Notebook: Crean unhappy with starting lineup

ANN ARBOR, Mi. — Tom Crean didn’t have kind words for his starting lineup, calling it “a joke.”

It was Michigan’s 13-0 start in the first four-plus minutes that got the Hoosiers behind the eight ball before they knew what hit them in Wednesday’s 68-56 loss to Michigan at the Crisler Center. The deficit swelled to 20 at one point in the first half.

“The start of the game, we allowed a very good team to play like a great team, because our players came out like they’d seen a ghost,” Crean said. “You cannot come out and not have a physical presence right off the bat. You can’t come out and give that kind of space to a team that’s as good as Michigan. … We knew we were going to be in position to come back if we just settled in.”

The Hoosiers were able to cut it down to two points in the second half, but could never get over that hump. The start put them in a hole they were never able to climb out of.

Instead of calling a timeout to try to gather his team during the early run, Crean wanted his guys to play through it. He felt it was pretty simple what needed to be done.

“It wasn’t anything that a timeout was going to correct, in that sense, in the first couple minutes of the game,” Crean said. “It’s going out and doing what we practiced. You want to give guys a chance to get into the flow of the game, but (the
Wolverines) weren’t doing anything different. … I wasn’t concerned about they were doing, I was more concerned about what we were doing.”

ABELL TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT

In an attempt to get something going, freshman guard Remy Abell saw 16 minutes of action and chipped in four points and two rebounds on the night. All four points came in the first five minutes of the second half, as the Hoosiers made a
charge to get back into the game.

Abell had played 12 total minutes in the previous four games since his career-high 18 minutes against Minnesota on Jan. 12.

“He did an excellent job. He’s a fearless guy,” Crean said of Abell. “He’s an excellent athlete and he’s like Matt Roth with his shooting. Matt is going to be able to make them wherever he goes. … I think Remy can play in any environment. He’s got that kind of toughness. He’ll play more. There’s no doubt about that.”

JONES BRUISES SHOULDER

Late in the first half, Verdell Jones III injured his right shoulder when he was fouled while dribbling at the top of the key. He went straight to the bench and didn’t move his arm as the Hoosiers headed into the locker room. He did not return to the game.

“Verdell has got a bruised shoulder right now,” Crean said. “We’ll evaluate it more tomorrow. That’s where he stands.”

Chris Vannini is a freelance sports journalist in Michigan who has covered Michigan State athletics and the Detroit Tigers over the past four years. You can follow him on Twitter at @ChrisVannini and contact him at chrisvannini@gmail.com.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    I read a big ol’ fat excuse by CTC.  Your on the road in the Big 10, it shouldn’t take you to be down 13-0 to figure that out.  CTC was clearly waiting for the TV timeout.

    Call a TO with 17 min left in the first half, chew some A, lose control for a minute, bring 5 new guys off the bench.  It’s not too hard of a concept.

    After a few more minutes of chewing on the sidelines, if the subs you put in aren’t doing well, sub back in a few starters.  Leave all of the starters on a short leash all night.  Especially when down by 20.

    It took a lot of energy to get back to 2 down, and they had little left in the tank.  At 7-0 CTC should have seen this loss coming a mile away.

    I bet Remy loved his PT, and he produced.  How about mixing in AE next time.  We shouldn’t have to bench a JR in CW and Soph in WS to get a response from them.  They have played 50 to 80 games in an IU uniform.

    Maybe CTC will give AE some love at some point in this 2-6 debacle the last 8 games. Me for one, feels that playing at IU is a priviledge, not a right.

    CW and some others need to act like the deserve to be on the floor.  CW is either tough or weak, really no in between with him.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    No, you settle the troops and make subs or you chew A and make subs; that effort from the team was brutal; even more brutal is to watch CTC pace the sidelines and not make a move when needed, yet he yanks certain guys in 3 minute increments.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    Freedom of speech, Dude.  We are all entitled to our own opinions.  It is one of the things that make it great to be an American and a fan.

    Until I see CTC make more moves, adjustments, and have a better feel for the momentum of the game, I will be critical in saying he is an average in game coach.

    I am not sure how that is too harsh or how others who share that same opinion should be criticized.  Myself and others who share the same opinion on this site do not say that CTC should be fired.  We just say he has some flaws.  What is so wrong about that?

    They guy can recruit and I have praised him for this as well as the character and integrity he has restored to the program.  However, until he improves his coaching ability or finds assistants who are experts where he has weakness, I have serious doubts that he will ever deliver a banner to IU.

    And, BTW, it is OK for me to feel this way.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    Remy is strong and is much better defensively than VJ or Hulls, thus he will play from time to time.

    Last I checked remy doesn’t really have a TO problem.

  • yimyames

    The problem is not driving the lane. The problem is when he tends to avoid the contact when he gets there. Victor has the same issue , trying to make the athletic play rather than drawing contact and going to the line. I would like to see both these two getting to the line more often.

  • DegilZ

    Vic averages the least turnovers of anyone that gets decent minutes, rebounds, leads the team in steals, guards the best player most nights, and acutally has a better shooting percentage than you may think, but most important he has the most energy of anyone.

  • Kokomo_Joe

    What is the deal with playing DI ball?  Did you?
     
    CTC has brought in a Top 10 recruiting class and has a Top 5 next year and probably a Top 5 in 2014.
     
    I can say, without a doubt, that CTC is not one of the Top 10 college basketball coaches in America.  He is not better than:
     
    Coach K
    Roy Williams
    Tom Izzo
    Billy Donovan
    Rick Pitino
    Bill Self
    Jim Boheim
    Jim Calhoun
    Thad Matta
    Bo Ryan
    Brad Stevens
    John Calipari
    Bob Huggins
     
     
    I would put CTC in a class with guys like:
     
    Ben Howland
    Jamie Dixon
    Jay Wright
    Sean Miller
    Chris Mack
    Rick Barnes
    Matt Painter
    John Beilein
    Mike Brey
    Mick Cronin
    Mike Anderson
    Frank Haith
    Frank Martin

    Some of these B listers are better in-game coaches than CTC.  In fact I would say almost all of them are, but CTC is a better recruiter than most if not all of these guys.

    But, CTC isn’t a top tier guy, and I feel we need to be if we ever want to hang a banner with him at IU.
     
     

  • Kokomo_Joe

    What is the deal with playing DI ball?  Did you?
     
    CTC has brought in a Top 10 recruiting class and has a Top 5 next year and probably a Top 5 in 2014.
     
    I can say, without a doubt, that CTC is not one of the Top 10 college basketball coaches in America.  He is not better than:
     
    Coach K
    Roy Williams
    Tom Izzo
    Billy Donovan
    Rick Pitino
    Bill Self
    Jim Boheim
    Jim Calhoun
    Thad Matta
    Bo Ryan
    Brad Stevens
    John Calipari
    Bob Huggins
     
     
    I would put CTC in a class with guys like:
     
    Ben Howland
    Jamie Dixon
    Jay Wright
    Sean Miller
    Chris Mack
    Rick Barnes
    Matt Painter
    John Beilein
    Mike Brey
    Mick Cronin
    Mike Anderson
    Frank Haith
    Frank Martin

    Some of these B listers are better in-game coaches than CTC.  In fact I would say almost all of them are, but CTC is a better recruiter than most if not all of these guys.

    But, CTC isn’t a top tier guy, and I feel we need to be if we ever want to hang a banner with him at IU.
     
     

  • dssnyder1

    the deal with D1 ball is that someone with experience playing D1 ball has much more knowlege than you or me on whether crean can coach or not. most fans spew opinions on how they would do this or do that while laying on the couch. i would be interested on former IU players or incoming ones view on creans abilities as a coach.
    i realize that isnt going to happen on this board though. crean comes from the school of jud heathcote and tom izzo, both highly thought of coaches. he did have a pretty good run at marquette which brought him to IU. i like what i see, even during this slump. not to say that i dont get frustrated, i’m just not calling for his head. 

  • SCHoosier

     Abell would be good in a “defense for offense” switch when the game clock permits it. He can play D and rebound..he does make some very poor choices in going to the basket..or has so far. Gonna need to get some minutes at PU though..with or without VJ..cause I don’t see anyone else being able to stay with Jackson (assuming VO is on Smith)

  • IUMIKE1

    With your knowledge of bball this comment seems very untypical of you. There are more reasons for calling a timeout than to just tell someone to take better care of the ball. I’m with Pepperfield on this one Tubby made great use of his timeouts against us. When we started to get on a run he would call a timeout and stop the momentum and take the crowd out of the game somewhat. We never went on more than a 5 point run before he called a timeout.

  • sully10

    Elston and Abell need to be in the starting lineup. They are the only ones who seem to want to hustle and give it all

  • IUMIKE1

     Yep, that pretty much sums up what I’m thinking.

  • Walt

    Kokomo, would respectfully disagree with you completely. Maybe you forget what he started with.  Do not know if he would be at the top of the list, but give it a little while (2 or 3 years). He in my opinion is in top tier.

  • Walt

    We do get mauled, but we get “smart” mauled; allowed by officials.  When we maul it is not a “smart” maul. There are so many ways we get called, not flagrant, but very visible fouls, and some are just plain ticky-tac fouls. It seems if CTC is a disciple of Izzo, then he should be a bit rougher. Or Motta from the O.S.U. Their ruddy faced guard, wears a smirk most of the games have seen him in, as he gets away with a lot of pretty hard fouls.  Suppose my point is, we need to get more physical, in a “smart” way.

  • Walt

    Like your post except for 1st paragraph. I thought that is why ITH was here. To sound off. Your epithets are a bit aggressive and questionable and in some cases down right insulting to other fans who love the team as much as you profess.

    The only posts that seem hard to take are the ones who are saying we have lost these games before we play them. If I were a player and looked at the posts like that, I would probably be intimidated. To most of these people who have the losing mentality, it seems we should not even play the game. Just because you say you are the age you are, does not mean you have to become a “GRUNT”. Just my opinion.

  • Walt

    Like your post except for 1st paragraph. I thought that is why ITH was here. To sound off. Your epithets are a bit aggressive and questionable and in some cases down right insulting to other fans who love the team as much as you profess.

    The only posts that seem hard to take are the ones who are saying we have lost these games before we play them. If I were a player and looked at the posts like that, I would probably be intimidated. To most of these people who have the losing mentality, it seems we should not even play the game. Just because you say you are the age you are, does not mean you have to become a “GRUNT”. Just my opinion.

  • MillaRed

    Hard to disagree with that

  • MillaRed

    Look man, I can see you are a huge IU fan. I am too. But to say you wouldn’t take Izzo or Matta is quite a stretch IMO.

    I’m rooting for CTC. But the Big Ten has some of the best coaches in the country.

  • MillaRed

    You lost me when you started this post by using a 3rd grade name calling tactic at the age of 67.

  • NewAlbanyBASEBALLhasswag

    Remy Abell deserves to start every game the rest of the season. I don’t want to see Jones, Sheehey, or Oladipo in the starting line-up this year or in the future, considering the talent level we have coming in, starting with the movement and then Luke Fischer and Trey Lyles. I would also love to see added minutes for Pritchard, maybe even give him a start against a slower team such as Purdue, he would definately benefit from having minutes alongside a legitimate post prescence such as Zeller.

  • Geoff_85

    The last 3 minutes of games isn’t the only time that there is pressure moments. I don’t have all the footage, but I’m willing to bet he hit some in the last 3 minutes regardless. You’re a hater. Keep hatin hater.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Hulls can’t defend..has lots of turnovers and bad passes while picking up his dribble in bad spots..if the truth is hating..I’m guilty

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