News and notes from Tom Crean’s radio show

  • 02/07/2017 8:14 am in

Inside IU basketball with Tom Crean was live on Monday evening from the Holiday Inn in Bloomington with player guest Quentin Taylor.

Below are news and notes from Crean and Taylor (all quotes are from Crean unless noted otherwise):

· On having to play without three starting-caliber players, “It’s an energetic exercise, an invigorating exercise, to try and figure out how we’re going to play in the games. You’ve gotta be sound. We’re not business as usual right now. It’s not ok, we’re just going to go matchup with you and let’s give it our best shot. It’s not let’s just line up and make them stop what we do. That’s not where we’re at right now. We’re just not. We’re without guys that allow that to happen. That’s not to take anything away from the guys that aren’t playing, but we have to be creative with that.”

· Crean spent much of the show noting the lack of foul calls Indiana has received of late. When Fischer noted that Bryant was double-teamed ‘a ton’ against Wisconsin, Crean interjected before Fischer was able to finish his question. “And he didn’t shoot a free throw. Imagine that? Go figure on that.”

· On what the team can do to win the free throw battle, “We’re so far down on the free throw shooting. We can point to turnovers being a part of some things, to missed shots being a part of some things, but at the end of the day, we’re trying to do our best to make sure we’re creating opportunities to score close to the rim or get downhill at the basket. We’ve just gotta keep figuring out different ways that it’s a no-brainer that we were fouled and that we gotta get to the line. Because that’s what it seems that other teams are doing a pretty good job of.”

· Later in the show, Crean was asked by a fan what the team can do to draw more fouls, “I spend the majority of my waking hours trying to figure that out inside of the film. And I’ve made up my mind, I’m not talking about any of that stuff in the sense of what is and what isn’t (a foul). We’ve got to keep trying to figure out, as far as when it comes to how the game is being officiated, what we’ve got to do is make it more obvious. I’m still at a point, 20 something odd games in, where I truly – and maybe this puts me in the minority, I don’t know – but I truly don’t understand from game to game sometimes what a foul is and isn’t, when it comes to impeding the progress of the dribbler, when it comes to putting the forearm on somebody when they drive the ball. When it comes to putting two hands on the back on a post up. I don’t understand all that, I guess. Because it seems to change from time to time. So we’ve just gotta do a better job, the bottom line is when you get your head and shoulders by the defender on the drive, that’s pretty much supposed to be a foul. We’ve just gotta continue to look for it and figure out ways – getting downhill with great speed, James was getting so much better at that – it’s not the strength that it was of last years team, but it’s better than what we’re getting rewarded for right now.”

· On Thomas Bryant being held to 11 points against Wisconsin, “There’s no question Thomas could have played quicker with the post up…he’s too unselfish. I’m not saying anything that I haven’t said to him. He’s far too unselfish with the ball when he catches it in the post. And we don’t need that.”

· On Newkirk’s improved shooting, “When he is struggling is when he’s thinking about it. Even a little bit yesterday, he kind of went a little bit too quick. When he’s playing in the flow, when he’s moving the ball, when he’s attacking the rim, when the ball is moving, he’s a product of being ready to shoot.”

· Crean said Devonte Green wasn’t able to practice on Friday due to an injury, and still wasn’t 100 percent by Saturday. That lead to Crean inserting Curtis Jones into the starting lineup on Sunday.

“I thought he did fine,” Crean said of Jones. “He missed some open shots that he can make. I thought he got involved. We’ve got to get him a bit more disciplined, same thing with Devonte, on defense when it comes to closeouts. Curtis needs to realize he’s not a shot-blocker. We’re not back playing in high school. We’ve gotta have technique, we’re not trying to block shots and leave our feet. We’re not attacking the ball aimlessly. We’re going down with a purpose. Our closeouts have got to be on time. We can’t jump stop. Same thing with Devonte. They learn those things over a period of time. Everybody goes through those moments…I thought he did fine. I’m glad we’ve gone through a week where both Devonte and Curtis have a start under their belt.”

· On Caleb Swanigan, “(He’s) playing with such a relentless attitude, relentless spirit right now. Playing his position, he can shoot the ball, he can drive it. He commands a lot of attention, he really does. He plays so hard. He’s a wrecking crew on the glass and he is getting to the glass to rebound the ball.”

· On facing Purdue Thursday, “It’s not going to be for the faint hearted. This is not a game where if you don’t like contact, if you don’t want to put your body on the line, it’s going to be hard to put somebody into the game. We know what (Purdue’s) attitude is coming into this game. We have to be, no matter who we have, whether James is back or not, we have to be at a high level of intensity, but an equally high level of focus. This cannot be a game where we have a lot of empty possessions and we try to do things that aren’t there. The shooting makes them that much harder to guard, because they can space the floor in the corners, they can space the floor at the slots, they can cut.”

· On Freddie McSwain, “The hard thing for Freddie is, athletically, we’re not seeing the guy that we signed. He’s not all the way back from that surgery he had in the preseason. He’s a workhorse, he really really works at the game and on the court. You can see it sometimes with his quickness, things of that nature. He jumps, but he doesn’t really jump to the level of where he did when we signed him. Hopefully, that will continue to get better.”

· Crean said he was able to catch most of the second half of Yogi Ferrell’s 32-point performance against Portland on Friday, “I keep the TV off for the most part in my film room because I’ll just watch it. I’ll just get distracted and watch it. I want to stay locked into the film. But when I put my phone back on and saw some of the texts. (Athletic Director) Fred Glass actually had texted me about how well Yogi was playing that night, and he was watching the game. So as I was pulling in, I go in and watch it and it was very enjoyable to see that, it really was. I’ve got the first half on film, I just haven’t had a chance to see it yet.”

· Taylor started playing basketball in second grade and played alongside Purdue’s PJ Thompson at Brebeuf Jesuit Prep in Indianapolis. Taylor said he spent his summers training with Thompson’s father, LaSalle, who played at both Indiana State and Ball State. “That’s who I really worked with, just trying to model my game after him. He’s a guard, and I try to be a guard as well…I’ve had a pretty interesting come-up in terms of how I got into basketball.”

· Taylor, on being a part of Indiana basketball, “just the tradition and the history, you want to be a part of it. I didn’t know I was going to be blessed with the position I was given when I came here. It’s a good academic school, I chose it for that reason. Also, as a freshman here, before I was on the team, I attended a lot of games just because I liked seeing them play. I liked the program a lot. I felt like I should give it a shot and chase after a dream I’ve always wanted to be a part of. It worked out in my favor.”

· Taylor is majoring in safety and applied health sciences and wants to be an “emergency manager in counterterrorism.” Taylor added that, “a lot of terrorist attacks catch my attention because they can be prevented, or you can definitely be ready for them. With a good plan, you can save a lot of lives.”

· Taylor’s father is a police officer and his mother is an investigative reporter for WTHR, “I’ve always been around news and crime, so I’m definitely taking a criminal justice minor.”

· On the role of walk-ons: “We see the bigger picture. We see the plan that coach Crean is implementing. Our role is very valuable when it comes to preparing for the teams that we play day in and day out. To be a part of something bigger is where it becomes special. When we win games, Indiana basketball is exalted. Even though certain players get the accolades and the accomplishments, when the program is winning as a whole, it just makes everybody happier, it makes everybody feel better. It makes us feel better to be able to help the guys prepare for that. So when game days come around and we’re cheering on the sidelines, we see how their execution has been prepared for just through us trying to challenge them and make them better.”

·When asked who the funniest player on the team is, Taylor, without hesitation, said it was Thomas Bryant, “That’s a no-brainer for a lot of people that watch him play. His emotion is just so outward, so projected on anybody. You could be sitting in the locker room being quiet and he’ll come up and get in your face and make you laugh or scream and shout. It’s always just so funny to us because he’s so big doing that too.”

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  • SCHoosier

    When your offense is not executing..you don’t get fouls. No Yogi driving to the hole..no Troy slashing from the corner..and TB can’t buy a call down low. The TO’s give up possessions..and there you have it.

  • TomJameson

    I can understand the frustration of the fouls being called differently from game-to-game. That’s the home-cooking coming out. Maybe, just maybe, instead of politely asking the official why a call wasn’t made, CTC should trust his own knowledge that a foul was made by an opposing player, or not made by his player, and just let the officials know, in no uncertain terms, that they were wrong.

    Some coaches really work (or worked) the officials pretty darn good without getting technical (Like Gene Keady). But then again, getting a technical wouldn’t hurt sometimes either. Need to pick your fight and timing though.

  • Fivelefts

    Crean has a point! It’s so obvious when you watch an IU game, the foul disparity. I mean, even the commentators are confused by the calls at times. Its extremely frustrating! I truly believe that the refs come into the game prepared not to reward CTC’s downhill style of play, with foul calls.. I also think, the reason may be, because we commit so many unforced turnovers. I think if we played a cleaner game, the refs wouldn’t feel like they were rewarding us with a foul call! At least, that’s my theory?

  • DonaldneedsAsafeSpace

    They are probably annoyed that Crean spends 3/4 the game on the court, screaming instructions to the players. If he wasn’t so aggressive all game, maybe when he yells about lack of calls, the screams would be heard. That being said, we are normally not in the bonus till 5 game minutes after our opponents.

  • TomJameson

    For his entire four years, Yogi couldn’t catch a break with the officiating. He would get beaten up down under, and the refs would look the other way. Then there are those players that get a call even when there is no contact.

    Officiating is horrible, and nothing is being done about it. Until the officials are held accountable for their performances (not just lip service), it will continue. They should be graded, not just on the calls they make, but on the ones they don’t call when they happen right in front of them.

  • Outoftheloop

    Our ball screens are pathetic! Our cuts are in slow motion and not right into the screen, sharp. Thus no rub offs, no separation, no roll to the rim, no open step back 3-pointer. No forced contact.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Lack of preparation and emphasis (coaching problem), or lack of proper execution (player problem and coach should hold players to higher standard)?

  • IU_theoracle

    I was hoping for a surprise resignation, but that’s my wishful thinking.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Tom J. here is making some good points, some points I have been ripped on for making cuz it sounds like excuses for what some believe is just bad coaching instead of referee bias. I know it’s hard for me a huge IU fan to sit back and be objective on the calls being made so I try another approach. I watch what other coaches are doing mainly the good ones, ones with winning reputations. What I have been ripped about is CTC getting a T, but watching other coaches I rarely if ever see one getting a T. What I do see is certain coaches working the refs when a bad call is made. A lot has to do with body language and facial expressions. Take Izzo for example. If his team gets hosed, he jumps around and has facial expression looking like he’s passing a kidney stone. Other good coaches do the same thing. When I watch CTC, I see an oh so that was a foul…ok….ok…alrighty then thanks for clarifying. I know it’s hard for a leopard to change his spots especially in the eyes of the refs, but CTC has got to at some point stick up for his guys in a way that shows the refs….HE MEANS BUSINESS and isn’t going to stand for it. If it’s getting a T, get your moneys worth. If it’s showing displeasure make sure you keep harping on it to show consistency that you aren’t just going to sit back and clap and pace. I honestly don’t think a lot of refs respect CTC and that is why we will continually get hosed. Acting frustrated in a presser isn’t getting it done. Acting frustrated and confused in games most certainly isn’t getting it done. Even Jon Biellien who is pretty mild mannered and certainly not imposing looking knows how to get calls. It may be too late as CTC has already built a solid reputation on his coaching style. For all I know some of CTCs softness towards the refs is rubbing off on the team. People complain about TB’s emotion. Maybe if his coach took him aside and said let me handle this and then blast the refs TB wouldn’t complain so much. Just a thought inspired by Tom J.

  • vicbert caladipo

    CTC has WAY too big of an ego to ever entertain that thought

  • John D Murphy

    Knight intimidating the refs probably was a contributing factor to the ’87 Championship. Remember crashing the phone on the scorer’s table while Boeheim just stood quietly by in the championship game.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I thought that was the LSU game not Syracuse.

  • IU_theoracle

    Oh I know, and with his buyout it would be really stupid. But I can dream.

  • John D Murphy

    Was it. It seemed so clear to me this morning but you are making me doubt. I just remember how visibly intimidated Boeheim was by Knight. I called him “Little Jimmy Boeheim” for years after that because he looked like such a scared child.

  • SCHoosier

    I was glad to hear TC bitching about TB being constantly double teamed against WIS with NOT one foul calld on the Badgers. Ridiculous.

  • SCHoosier

    Agree..watch VA play if you want to see a real passing offense that uses screens the right way.

  • mharv2631

    Maybe AD Glass could pen a letter to the conference, and ask them to take a look at the foul discrepancy, and the crew that we had the last game.

  • BMusic

    I’ve seen lots of criticisms directed at CTC on these pages, but “egomaniac” is a new one.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’m not necessarily criticizing. Don’t you think ALL big time coaches have an ego. Have you listened to CTCs pressers? I have listened to every single one and he has a huge ego. He never admits any wrong doing sometimes to the point of being pompous. He frequently blames players and rarely if ever take the blame. He never sways from his style even when it doesn’t work. He will never admit failure. He’s rich. Why would he not have a huge ego?

  • Ohio Hoosier

    It was.

  • IUMIKE1

    Careful now, careful. Piker insisted more than once that I was hating on coach Crean when I offered that one simple opinion and that I should give it a rest.

  • IUMIKE1

    Excellent comment.

    Careful Piker is probably lurking in the background somewhere using his new title of ITH opinion police and getting ready to pass judgment.

  • IUMIKE1

    I also remember him being quoted as saying that at one point in the game against LSU that he thought we might not win the game and that he then looked down the sideline and seen Dale Brown and knew that we still had a good chance of winning the game. lol

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  • IUBizmark

    I wish folks here would make it a point to visit other sites with non-IU fans. The story goes that other coaches would refer to Crean as “Naismith” because he claimed to have such a fundamental understanding of the game.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Referees and umpires calls even out as the season goes.. some games you’re on top others you’re not….I want CTC to worry more about 15 turnovers per game than refs calls…

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Plausible deniability is a snarky managerial skill…but a skill nonetheless.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Pikers ruffed me up some too, but he doesn’t compare to the new superTROLL Jethro. That guy is literally brain dead. Keep on keepin on Mike.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Huh?? Is that a Rush lyric? Forgive me, as I am not as smart as some of you.

  • vicbert caladipo

    There’s a few of them out there. I will always stick to my motto….”can’t we all just get along”

  • vicbert caladipo

    Not at the Kohl Center they don’t. Keep a close eye on the way Isaac Haas is refed tomorrow and get back to me with some more RUSH lyrics

  • vicbert caladipo

    Again my brother…..I am not a CTC basher. While you are checking other sites you must have time to check my history. The word MANIAC attached to ego was probably a mistake cuz now I have a lot of the CTC supporters on my back side. As I said, I think 99% of coaches have a big ego. The original point was whether CTC would resign and I simply said he has too much ego to resign same as any other coach isn’t resigning because they all have enough ego to not admit failure enough to say I quit. You and B and Piker and all the other CTC policemen please understand I like CTC. This wasn’t intended to slam him so I apologize before you all label me as one of “those guys”.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Im no Rush fan??? no idea what you’re talking about…IU get calls in AH … it all is a wash

  • IUBizmark

    I actually think we’re agreeing. I think Crean is supremely confident in his thoughts and abilities…when the reality doesn’t seem to align.
    I think Crean over thinks things. He over complicates things and it is too much to implement for his players.

  • vicbert caladipo

    That makes two of us. That’s the 2nd time you have quoted Rush lyrics. Guess when you put out over 200 songs someone is bound to “inadvertent” ly post their lyrics. I apologize for not having the vocabulary of some of you. I’m just a dude with an opinion, not a Rhodes Scholar. You won’t get anymore arguments from me. Well played

  • vicbert caladipo

    BTW this article we are commenting on says that CTC spent much of his radio show talking about reffing so I was just keeping on subject that he appears to be worrying more about calls than TO’s. Sorry for the confusion

  • vicbert caladipo

    I agree 100%. Isn’t agreeing more fun? ; )

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