News and notes from Tom Crean’s radio show

  • 12/27/2016 8:46 am in

Inside IU basketball with Tom Crean was live on Monday evening from the Holiday Inn in Bloomington as the Hoosiers prepare for Wednesday’s Big Ten opener against Nebraska and Saturday’s non-conference showdown with Louisville. Freshman Grant Gelon was this week’s player guest.

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

· Crean said it was hard for OG Anunoby in the first half of the Butler game, just as it was hard for Juwan Morgan in the second half of that game because of the time that both of them had missed. “You can’t come back from injuries and being out and just expect that you’re going to play well as soon as you lace them up in the game,” Crean said.

· Indiana isn’t as consistent as it needs to be with its speed yet, according to Crean. “Most of that falls on my decision with the guard play. We’ve gotta make the decision: Are we going to be a 3-guard lineup or are we going to put somebody else in there? Because we end up feeling our way through it a little bit too much with our break and we don’t get the sprinting up the court that we need to have.”

· Crean said that Gelon is “getting better,” but added that he needs to “become more confident with his approach.”

· On the status of Juwan Morgan: “He played fine last week. Definitely improving. We see nothing that’s holding him back.”

· Indiana had a long practice on Monday night, according to Crean. The team left after Thursday’s game and had Friday and Saturday off before returning by 8:30 on Sunday.

· Crean said that he doesn’t like bringing the players back to campus on Christmas, but said that there’s no way around it when there’s a game on the 28th.

· On Nebraska: “They are very good off the dribble. They are a different team than what they have been the past couple years. They are really, really attacking off the dribble with Glynn Watson and Tai Webster. They can move the ball, there’s no doubt about that. I think their ball movement is excellent and they drive to get fouled. We have to have great awareness and we have to give that cushion, defensively, not just because of how the rules are but because these guys are very adept at creating contact. They are physical inside – Michael Jacobson and Ed Morrow – those guys are doing an excellent job of playing with physicality. They probably spend 70-80 percent of the game in ball-screens. I don’t know the exact percentage but it is very, very high. We have to do an excellent job in out ball-screen coverage and our weak side defense. They are really doing a good job of keeping the game moving.”

· On Louisville: “Louisville is outstanding. They are outstanding. They are playing with great speed. They are certainly one of the bigger teams in the country. They block a lot of shots. They play very physical. They are extremely well coached, that’s obvious because they always are. We are going to have to really, really deal with their pressure. We have to be great on the glass and we are going to have to be really good at not only taking care of the ball but creating open shots. I think the shot blocking and the size of Louisville will be different than anything the guys have seen, including Kansas and North Carolina, when it comes to the overall size. Those were outstanding teams obviously – Kansas and North Carolina – and big teams, but when it comes to the length and the size and the shot blocking ability, that’s what we will really see from Louisville. It’s just and important week, as every week is, to keep getting better and better.”

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  • BL4IU

    Listened to the show. Coach sounded intense when speaking about 3-guard vs going big. Personally, I like that he’s grinding on it. As much as I want to see us go big, it’s not an easy decision because JBJ and RJ are clearly SG’s. I think both could initiate the offense but I feel like Coach really wants to put the ball in JM’s hands. Betting neither JM nor JN are getting it done at the level Coach would like to see. May not get fully resolved until later in the season.

  • BannerOrBust

    I would like to see Newkirk’s minutes reduced. He’s been terrible and erratic. He drives head first into double teams, throws the ball away a lot, and goes too fast for his own good. He drives me nuts to say the least. I would rather see JBjr, RJ, or CJ bring the ball up more, even if it means we play a little slower.

  • SCHoosier

    I thought Josh’s 11 pt/ 11 assistant game showed promise. The conference play is so rough foul-wise..we’re gonna need everybody to contribute. Just not sure JMorgan has the handle.. when the going gets tough…to be the primary ball handler.

  • IULore

    Yeah, it’s one of those things, if Colin was healthy I don’t think we would see 3 guard very much.

  • N71

    I’m in the same boat as SCHoosier, I was really uncomfortable with Josh until this most recent game where he got 11 assist and a low number of turnovers. I was hoping he’d put it together and turned a corner. If he reverts back to what amounts to a liability, I’m all for an OG, JM, TB lineup. We know JM can handle the ball in a pinch but OG and TB aren’t too bad either really, they’re not Yogi but they’re not horrendous either.

  • I read that bit and was happy as well that he’s thinking hard about the 3-guard lineup. Shows that we’re all not just spitting in the wind on such a topic — CTC isn’t just blindly repeating some pattern or preference but is doing precisely what we’d hope he’s doing, evaluating his own philosophy against his personnel to come up with the best approach.

  • Courtney Graber

    Yes. Collin’s injury makes the loss of Yogi, Max, Nick and Troy so much more significant. We need experience and he has the most!

  • I’m not sure if CH would impact the guard decision. He’s not going to fill the role of point guard, which is where the challenge lies. CH would likely just slot in for JM, leaving the question of who runs point unanswered. I think CTC wants JM to run it, substituting JM’s height for JN. So the lineup would be JBJ/RJ/JM/OG/TB.

    Except that raises the question: what do we mean, exactly, by “3-guard lineup”? Does it mean playing personnel who are typically called guards, which would be JBJ, RJ, and JN? Or, are we talking about roles? It seems like slotting JM in for JN still leaves us with a “3-guard lineup” in terms of roles, only with an unusually tall point guard.

  • IULore

    Well, I think RJ would spend a lot more time at opint is Colin was starting at the 3.

  • Hmmm… Except, again, CH doesn’t resolve the point guard question. If RJ were fully capable of running the point, then we could just play him alongside JBJ in a 2-guard lineup. JM gives us quite a bit of what CH would give us, except for leadership. But nobody gives us the leadership CH would, and that’s not specifically a guard question.

  • TomJameson

    I really like JM, but he should not be the primary ball handler when there is pressure – like there will be with Louisville. At that point, I want JN handling the ball, with RJ and JBJ backing him up. Those are the 3 best ball handlers, and in that order. Add OG and TB and that’s the starting lineup against UL.

    I think that CTC pondering the lineups might mean we’ll see different ones, depending on the matchups, and not sticking with one just … well, just because. I like it because it shows growth from the coach. Exactly what we’ve all been hoping for.

  • Good point about CTC’s growth. We continue to see good things in that area, IMO.

  • Missing Moye

    I believe that Johnson IS fully capable of running the point. I’m thinking that is IULore’s point as well. If Hartman was healthy we’d see RJ at point with JN backing him up off the bench.

    As it stands, we can hardly afford to start Morgan, OG, and Bryant and play two guards, simply because that only leaves Davis off the bench with some size. Each of those guys would have to play 30 minutes and stay out of foul trouble. If Hartman was available to start or come off the bench for Morgan, we can now play big and have the adequate bodies to sub properly (splitting those 120 minutes five-ways instead of four-ways).

    I think Newkirk starts and plays more because of our bench deficiency up front. I don’t think it has anything to do with Johnson’s ability, or inability, to run the offense.

  • pcantidote

    Terrible? Really?

  • That makes sense, I wasn’t looking at it from that perspective, thanks. I’d think then that McFly’s continued development could help out later in the B1G.

  • BannerOrBust

    In my opinion, yes. That wasn’t a typo. Shouldn’t your expectations be set a little higher?

  • Sandra Wilson

    You need to focus on games played against decent competition…Terrible might be a little strong, but his play has not helped us much in those games…To the others with optimism, that was Austin Peay…..Means very little….He scares me to death against Louisville….To beat Louisville is simple…..Don’t turn it over and we’ll win….Their offense is poor, but if they can turn our mistakes into scores, we’re in trouble.

  • pcantidote

    Erratic or inconsistent or needs to be better? Sure. Terrible? Way off and reflects poorly on you.

  • BannerOrBust

    I did use the word erratic. I’m sorry, did you not watch the Butler game?

  • pcantidote

    You also used the word terrible, and you didn’t specify that you were talking about the Butler game. I agree that he had a bad game against Butler. I won’t agree that he has been “terrible” (“extremely or distressingly bad or serious”) in any game. It is just a lazy word to use here that reflects poorly on you, and if you were right…he wouldn’t be playing.

  • pcantidote

    I’d say that he has just been average in the big games, with the exception that he was widely credited for shutting down Berry of UNC. Don’t forget about defense.