Notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s Thursday media availability

  • 08/28/2015 10:41 am in

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke to the media on Thursday night at Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since Emmitt Holt and Thomas Bryant were cited last week by the state excise police for illegal possession of alcohol.

Crean was one of several IU coaches, along with athletic director Fred Glass, who spoke to fans at the Indianapolis stop of the athletic department’s “On the Road” tour.

Before addressing IU fans, Crean spoke at length to the media and took questions on a variety of topics. Full video is available here, but we’ve also transcribed some of his most notable comments below:

· Opening statement: “We’re in the midst of some internal team discipline right now based on what happened the other night. We’re well underway inside of that. As far as what we do externally, that will be forthcoming. I don’t have anything that I will give you tonight or that I can give you tonight, but it will be forthcoming. So much of what this comes down is … and I understand this, I really do and I think our entire staff does … we are responsible, ultimately, for their behaviors. But we are sure as heck not responsible for the choices they make. And when they make those choices, then we’re responsible for the consequences. And they’re responsible for carrying them out. And that’s really where we stand in that situation.”

· Crean said that Indiana didn’t start workouts until Thursday afternoon. He typically starts workouts on the first day of the semester, which was Monday.

· Crean said he has to get the team to understand that they’re “playing for Indiana and not at Indiana.” He said that includes members of the team who are from Indiana and it isn’t just an out of state thing.

· Indiana’s “internal team leadership”, according to Crean, has been “less than poor” for the last two years.

· When asked where the team leadership comes from right now, Crean said “It’s August 27. We’re either going to take really good steps with that or we’re going to be poor. Our upperclass leadership is not good. It’s got to get better. And I’m including the sophomores in that leadership group.”

· Specifically on the Holt and Bryant situation, Crean said that Holt “never should have had my freshman in that situation. They just got there. They hadn’t even started official classes yet.”

· Crean said that there are very few programs in the country that have a “24/7 identity” and IU is one of them. “We’re struggling right now to understand what that means and what that entails. A lot of it is understanding that it is so much more important for you to be a great teammate than it is for you to just take care of yourself, if you’re really going to be successful. That’s what we’ve got to search for and we are searching for it.”

· Crean confirmed that Rob Judson is now an assistant coach and Brett Burman is the program’s new director of basketball operation.

· On Judson: “He’s one of the finest coaches I’ve been around. I had a lot of respect for him even before I got to know him. He’s been a successful head coach. He’s an excellent man and he’s really meant a lot to our program over the last few years.”

· On Burman: “I always like to have somebody that can bring a little different perspective to it. Whether it’s a former player, whether it’s been somebody that has been at the NBA level. He’s got a great mind for such a young coach. He’s got a tremendous background in scouting and video and inner workings of an office.”

· On the Josh Newkirk addition: “That was a whirlwind. We were actively trying to recruit someone for this season and we had the extra scholarship because of the removal of Hanner (Mosquera-Perea) and Devin (Davis). We were very fortunate to get Max (Bielfedlt).

“I wanted a guard that could play this year as much as anything else because I think we need it. I don’t think we are as strong there as we appear on paper. And we’re going to play a little differently with the three guards and things like that, they’re going to become a little more situational at times if I have my druthers.

“I’d had a lot of interest in him (Newkirk) early on. We had ended up taking Stanford Robinson when we hired Kenny (Johnson). There had been a couple of guards we were recruiting up to that point that we really weren’t recruiting anymore and Josh was one of them.

“He gets in there Sunday night and by Monday afternoon, he’s right in the midst of everything we’re doing.”

· More on leadership: “If you’re gonna be in the program, you’ve got to have a real thirst for leadership. Because we need it. We need people to take responsibility for one another. When you get real concerned with what you’re doing, it gets real easy to lose sight of what everybody else is doing, and that doesn’t win. When we’re really clicking, we’ve got great ball movement and we’re connected defensively. When we’re not because we’ve got guys that think they’re gonna do this or they’re gonna do that, that’s not gonna happen anymore. We can’t let it happen.”

· On next year’s defense: “We’ve got to play defense at a much higher level. If you can’t guard your position, you’re not going to play nearly as much.”

· More on player responsibility off the court: “You need awareness off the court. You need to take responsibility, sometimes in a hard way, but you need to reiterate what the coaches are saying. Because I keep going back to it, I’m sitting here with the responsibility hat. It’s there, you can’t see my hat, it’s a little heavy, but it’s there. The players have got to have a role in this. And we’ve got to keep getting that across as best we can.”

· When asked about where James Blackmon Jr. is from a health and leadership standpoint, Crean said “If I had a great leader for you right now, I’d have named him about 10 minutes ago.”

· Blackmon Jr. is not in a full contact situation yet, according to Crean. “He’s improving, he’s right on schedule where we thought he’d be as a player.”

· Crean said that even though he loves Hanner Mosquera-Perea, he wishes he’d have dismissed him after the DWI charge in February of 2014. “We punished him until May. He was doing stuff in Cook Hall that the cameras aren’t there for and we’re not advertising. But sometimes you try and you want things to go the right way and you get attached and you realize no, this is not working.”

· On McRobbie’s speech earlier in the week: “I was listening loud and clear when the President spoke the other day. I get that.”

· Crean said he talked to Tom Izzo on Thursday from Italy. Izzo and Michigan State have dealt with some offseason issues as well.

Filed to:

  • Jeremy

    Holt should be gone.

  • Speed

    Good point! Some guys have it in their DNA to be a court leader. Others don’t….it is something you rarely learn. Here’s hoping we find one!

  • INUnivHoosier

    Have you ever drank? Gotten drunk? Run into traffic?

    I’ve done the first two, but it never led to the third. Why would Emmit think that he would do the same?

    I’m not saying he didn’t do anything wrong. I’m just saying that running into traffic following possession and consumption of alcohol isn’t something that just normally happens.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I agree. I keep seeing references to Jordy, Victor, Cody, CWat, Elston, etc., but they played together. What if it were just Jordy, just Victor, just CWat? We’ll never know, but I think you make a good point.

  • Oh come on man.. He’s been there a year.. He’s as old as Noah was, he’s older than Bryant.. he’s a Sophomore.. He’s been in trouble before.. You can’t white wash him like that. He should know better and he was the older one in that situation where he should’ve known better, given all that has happened with him in the past. Crean was right to call him on it. He wasn’t ‘throwing him under the bus’.. He was stating a fact and it’s the truth. Holt should know better by now.

  • REALLY? And you’re thinking this behavior is ok, and should just be swept under the carpet or something? That thought pattern is diametrically opposite to what IU says it stands for and what nearly every responsible person associate with the university feels it should stand for. Drinking laws are there for a reason.

  • Ole Man

    I’m thinkin’ that they’re being kids. I’m thinkin’ that they aren’t doing anything “diametrically opposite, blah, blah, blah…” except to those who are uptight.
    Part of college is making mistakes and learning from them.
    The kids weren’t drunk; the bottles weren’t open; and apparently, they were with underage coeds who they may have been protecting.
    SO climb down off your high holy horse.

  • Oh, ok. I was wrong. They were probably buying the Vodka so they could take it back to the room and ‘look’ at the bottle.. Or maybe it was just a future investment for when they actually turn twenty-one. I guess laws aren’t made to protect people, sometimes even from themselves. I’m not on a ‘Holy’ (btw the word does need to be ‘capped’) high horse. I do know college kids do these things. It’s just as most people have the feeling… as a member of the IU b’ball team, they need to have a higher standard and responsibility for their behavior. I mean if you’re goong to do it at least be smart about it. But don’t you really think the best policy is to just not do it? Or, let’s take it one step further. Suppose they hadn’t gotten caught. They drink the alcohol. They’re not smart enough to just stay in their room. They then may beget caught for public intoxication. maybe get hurt, i.e, Devin Davis.. Really what good can come of it?

  • PBzeer

    I’d expect him to learn that A.) it can make you stupid, and B.) it can end your BB career before it starts. Oh, almost forgot, actions have consequences.

  • marcusgresham

    Michael Irvin got in trouble too. Ask people from the 90s era Cowboys who made everyone on that team work harder and to a man they’ll tell you 88.

  • BC Hoosier

    Please stop posting this nonsense. Do you even know anything about DJ White and Tom Coverdale other than they went to IU. Love both as players, but these two would not be the examples I would use in this situation.
    The culture and actions of IUBB player’s during DJ’s senior year, makes all this recent stuff look like child’s play. As for Tom Coverdale, he was probably the biggest boozer on his team.
    I can overlook most of your negative comments, but when you post stuff like this, it let’s me know you don’t have a clue about what you’re talking about.
    Just out of curiosity, did you use to post under Hoosier93 handle?

  • BC Hoosier

    So now a team that ended up an 8th seed and bounced in the first round is a GOOD team. So we had a good team last year based on this logic, right? What’s with all the negativity.
    By the way, what do you call a team that went to back-to-back sweet 16s?

  • BC Hoosier

    Come on, the young men you speak of in the military are getting into the same kind of trouble (underage drinking) as IU basketball players.This is what 18/19 young adults do.

  • fourputtsforsnowman

    Huge doubts TomJ… Yogi does point (i.e. direct), but its almost always after the fact, and thus useless. Watch for the timing of his pointing this year and decide for yourself. Personally I find his pointing annoying. Any other player paying attention to his pointing would be 5 seconds behind each and every play.

    And I have a question for you: Should Yogi throw his arms up and down in disgust at his freshman teammates because they aren’t doing what he thinks they ought to do???

    Here’s one (of many) things I will watch this year to see if yogi can grow into a PG leadership role (and anything close to nba ready): Does he play solid help defense?

    If you watch closely, yogi’s help defense is lacking…like completely lacking. So I harbor serious doubts about his on the court leadership.

  • ForeverIU

    A bunch of us are saying these kids need to have a higher standard because they represent IU. What does that mean? How does a kid whose social circle consists of undergrad drinkers and partiers insulate himself form the culture of alcohol and drugs, and from the temptations day in and day out? It’s like working with a bunch of smokers and purposely avoiding all the co-workers at break time when they hang out and smoke. What would that non-smoker do? Bring his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and nibble on it in front of his computer at lunch time while mousing his way through Facebook, every day at lunch time, and because second-hand smoke hurts his lungs?

    I’m not saying that critiquing the drinking culture is wrong, and I’m not saying it’s right. But if we’re going to critique it, then our responsibility lies in presenting solutions that involve structural and fundamental changes to the present system. As powerful men, Crean and McRobbie should be engaging the culture of alcohol consumption head-on, if alcohol consumption by underage undergrads is what bothers them, and not picking on kids who are not only way below them in the power structure but also have no platform for speaking in their own defense. I say that’s not cool, and it’s cowardly.


    But you didn’t hear about anyone getting in trouble. Not until Crean showed up.


    That Indiana team was an 8 seed because they quit. Say Sampson doesn’t get fired… how good would that team have been? Cause EJ and DJ were beast.

  • BC Hoosier

    Not sure what rock you lived under but, half the team was dismissed because of academics, failed drug tests, and poor attitudes.
    Why do you think we didn’t have anyone on the team CTC first year…CTC cleaned house and showed 4 players the door.

  • BC Hoosier

    Good teams with good leaders (DJ) don’t quit. Just come out and say can’t give a fair assessment of this current team because you hate everything CTC. No matter what the team achieves or does you will be negative.

  • I agree with you. Yeah, everybody talks ‘team’ leadership, but when it comes down to it, you can’t babysit these guys 24/7. If they have it in mind to do some wild stuff, it’s going to happen. They have to change their own thinking patterns on this, and start being responsible.

  • It’s really funny Oleman, you are the one who gets so pissed off, when someone says something personal, then you’re the first one who starts attacking on a personal level. I wasn’t on a ‘Holy high horse I was merely backing what the IU Administration position is, and actually is on the right side of the law. What’s ‘Holy high horse’ about that?

  • MikeinNC

    Crean’s talk track sounds eerily similar to his season-long monologue about improving team defense. Hope he gets better results in this case. If this team, with all its potential, flames out, then it’s on him and he needs to face the consequences. This year he needs to show us whether or not he really is the guy who can help IU become great again.


    I agreed with everything he said in this. DJ was an on court leader. I think him and EJ and maybe Taber were the only ones to show up to the first practice. That was just a terrible and extreme situation.


    Like I just said… we didn’t hear about anything til Crean came along. So thanks for agreeing with me.


    Would you take the 07-08 team with EJ and DJ coached by Sampson or this year’s team? I think EJ could put up 40.

  • SCHoosier

    Wasn’t referencing drinking or getting into point was you can’t just blow off Holt’s lack of leadership cause he’s only 18…Too many other young men in and out of the military are demonstrating daily what EH seemed to lack on this occasion

  • PBzeer

    Yes they do have a higher standard, as scholarship athletes, because part of having that scholarship is being a member of the team, and the team has rules and standards above those for some person going into debt to get an education.

  • ForeverIU

    I understand the theory, you don’t have to explain it to me. I’m talking about the messy world of reality, because you can’t custom order human beings to fit your fantasy for another banner. They are receiving scholarships for being athletes and showmen. They step into a culture that surrounds them and is the one in which they function day to day. The decision of these kids to isolate themselves from alcohol and drugs is a decision to deny themselves a social life (practically speaking). If we don’t see the drinking and drugs, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and conversely if we see the drinking and drugs it doesn’t mean others are not also partaking. What I’m saying is that we are recruiting kids that are organically part of a culture of drinking and alcohol, and to expect them to isolate themselves from that culture is unrealistic and self-defeating. You either recruit players of a different culture, or you take on the culture itself as a whole and as a system.

    Some of the kids we get are either not part of the said culture (from the very beginning), or they are fortunate not to get caught. Point being, you are not going to change a human being’s culture. If you don’t like their culture you don’t recruit them in the first place. We want them to be showmen and then put them down for partaking in the very culture that supports their showmanship.

  • ForeverIU

    The issues that are coming up are not going to end just because Crean made a speech. Bloomington and IU either learn to live with the realities, or else our sports programs are going to turn into soap operas of suspensions, dismissals, and righteous crusades.

  • MK

    I was at IU that year. Everyone on campus knew half the team was smoking pot.


    If memory serves me right, and I’m pretty sure it does on this one, the offseason that Hulls pretty much became the leader was one where TC had a guy come in that offseason from the military, and talk to the whole team about leaders, what it takes to be a productive leader, working cohesively as a team behind a leader, accepting the fact that they may not be the leader, but to achieve their goals it’s best for someone to pick up that mantle and for everyone else to be ok with someone doing that, etc , etc. I’ve never been one to be real big on taking a militaristic approach to accomplish things, but when it comes to leadership and what all it entails to be done correctly and in a way that gets the desired results it might just be the best approach to take on that topic. It seemed to have worked for that group, maybe it was just coincidence I don’t know, but if leadership is as lacking as TC says it is, he has talked to them about it being absent as much as he seems to have, and it appears that it may very well be that way, and he got some good results from bringing in that type of speaker, than I think I would be finding that guy’s phone number and be on the phone with him tonight.


    Pretty sure if Stan does it Rhode Island will be the benefactors of him doing it.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I don’t disagree, actions do have consequences. I’m just trying to point out that simply drinking alcohol doesn’t make you jump in front of a car and get injured, so that lesson probably doesn’t really apply to this situation.


    Having one beer, hours earlier, does not make it possible for you to stop an intoxicated individual from hiding and, without any warning, jump out of complete darkness into the side of the vehicle you are driving.

  • Tyler T

    “If you can’t guard your position, you’re not going to play nearly as much’ I LIKE IT.

  • b_side

    Dan, is that you?

  • b_side

    Click bait to sell ads during the dog days of summer.

  • Dan McCauley

    What about Winston Morgan, Pat Knight, Sherron Wilkerson, Tommy Baker, Jay Edwards…..all in trouble and WAY before Crean.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    you say you’re talking about the ‘messy world of reality’, yet you apparently want to punish them like they’re in an episode of the brady bunch or something.

    in the messy world of reality, when people break the law there are consequences, regardless of culturaleconomic background. if you’re saying people should be understanding of why kids from certain backgrounds do certain stupid things, then fine. if you’re telling me the punishment should be lesser than if a highly privileged kid committed the same offense, and it sure seems that’s what you’re alluding to, then i couldn’t disagree more. that’s not how the messy world of reality works, nor should it. and btw, i’m sure these kids love it when they get stereotyped. in my fantasy world, i prefer to simply treat them all as equals, both in praise and in punishment.