News and notes from Tom Crean’s radio show

  • 12/13/2016 8:02 am in

Inside IU basketball with Tom Crean was live on Monday evening from the Holiday Inn in Bloomington. This week, Crean discussed leadership concepts, answered questions from fans and previewed IU’s matchup on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic against No. 18 Butler. Sophomore walk-on Zach McRoberts was the player guest.

Below are news and notes from Crean’s comments on Monday evening:

· Crean on the approach to leadership this season: “I’ve never been on a team where we took senior leadership for granted, it’s something you always nurture and build towards. But when you don’t have it, you definitely feel it. They’ve got to be the ones that do it so it becomes second nature for them. We want a player-driven team, those are the best teams and that’s what were trying to work towards.”

· With IU rounding out its stretch of pre-conference home games, Crean emphasizes how important responsibility will be going forward to play away or at neutral sites. “I use the term responsibility so much this year. It’s not just the responsibility of playing, of your assignment, of knowing the scheme, or what we’re doing or execution, but it’s the responsibility you have to have for each other and you can’t be afraid to say what needs to be said.”

· Crean’s takeaways from IU’s 103-61 win against Houston Baptist: “I thought we came out with a really strong mindset and they made a couple plays early and we just started to go. We didn’t play as well in the first half as we could’ve offensively, but we got better inside the game and we were good in the assist mark, we kept them off the foul mark and we wanted to make sure our rebounding was strong. There was a great cohesiveness there.”

· This week, IU is ranked No. 2 in the nation in defending the three-point shot, holding opponents to an average of 25 percent from behind the arc. Crean said they added some things on Monday that will make them even better in that category. The keys: don’t over guard and don’t over help.

· On the progress Crean’s seen so far from Zach McRoberts: “We’re asking a lot of him. He can improve defensively and with the rebounding. But that’s a good thing. He’s such a hard worker and he’s getting things done for you and you know he can get a lot better and that’s really what you want.”

· Crean gives the latest updates on Collin Hartman’s health saying he’s working hard and rehabbing: “He’s still doing an incredible job for our team. He’s as valuable to us as anyone on the court because of the mentality he helps bring to them while they’re on the court. The sense of purpose, the sense of comfort he brings and his leadership has been phenomenal.”

· Crean on the aggressiveness of Thomas Bryant on the boards: “That’s a point of emphasis everyday. It’s been a huge part of the season. Those numbers needed to jump up and he’s fully capable. He did that. He’s really aggressive and that needs to keep up.”

· Crean’s comments on the IU matchup against Butler: “They don’t beat themselves. They take care of the ball and they’re moving the ball at a very, very good rate. The ball movement and the shooting is at another level and it’s hard to deal with and we’re going to have to be really good defensively.”

· McRoberts on his defensive style: “I just want to find open guys if I can. I’ll shoot it if I have to but I’m always looking to move the ball and hit the open man. Defense has always been fun for me.”



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  • Lance76

    I expect the Butler game to be a war. CTC is correct when he says that they “don’t beat themselves” Bring your lunch pales, hardhats and A game.

  • IULore

    Butler definitely loves playing us, brings their program a lot of legitimacy. Hopefully OG will be 90%.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Misprint or some misunderstanding on what “defense” means in that last point from the notes. McRobert’s defensive style sure involves the ball a lot.

  • TomJameson

    Butler is a very well coached team, and they are a great fundamentals team. A tough out no matter where you play them. Really want this win!

    Oh yeah, and fantastic on defense. Hope CTC is working on beating a press.

  • IULore

    With Yogi last year, teams that pressed us were punished big time. Hopefully Rob and James will respond if they try that. Bryant certainly helps to beat that for us with his ball and passing skills.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I still don’t get how a full court press is very effective at the college level. These guys are D1 recruits/players. All of them were likely the best player on their high school team. Beating a press is very simple if you move the ball and make sharp passes. Problem is, kids panic and throw inaccurate passes or lob them up too high. I watched West Virginia destroy some mid major the other day with their press and I couldn’t stand it. Pick your spots and move the ball.

  • IULore

    Yeah, it’s very frustrating. Louisville used to wreck people in the Big East with the press as well. If your team is athletic and quick enough, and your bench is deep enough, it can work vs the right teams. Ball pressure is better than blind pressing, imo.

  • Yeah, that was sort of mixed up. Probably made sense in the context of the question, which was probably a two-parter.

  • Here’s a potentially controversial statement: if OG isn’t at 100%, I’d rather he didn’t play. No way I want him to exacerbate his injury and end up missing even more time. I want to beat Butler, and certainly Louisville, but not if it increases one iota the possibility that OG won’t be 100% ready for the B1G.

  • I think we can stick with TB as an outlet against the press. He’s tall and long enough and has good enough hands that he can be relied upon to take some of those over-the-top passes. Maybe. I think. Tell me if I’m wrong, though.

  • If nothing else, it’s going to be a great indication of exactly where the team is at. If OG is 100% (and as I said below, if he’s not, I would rather he didn’t play), and if the team plays hard, then I think we pull out the win. Any letup in effort and intensity, and we lose.

  • Love seeing how strong the team is at perimeter defense. I think that’s got a lot to do with RJ first, and then JN as well, and maybe generally improved communication. It takes me back to UNC in the tourney and how Paige went off from outside–and I’ll always wonder if a healthy RJ makes a difference there. I think he would have.

  • IULore

    Hmm, I see where you are coming from. I don’t necessarily know whether more time off would help the ankle or not, he would still practice. Maybe just limit him to about 20 minutes?

  • IULore

    I think you’re right.

  • I trust the coaching staff and the trainers to do the right thing, really. I’m just terribly nervous about someone getting injured long-term–takes me back to Henderson in ’93 and how that cost banner #6.

  • IULore

    Yikes, don’t torture yourself!

  • TomJameson

    I think the key is the movement, and by that I mean don’t pick up the dribble. That’s been the most effective move I’ve ever seen against the press, dribble up the middle fast and don’t stop. A good outlet pass (to TB) may be needed, but quickness is the key. Josh Newkirk would be the most likely to make that happen.

    Still need outlets though, just in case.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Really excited about the Crossroads Classic Saturday! Four Indiana schools, all ranked and playing well. I know some prefer to see other Indiana schools suffer but I love when they are all on top. Remember a few years back there were no Indiana schools in the tournament? That should never happen. Looks good right now for the state of basketball in the Hoosier state!

  • Fifer39

    Injuries will limit how far we go in March far more than tourney seeding so I’m with you in advocating a cautious approach. I’d actually go further in that I think what will give us an advantage down the stretch is our depth and the options that it gives us. So the more minutes the second 6 get now the better imo. We’ve got 11 guys who could be more than capable of giving 25 good minutes per game this year.

  • Impossible! 🙂

  • vicbert caladipo

    You’ve been sniffing too much of that fresh Idaho air. Join us in the smog and learn to hate on Peeyoo. I wish they’d go 0-30 every year. Hatred is a wonderful thing.

  • SCHoosier

    And the way Butler plays D ..Hoosiers will also need a funcitoning first aid kit!

  • sd chuck

    Unfortunately, JN & RJ neither one shoots FT’s very well, especially down the stretch, this will be a major problem going forward. Plan so far has been get the ball to JBJ, and he don’t dribble very well. Unless we have a 16 point lead they will be tested!

  • TomJameson

    Of all the starters, If I had to name the “main” point guard so far this year, it would be Josh. JBJ and RJ have done the job also, but JN is the one I want with the ball if there is a full court press. Actually, JN and CuJo would be the main two to break the press. RJ and JBJ would just need to be ready to shoot (and TB also, of course).

  • MPmike B

    Haunting memories. That was one of the missing banner years with no question about it. IU was ranked #1 for most of the year and went 17-1 in the Big Ten. That wretched team from Kansas was in the way.

  • pdhoosier

    /juwan/blackmon/hartman? As much as i hate that “what if” game, i still believe we were final four bound with at least 2 of those players healthy!
    it slipped away, Lets get that one back,

  • Yep. And 17-1 in the B1G only because they lost a game right after Henderson was hurt. Otherwise it would have been 18-0. And that KU team wouldn’t have stood a chance–and if I’m not mistaken, the officiating was pretty bad as well. I can remember one play where CC was knocked to the ground on a drive with no call. Shades of the absolute worst officiated game I can think of–the Duke loss in the Final Four in ’92. So, really, two missed banners with that team.

  • Oh, sure, forgot about JM and CH. Don’t count JBJ, because he was out long enough that the team had already adjusted. I still think RJ was the biggest loss, because losing his perimeter defense arguably made it easier for Paige to hit those threes early and blow the game plan. But, anyways, time I got over it–still lots of basketball to play this year. Just hoping everyone stays healthy this time around.

  • cbags05

    I agree. If it were an all Indiana final 4 every year I’d be happy. With IU winning and Peeyoo getting their souls crushed 🙂

  • cbags05

    I hope we come out with the same mindset as the UNC game. We need to win by double digits, and with a statement. Same in the Louisville game.

  • sd chuck

    First off, I love JN & RJ. JN point guard, yes 38 minutes a game. I don’t see him stepping to the FT and dropping 2 in the net, CUJO better option, don’t know if he is seasoned enough yet. RJ same thing, (clanked 2,Kansas), although looks like he is working on it, but he is also turnover prone. End of the game these mistakes get magnified. JBJ hits FT’s. I think JM and CUJO could both help at that time of the game. Bottom line: I don’t care who is in the game, but the last 2 minutes, 7 point lead, JN with the ball, he’ shooting FT’s.