Crean talks SIU-Edwardsville, Verdell Jones’ injury, future scheduling

LEXINGTON, KY - DECEMBER 11: Tom Crean the Head Coach of the Indiana Hoosiers gives instructions to his team during the game against the Kentucky Wildcats on December 11, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Leading off

After long layoffs sandwiched around the Kentucky game in part because of finals, Indiana (7-2) now prepares for four games in the next seven days – including two in Las Vegas – and six games in the last two weeks of 2010.

SIU-Edwardsville, (2-9) a transitional Division I team, will lead off the game-heavy stretch, similar to the one that began Indiana’s season.

“I think we’ve already been through it a couple of times, which helps, which is one of the reasons we did it that way,” coach Tom Crean told the media Thursday, speaking about the early-season scheduling. He said his team’s mentality and practice production in the last week following the Kentucky loss was a positive.

SIU-Edwardsville (Friday) and South Carolina State (Sunday) will serve as warm-ups for a two-game run in Vegas right before Christmas. Then it will be home – Crean said his team will be together for the holiday – because Penn State comes to Bloomington on Dec. 27 to kick off the Big Ten season (check for something else on that below).

As for SIUE (Can I just call it that and no one hate me?), Crean expects to defend an offense that encourages a lot of movement, and one with plenty of scoring options. He compared them to Evansville in some of the things the Cougars will try to offensively, saying his team would need to focus on getting out on shooters.

“They have guys that can really shoot the ball,” Crean said. “You really have to guard everybody from 3-point range.”

But Crean and his players also talked at length about their own gameplan and improvement, which Derek Elston said started with being a more physical rebounding team inside. He said he and the other posts have worked most of the week on being tougher on the defensive glass, which in turn would feed another area of needed improvement, getting out on the break.

“Us bigs, we just have to get a little stronger, and that’s what we did all this week,” Elston said. “We feel real good about tomorrow.”

Jones still “day-to-day”

Crean didn’t have much to report on the status of Verdell Jones, who struggled through the Kentucky game with an ankle injury that eventually forced him to sit. Jones’ participation throughout the week, Crean said, was mostly predicated on the advice of trainer Tim Garl.

“It’s relatively day to day, it really is. We just every day we just stay right with what Tim Garl thinks, and we just leave it at that. And we plan accordingly,” Crean said. “There’s a difference in his health, I don’t mean it like that. But as far as what his status is, I would say that’s day-to-day.”

On Butler and the Big Ten schedule:

Quizzed about tournament plans next year, Crean revealed that Indiana plans to play Butler in an exempt tournament in Bloomington. Each team will play three games at their respective home gyms as part of the arrangement, and then IU will host Butler in a fourth game.

The tournament does not have any bearing on the Crossroads Classic, which will pit Indiana against Notre Dame and Purdue against Butler at Conseco in 2011. Crean also said that IU is examining its 2012 options as well, and that the Hoosiers will “probably do something national,” though he’s unsure whether it would include home games, like Las Vegas this year, or if it would be all on-site, like Puerto Rico in 2009.

Crean also threw out an idea that’s practiced in some mid- and low-major conferences, which sounded somewhat intriguing: Play your first two conference games before the end of the fall semester. As it stands, Indiana’s first two Big Ten games at Assembly Hall are on Dec. 27 and Dec. 31, while the vast majority of the student body is away from Bloomington.

“I would think playing in December when you’re students are on campus would be a great way to start it. But that’s just personal opinion,” Crean said. “I always thought Christmas-time should be used to give your kids a chance to go home.”

Quotable:

“I think when you walk out of a game at Kentucky, and you know you could have played a lot better, you could always look at it and say, ‘Well, if we had this, or if we had that,’ anybody can do that. But if you look at it and you say ‘Well we could do this better or we could do that better, we can win games like that’ – that’s a good feeling.” –Tom Crean, talking about his team’s reaction to Indiana’s 81-62 loss to Kentucky last weekend

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    There’s no “WE” in team.

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    Maybe “BOOM!” can be for picks set by Pritch and “pew pew pew!” can be for Hulls and Creek threes…? (We could’ve used some old school Batman “Bonk!” “Wap!” and “Pow!” for Dumes’ elbows last year.)

    You need to get one of those videogame chairs that have speakers in the chair.

  • stonaroni

    You’re right. Let’s stop the kid from the land where basketball is undervalued and there is less opportunity to be successful and that player’s desire to get better. The European’s must be supressed from our American basketball opportunity.

  • stonaroni

    The better DSR gets, the more I am wishing we had him. He will be a combo guard at X, we need that at IU, thus the Amayo talk.

  • stonaroni

    You know what I mean PhD, there is no ME in SELFISH either and that is how Dawson played.

  • HoosierFromCT

    remember when he decommitted and how upset we were with him? hahaha. i bet he knew something big was going to happen in recruiting so he had no choice.

  • stonaroni

    He knew that AE was going to be more of a SG; he knew that Yogi was being sought after as a PG. He knew Buss, Harris, and BJ Young were being focused on as well and he knew his place.

    Another example of how a player was overhyped and overrated on national boards. He went form #25 overall in the nationa as a So. to nonexistent.

  • JerryCT

    Ingredients: Home Theater, speaker chair, butt kickers . Now all I need is AZUR to make me a video with the appropriate sounds.

    Seriously, ………..check out Lamb at 11:30 first half in KY game in slow mo. And 3 sec before that it was Liggins who got “Bonked” with a “Wap” upside the head trying to follow VO.

    This started last year when I yelled “watch out” to my tv trying to save Kris Kramer …….. he did not hear me …………..

  • JerryCT

    Ingredients: Home Theater, speaker chair, butt kickers . Now all I need is AZUR to make me a video with the appropriate sounds.

    Seriously, ………..check out Lamb at 11:30 first half in KY game in slow mo. And 3 sec before that it was Liggins who got “Bonked” with a “Wap” upside the head trying to follow VO.

    This started last year when I yelled “watch out” to my tv trying to save Kris Kramer …….. he did not hear me …………..

  • stonaroni

    Just found this, pretty interesting. I will lose respect for Butler if they take this kid.

    In regards to his visit to BYU….”Mums been the word on Carlino in Provo, and one source said the coaching staff was not even aware Carlino was in the building last Saturday when the Cougars played the Wildcats.”

    He just isn’t that good and I would have serious doubts about an inflated ego, parental interference, etc.

  • marcusgresham

    Chalk that one up a good example set by our leaders—-Alex and Zack take as much crap as anyone and put up with it, so why shouldn’t we?

  • marcusgresham

    I haven’t heard anything about USI. I thought Wesleyan should have done it years ago.

  • Anonymous

    Woah woah woah. Let’s not cast too quick of a judgment on the guy. Seriously, he’s barely even 18 years old, let alone the parental influence he undoubtedly experienced. If he didn’t feel comfortable at UCLA or Indiana, more power to him, but damning him for an ego without the facts is just ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    I think I like what Coach is saying about playing B10 games before Christmas. If the B10 powers that be can also insure one of those pre-Christmas games is a rivalry game, in our case, vs Purdue…that’s a game we’d all welcome with open arms, every single year.

  • stonaroni

    Maybe I hve some facts about his ego? Or maybe I was just voicing that I have serious doubts about an inflated ego, parental interference, etc.
    Either way I feel very strongly that he isn’t that good. He was the 3rd best guard on his high school team last season. This is school #3. All they are worried about is playing time. Why in the hell would he leave UCLA as an early entry FR if it wasn’t about playing time? Taskmaster75, you know a redshirt is always an option right?

  • kentuckyhoosier

    exactly Mila , remember when Eric Gordan was on espn ? I think its safe to say we all watched that and got a little giddy . I dont think sparty felt that last night.

  • stonaroni

    Here is some infor on his transfer…..”The 6-2 Carlino graduated a year early from Bloomington South to join UCLA’s 2010 recruiting class. But after seeing no playing time in seven games with the Bruins, Carlino announced his intention to transfer last week. He has taken unofficial visits to BYU and UNLV in the past week.”

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    That and we’re all here for the same reason, because we have something in common. There’s no real reason to act childish when you know the other guy loves IU too.

    And my nickname as a young kid was BooBoo!

  • stonaroni

    Yeah, but KY Wesleyan’s other spots are brutal and the have fallen on harder times with men’s basketball. Not as good as they used to be.

  • Anonymous

    Ok, but my point is, how much of the early graduation was his idea? And how much of it was his parent’s idea? We don’t know that, so we cannot cast any aspersions on the kid. His parents could very well be the very reason he is transferring, yet again, we don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t like UCLA as a school at all? There’s too many variables unaccounted for here to say really anything, except that the guy hasn’t found his place.

    “But after seeing no playing time in seven games with the Bruins, Carlino announced his intention to transfer last week.”

    This may tell you that the playing time was the only reason he left, but I think there are several other contributing factors in play here.

    He may not be good, and his ranking may have been premature as they sometimes are, but just hold off on calling him arrogant.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never really required a reason to act childish anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I believe USI went D-I for a year or two in men’s soccer only, but they dropped back down pretty quickly.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m the same way when I’m responding to my wife!

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    I knew exactly what you meant (you communicated it perfectly), I was just playing stupid for giggles.

  • Anonymous

    In a heartbeat !!

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