News and notes from Tom Crean’s radio show

  • 12/30/2014 9:06 am in

On Monday night, Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke on his weekly radio show with Don Fischer, as well as assistant coach Chuck Martin and guards Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr.

Here’s a look at the news and notes of what Crean, Martin, Ferrell and Blackmon had to say:

· Crean first spoke about Saturday’s game against Georgetown, in which the Hoosiers fell to the Hoyas by a 91-87 score in overtime. He noted that turnovers — Indiana had 17 of them — hurt the team in the sense of allowing “inopportune” Georgetown points, something that the Hoosiers had been working on limiting since the earlier loss to Louisville this month. That said, Crean complimented his team for getting the game “where it needed to be” at the end of regulation, even despite the overall result. “We have been learning from things all year,” he said. “I like where we are heading.”

· While discussing the Georgetown result, Crean also called out the performances of junior Hanner Mosquera-Perea and the Hoosiers’ bench. “We can’t play and have Hanner Mosquera-Perea not score until the second-to-last possession of the game,” Crean said. “He has improved too much. He has to be more aggressive, be on the attack and demand the ball more.” Crean mentioned the poor bench performance against the Hoyas — only two points were scored off the bench in a combined 54 minutes  — and noted those players have to improve their efficiency for the Hoosiers to have a deeper bench going forward.

· Following the conclusion of the Georgetown game, Crean said he promptly returned to his hotel room in New York and began preparing for Wednesday’s game against Nebraska. In fact, he watched tape on the Cornhuskers from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., while the assistant coaches were watching tape in another room, as well. Crean pointed out that Nebraska has “tremendous talent” — he named Walter Pitchford “who plays like a 2-guard”, Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway, in specific — and that the Cornhuskers cause matchup problems as well. “We have to be really locked into those things, but at the same time, we have to make the game go,” Crean said.

· To prepare for the pressures of playing in an atmosphere like Pinnacle Bank Arena — a place where opponents have won only three times in the building’s young history — Crean said he pumped in “heavy, heavy doses” of football crowd noise into the Hoosiers’ practice on Monday. He plans on doing it again today, as well, and he will do it again before the Michigan State game on Jan. 5.

· Once Crean left the show to watch his son, Riley, play in Bloomington North’s basketball game, Martin spoke about the opportunity he received at Indiana. At the time he was working in the scouting department of the front office for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he said he and his wife were planning on staying in the NBA.  He said he and his wife would only go back to the college level if it were at a “special place.” And when Crean called within six months of that conversation with an assistant coach opening, Martin said there “immediately there was an excitement that took over.” As Martin said, “Any time when Indiana calls, it’s a different deal.”

· Despite Indiana already over-signed by two for the 2015 recruiting class, it appears Crean and his staff are nowhere near declaring the class as finished. On the radio show Martin confirmed, “We’re working an a number of different kids who are still available.”

· Ferrell was asked about the impact of learning from older IU players during prior Big Ten seasons and how he can translate that to this year’s younger players. He said guys like Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller always encouraged him to move on to the next play, even after making mistakes. And Ferrell said he has made sure to let others know “the main thing is just getting on to the next play.”

· When asked about Wednesday’s game against Nebraska, Blackmon said any success in the game will have to start on defense — taking the crowd out of the game and sparking the offense through stops, as well. He noted the Huskers have had an up-and-down season — which includes a loss to Incarnate Word — but that they have shown “flashes of being great.” Ferrell, meanwhile, echoed Crean. “We have to be at our best,” he said.

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  • Eastwood88_2

    With Smith and Abraham out, this is a good game for our front line. HMP will get back on track and Holt should get some good mins. Hoping we can still one of these first two.

  • Gregory Spera

    “We can’t play and have Hanner Mosquera-Perea not score until the second-to-last possession of the game,” Crean said. “He has improved too much. He has to be more aggressive, be on the attack and demand the ball more.”

    This is the EXACT same thing he said about Noah. So my question is the same… How exactly, should Hanner go about demanding that his teammates pass him the ball? Should not the coach be the one demanding that?

  • John D Murphy

    14 TOs or less and we will win. 15-17 maybe. 18 and above and we will have very little chance.

  • Kyl470

    Personally I don’t think they should feed Hanner the ball unless it’s a dump off for an easy dunk. HMP should be getting his points mostly off of offensive rebounds. He isn’t a great post scorer and this offense is best suited to have guards taking a majority of the shots.

  • VAHoosier

    Exactly. I don’t know what team CTC is watching, but if he thinks our “problem” is that Hanner is not getting the ball enough, then he is off his rocker.

  • John D Murphy

    Ha.

  • ForeverIU

    I’ve stopped watching CTC pressers, and it has made me a happier person. Is he still throwing players under the bus in the pressers? LOL.

  • bojak

    And after he catches it he needs to hold on to it and not lose it.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I was thinking the same thing. Hanner has shown good pick and roll skills in several instances this season. Of all the games we could choose to feed him the ball in the post, it was the Louisville game where he showed most of his ability, Lol!

  • IUMIKE1

    I have made it a point to pay closer attention to the play of HMP, and it looks like to me that there have been numerous times that he has been in a position to where the player that he has screened for could deliver the lob pass, not alley oop, but lob ” pass “, to him after he has set the screen and is rolling towards the basket. I, like most everyone else, am aware that he is not the most reliable when it comes to catching passes, but, to me, it looks like there have been numerous times where the angle and spacing was good enough that it should have been attempted. IMHO he has improved enough that the pass needs to at least be tried when the angle and spacing are there.

  • ForeverIU

    My question to CTC is if Hanner’s lack of scoring was the product of lack of aggressiveness, then why didn’t you drill that idea into him during the game, if it’s a question of turning on that switch, so to speak? Isn’t being a great in-game motivator in your job description? Or did you not realize until it was too late that Hanner hadn’t scored until that “second-to-last possession of the game”?

    I don’t think CTC lacks in-game coaching ability. In fact I think he is or could be a great in-game coach. I just think he is too scattered sometimes during games. I’ve said it before and harped on this point: Is he too preoccupied with complex substitution algorithms and schemes, or something of the sort, that some aspects and details of the game completely elude him until he has had a chance to revisit and critique them after it’s too late?

    I think CTC should follow the same advice my good wife always gives me: BE MORE IN THE MOMENT! LOL!

    PS: CTC does not need to be using Hanner’s last name when he refers to him in pressers. It’s an unnecessary formality, and it sounds bitter.

    Gregory, why did you get me started?

  • SCHoosier

    HMP is improved but he botched at least 3 plays that were run for him against G-town 1) shot a clanger outside his range 2) tried a week underhand layup in traffic that was easily blocked and 3) dribbled off his foot for a TO. Hanner is working hard..but I really think you have to be careful when and where you call his number. IMO… the Coach has to demand that the guards get the ball to Perea when the opportunity is right.

  • SilentBob

    I’ve always thought Crean just needs to dumb down the system a bit. Often times he seems like he is trying to win through some jedi mind tricks kind of B.S.