Tom Crean Archive

Crean: Abell not ‘scratching surface of how good he can be’

Depth has been cited as one of the many reasons Indiana is the preseason pick to win the national championship.

But Tom Crean has been careful in the preseason to not prematurely anoint his team as deep until he can substitute without experiencing much of a drop off in production and consistency.

A big piece to establishing that consistency from the bench is sophomore guard Remy Abell.

As a freshman, Abell played sparingly for much of the season. But he filled in and played key minutes down the stretch with Verdell Jones out in a win at Purdue. He also did so in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament and three NCAA Tournament games. Those experiences should pay off for Abell, who is expected to take on a bigger role in his second season in Bloomington.

“It was big getting more playing time, especially on a big stage like the NCAA Tournament,” Abell said earlier this fall. “That stage was huge and coming into an even bigger stage, it’s definitely going to help.”

Like he did a season ago, Crean is hopeful that he has a solid core of players that can be interchangeable as starters and, right now, Abell appears to be squarely in that mix.

“I want to be able to look at it and say ‘we’ve got seven starters.’ Remy’s one of those guys,” Crean said after Thursday’s exhibition win over Indiana Wesleyan. “If I had to look at it today, he’s one of those seven guys that I’d say, ‘he could start for this team.'”

This preseason has been a productive one for Abell as he’s been one of the most consistent perimeter players for the Hoosiers through the first two public scrimmages and the exhibition game. In the win over Indiana Wesleyan, he stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal in 13 minutes.

“He got better throughout the game. He was not as aggressive as he needed to be,” Crean said. “He’s playing in a box, which is one of my terms for when you’re very narrow and you’re not spreading out and bringing that spacing to the game and creating havoc for your man. He got better at that.”

Getting to the basket was one of Abell’s strengths throughout high school and as a freshman, but working on his perimeter game was an offseason necessity to grow more confident offensively. Thus far, he’s appeared more confident in taking the perimeter shot and knocking it down, even with a man in his face.

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Eligibility status of Mosquera-Perea, Jurkin still uncertain

Indiana freshmen Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin have yet to be cleared to play by the NCAA and Tom Crean was asked to provide an update on their status following Thursday’s 86-57 exhibition win over Indiana Wesleyan.

The process of determining the eligibility for both players is still ongoing based on Crean’s comments.

“What I can say about that is that we go through a lot in a program,” he said. “There’s situations that are always going to arise and every one of them has got a process to it. And we’re in the middle of that process. We just are. That’s the extent of it. They’re two great kids that are trying to get better every day and it’s not like it’s anything that we’re dealing with that just came up. It’s been a process for some time. And that’s really where we’re at with it.”

Mosquera-Perea, who was in uniform, sat out against Indiana Wesleyan with a left foot injury that has hampered him for much of the summer and fall.

Jurkin, a native of the Sudan, played 11 minutes, scored four points and grabbed one rebound. Crean said he was encouraged by how Jurkin played, but acknowledged that he’s very much a work in progress.

“He’s gotta learn how to play,” Crean said. “There’s not one guy on the team that doesn’t want to see him succeed. And what I need is, I need them to start being harder on him because he’s pretty good. Again, he needs to play. He needs that time. He needs to learn how to use his length and he’s not strong enough yet. There’s no way around that, but he needs the chance to play so that he can grow into it because he’s an extremely willing learner.”

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HD Video: Crean reacts to win over Indiana Wesleyan

Indiana coach Tom Crean met with reporters following the Hoosiers’ 86-57 exhibition win over Indiana Wesleyan Thursday night in Assembly Hall.

Watch and listen to the press conference in the embedded media player below:

Some quotes after the jump.

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Around the Hall: IU opens at No. 3 on Pomeroy

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall staff:

· Tempo-free stat guru Ken Pomeroy is out with his preseason rankings and Indiana starts at No. 3. Pomeroy explained how his preseason ratings are calculated in a blog post.

· Dan Hanner of Basketball Prospectus also released his preseason rankings, 1-345, and the Hoosiers took the top spot.

· BeeJay Anya talked to Zagsblog about his decision to cut his list to Indiana and North Carolina State.

· Cody Zeller was a near unanimous pick for the preseason Associated Press All-American team.

· The Cleveland Plain Dealer has a nice feature on the Zeller family that focuses on how Tyler differs from his brothers, Cody and Luke.

· Tom Crean talks to Rick Bozich of WDRB.com about the similarities between Cody Zeller, Andrew Luck and Tim Tebow.

· Indiana’s exhibition opponent, Indiana Wesleyan, is ranked No. 4 in the preseason NAIA Division II coaches top 25 poll.

· After missing the entire preseason, Hornets guard Eric Gordon may begin the season in a reserve role.

Notebook: Media Day buzz firmly affixed to Hoosiers

ROSEMONT, Ill. — The preseason accolades continue to pile up for the cream and crimson.

As Big Ten Media Day kicked off Thursday morning, it was announced the media selected the Hoosiers as the favorites to win the conference. Cody Zeller was named the Preseason Player of the Year and was a unanimous selection for first team All-Big Ten. It was hard to find a seat at Tom Crean’s table during the media breakout session. And once Zeller made himself available, his table was equally sacked. As the day wrapped, one national media observer joked Zeller looked like LeBron James with all the attention.

This much is true: Eyes, lots of them, are on the Hoosiers.

But the theme remained the same since Crean and his team started stepping in front of the cameras and microphones again this fall: They simply are’t letting it get to them. The questions about preseason hype and pressure continued to trickle out of the media’s collective mouth on Thursday, and the same answers were given once more. Christian Watford said the team isn’t really paying attention to all of it.

And Crean continues to contend it’s not affecting the squad’s habits or work ethic. In fact, they’re working even harder.

“What matters is, are they challenging each other? Are they competing? Are they absorbing the competition and are they hungry to get better? I don’t see any sign of that not being the case,” Crean said.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is hearing similar.

“Those same players that had failure for two years had success last year,” Izzo said. “What are they going to do with it? What did they do in the offseason? Everything I’ve heard from Tom and everybody else is that everybody’s worked even harder.”

The Zeller-Andrew Luck comparison

Cody Zeller was a likely lottery pick after last season, but decided to come back for a sophomore campaign in Bloomington. Zeller enters the 2012-13 season at No. 2 on ESPN’s Chad Ford’s Top 100 List for NBA prospects, but there’s chatter a junior season isn’t out of the question for the 7-footer.

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Transcript, Video: Tom Crean at Big Ten Media Day

Indiana coach Tom Crean took the podium today at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois at the Big Ten’s annual media day. Full video of his press conference is available below and a transcript is available after the jump.

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Notebook: Hoosier Hysteria exceeds Crean’s expectations

In the weeks leading up to Saturday night, there was a growing sense that this year’s Hoosier Hysteria was going to be different than many that came before it.

When the event finally arrived, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

Students and fans lined up outside Assembly Hall beginning of Friday morning, several spent the night outside, and building doors were closed nearly 90 minutes before Hysteria’s 7 p.m. start time. All of this for a preseason practice.

“Yesterday morning exceeded them when there were people lined up,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said when asked if the event exceeded his expectations. “There was no downside to anything after yesterday morning.”

Added redshirt junior guard Maurice Creek: “That was very special. I went over to talk to them just to say ‘hello’ because you don’t get that from fans these days. That’s very special for them to come out and stay out until the wee hours of the night.”

With the stands full and numerous potential basketball recruits looking on, the Hoosiers put on a three-hour show on the floor. There was dancing, dunking, shooting and plenty of laughing, with junior guard Victor Oladipo and ESPN Sportscenter anchor Sage Steele (an IU graduate) narrating it all.

All of it combined made for quite the electric atmosphere.

“When visitors get inside this building, it is an incredible spectacle for them,” Crean said. “It’s not just what you see, it’s not just what you hear, but I have no doubt it’s what you feel.”

The night concluded with an intense scrimmage that allowed fans one of their first opportunities to see this year’s team in a competitive setting. The scrimmage was fast-paced as the rebounder nearly always pushed the ball ahead himself without outletting to a guard. The red team featuring Cody Zeller, Yogi Ferrell and Oladipo won 40-39, defeating a white team that included Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford and Remy Abell.

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