News and notes from Tom Crean’s radio show

  • 01/03/2017 7:54 am in

Inside IU basketball with Tom Crean was live on Monday evening from the Holiday Inn in Bloomington. Crean broke down the losses against Nebraska and Louisville and where the Hoosiers went wrong, both on offense and defense. Freshman De’Ron Davis was this week’s player guest.

Below are news and notes with comments from Monday evening:

· Crean on the Nebraska loss: “We didn’t come out there with the level of edge we needed in the sense of figuring out how to play the game. We were too fast at certain points with some turnovers. We didn’t defend nearly as well as we needed to early on and we let them get their speed going. We didn’t play close to efficient enough. The turnovers at times bordered on ridiculous.”

· Big problems during both of IU’s losses this week were turnovers and failing to understand the pace of play. Things got out of control when IU tried to make things happen too fast and it let the opponent get into the momentum it wanted. This led to problems on both ends of the court, when the Hoosiers couldn’t get into their own style of play.

· Crean said during the Louisville game he called a 30-second timeout to switch into a box-and-one defense. The team had never practiced it before but he said: “It wasn’t a complex defense, but it was good because everyone was locked in. We’re smart enough to do those things where they know they have to talk. There were a couple times when Donovan Mitchell got hot and it’s absolutely ridiculous we didn’t have one or two guys that stepped up and said ‘I’m going to get this done, and I’m going to make sure he doesn’t get the ball.’ It shouldn’t be a situation where we have to call a timeout and switch the defense.”

· Crean attributed much of IU’s offensive struggles against Louisville to footwork. He said, “It wasn’t bad shots, it was good shots taken badly.” More specifically, they didn’t move well to shoot the ball and the first dribble down in the post didn’t get them to the right spot. “A lot of this happened because we had to rush shots. We were a step slow to get where we needed to be.”

· On Juwan Morgan and OG Anunoby on the defensive end, Crean said, “I’d put them on any player in America, no question about it. Guard, forward, big man, wouldn’t make a difference. When the two of them are together, you’d think we’d be good. But when the two of them come together and they don’t say a word, they miss a wide-open three. That’s not going to happen very often, but it happened in a crucial part of the game.”

· Crean’s thoughts on the team’s overall defense: “Our lack of concentration catches us, our lack of having our hands up catches us and our lack of being aggressive sometimes catches us. We took a step back in the last few games and we over-helped. That’s a lack of being down and a lack of grit and concentration span. That’s not where we need to be.”

· Devonte Green was injured during the Nebraska game and did not play against Louisville. Crean said hopefully he’ll be back against Wisconsin; if not, definitely for Illinois on Saturday. “We missed him the other day. He’s a guy that can put some heat on the ball and hit open shots. He sometimes gets a little too fast, but he’s fearless, no doubt about that.”

· Crean on playing with courts with NBA 3-point lines: “We see it everyday. There are permanent 3-point lines in Cook Hall and we tape them down in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall everyday. Not just to shoot 3s from NBA range, but for our spacing. It’s so important to space behind that line.”

· Crean’s comments on Tuesday’s matchup against Wisconsin: “They are the most experienced team in the country and they play like it. They pass the ball quickly and they pass the ball effectively. They have the best interior spacing, they play outside in, inside out. We’re going to have to play really, really well. We’re going to have to be relentless on that glass, ball movement, getting up and down the court and not let their defense slow us down.”

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  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    CTC consistently points to breakdown in fundamentals andor communication. i’m sure that’s part of it (isn’t that just part of cbb in general?), but certainly not all of it. when i see a team look entirely clueless on defense and force what isn’t there on offense, over and over, i have to attribute that to coaching. how can he still not have this figured out?! goodness knows he’s got the personnel to be a solid, if not very good, defensive team! as far as the to’s, you’d think it might sink into his head the possibility that it’s at the very least partly due to the style of offense he’s trying to run. it’s been a major problem for several years now, irregardless of lineup. so what’s the common denominator?

  • Philip Perdue

    He coaches gimmicks, not fundamentals. “Player development” is a huge recruiting pitch, for good reason, but what that means—what young players hear in that phrase is: we’ll get you into the NBA. So you see a lot of unconventional play in the CTC NBA gimmick method. Power forwards walking the ball up after a made basket down the stretch. Big men stepping out for threes. When it works, it looks like genius. But the problem is you have a bunch of guys playing in a superfast game who are playing out of their comfort zone. That generates turnovers. Crean calls it “getting better,” and some of that is certainly happening, but it’s happening in gimmicky aspects of the game that don’t fall under the category of fundamentals. Long term trends indicate that he just doesn’t pressure his teams very much when it comes to basics like taking care of the ball and preventing drives to the basket.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    really good post, couldn’t agree more. ‘when it works, it looks like genius’ sums it up perfectly. problem is, i just don’t think it’s sustainable. and it’s highly susceptible to the more disciplined, well coached teams (i.e. butler, wiscy, ul, cuse). we’ve seen proof of that over and over. i sort of liken it to my golf swing, which is anything but simple and compact. when i can get the multitude of individual motions working harmoniously, i’m putting for eagle. when i can’t, i look like rodney dangerfield. and i’m not currently on the pga tour, so you can guess what my swing looks like more often than not.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I like the golf reference, but personally I’d never break 90 unless I am 100% locked into the cerebral approach. Sometimes your swing is on and sometimes it isn’t but if you play within your capabilities and not do things you are rarely successful at the your score is better. If CTC taught the same philosophy to his players, we wouldn’t look so ugly at times. But just like golf, you’ll have far better success in basketball if you concentrate 100% of the time.

  • Is it confusing to these kids to ask them to communicate, when CTC’s style of play encourages individual, spontaneous action or reaction? Seems to me the only need for communicating is when it is a team effort?

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    i think it allows for communication, but also demands quick tempo and therefore quick decision making. kinda like what victor said below, you gotta be locked in and focused or to’s are gonna happen at a high rate. regardless, my personal opinion is to’s are an inherent trade-off. if for no other reason, because you’re gonna have more possessions. and no matter what you’re gonna be susceptible to teams that specialize in keeping you out of your comfort zone via pressure, tempo control, etc…

    so what do you gotta do if you’re gonna go with this offensive philosophy and be successful with any kind of consistency? you darn well better know how to play d. and that’s something we obviously have no idea how to do.

  • VegasHoosier

    Crean has more excuses than any coach to ever live. He acts like we’re the only team to have injuries. He whines non-stop how young we are (which he does every year). He whines about the student fans being gone. Whines about the refs. I’m waiting for him to say, “Hey, the sun got in their eyes when they tried to shoot.”

    Just once, I want to hear him say, “I’m doing an awful job. Period.”

  • inLinE6

    If you look at last couple years, he was not doing an awful job. I know we lost some frustrating games, but not more so than the same time last year. I do expect us to advance pass sweet 16 this year though.

  • VegasHoosier

    We won the Big Ten last year and still got a 5 seed. This year, we’ll be lucky to finish in the Top 3 in the Big Ten and we still had a cupcake schedule…..which probably means an 8 seed…..which is a tough first round game and # 1 seed in the second game.

  • inLinE6

    Beat the #1 seed, and we’ll be on the #1 seed’s path. Losing in the second game versus the 5th game, do not make much difference to me, honestly. People look back and only remember the champ.

  • VegasHoosier

    What makes you think we can beat a # 1 seed when we look awful against Nebraska at home?

    Is Blackmon going to magically learn how to play defense all of a sudden?

  • inLinE6

    We looked like a different team when we beat UNC, who knows. And 8 seed made some nice surprises historically.

  • VegasHoosier

    We had a roaring crowd that game.