Five takeaways from Chuck Martin announcement

  • 07/01/2014 10:55 am in

Indiana coach Tom Crean announced the hiring of new assistant coach Chuck Martin in a press conference on Monday afternoon at Assembly Hall, which officially fills a staff vacancy heading into three critical July evaluation periods.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the Martin announcement:

· Crean did his due diligence: While Martin has been in the fold since mid-June, Crean said he wanted to make sure that both Martin and his wife, Lee, could be in Bloomington to announce his hiring and with camps going on in Bloomington in recent weeks, Monday was the date that worked best to make the announcement. When the job opened in late April before the evaluation period, Crean didn’t rush into anything and as the process moved on, Martin established himself as the best fit.

“Jayd (Grossman) had called Calbert (Cheaney) right away, when it looked like Kenny (Johnson) was going to leave to see what his stance was,” Crean explained. “I don’t think Calbert was in a situation where he was looking to move. I definitely talked or had one other person in and did some research on others.

“But, really, for where we’re at with this youth and where we’ve got to go and continue to grow not only on the court but off the court maturity wise and all those things that come with having such a young team, when I kept hearing everything about just this is what he did here, this is what he did there, this is the kind of situation and how he deals with things and this and that, it was pretty easy.”

· A comprehensive background: When his name emerged as a potential candidate, Indiana fans may not have been familiar with Martin. But his background suggests that he’ll be able to add a variety of skills to the coaching staff. He’s been an assistant coach at a major college program in Memphis, a head coach at Marist and also worked in scouting for the NBA for one of the league’s top franchises.

His tenure at Marist didn’t end like Martin would have wanted, but he said that experience, coupled with the other jobs he’s held, have made him a more complete coach.

“I’ve always said when my tenure was up at Marist, I always felt like whoever hired me next was going to get a better version of me just because of the experience,” Martin said. “And I’m certainly better for sure after being a head coach.”

· Martin on his recruiting philosophy: Recruiting is the lifeblood of any major program, but developing players once they’re on campus is just as important. This is particularly true when you’re not primarily recruiting one-and-done players and Indiana has only had one of those under Crean in Noah Vonleh.

So what is Martin’s approach to recruiting? Will he focus on landing the best available talent or finding the best fits for the program? The answer to that question, according to Martin, lies in finding the best combination of talent and fit.

“Clearly for me I would like to get involved with the better players in the country, but that doesn’t always work,” he explained. “It’s about getting the right fit. I learned that with the Thunder. We’ve had guys who were very critical of the Thunder last year when we took Steven Adams from the University of Pittsburgh who averaged 4 points and three rebounds. He helped us win 15 games this year and get close to 60 wins and get to the Western Conference Finals. It’s not always about how highly they’re rated, it’s about what is their talent – Can we use their talent – Does it fit with the scheme that we’re trying to execute here in Indiana?”

· Expanding on his role in Oklahoma City: When Martin left Marist, he made the transition to scouting in Oklahoma City, one of the most successful organizations in the NBA. As an information driven franchise, Martin’s attention to detail that he acquired while working in that franchise is something he said he hopes to bring in Bloomington.

“I think the biggest thing in the NBA is there is no timetable,” Martin said. “Like in college there is a timetable. You have to sign someone in the early period, and you’ve got to sign someone in the late period. In the NBA it’s just a draft in June, so it gives you … you don’t have a knee jerk reaction. You watch him once. You watch him a second time. You go back home and you watch him on film. You speak to his high school coach, his collegiate coach, his AAU coach, you just keep going, keep going. As you continue through that process, you kind of connect the dots, and then eventually there is a picture, and you can see who this kid is on the court and off the court. That was something, quite honestly, that I did not have prior to the Thunder. I think that’s something that I can bring to Coach Crean and Indiana. Just kind of keep plugging away, keep calling, keep digging, keep watching, watch film, game footage, practice, and eventually you’ll get a chance to see who this kid really is.

“Again, on the court as a player, and then off the court we had a saying at Oklahoma, don’t draft players, draft people. I think that’s something I really learned with those guys that I’d like to bring here to Indiana. Just make sure you recruit on a collegiate level a complete person, not just a player, but someone that you feel good about.”

· Crean talks about interview process: One of the more interesting nuggets mentioned in the press conference by Crean is how, when he brought Martin in, he actually had him workout some managers on the floor to observe how he performed in that capacity. He was asked to elaborate on that in a follow-up question and said that it’s something he often does when bringing in a candidate.

“Absolutely, yeah, when I’ve done that in the past, it’s good, you give them a couple things, ideals of what you’re looking for and let them run,” he said. “It’s very unscripted.”

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  • HoosierGrampy

    Perhaps the timing of a formal press conference to “confirm what WE already knew” wasn’t important…but then if I were trying to focus attention on our newest hire to give him a boost on the recruiting trails, I’d have done something similar to what Pitino did with Kenny Johnson. jmo.

  • Kelin Blab

    It may be a little arrogant as a fan to think Crean has to keep us informed of what is going on inside the program. He just did a tour around portions of the state, spent 15 minutes on Dakich show, and in the forum had a Q& A with parents at his basketball camp that was pretty candid and gutsy to do IMO. Not sure how much more he needs to do. Does it matter when you find out who he hires?

  • Kelin Blab

    This family had a life before IU….parents may have had other obligations and responsibilities. Not that deep to me.

  • Kelin Blab

    you are 100% right …..makes 0 sense this is even a discussion.

  • Kelin Blab

    Met Crean twice, formally and by chance …..always cordial, engaging, and respectful….I don’t need much more.

  • HoosierGrampy

    No doubt that there were loose ends to tie up w/OKC and the kids school year…guys fly all over the world on 1-2 day trips. Sometimes timing can be everything…sometimes nothing. We’ll soon see what happens in the days ahead.

  • PocketHoosier

    I just knew someone would mention Reed once someone mentioned Knight. Reed rolled his eyes at him and then sidestepped just as he was being disciplined. RMK was trying to grab him by the shoulder, but the sidestep had him touch near the throat. The short squeeze that he applied was definitely unacceptable but not nearly as egregious as people made it out to be.

    Perhaps those who supported “Neil’s” (R.I.P.) very dubiously timed crusade should have also asked why his father, Terry, was fired (wait…why he was “resigned”) from South Spencer. Oh, that’s right. That psycho picked a player up in the locker room by his neck, choked him unconscious, and threw him to the locker room floor. That’s all “supposed” to be in his sealed resignation agreement, but he did it in front of people.

    What does Terry Reed’s firing have anything to do with Bobby Knight? I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that Neil was playing second fiddle to his father in the crusade against Knight. Knowing the Reeds, they will make a federal case out of anything and that was just too juicy to pass up.

  • MillaRed

    It’s just an opinion Mike, because I was not there. But I’m thinking RMK’s “overall thought process” changed after winning that first national championship. And after an undefeated season? I’m sure he was struttin’ like a peacock. (So would I)

  • ForeverIU

    For those who are upset that CTC just now formally introduced Chuck Martin … catch up with the times and get on Twitter.

    I checked out Chuck’s Twitter, and he’s been tweeting like he’s already a Hoosier at least a few weeks back. So the formality of this introduction ceremony is irrelevant in terms of Chuck’s actual contributions. And it’s not like CTC has been trying to hide him from us fans.

    It’s also good to know that Chuck tweets about soccer and about lions chasing gazelles, lol.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Who cares when the official announcement comes…things must be checked and re-checked ..or you might hire a coach without a degree…lol…let’s just get him on the recruiting trail ASAP…

  • IUMIKE1

    Where the hell are all those keyboard badasses that said, ” you charge out there and throw the first verbal barb and we’ll be right behind ya, and while he’s still recovering from your attack we’ll charge in and verbally finish him off “. Damn liars, I knew I should have looked back over my shoulder a couple of times while leading the supposed charge from my keyboard. jk LOL That’s all mine was as well, an opinion.

  • IUMIKE1

    Met Crean by chance once as well, and it was before he was our coach. I’ve related the story on here before so I won’t go into detail, instead I’ll just say that the thing that sticks out the most to me from that chance encounter was that, after talking to him for 15 or 20 minutes and telling him that my friend and I wouldn’t take up any more of his time, his response was, ” you guys are from Indiana and are IU bball fans right ? ” (we nodded and answered yes) and he then said, ” I’ve got two guys here from Indiana and they don’t want to talk bball ? I’ve always got time to talk bball with IU bball fans, let me introduce you guys to the coaching staff and couple of my players, and we can have them take some pictures if you want. ” True story and I’ve got the pics to prove it. lol

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Is it a spray-on tan? Or does he go with his own home tanning bed?

    Maybe the kind you sleep all night on?

  • MeniscusDiscus

    I meet nice people all the time, too…and THEY don’t know their basketball x’s & o’s either…

  • MeniscusDiscus

    Glad you brought up that incident at Michigan. Because, can ANYONE recall any B1G coach ever pulling such an immature stunt for the cameras like that? And then walking away like a schoolboy with a smirk on his face? Is that how you represent IU?

  • Pardon me, but is says “often wildly playful or funny”.. it doesn’t say they are, “always. wildly playful or funny”.. Antics can also be very unfunny and harmful.. So I guess the question becomes, which one of his so called antics, do you consider wildly playful and funny? Throwing the chair across the floor? Choking the player? Maybe when he punched the student, whom he didn’t feel addressed him with the proper respect? I don’t recall a lot of people laughing at any of those. It was more like a ‘gasp’ of “I can’t believe he did that.” I hardly think the IU Administration was sitting back laughing at any of those…
    Face it FIU, your statement is just not a viable statement. I usually agree with a lot of what you have to say, but I can’t more totally disagree with your statement in this case.. He (RMK),may well have retired from IU.. as one of the greatest living legends in Indiana coaching history, instead of as a legacy shrouded in, disappointment bad feelings and disagreements between IU and RMK.. to the point he won’t even set foot on campus. Wish he’d change that stance, but don’t think he ever will. Not to say he isn’t one of the greatest legend now, but think what it could’ve been.

  • ForeverIU

    Enough, HoosierKen. I made a fleeting innocent reference, and that’s the only way I meant it, and you know it.

  • CoachG

    Confidence or arrogance, whatever we define it as, a certain level of it is in a head coach needed to take the heat at a major program. Some are better then others at displaying it as the former. Don’t really think that this situation is an example of his arrogance.

  • CoachG

    In my opinion, Crean was simply doing his due diligence with Martin here. Definitely want to get started off on the right foot with a new assistant, and wanted to do the announcement the right way and make sure Coach Martin had the opportunity to tie everything up on his end with his family and the Thunder. Arrogance and lack of self awareness has been apparent in his interviews in the past, and Crean has been poor with media and fan relations, as in information concerning player punishments, i.e. with the timing and reasoning with Hollowell’s suspension last season, but in my opinion that’s not the case here. All in all, as you stated, it’s a good hire. Martin fills the overall and east coast recruiting void left behind by Johnson, while bringing more experience and better x’s and o’s.