WDRB.com: Crean’s non-traditional approach includes Denny Crum
So it was no surprise the videos Crean was studying the other day were not from his team’s unexpected 27-win season. They were videos of teams coached by a guy Crean has long admired – Denny Crum.
They were videos of the 1980 and 1986 University of Louisville teams that Crum directed to NCAA titles. Specifically, they were clips of how those teams, the ones with so many interchangeable parts, played Crum’s trademark switching defense.
“We’ve got a chance to have more depth,” said Crean, who has talked with Crum about visiting IU practices. “We have a chance to pressure the ball more. We definitely have more length. We can do more switching. That’s why I’m so interested in looking at the old Louisville teams of Denny Crum and how they did that.
“There’s so many more opportunities we have defensively right now because of our length and versatility. That’s how we have tried to recruit it. Get versatile, multi-dimensional, multi-positional guys. And try not to get too many people that can’t shoot the ball.”
STARLIGHT, Ind. — There was plenty to talk about for IU coach Tom Crean on Wednesday night at the IU Tailgate Tour at Huber Farms.
Just a day after Kentucky coach John Calipari commented on the end of the IU-Kentucky series, Crean had a response and he also discussed the scholarship situation for next season, preseason expectations, the progress of Maurice Creek, Cody Zeller and much more.
Watch and listen to Crean’s comments in the embedded media players below:
STARLIGHT, Ind. — When the five freshmen in the class of 2012 arrive on campus to begin taking classes in the second summer school session, Indiana will have 14 scholarship players.
The NCAA allows 13 scholarship players, but a Big Ten rule allows conference members to oversign by one player to help plan for early departures or other attrition.
Indiana coach Tom Crean said on Wednesday night at the IU Tailgate Tour at Huber Farms that a lot goes into planning for scholarships on a year-to-year basis.
“We have a lot of things that we have to look over and that we have to pay attention to. It’s not an easy process,” Crean said. “You go into the season last year and we completely felt like Christian Watford, that would very likely be his last year. And it could have been if he wanted to go to the (NBA) Draft. But he wanted to do more than go to the draft. He wants to be a first round pick, which is what he should be. You have to balance that a little bit when those decisions were made.
“We’ve had the injury to Maurice (Creek). There’s a lot of things that hang in there and we’re working through all of that.”
Creek, who missed the entire 2011-2012 season after suffering his third major injury in 22 months, continues on what Crean called a “long and tedious” road to recovery, but isn’t behind schedule.
Crean acknowledged that Creek’s status is a part of the equation when looking at scholarships for next season.
“There’s a lot of different factors that go into those things. Roster management, it’s here to stay. It is. There’s a lot of things that aren’t the way they were five to ten years ago in the world and college basketball is the same way. There’s a lot of uncertainty and you just have to deal with it.
“You always have to have a plan. Then you have to be able to work that plan, fix the plan, tweak the plan, whatever you need to do inside of it and at the same time, you’re trying to make everybody better, every day. There’s not one person who works with us, for us or works at Indiana that is not trying to make the program better that has a direct hand in it, every day. And that’s what we’re most focused on. The things are going to work out.”
With two off days between Thursday’s game three loss to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals and game four on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade ventured a hour south to Bloomington on Friday afternoon to visit with Tom Crean.
Crean coached Wade for two seasons at Marquette and in 2002-2003, the Golden Eagles reached the Final Four for the first time since 1977.
Wade was a first team All-American in the Final Four season and went on to become the 5th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
Following a performance of 30 points, nine rebounds and six assists that helped push Miami past the Pacers 101-93, the Heat guard talked about the trip to Indiana and the importance of his time with Crean.
“I really spent time with a mentor of mine, a father figure and had a long day and long hours of just conversation, just talking about a lot of things,” Wade told reporters. “So it was great for me to just get away and kind of get that energy that I needed from him.”
Wade, who shot just 2-of-13 from the field in Thursday’s 94-75 loss to the Pacers, said that Crean had film prepared for the two to watch together on Friday.
“They’ve got a great team up there (at Indiana), so he had film for me of my missed shots and my made shots so I can see it, so I can see both,” Wade said with a smile.
It was the eight time NBA All-Star’s first trip to Bloomington.
“First time there, great place, really nice campus,” he said.