball’s going to move this year, the ball’s going to move. There’s no doubt about it. And we need him to score, we need him to be inside-outside and outside-inside depending on what it calls for. But we’ve gotta move the basketball. Our guys have gotta understand that we need to score more points and the way you do that is better ball movement, more offensive rebounds, getting your break started more and most importantly, not giving the other team easy possessions. And at the same time, we’ve gotta take possessions from people. We have to create more turnovers.”

  • Luke72

    This will take time but can’t help but br excited about the energy that this team is generating. Mo Creek starting off slow could be a blessing , lots more PT for some other players that by BT time could make a big difference! Go IU!

  • Luke72

    This will take time but can’t help but br excited about the energy that this team is generating. Mo Creek starting off slow could be a blessing , lots more PT for some other players that by BT time could make a big difference! Go IU!

  • Pasolis

    I Love Coach Crean, he is doing a super job. We are nearly a major player again in the Big Ten! Crean is clean! Go Hoosiers – Go Coach Crean.

  • marsh21

    I love Crean. We will be much improved this year with a new energy. It should be a blast to see them progress from where they came from.

    VO is going to be great at IU. His personality is what the doctor ordered. This kid as a freshman will push everyone on that team to a new level.

    Go IU!

  • calbert

    What is the date and time of the Night of the Living Red?

  • level 42

    When Coach Crean became our coach a few years ago, we were all hurting. We were lost, we didn’t know who to trust, and had no idea of our future. Indiana is special and we trust our coaches and believe in them. We want them to be icons and role models. The past two years have been a healing process for all of us, players, coaches, fans, media and even our rivals. I know I feel much better with the team in Coach Creans hands. Coach Crean has trusted us and has believed in us. I think our support is crucial to keeping our great team together and keeping our young men in this state from going elsewhere. When that happens a kid in Louisiana, New York, Oregon or anywhere will want to put on those Candy Stripes. And yes “Candy Stripes” should always be capitalized. “It’s Indiana”. Thank you Coach, Thank you Team. We are smiling again.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    October 29. Trick or treating begins at 7PM. Scrimmage at 8PM.

  • Anonymous

    Is the seating first come first serve like at HH ?

    Canned goods for admittance or is there an actual charge ?

  • Anonymous

    I’ve said it more than once in the past and I’ll say it again. I very proud to sas that I wanted Tom Crean as our head coach when MD was chosen and I wanted him as our coach even more when, ” you know who ” got the job. I can still remember where I was and what I was doing when the fact that he was our new head coach became official.

    The sheer number of recruits that were in attendance might just be some kind of record for a HH type of event and even better was the fact that most of them were Indiana kids.

    Give ‘em hell Tom ! You da man !

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    I believe the answer is yes on the first question.

    And I believe admission is free.

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    I believe the answer is yes on the first question.

    And I believe admission is free.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks

  • Anonymous

    Can you please explain exactly what night of the living red is? I will be in town and if it is worth it, I will attend fo sho.

  • Yogi Kelin Zeller

    .Come on IUMike1 you know you loved MD….so what if he didn’t recruit the state, told conely and eric gordon he wasn’t interested, called in sick for a game….oh and his message to fans…”help is on the way” How can you not miss those days…

  • Anonymous

    Only a teacher could decipher that misspelled and omitted words mess of a comment.

    Only thing to love about MD was that he seemed to be a really nice guy. (but really bad coach)

    I think it was just as much conely and gordon telling him thanks but no thanks as much as it was him saying I’m not interested. Gordon was going to go and play for the The Great Whiner of all people. It’s gotta hurt like hell and be a major shot to the ole ego when you are the coach at IU and somebody of his caliber would rather play for Brucey than you. And, obviously, it didn’t take much for gordon to come to IU after all the did come and play for the great unnamed one.

    ” Hope is on the way ” = Bracey Wright, nuff said ! His definition of help is for sure not the same as mine. Kind of ironic in that I remember Crean was one of the coaches for some kind of off season international team that was put together, while he was still at Marquette, and I remember reading where he told Bracey that he thought that if he was willing to put out the effort that it would take, that he could play and be successful at the next level and that it was just a question of whether he was willing to do that or not. There are too many twists and turns of irony in all of that to even go into.

    How could I not miss those days, hmmmm let’s see……………………………………..

  • Calbert

    Thanks!

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Here’s the info, per IU:

    “Our next public event will be Night of the Living Red, Friday October 29 in Assembly Hall. Everyone is invited to trick or treat at 7 p.m. And a Cream and Crimson scrimmage will begin at 8 p.m.”

  • Anonymous

    “I’m Mike D and I get respect”, no wait, that’s the Beastie Boys’ Mike D. Maybe he should have been the coach then, we’d have had a “Sureshot”.

  • Bryan

    Come on, don’t stop there. You forgot
    - Subtly playing the race card at IU fans whenever grumbling started. The “poor me, I’m just not understood by those racist Hoosier fans, they want one of their own” was grating. Just a pity plea for sympathy rather than manning up.
    - Storming the court in the middle of UK game that was still winnable.
    - Angling for the DePaul job and complaining about lack of love from IU fans while the team was preparing for the Final Four.
    - Going all in on Josh Smith, even though the national consensus that he was never setting foot on a college campus.
    - That his “help” comment came at the expense of Hornsby, Fife, and Coverdale, the only guard line that ever got him anywhere.

    Just never seemed like he loved the IU job – period. I’m sure he loved being a head basketball coach, but he never seemed to embrace the culture.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you guys about Crean. The thing I love about the guy is that he is such a hard worker and a relentless recruiter. I realize that there was a long dry spell in commits but that was just part of the hand he was dealt. If I was a highly regarded recruit it would have been hard for me to pick IU when they were whipping boy of the Big Ten. But change is in the air. You can tell this program is turning a corner and recruits are beginning to take notice. Go IU!

  • DetroitHoosier

    The culture NEVER embraced MD..Never gave him a chance from the begining…If you’re honest with yourself and look deep you’ll know that….

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