Tom Crean Archive

Video: Tom Crean previews IU’s Montreal tour

Indiana coach Tom Crean discussed his team’s upcoming five-game exhibition tour that begins on Friday in Montreal earlier this afternoon. Watch his comments below, courtesy of IU Athletics:

What to watch for: Indiana in Montreal

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Indiana begins a five-game tour over six days in Montreal, Canada (with one game in Ottawa) on Aug. 8 which will be the first foreign trip for the program since 2007. Here’s a look at five things we’ll be watching for on the trip:

· How will Indiana respond to adversity? The last Indiana foreign trip in 2007 to the Bahamas resulted in three lopsided victories by an average margin of close to 60 points. This group of Hoosiers will be playing a much more difficult slate of games against some of the best teams in Canada, including Carleton University and Ottawa University, who faced off last spring for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) title.

It’s not a matter of if Indiana will face adversity in several of these games, it’s a matter of how they will respond. With only two returning upperclassmen and seven new scholarship players, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly chemistry can begin to form against solid competition.

“I’m really anxious to see who is real up when we are playing well and who gets real down when we are not playing well,” IU coach Tom Crean said earlier this month. “And then you’ve got to have guys that can impact the game on both ends of the floor.”

· Our first look at James Blackmon Jr.: Indiana fans have followed James Blackmon Jr. since the summer before his freshman year of high school and now the Fort Wayne native is set to make his debut in an IU uniform. Blackmon Jr. looks like a pretty safe bet to start from day one as a Hoosier, but his impact on other perimeter players could be a major storyline this season.

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Offseason storylines: What IU needs from Mosquera-Perea

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Welcome to offseason storylines, a look into some of the biggest storylines surrounding the 2014-2015 Indiana Hoosiers. Next up, a look at the potential role of Hanner Mosquera-Perea as a junior. (Previously: A look at Indiana’s youth and how it got here, Is Troy Williams ready to make a leap?, Where can Ferrell grow as a junior?)

Indiana will enter the 2014-2015 season with one of the Big Ten’s best backcourts. Yogi Ferrell returns with a legitimate shot to challenge for first team All-Big Ten honors. James Blackmon Jr. arrives with numerous accolades, including a selection to the McDonald’s All-American team. Stanford Robinson will bring a year of experience and the ability to get to the basket. And Robert Johnson arrives with a college ready body and shooting stroke.

The frontcourt situation, however, is far less certain and full of questions.

The loss of Noah Vonleh to the NBA and the midseason transfer of Luke Fischer to Marquette leaves the Hoosiers with very few options up front. IU did add a bit of depth last spring with the signing of Jeremiah April, a 7-footer from Phoenix, Arizona, but the majority of the frontcourt minutes figure to go to sophomore Devin Davis and junior Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

At 6-foot-9, Mosquera-Perea is much more of a center than the 6-foot-7 Davis, although IU did use Davis at the five situationally last season against teams with similar size up front, like Michigan. But against teams with size, it stands to reason that Mosquera-Perea should get the first crack at the minutes that were mostly taken by Vonleh a season ago.

So what does Indiana need from Mosquera-Perea, largely unproven through his first two collegiate seasons, as a junior? In comments last week, Tom Crean said that it starts with consistency for the Colombia native.

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Crean “cannot wait” for challenges that await in Canada

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Indiana’s trip to Montreal in three weeks won’t be the first foreign tour for Tom Crean as a head coach.

In the fall of 2003, Crean took his Marquette program that was coming off a Final Four appearance to Costa Rica for a five-game exhibition trip. That group played for the first time following the loss of Dwyane Wade to the NBA, but it still had a solid core of upperclassmen, including senior Scott Merritt and junior Travis Diener.

The Indiana team that will travel to Canada next month will be considerably younger, but Crean is viewing the five-game schedule as an opportunity to see how this group responds to adversity.

“I’m really anxious to see who is real up when we are playing well and who gets real down when we are not playing well,” Crean said earlier this week. “And then you’ve got to have guys that can impact the game on both ends of the floor.”

This will be the first foreign tour for Indiana basketball since it went to the Bahamas back in the fall of 2007. That Indiana team crushed its opposition by an average of 58 points over three games. The competition level in Canada is expected to be significantly better.

Indiana’s third opponent on the trip, Carleton University, beat Wisconsin last year and took Syracuse to overtime. After a conversation with Badgers coach Bo Ryan, Crean opted to move the game against Carleton, which will take place in Ottawa, to later in the trip to allow his team to get a few games under its belt to prepare for that challenge.

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Tom Crean breaks down returnees, newcomers

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As part of his press conference on Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall, Tom Crean broke down the 2014-2015 Indiana roster on a player-by-player basis.

We’ve organized his quotes on each player below:

Yogi Ferrell

Yogi is getting a lot better. He’s getting a lot stronger. He’s benching 245 right now which is phenomenal. He’s always been a strong young man but nobody really lifts in high school like they did in college, and that wasn’t a big part of his day. I mean, he is a force in that weight room right now; and he’s not only a force with what he’s doing and the way that he’s lifting but in the way that he’s talking and leading.

What I really like about him, and I’m going to put him in front of you here pretty soon so you get a chance to see, he’s starting to grasp what he’s capable of. And I don’t think he’s even grasped what he’s capable of on the court yet and I know he’s showing flashes of it.

I had a gentleman in this league tell me that his team they had polled their team on some different questions about the season, and he said, when it came down to the hardest matchup in the league, to a man, everybody said the hardest matchup for them to deal with was with Yogi. I haven’t even told him that yet.

We want people across the country saying that when they run into him. And he’s working towards that. The keys right now, that he become as great of a lead guard in the sense of, do multiple things but make others better constantly.

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Video, quotes: Tom Crean provides offseason update

Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media on Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall for a lengthy offseason update.

In his comments, Crean addressed the roster, player-by-player, and also took questions from the media on topics like the upcoming foreign tour in Montreal, Yogi Ferrell‘s growth, team leadership, the health of Collin Hartman, how he envisions next season’s team coming together and much more.

Watch the complete press conference in the media player below:

A full transcript is available after the jump.

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Five takeaways from Chuck Martin announcement

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Indiana coach Tom Crean announced the hiring of new assistant coach Chuck Martin in a press conference on Monday afternoon at Assembly Hall, which officially fills a staff vacancy heading into three critical July evaluation periods.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the Martin announcement:

· Crean did his due diligence: While Martin has been in the fold since mid-June, Crean said he wanted to make sure that both Martin and his wife, Lee, could be in Bloomington to announce his hiring and with camps going on in Bloomington in recent weeks, Monday was the date that worked best to make the announcement. When the job opened in late April before the evaluation period, Crean didn’t rush into anything and as the process moved on, Martin established himself as the best fit.

“Jayd (Grossman) had called Calbert (Cheaney) right away, when it looked like Kenny (Johnson) was going to leave to see what his stance was,” Crean explained. “I don’t think Calbert was in a situation where he was looking to move. I definitely talked or had one other person in and did some research on others.

“But, really, for where we’re at with this youth and where we’ve got to go and continue to grow not only on the court but off the court maturity wise and all those things that come with having such a young team, when I kept hearing everything about just this is what he did here, this is what he did there, this is the kind of situation and how he deals with things and this and that, it was pretty easy.”

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