Tom Crean Archive

Crean learning more about his team heading into Michigan State matchup

On the eve of Indiana’s biggest home game to date this season, coach Tom Crean reflected on his team’s progress heading into today’s game against No. 5 Michigan State.

Crean already has his team in double-digit wins, however, with one of the least-experienced teams in the NCAA and an 0-4 record against top-100 opponents, there is still plenty of room for improvement. And as the Hoosiers prepare for a matchup against one of the Big Ten favorites, Crean realizes the process toward returning to the top of the conference will not be a quick one.

“We just have to continue to get an understanding and that doesn’t happen in a period of one or two games, it happens over a period of time,” he said. “What you want is to make sure that you are responding every time, and I think we have done that.”

Only a year ago, Crean was dealing with a team that had already been ranked No. 1 in the nation and was expected to contend in the Big Ten.

Fast forward 12 months and the Hoosiers lost seven impact players over the offseason — three to graduation, two to the NBA and another two transferred. IU came into the season with one senior, two sophomores and two freshmen in their starting lineup. But one thing Crean wanted his team to do from the start of this season was play fast. That hasn’t been easy.

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Perspective needed for transition season in Bloomington

Perspective is often missing from the vocabulary of the diehard, passionate sports fan. I’ve been guilty of it, you’ve been guilty of it, we’ve all been guilty of it.

A common theme amongst fan bases across all of the major sports is this: A palpable thirst for winning.

Enhancements in technology, such as social media, and the endless availability of information have only served to make fans more knowledgeable about their respective teams and thus, even more fanatical.

Winning in Bloomington the past two seasons has become the norm. The Hoosiers won 56 games over the past two seasons, including an outright Big Ten championship for the first time in 20 years last season. This resurrection, led by Tom Crean, came after a trip to the abyss that’s been well documented, but is now in the past and no longer a major part of the discussion because, well, it’s over.

The future is now for Indiana basketball and this season’s 10-4 start has been met with a wide range of opinion from one of college basketball’s most engaged and intelligent groups of fans. Many have stayed the course while IU tries to progress with the country’s 322nd most experienced team while others are second guessing every timeout, turnover or substitution.

It’s become both fascinating and exhausting to follow all of the dialogue.

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss at Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Indiana opened Big Ten play with a narrow 83-80 overtime loss to Illinois on Tuesday afternoon at the State Farm Center.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the fourth loss of the season for the Hoosiers:

· Indiana played well enough to win, despite the turnovers: Not many teams, if any, will win a Big Ten road game this season while committing 20 or more turnovers, but Indiana almost accomplished the feat against Illinois. The Hoosiers actually posted a season-high in turnover percentage (29.0), but had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. While the poor perimeter shooting from Illinois helped keep Indiana in the game, you can also point to several things the Hoosiers did very well.

Among them: Indiana got to the foul line 30 times against an Illinois team that had been keeping opponents off the line. Indiana performed well on the offensive glass, rebounding 42.4 percent of its misses. And the Hoosiers also hit 3-pointers at efficient clip (10-of-22). Despite the loss, there has to be some encouragement drawn from Indiana nearly beating a fringe top 25 team on the road despite all of the unforced mistakes.

· A little more on the turnover problem: The turnover problem is clearly a team-wide issue as each of IU’s starters currently has a turnover rate of 20 percent or more. Yogi Ferrell, Noah Vonleh and Will Sheehey are all right around the 20 percent mark, which is too high, but given their level of production, a bit easier to swallow.

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Hoosiers and Illini to battle in Champaign; Crean elaborates on Fischer’s departure

Indiana fans might like to forget the last time the Hoosiers played in Champaign, Ill.

On Feb. 7 earlier this year, the then-No. 1 Hoosiers went into Illinois and collapsed, losing on a buzzer-beating layup to an unranked Illini squad. Almost 11 months later, on the final day of the calendar year at 3 p.m. ET today, the two teams will face off again at the State Farm Center.

This time, though, it will be under a completely different set of circumstances.

Both teams have undergone significant changes heading into today’s Big Ten opener. Illinois (11-2) lost three of its five leading scorers in seniors D.J. Richardson, Brandon Paul and Tyler Griffey, and Indiana (10-3) lost four of its five starters over the offseason.

And while both teams are unranked in the early goings of the 2013-2014 season, each has adjusted to their new set of circumstances. Which makes today’s game that much more interesting: It’s a test to gauge where both teams are at right now.

“In order for us to win, we’ve just got to stay together,” sophomore guard Yogi Ferrell said on Monday before the team left for Champaign. “Don’t get into all the hype, all the outside stuff. We know it’s going to be loud in there, even more than last year. So we’re ready for it.”

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