Glass: “We’re looking forward with great optimism”

  • 05/29/2014 9:00 pm in

Indiana athletics director Fred Glass was on The Zone with Jason Anderson on Thursday afternoon on ESPN 680 in Louisville and discussed a variety of topics, including his outlook for next season, fan frustration, his thoughts on Tom Crean and much more. Glass also discussed the Indiana baseball team, which opens regional play on Friday as well as the football program.

Here’s a transcript of some of his basketball-related comments:

On whether it’s easy to turn the page from last season:

“Well, it’s always more welcome to turn the page when you didn’t really like what that page was. Like in Louisville and Lexington and all of the strong programs right in the heart of your listening area, if at IU we’re not in postseason play, it’s by definition a disappointing season. There certainly were bright spots, we had a lot of big wins and we were nurturing a really young team and playing in a really tough conference and so forth and so on, but ultimately, Tom Crean would be the first one to say that this isn’t really where we want to be.

“So we’re looking forward with great optimism. We’re going to have, I think, a really exciting team next year, a couple of McDonald’s All-Americans in the backcourt, maybe the best point guard in the country in Yogi Ferrell, some exciting other players. We’ll be playing an uptempo, fast style that I think our fans will enjoy so we’re very much looking forward and excited about what Tom Crean has built and I think last year was a little blip on the screen not to be unexpected when you’re reloading from having five guys that are playing professionally now on that team two years ago.”

On his “We’re Indiana” quote in regards to rejecting a CBI bid and whether he believed it would get the feedback that it did:

“I really didn’t and sometimes I get in trouble with my big mouth. But I stand behind it because I think it’s just better to call a spade a spade. I just think a program with our legacy and the stewardship that I feel to help guide what is a premier program shouldn’t play in that tournament. And that’s not to say that it can’t be a great tournament for programs that are in other places. I just think that for Indiana basketball, that’s not what we want to be doing. And so I was honest about it and maybe would have chosen my words a little different because I didn’t mean to be provocative, but ultimately I stand behind it and don’t really apologize for the approach there.

“I’m a double alumnus, grew up in the state, I’m probably a fan, well I am a fan first before being the athletic director and I like to think that I get it, I get what Indiana basketball is about, I get what it means to Hoosiers. And we’re going to comport ourselves accordingly and do what needs to be done and say what needs to be said and continue reestablishing ourselves as an elite program. I think Tom Crean is doing exactly that, not withstanding kind of a rebuilding year last year and I’m really excited about our trajectory and we’re about championships, Big Ten championships and national championships and all of the other stuff is nice, but that’s how we measure ourselves and how other elite programs should measure themselves.”

On whether he’s ever wavered in his confidence that Tom Crean is the right man for the job:

“Not for a nanosecond. Tom Crean is the whole package. We’re really fortunate that he came here, we’re fortunate that he’s stayed after he saw how in shambles the place was and what he’d really gotten himself into. I think he’s terrific. He’s a smart guy, a great recruiter, a great developer of talent, great X’s and O’s guy. He was the guy who when they asked, ‘well why would you leave Marquette to come here? He said, It’s Indiana.’ So he understands it. I think we’re seeing evidence all around of his ability to attract, find and develop talent. We’re probably going to have another guy go in the (NBA draft) lottery that he helped find and develop and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about Tom’s leadership here and I look forward to continuing to support him and work with him for a long, long time.”

On whether he hears any of the frustrations from fans:

“I’m just really glad people care so deeply. I get it. I understand it, I grew up with it. The passion of the fans is one of the pieces of our secret sauce of having Indiana basketball be what it is. The same passion that drives people to follow all of these blogs and websites, waiting hours in the rain to get autographs and pack Huber Winery next week in the middle of Southern Indiana and have 800 or 900 people there, all of those things are the same things that some people get a little nervous when the water gets choppy. People understand basketball here and they’ve got an opinion because they’ve played and they’ve coached and they’re coaching their fourth grader’s CYO team, they played JV and varsity and all of those things. That’s the wonderful, wonderful part of Indiana basketball that are fans are so knowledgeable and care so much, but they can get kind of excited and maybe feel like the sky is falling when maybe it’s really not. But that’s a whole part of the package so I embrace it, I don’t let it bother me. I listen to it, the criticism that I think is well stated I address and the other criticism I kind of let roll off my back. I’m just glad that our fanbase cares so deeply and really, really embrace that.”

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  • HoosierGrampy

    Thanks for catching the typographical error–corrected mine, and I’m probably responsible for Tom’s type-o as well

  • HoosierGrampy

    I addressed the typographical error earlier. FYI, I began following Big Ten basketball back in 1960. My older brother was at MSU and I had the pleasure of watching the ’60-’61 Buckeyes dismantle the Spartans in Jenison Fieldhouse. Jerry Lucas scored 48 pts to break Robin Freeman’s school record {and set the Big Ten record as well}, and Fred Taylor put him on the bench with about 8 minutes to play.) Comparing Wooden to Crean in their first 16 years is unfair. UCLA had only won 2 league championships in the 18 yrs prior to his arrival in 1948. In his first 11 years (old Pacific Coast Conference) he won 6 division championships and went to the NCAAs 3 times. When the Pac-8 was formed, the sun began to shine on the Wizard of Westwood. No need to recap.
    Crean, on the other hand, enjoyed a modicum of success at Marquette: 1 Division championship w/a team that went to the Final Four and 4 other NCAAs –finishing league play 2d, 4th and 5th twice in 9 years. While he took an IU program which was near-death and brought it back to life, there was already a rich tradition, a loyal fan base and support from the media in place to help him along the way. I don’t think anyone would hold him accountable for the first 3 years in B’town. 1 league championship and 2 trips to the NCAAs in the next 3 years are commendable achievements, but certainly not unique in the storied history of Hoosier basketball. I want to be wrong, but I don’t think CTC is capable of returning IU to greatness no matter how many years you or others want to give him.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Nobody really can accurately project how Max Hoetzel, Jeremiah April, Tim Priller, James Blackmon, Jr. or Robert Johnson will develop once they get into Cook Hall and start learning what is required of them to wear the stripes. I tend to believe that there will be some very pleasant surprises in store for some of the nay-sayers and doubters…

  • HoosierGrampy

    Games played vs Cleveland State, the Richmond Spiders, Boston College and Pepperdine will haunt me for forever.

  • Danny

    Good comment Tom. I’ve been a IU fan since the early ’50’s
    So you might say i have been along for the ride, the up and down seasons that IU basketball teams has experienced. I always use to love to ride the roller coasters at amusement parks but never ever enjoyed the downs at IU. As IU fans we can always enjoy how we have been bless in the past but also how we our starting to be bless, by over coming our trouble times. As we are finding out one bad coach doesn’t ruin it for everyone. And remember we all make a team. As someone once said there are no i’s in TEAM.
    GO IU.

  • marcusgresham

    I remember every one of those games, as well.
    I don’t care if they were an 11-seed or not, Pepperdine would have beaten anyone in the country that particular night. It seemed like everyone in the backcourt was a 6-4 Olympic sprinter and everyone in the frontcourt was 6’11, 250.

  • TomJameson

    HG, I don’t totally disagree with your assesment on how CTC’s game-play ability is right now. Really, my only problem is that I’m optimistic that Crean will either learn lessons and get better, or hire a coach that will help in that one area. The real question is whether Coach will improve as the years go by, or is this as good as he gets? I just can’t imagine him being at this level for another 20+ years.

  • HoosierGrampy

    Tom, I hope this isn’t as good as he’ll ever be, but only time will tell. He’ll get better or he’ll get gone.

  • HoosierGrampy

    The Waves were a reincarnation of Phi Slamma Jamma…