News and notes from Tom Crean’s radio show

  • 01/19/2016 10:01 am in

On Monday evening, Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke at his weekly radio show hosted by Don Fischer at the Bloomington Holiday Inn and looked back at IU’s win over Minnesota and also previewed Tuesday’s game with Illinois, among several other topics.

Below are news and notes from what the Hoosiers’ coach had to say:

· On getting down nine against Minnesota and battling back: “We started the game taking too many jump shots. We’ve got to go through the paint, not just to establish the free throw game or start to establish the free throw game, but because good things happen when we do go through the paint and our numbers bear that out. That’s exactly how we want to attack. We didn’t do a very good job of that initially. We settled in to playing through the paint and at the same time, Nick (Zeisloft) stepped up and made excellent shots and Max (Bielfeldt) came in and gave us a real lift. We just continued to play.”

· Crean noted that Robert Johnson isn’t putting up his normal statistics right now, but said that he’s affecting the game with movement and defense. “It’s just a matter of time before he unleashes that fury of shots that we’ve gotta have.”

· On not having 10 turnovers in the first half at Minnesota, then three early in second half and none the rest of the way: “I’m not sure how to explain it. We’d like to have it be that way like it was in the Ohio State game and have very few the whole way, but I think it comes from … We’re an evolving team even in offense. The last two days have been very much like that in what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to implement different things, move guys around into different places and continue to make sure that we’re constantly getting better.”

· Crean said that with Thomas Bryant, they don’t want to overdo it with his minutes. He said a similar approach was taken with Cody Zeller and Noah Vonleh. “It’s a long, long haul. It really is.”

· Crean noted that he’s looking for Bryant’s rebounds and free throw attempts to raise as the season moves along.

· Fischer told Crean that he believes it’s pretty apparent that IU has gotten better on defense through the first five Big Ten games. “I think we’re getting better there,” Crean said. “I don’t think there’s any question. I think our coaching staff with Rob Judson, Chuck Martin and Tim Buckley and then the rest of the staff is doing a fantastic job each day on both ends. Offensively, defensively, the schemes, the preparation. All of that. They do a phenomenal job of making sure that we’re harping on those things constantly. They deserve a lot of credit as do our players. Our players have a commitment level and that commitment level doesn’t mean that there is an arrival point, it doesn’t mean that it is perfect all of the time, it doesn’t mean that it is executed correctly all of the time. But there’s a level that they want to get to and they’re committed to working at that. I think that’s the key.”

· On Indiana reentering the polls this week: “That’s good. It is. We didn’t talk about falling out of the rankings when we did and we really don’t spend any time talking about being back in them. Maybe the players talk about it, but I don’t really hear it. It’s not really anybody’s focus.”

· Crean was asked by an emailer if there is an optimal number of minutes he wants Bryant to play: “No, not really. Just not excessive because it is such a long season and you want to make sure that he’s got enough left in the tank.”

· Crean was asked by an emailer about what he thought the first time he saw Yogi Ferrell play. He said initially he wasn’t sure he was going to be a good enough shooter, but once he saw the work that he was putting in under Ed Schilling at Park Tudor, he was sold. He also said the first time Yogi was on campus as a ninth grader, A.J. Hammons and DeJuan Marrero were also visited and they all rode around together on a golf cart.

· Crean on Yogi’s prospects at the next level: “He’s an NBA guard. There’s not a doubt in my mind.”

· Crean was asked about OG’s Anunoby’s wingspan and said he believes it’s either 7-foot-5 or 7-foot-6. Crean said Anunoby is fine following the elbow he took at Minnesota.

· Crean was asked who is leading the team in deflections currently and said that Troy Williams leads right now and then Yogi Ferrell is right behind him.

· Crean was asked if it is normal to have your strength coach on the bench: “We’ve always had our strength coach on the bench. I think most teams do. I shouldn’t say most teams, but the ones I pay attention to, they do.”

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  • SCHoosier

    YH if u are still in school..check the curriculum booklets and see if there is a course somewhere titled “Criticizing with Finesse” that you could take. I can be harsh..but most everything you post is delivered by a Louisville Slugger!

  • I don’t think Hanner’s hands were anything.. when compared to Vonleh.. When Vonleh went to the NBA.. when they did his measurements, they said he had the 2nd largest hand ever measured at any combine for the NBA.. I’m betting Bryant’ s are larger than Hanner’s.. The size of the hand really helps them catch the ball.. Haven’t you ever played with an undersized basketball and see how much easier it is to handle? In fact once you get used to shooting it, it is easier, because more finger touches the ball, giving you better opportunity to put a spin on it or whatever you’re trying to do.. The problem with Hanner in my humble opinion had nothing to do with ‘hand size’. He just hadn’t grown up playing basketball, he grew up playing soccer.. Big difference if a guy never plays b’ball , then when he’s 6′ 7″ or 6′ 8″ and comes to the states and then try’s to develop all the moves, the skills and all after he has all of that length.. If he grows up with it and is playing from the time he’s 4th or even 5th grade, makes a tremendous difference.

  • You are right. We’ll have even more size next year.. if TB stays which I think is probable.
    Then, we get Davis… and OG and Morgan are both a year bigger/stronger.. Maybe get one more big body..

  • vicbert caladipo

    Right before the Max B. interview on BTN Live, Taylor(Iam soo darned hot) Rooks interviewed Peter Jok of Iowa and he said growing up in the Sudan all he played was soccer. He never even touched a basketball until the 5th grade and because he didn’t like it he never played a game until 7th grade. Last year, his sophomore season, he started to show signs of being a good player and this year he has taken off. If you haven’t seen him play, watch how well he has progressed…..far more than HMP did and he’s a year behind him. I hate to say it, but I have heard that HMP was more interested in his social life and partying than being a stud player. This is not my opinion, just things I heard on campus. There are other cases of players not playing basketball until later childhood that have also blossomed. Hakeem Olajuwan comes to mind.

  • ForeverIU

    Six Million Dollar Man!

  • Bill Graham

    I will agree. That we have had our disagreements. But I only banter with people with respectable points of view (HoosierKen) included. Good to see Ole Man getting some props.

  • Taylor ‘I am so HOT’ is just that.. very, very hot.
    You’re likely right. It has been done by those types of players many, many times.. It just kind of depends on how willing they are to work as hard as they need to.. that goes, to whether they are starting in basketball at a later point in their life, as well as starting as a kid. It just takes so much work and dedication to it.. Those who want it bad enough, usually find a way, if they have the ‘God given’ talent that
    Hanner has physically. Speaking of ‘God given’ talent.. did I mention, that Taylor Rook is hot…lol..

  • TomJameson

    I’m not sure CTC has ever played 4 guards, unless you’re counting TW as a guard. He plays sort of a guard position at times, but he’s really a wing (or a 3/4 position).

    I think CTC is learning that his current lineup options are working pretty good, and he’ll stick with that. 2 guards, 2 wings, and a center.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Yes you did!

  • IUBizmark

    I think this is splitting hairs. Regardless, I don’t think there needs to be 4 three point shooters. That’s what we had with Blackmon and 4 three point shooters means insufficient defense. Perhaps there’s a scenario were you could construct a team of Anunoby’s who are “do everything” players, but until that happens, I’m in favor of a more traditional lineup with a Center/PF, PF/Stretch 4, a “wing” (Really a #3), and 2 guards.

  • TomJameson

    Okay, first you talk about 4-guard lineups and now you think IU doesn’t need 4 3-pt shooters. First of all you are either confused yourself or just being confusing. Here’s why … the four guard play really doesn’t happen. At the most they play a 3 guard lineup and CTC catches a lot of flack over that. I’m counting TW as a wing because, well, that’s what he really is. Currently they are playing a more traditional 2-guard lineup with a couple of wings and a center … nothing to complain about, right?

    But no, you don’t think they need 4 3-point shooters on the court at the same time. I know you are equating 3-point shooters and guards, but have you looked lately at who’s been hitting threes??? “Everyone” is the correct answer. I really don’t know that you can field an IU team with less than 4 3-pt shooters on it, not unless you go pretty deep into the bench.

    Fairly consistent 3-pt shooters : Max, NZ, OG, RJ, Troy, Yogi, and Collin. We’ll leave off TB and Niego because of sample size (I think) they are both only 1 of 2, and I just don’t remember Juwan ever shooting any.

    So tell me, why don’t you share your preferred starting lineup please, and don’t forget to limit the guards and/or 3 point shooters.

  • IUBizmark

    Yikes! Sorry if I was confusing or confused. I’ve clearly upset you.

    My points are as follows:
    1: We may have 4 guys on the court at once who CAN reliably make the 3, but it’s not necessary that they shoot the 3.

    2: Just because we have 4 guys on the floor who can, doesn’t mean they’re considered 3 point shooters. Troy may shoot the 3 to keep them honest, but the scouting report says assume dribble drive first.

    3: Of your list, do you really want Max and Troy shooting 16.6% of your 3s or would you rather trim the list to NZ, OG, RJ, CH and Yogi and have them each shoot ~20%. I know which strategy I’d go with if I was playing the numbers.

    4: Crean has an unhealthy obsession with offense. I enjoy that he has, of late, started strategizing around defense…even if it was because he had no choice with JBJ out. Above all else, fans have been screaming for more focus on D because we know that’s what’s needed to win consistently. I don’t think we were winning with D first when we had a bunch of long-ballers on the court. I believe the results without JBJ partially attest to this.

  • TomJameson

    Well, I’m not upset with you. My skin isn’t nearly that thin. But I’m not getting into the confusing parts of your comments as they unfolded.

    I will say this (although I don’t know if it addresses anything you have said) CTCs offense requires 3 point shooters. Whether it is somebody who is “expected” to shoot and hit them (Yogi, RJ, etc..) or somebody who can hit them to keep the defense honest (Max).