Tom Crean Archive
Indiana basketball fans are hurt and they should be. The emotions are wide ranging: There is anger. There is disgust. And there’s sadness.
Two days out from the exhibition opener at Assembly Hall, the last 72 hours have been the most tumultuous of the Tom Crean era in Bloomington.
Sophomore Devin Davis should be preparing to show off the game he worked so hard in the offseason to improve. Instead, he remains in IU Health Bloomington Hospital with a serious head injury after a senseless accident that should have never happened.
His teammate, freshman Emmitt Holt, will sit out four games for his involvement in that accident and is unquestionably dealing with emotions stemming from it that make basketball seem unimportant.
Sophomores Stanford Robinson and Troy Williams will also sit four games, two exhibitions and two regular season contests, for failed drug tests. It’s totally fair to question if those suspensions were harsh enough, but both players must accept the punishment that comes from their selfish actions.
And then there’s Crean, who is ultimately the one responsible for the program as its leader and head coach. While it is true that Crean can’t control the behavior of the young men who he has recruited to be a part of his program, he’s the one who ultimately has to be responsible for it. He’s being questioned from all angles right now and many of those inquiries are totally legitimate.
This much we must remember: Tom Crean gets what’s expected in Bloomington.
You don’t toss up four straight perfect APR scores without getting it. You don’t chain your entire team to student housing this season without getting it.
But we’re still left with this recent mess in Bloomington under his watch, a grown man unable to keep his teenage players from chasing the night — no matter how hard he tries.
Think about it this way: Whom do the underclassmen have to lead them by example? There are no seniors, and the longest-tenured Hoosiers started the off-the-court drama. Hanner Mosquera-Perea drove his car into a curb he was so hammered; Yogi Ferrell used a fake ID at Sports on the weekend of Little 500, a foolish decision. Crean has lofted Nick Zeisloft into the leadership perch. It’s true he’s the oldest kid on the team. But the fact is this: Four months ago, nobody knew who he was.
So there’s a reason Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls and Verdell Jones and Derek Elston are pissed. They see a group of kids — some they played with, some they didn’t — not getting it, not passing along the blueprint. Bob Knight may be long gone, and though he didn’t live a life of sainthood in Bloomington, he drafted that blueprint. The “It’s Indiana” blueprint. It’s a privilege to wear the candy stripes. And with it comes responsibility, higher standards, round-the-clock commitments. It’s not easy. It’s not always fun. But it’s what’s expected.
It’s a culture those players all worked hard to bring back to Assembly Hall under Crean’s watch, and it’s slipped since they’ve left.
On Monday night at his first radio show of the 2014-2015 season, Indiana coach Tom Crean faced several questions from both host Don Fischer and fans regarding the Hoosiers’ multiple off-court issues.
During the hour-long show, Crean addressed the condition of sophomore forward Devin Davis, announced suspensions for freshman Emmitt Holt and sophomores Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson, commented on leadership issues and updated the injury status of several Hoosiers heading into Thursday’s exhibition against Northwood.
Davis remains hospitalized
Following Monday night’s radio show, Crean said he would immediately return to IU Health Bloomington Hospital to spend time with Davis, who remains hospitalized following Saturday morning’s accident in which Davis was hit by a car driven by Holt.
During the show, though, Crean discussed how painful the incident was to him on a personal level — getting visibly emotional on multiple occasions and choking up on air, as well.
“I think our team is hurting big time,” Crean said. “We know mistakes are made. But our team is hurting big time.”
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.
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:
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.”
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: