Notes from Tom Crean’s speech at Tailgate Tour in Jasper

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Tom Crean made his first of three scheduled stops on the 2013 IU Tailgate Tour last Thursday night at the Riverwalk in Jasper. Crean will also appear at tonight’s Tailgate Tour in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium and Wednesday’s stop at Huber Winery in Starlight.

We’ve compiled some notes and quotes from Crean’s speech in Jasper below:

· On student tickets for next season: “This year, we’re probably going to have our student tickets somewhere around the 15,000 range. Last year, it was in the 12,000 range when we can really only get about 7,500 of them in there. There’s such a demand for people to come to the games and be a part of it that we’ve got to try to get everybody in.”

· On getting started with the seven new players coming into the program: “That mystery started to unravel today when we started our new player workouts. We had our first workout today with Noah Vonleh, Devin Davis and Collin Hartman. Tomorrow we’ll have it with Luke Fischer and end of next week we’ll have it with Troy Williams, Evan Gordon and Stanford Robinson.”

· On Vonleh: “When you look at his body. He’s 6’9.75″ with a 7’5″ wingspan. He weighed in at 230 pounds and did a max vertical jump of 38 inches. He is going to be a special, special player. Right now he’s got special talent. And as those skills and fundamentals go with him, he’s going to have a chance to be one of those guys that people are going to be writing a lot of stories about, doing a lot of specials on TV about and you’re going to know where you were when you got to see him play the first time.”

· On Williams: “I feel like Troy Williams is going to be a cross athletically between what Victor (Oladipo) and Will (Sheehey) were. He is a ridiculous athlete and a winner and a guy that gave up his senior year in high school at home to go to Oak Hill (Academy) so he could play against the best competition. Right now he’s been working out in Houston with John Lucas and I think he’s the only high school kid. It’s all college players and guys preparing for the draft. Anything to give himself an edge.”

· On work ethic within the program last season: “We had some situations on our team this year where we had a couple of guys who didn’t really work outside of practice the way they needed to work. And when you start the season, just like everybody else in college basketball, we’re even. We all get 20 hours a week or we get two hours a week in the summer time. We’re all even with that. It’s what you do above and beyond that separates you. Guys like Victor (Oladipo), guys like Will (Sheehey), guys like Jordan Hulls, guys like Yogi Ferrell. Those guys really did it every day. Jeremy Hollowell started to work into that. The work ethic culture and the player development culture that’s in there right now has got to be what we stand for.”

· On Oladipo’s upcoming schedule: “Victor called last night on his way back to the airport in Orlando (second pick in the draft). He’ll work out for Cleveland, they have the first pick in the draft. He’ll work out for Phoenix, they have the fifth pick in the draft. Washington will come see him.”

· On Ferrell and Sheehey trying out for the World University Games: “I’m hoping that both of them make it. I’m biased, but I hope that both of them make it. John Beilein is one of the coaches, Matt Painter is one of the guys picking the team, Jim Boeheim is one of the guys picking the team. I hope all of those guys give them a great look and I hope they have the opportunity to be on that group.”

· On Peter Jurkin and Austin Etherington: “Peter Jurkin and Austin Etherington are working hard and trying to overcome injuries.”

  • marcusgresham

    I had no idea Vonleh is that big. I knew he was 6’9″, but didn’t realize he’s almost 6’10” (and maybe still growing at his age,) and I certainly didn’t realize he’s 230. He may be more 4 than 3, whereas I initially thought it would be the other way around—either way he should be a matchup dilemma for just about anyone.

  • BlakeD1223

    This season can’t come fast enough!

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

    He weighed in at 242 at the Nike Hoop Summit in April, so it sounds like he’s trimmed down a bit.

  • Jeremy Johnson

    Did Creek ever announce a transfer destination?

  • xCowHoosier

    With the incoming level of talent and not yet knowing how well this group will mesh, there are reasons that this upcoming season feels almost as exciting as the summer before last season when we had championship aspirations. I still think the ceiling for this group is very high…

  • Caleb Moore

    And at least early on here he’s saying all the right things about staying to get his degree, etc. Think of that kid in a few years if his work ethic is as strong as they say it is. The sky is the limit for his development in this program with the 24/7 access the players have and a very good strength and conditioning program. Also love hearing Troy is down working with JL with guys getting ready for the draft. I still believe we may get to a point in the season that Crean starts Troy/Will/Jeremy 2-4 with Vonleh and Yogi. That would be an incredibly athletic lineup.

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

    He wasn’t talking about Zeller.

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

    Not yet.

  • SUNY_RIT_IU_Grad

    Not sure I like the “Peter Jurkin and Austin Etherington are working hard and trying to overcome injuries’ comment. I was hoping to hear a more positive comment regarding PJ’s recovery and potential for playing this year! Time will tell…

  • Benhyoung14

    Yeah, I’d love to know who that is and if they’re still with the team. If they’re not due to transfer, then oh, well.

  • http://www.trinityoaklabs.com Hoosiergirl

    “We had some situations on our team this year where we had a couple of guys who didn’t really work outside of practice the way they needed to work.”

    I think here is our answer to why Reby Abell and Creek transfered.

  • BlakeD1223

    I want to hear that Perea is working his butt off to become better. He looked very raw last year.

  • MillaRed

    Appreciate the plug Kaponya. Thanks.

  • jermhoosierfan

    Why not put him on the team to find out what makes him tick?

  • Jeremy Pinnell

    I saw a tweet from him a few minutes ago that he is making his decision on Friday. For what it is worth.

  • lolman

    I agree. I was feeling optimistic about PJ and AE before the quote now I’m wondering if they will get minutes. First and foremost I hope they get healthy. It’s good to hear they’re working hard.

  • skotchie

    There is no reason to believe the picking of the team won’t be fair and impartial.
    The lineup seems to be loaded at the forward position, at least to me.

  • Dee McDonald

    I think the fact of the matter is Noah Vonleh has an NBA ready body. Shoot, Durant has been in the league for 6 years now and just now weighs in at 235…Vonleh’s already there plus some. The kid needs to tone up, get a ridiculous amount of shots up every day, work on his handle, and learn how to be the man…and the sky’s the limit. He could be freakishly good. To put this in perspective, LeBron James was 6’8″ 230 coming out of high school….and Vonleh is almost 6’10” 230. You do the math. Not nearly as explosive, but not too far behind either. I think Vonleh has a better jump shot though.

  • cdog

    Agree. Peter has had almost as many injuries as Maurice Creek. Don’t really ever see his legs being strong enough to last an entire season of banging in the B10. Building his twig legs up will be a huge challenge for our strength coach. I hope I am wrong and he can develop into a player who could come in for 10 minutes per game and block shots/rebound. This is what we were counting on him to do last year and allow CZ to play some PF and shoot that 10-15 footer. Good luck Peter!

  • hardcore_hoosier

    Durant’s game is very different from Vonleh’s. Plus that is a lofty comparison. Lamar Odom is probably the closest thing as far as size and skill set (pre Kardashian Odom of course).

  • Diogeron

    I wonder if Crean would have been better off lightning up on them a bit going into the tourney like BK used to do. They looked tired to me at times.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    I agree – small forward / power forward is loaded. I believe yogi makes the team. Will possibly makes the team.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Just so I’m clear on this – you are saying that a great high school prospect is the equivalent to a multiple NBA all star and MPV candidate….

  • dtfreed

    even a baseball update would be good, hint hint

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

    Appreciate the interest, but we’ve been basketball-only for nearly six years now and it’s our plan to stay that way moving forward.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I love Noah Vonleh’s potential and I am thrilled he is a Hoosier. That being said, Lebron James is the best high school prospect in the last 20 years and the best that several recruiting experts say they have ever seen. Kevin Durant averaged nearly 26 points a game during his freshman season in college. Just because Noah Vonleh is 6’10” doesn’t mean he will be anywhere close to the same class as the two best players in the world were at that stage in their career. You think Noah Vonleh has a
    better jump shot than Lebron James….the best player in the world at the peak of his powers? He shot 40% on 3-pointers while being the focal point of opposing defenses. Again, I love Noah but he’s not going to be like Lebron James was at 18 and comparing the two sets him up for failure.

    Also, how can someone be “not nearly as explosive, but
    not too far behind either”? Anyway, quibbles aside, we can all agree Noah is a guy we are all looking forward to seeing in the future.

  • Kenneth234

    Not that I agree with the point of view being argued, but just because James shot 40% from 3pt range doesn’t necessary make him a great shooter. His other skills, such as the ability to blow by almost anyone on the perimeter to get to the rim gives him a nearly uncontested shot from 3 when he wants to take it. So as for just shooting ability, I don’t believe that 40% places him anywhere near the best shooters in the NBA. But given his other talents, I would certainly not complain about that rate either.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s very true. His other weapons mean defenders are going to give him the open 3. I’m not saying he is anywhere near the best shooter in the NBA. I’m saying Dee McDonald’s claim that Noah Vonleh is a better shooter than Lebron James is setting unfair expectations for NV. You are right though, defenders would much rather give up a 3 to James than crowd him and watch him blow by for a dunk/lay-up/draw a foul and get free throws.

  • Dee McDonald

    What I was trying to provide is perspective. I was trying to point out that NV is a much better shooter at this point in his career, which is coming out of high school. That’s the ONLY point I was trying to make. Some of you guys have really got to learn how to read more thoroughly. I was simply comparing physical attributes as some of these guys cane or if high school. The only thing I said about either of their NBA careers was that Durant is just now weighing in at 235 and NV is already there weight-wise. Come on guys, give me a little credit.

  • CreamandCrimson

    No need to call out my reading skills…I can read thoroughly just fine (I’m employed as an editor so at least my employer thinks I can) and I understand you were trying to compare the two as high school seniors. I don’t think NV is close to the players (jump shot, explosion, athleticism, everything but size) Lebron James or Kevin Durant were as high school seniors. It doesn’t really matter and I apologize if it came across as me not giving you credit or slighting you. Vonleh is wonderful and I hope he’s even better than I give him credit for.

  • SJPKF

    Agree with Jeremy. If I have an opportunity – all things being equal of course – I definitely pick a kid from my own league. A) because I REALLY want to be familiar with him and ways to beat and guard him, and B) call me a ‘homer,’ but I’d want my league to be perceived as the best.

  • SJPKF

    Thought the same thing. We looked out of gas against both Temple and Syracuse. Part of that may have been that our bench was really pretty short last year – and the TC didn’t use it enough. We were up 30 with over 5 to play against PU – TWICE – and we were still playing our startes?

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