More from Tom Crean’s breakout session at Big Ten Media Day

  • 11/02/2011 8:17 am in

Ryan had a comprehensive post with quotes from Tom Crean’s breakout session at last Thursday’s Big Ten Media Day. But after combing through even more audio, here are some more quotes to pass along from Indiana’s fourth-year coach:

On whether it’s been difficult it’s been to go through the past three seasons: “Yeah, absolutely. There’s no question. But I have an outlet. I get to work every day. I get to go to work. I get to go to work in a great place. I get to do what I want to do: watching film, coaching players, recruit. There’s very few aspects of the job that, if you really love coaching, that you don’t love those aspects. There’s things you could do without. You’ve gotta love every aspect of it. The families don’t have an outlet. The players families don’t have an outlet.

“That’s why Indiana’s so unique. When you look at what’s going on with our fan base, we’ve got more student tickets sold than six of the schools in this league combined right now. That says a lot about Indiana. We led the country last year in attendance for students at 6,100. It had dropped into the high 3’s or low 4’s when we first came. We’re up over 7,600 plus right now for students. That’s not normal. That’s just not normal and I think if we didn’t have such a great fan base, if we didn’t have such a passionate fan base, it’d be a lot harder. It would be a lot harder. And I couldn’t imagine the last few years without (the fans). And people want to win. But I want to win. I mean we left a team that on paper could have competed for a Final Four, national championship at Marquette. If Trevor Mbakwe would have stayed, ask him how good we would have been back there if we would have stayed and he’d have stayed there. But we didn’t. And so you come in, you want to win. You don’t come in to not win. And so you want to feel it. But you really want to feel it for your families, your players and their families and for your fans more than anything else.”

On if it’s fair to coaches rebuilding programs for the NCAA to implement the minimum APR score of 930 for postseason play: “No. And I’d be the first to say I don’t understand the exact formula they want to use right now if it goes to that. But if it’s based on the exact scenario you just said with Indiana there’s no way that’s fair. Because we’ve had (a score of) 1000 and we’re going to have 1000 again now that Guy-Marc Michel has signed a European contract. Here’s what’s wrong with the system: If Guy-Marc was never eligible to play for us, like he wasn’t, he still would have counted against our APR score. I think I’m right on this because we were going to fight for it. And I don’t know if we would have ever won. The fact that he signed a contract overseas allows us not to be penalized. But there’s a flaw in the system when you’re going to be penalized for a guy that the NCAA never was going to allow to play for you.

“With that being said, there’s probably some bugs in the system that would need to be worked out. There’s no way it’s fair to somebody walking in. Our situation was certainly unique, but there’s other unique situations that maybe aren’t as dramatic. That wouldn’t be fair at all. Over a period of time, when you’re judged on the time you’ve been at the program, when you’re judged on your own recruiting classes … It’s like when the graduation rates came out the other day and we were 91 percent from our time at Marquette but yet Indiana was in the low 40’s. Every time I read about the low 40’s, I wasn’t here for that. The average person that looks at that and says Indiana had a 47 percent rate. That wasn’t us. We’re busy graduating our guys with 91 percent. And it’s the same thing. Our APR’s were really high at Marquette. And they’ve been really high since we’ve been here. But we’re digging out of an astronomical APR hole.”

On if conference re-alignment boggles his mind and its potential impact on the Big Ten: “No, not really. I don’t spend much time on it. I get concerned for my friends. And I get concerned because I spent time in the Big East. I hate to see the Big East not be what it was. But we had a coach in 2005 at the league meetings that said in five years we could easily split into a football, non-football league. And he said that back in 2005 and man, he wasn’t that far off the potential of it. And I hope it doesn’t happen. I worry for Marquette. I worry for Louisville. But I mean, if you read the Bible, worry’s a sin and I don’t want to spend a lot of time worrying. I want to spend a lot of time on what we’re doing. I just hope it works out. In three to five years, it’s all going to shake out and it’ll be what it is.”

On whether Indiana can be one of the top defensive teams in the Big Ten this season: “Well I hope so. That’s the goal. One thing I look at every week, J.D. (Campbell) pulls it up every week … the turnover-takeaway margin in the NFL. You’re rarely going to find a team that’s not winning a bunch of games that’s in the top of that ladder. And you’re rarely going to find a team that’s winning a lot of games that’s on the bottom. It’s the same in college football. Point differential and turnover-takeaway type mentalities, points off turnovers in sports, you can look at a BCS program in football, a BCS program in basketball, a Division II football, a Division II in basketball, those things carry over. Some don’t carry, those carry.

“And so for us to be a better defensive team, we’ve got to take care of the ball better on offense, we’ve got to create more opportunities off the defense. We’ve gotta capitalize off the opportunities. Because that’s what it’s all about. Why play so hard if you’re not going to get the ball back? You know what I mean? You play Wisconsin for 35 seconds … one reason they’re so good is at the end of the shot clock they’re going to make shots. It just deflates you and they know it. So let’s keep trying to turn the game up the best way possible. Get on the break and play, see what happens. That’s why you play defense, you play defense to get it back. So the more you’re doing it without gambling, without taking chances in a team concept, the better we can be. But certainly athleticism, how many dribbles you can guard, that’s what separates guys as individual defenders. Short space quickness, how much ground you can cover, that’s what separates anybody from being a good defender because there’s just hundreds and hundreds of opportunities in a game where you’ve gotta be quick in a short space and for a short period of time. If you’re slow, that’s where fouls come, people get to the rim. That’s what the game all comes down to. It’s the same thing in football I think. It’s the same thing in baseball. The rangy shortstop is a lot better than the guy that can’t get his knees bent. That’s what it is, short space movement.”

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  • Kfdchev

    The Hoosiers of 2002 shouldn’t have had any trouble running out of gas. Davis, in his infinite wisdom, gave them Sunday off before the biggest game of their lives. That team lost because they were not prepared. You have to have defense. The depth thing isn’t that big of an issue if you can keep out of foul trouble. The multitude of TV timeouts will get these kids enough of a break to get them through the game. You can’t just go about business thnking you are going to simply out score everyone. You have to ahve stops and you have to have consecutive stops. Trading baskets won’t get the job done.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Alex, IU’s four year APR score is now up to like 929, right?  There won’t be any issues with future post season play after the next perfect score is released if that’s correct so it won’t affect our postseasons, will it?

  • Anonymous

    The only wine I like is Boone’s Farm, anyway!

  • MillaRed

    Kentucky just beat Nobody State by 4 in an exhibition game.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm, I always thought you were more of a Mad Dog 20/20 afficionado. 😉

  • jahhoosier

    I’m not so sure IU ran out of gas in 2002 so much as they ran into the beef of Lonnie Baxter and Chris Wilcox and, to a lesser extent, Byron Mouton and Taj Holden. Then they ran into Juan Dixon after Davis called for that inexplicable zone. With Coverdale’s bum ankle, that was just way too many things to have to run into.

    That was a great Hoosiers team; remember the pastings they were giving to conference foes before Jeffries got hurt in the L’Ville game. But Maryland’s inside heft was just the worst possible match-up for IU’s lanky inside personnel.

    As a side note, I actually give Knight credit for the offensive prowess of that team. The defense I’ll give to Davis. Davis was much better at teaching the fundamentals and techniques of the latter side of the court than he was the former. Given how much Knight’s late 90’s teams suffered defensively, the evidence tips the scale to Davis’ corner with respect to the ’01 and ’02 teams’ strong defense.

  • Oh, I know… I really don’t care either.   But, outside of the rivalry, they are still a B1G foe, and worth noting their SOS.  I just wonder if it’ll affect their readiness for conference play… Ken Pom has them as #3 in B1G…   not seeing it this year.  I always respect a team willing to take some punches early on like Michigan State, Butler, etc, this may hurt them in the long run. 

  • stonaroni

    Why are we debating the teams from 35 years ago being great defensive teams?  The lost 1 freaking game in 2 years.  They made the stops they needed to to win in close games.  And, they were strong enough defensively to keep teams from making runs on them late in games.  They were great and those teams would school any modern team at IU, UK, Purdue, MSU, OSU, etc on defensive fundamentals.

  • stonaroni

    If we use that same high screen crap this year I might go nuts.  But, if we do, I 100% completely agree with you JerryCT, get the ball to the guy who is rolling to the basket and create movement and mismatches for the defense to overcome.

    I think the pic and roll was ignored so badly last year that the defense could have had 4 defenders with no one defending our high screen player or his roll to the blocks.  The outcome would still have been meaningless lateral dribble 20 fee from the tin.

    I hope we see more dribble drive or “motion” on offense rather than our cigar store Indian offense where 4 players stand around and watch the PG’s check for dead spots in the hardwood beyond the 3 point line at Assembly Hall

  • stonaroni

    Did you ever realize that Gary Williams is THAT short?  I almost hit him with my car driving into a parking garage at the University of Cincinnati.  I didn’t see him walking out from behind a car.

    He was on a recruiting trip at an Adidas AAU tournament there.

    He was kind and grinned as he waved in a bit of embarrassment.  I was waiting for him to kick his heels and disappear since he was the size of a Leprechaun.

    That same day I saw 2 IU greats.  Steve Alford was canvasing the tournament and “Dirty” Dane Fife.  I had just come off knee surgery and Dane arrived at the door to a building the same time I did.  he held the door for me and made a quick joke about my limping.  I always like Fife, but came to realize that the Big Ten foes had Dane all wrong, he is a nice guy.

  • stonaroni

    I am with loop here.  I do not think it is too much to ask a team that has at least 9 Top 150 players on the team to put together a 20 win season.  I believe the talent is there.  This year comes down to coaching and CTC having his guys implement his style of play.  We have capable players at every position and we are at least 2 deep at PG, SG, SF, PF, #5, whatever #5 looks like in CTC’s scheme.

    Looking at the schedule, we should be 10-2 before Big Ten.  UK is most likely a loss and NC ST on the road is tough.  Butler just got beat by a D-II school, ND lost their top 5 players, and no one else should beat us. A win against UNCC is 11-2.  We need to be .500 in Big Ten 9-9.  That is 20 wins. 8-10 in Big ten with a win in the Big 10 tourn is 20 wins.

    The Big 10 is mediocre this season 9-9 is the benchmark for this team.

    I cannot be convinced otherwise.  Last year was just an absolute mess and a few breaks along the way and that team wins 14 or 15.  the team last year had enough talent to be around .500, this team should be 5 games better with a recruiting class that fills all holes and voids and a team that should have improved individually and collectively.

  • stonaroni

    Define high major depth.  UK’s #9 or #10 guy this year isn’t any better than our #9 or #10.

    Duke isn’t incredibly deep and neither is UNC.  OSU isn’t that deep either.

  • stonaroni

    True, but if CTC is the coach that many on here proclaim, his coaching abilitties will push this team to 20 wins.

  • stonaroni

    We do not play an offense suited for your legit #5.  I will take Jurkin as a C who can give us some spurts of D. In 2012-13 we will have CZ, DE, and HP all playing the PF position.  CW and WS can fill that role too.  Then we will have a 6’6″ AE and Holloway at 6″7″ to play SF with 6’6″ WS. VO, AE, Remy, and Hulls can all play SG along with Patterson.  Yogi, Hulls and Remy can play point.

    this will be an extremely versatile team.  If Mo’s ever healthy, that is a bonus.

  • stonaroni

    ND is much weaker than last season and lost 80% of its scoring.  Butler lost 2 studs and just got beat by an avg DII team.  UK is elite, NC ST is a touch one, but Evansville should be a 20 point victory.

    11-2 non conf, 9-9 Big 10 gets us 20-11.

    We dance!

  • Anonymous

    Because (and thankfully this is all soon to change,) recently there’s been nothing remotely close to that to proudly discuss. 

  • stonaroni

    Win or gone is a bit extreme, I agree.  But this is how I look at it.  We are in year 4 of CTC and no one can say excatly what offense or style CTC runs.  We have no clue what kind of defense or philosphies CTC can coach on D because it has been horrific the past 3 years.

    To me, CTC has 5 cards in his hands. He has been checking and raising the past few years, buying into his vision.  Now it is time to show his hand and show us his vision and win consistently.  I do not think he has 4 of a kind, a full house or a royal flush just yet, but I am hoping he has 3 Aces at the very least.

    I hope he wins the hand he chose and gambled on in 2011-12 so he can go all in in 2012-13.

    For the sake of Hoosier nation, let’s hope CTC has a good hand and isn’t bluffing. We are optimistic, but another year like last year where we are the low hand at the Big 10 table would be cause for action.

  • stonaroni

    What exactly is his system?  JerryCT, Milla, myself and many others were searching for that answer the past few years.

    I am just stoked that CTC is going to a true 3 guard set this year with the addition of a 4 guard set.  That means more scorers on the floor and less VJIII pounding the rock into dust at the top of the key.

  • stonaroni

    Was that a joke or did you mis-read the 97-53 box score over Transylvania?

  • Gustin

    I agree Milla, 20 Ws is too much to expect at this juncture, IMO, though it will be great if accomplished.  I too am expecting ~18 wins.  Any more is gravy!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks “…roni”, you and I are on the same page.

  • MillaRed


  • MillaRed

    In Evansville we mixed Boone’s Farm with Mad Dog 20/20 and the next morning our heads exploded. I know, that explains a lot. Go Bosse!

  • MillaRed

    Come on Stoner. Their bench is typically full of Micky D all-americans.

    When Yogi, Hanner, Buss and Hollowell are competing for a starting job, that’s high major depth.

    Derek Elston and Remy are not.

  • MillaRed

    I hear you. It’s not like we do not want 20 wins. I’m just not sure we will get there. If we do, I will gladly apologize for my my insolence!

  • MillaRed

    Are there any jokers in this deck? I’m confused. I just got back from Vegas. Seriously I did.

  • MillaRed

    Well, we know it’s a dribble-drive offense. A spinoff of a motion offense. I too have criticized what we were doing out there Ston. But there really is no way to tell until we have the best talent on the floor. Am I saying the best talent doesn’t require the best X and O’s? Ummmm, I think I am a little.

    After taking it all in after last season, I don’t think it mattered what we were running out there. Too many mistakes that had nothing to do with the offense. What defense were we running? Didn’t matter. Our zone, man to man, 1-3-1, 4-5-6, 9-10-11 all sucked. We didn’t have the kids to pull it off.

    This season will tell us a lot about CTC. And I think it will be talked about plenty.

  • MillaRed

    If it wasn’t Kentucky is was another great program I saw on ESPN last night.

    Exhibition games mean diddly.

  • MillaRed

    Juan Dixon? JUAN DIXON! Ahhhhhhhhhh. Never say that name again please!!!!!!

  • Bill Wilson

    Well, the Tan Man with the Clappin’ hands sure speaks pretty.

    Too bad his coaching records at Marquette and especially at IU don’t back up those words.

    Clapping Tommy the Tan Man will be gone in two more years.

    Bet on it.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I used to play that game all the time and it only works about less than half.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    Keep in mind that is will take several games for the guys to get used to have a post player.   This might not happen until the Mid Dec.

  • stonaroni

    IT is CTC’s job to “MAKE” them get used to a post player before the seaon even starts.