Tom Crean Archive

Hoosiers transitioning from practice to ‘game shape’

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Whether Indiana’s 2014-2015 squad is ready or not, the season is fast approaching.

The Hoosiers’ first exhibition against Northwood University is now just a week from today, and the season opener against Mississippi Valley State is only two weeks from Friday.

With that time-crunch, Indiana coach Tom Crean said he faces the annual challenge of getting the team into “game shape.” But as of last Saturday, Crean said the Hoosiers still have a long way to go.

“I think we have a lot to learn,” Crean said following Hoosier Hysteria. “I think we’re learning a lot. Like I said to them, right now, we’re in practice shape. And we’ve got to get more and more into game shape. And you only get game shape by being in games and being in multi-scrimmages. And we haven’t had a lot of scrimmage situations.”

Since the Hoosiers traveled to Canada in August for their five-game exhibition tour, the team has yet to scrimmage at an extensive level. Saturday’s Hoosier Hysteria was the longest the team had even scrimmaged this preseason — and that was for just 20 minutes.

Crean said on Saturday that he has spent more time than usual “breaking it down,” as this year’s squad is behind in their details of in-game speed. With nine newcomers, it is not their fitness that is lacking, however, more of their defensive awareness, Crean said.

“So what happens is it’s not the fatigue that shows up real easily, well this guy didn’t run hard, or this guy didn’t cut hard or this guy didn’t have his feet ready,” he said. “No, it’s the fatigue defensively. It’s the fatigue where maybe we’re not as vocal, or we don’t have our ball-side foot up on the weak side, or we don’t have our hands up as much or we’re not stunting and stepping, all the little things we’re trying to teach.”

But Crean has taken encouraging signs from the Montreal trip.

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Video: Tom Crean discusses Hoosier Hysteria

Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media following 2014 Hoosier Hysteria on Saturday night at Assembly Hall.

Watch his comments, including thoughts on Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Robert Johnson, the new tradition of passing on the candy striped pants, the pace of the scrimmage and more, below:

Notebook: Ferrell’s balanced role

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — The story goes Kevin Ferrell’s mom nicknamed him “Yogi” as a child as an ode to Yogi Bear, the Hannah-Barbera character with a similar voracious appetite. He certainly lived up to the nickname last season, eating up 25 percent of Indiana’s possessions in a year the team starved for any kind of offensive production.

But as the preseason first team All-Big Ten selection enters his junior year as the team’s longest-tenured leader, he’s due for a reinterpretation of the nickname and a role change on a squad with more shooting and playmakers. The root word of Yogi is yoke, which means “to unite” or “join together”. After a disappointing 2012-2013 season where the Indiana Culture struggled at times, Ferrell is in line to do just that for these Hoosiers.

“That’s how I feel like I have to start off each game, being more of a facilitator,” Ferrell said late Thursday morning. “I feel a lot more comfortable, I feel like now I can balance my game out a lot more. So I’m definitely going to try and find these guys more. And once they take them away, I’m going to try and score myself.

“What I want to focus on is not turning the ball over so much. I want my assist-turnover ratio to be a lot higher. I want to have one of the highest ones in the league. So watching some film, seeing what I do here wrong. Not making jump passes. Not trying to force.”

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Video: Tom Crean roundtable session at Big Ten media day

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media in a roundtable session earlier today at 2014 Big Ten media day at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Watch and listen to his comments below:

Video, Transcript: Tom Crean at Big Ten media day

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Indiana coach Tom Crean took the podium this morning at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare for his annual preseason comments at Big Ten media day. Here’s the full video of his comments and a transcript is available below:

TOM CREAN:  First of all, the State of Illinois and the history of the Big Ten lost a really, really good one yesterday with Wayne McClain’s passing.  I didn’t know Wayne as well as most, but had great respect for what he did as a coach certainly in high school and then what he brought to the Illini and the Illini Nation and was a big part of the history of this state in many ways.  Indiana basketball sends condolences to his family and friends and anybody that worked or played for him.

As far as us, we’re trying to get ourselves to a point right now where we can look at every day and know that we are tenacious, that we are on the attack, and that we are fundamentally driven, and that’s the goal.  It’s been the goal since the season ended when we started spring workouts the week after our season, and it has been the goal with every new player that’s come in.  We’re at 60 percent of a new team right now, but getting the team to understand every day the compete level that they have to have, the togetherness that they have to have, the ability to move the ball, to move their bodies, to understand the value of defense.  If you’re going to be any good in this league, you have to defend and rebound.

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Quotes: Crean recaps Indiana’s opening practice

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Indiana officially tipped off the 2014-2015 season earlier today with its first practice in Assembly Hall. Afterward, Tom Crean talked to IUHoosiers.com and provided some observations from the opening practice, which we’ve transcribed below:

On what most excites him about this group:

“Well it’s always going to be spirited. There’s no doubt about that and it’s going to be exciting. I loved the retention that we had when we did some offensive things at the beginning of practice from the summer, but the most exciting thing for me was how guys continued to compete when fatigue came.

“We didn’t always play as smart and we didn’t always play as efficient, but we continued to compete. And we’ll clean up the skills, but the competition now and guys really being able to get after it and get after one another and play to win, that’s something that is an acquired trait. You’ve got to have something inside of you, but you’ve got to be willing to bring it out and you’ve got to be willing to bring it out in others. I thought we took some steps towards that in this first practice.”

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Video: Crean, Oladipo and Zeller at Indianapolis “on the road” tour

Tom Crean, Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller addressed Indiana fans on Wednesday night at Lucas Oil Stadium as part of the “on the road” tour stop in Indianapolis.

Watch their comments in the media player below:

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