Tom Crean sat down with Andy Katz of ESPN.com earlier this week at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, Florida and discussed a variety of topics including how Indiana will try to replace Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo, how he dealt with losing in his first three seasons and more.
Here are some notable quotes from that conversation:
· On how hard it was to deal with losing: “Extremely. (I) changed a lot from that, I don’t think there’s any question. You realize that you better put what really matters first and that’s your faith in God, your family, the well being of your family and your coaches’ families and your players. That’s the stuff. You’ve got to keep searching for ways to find a way to win. And I think that’s the driving force. How do we find a way to win this next game? Even when you didn’t, to come back again the next day. That’s where the frustration was met with great opportunity. And we tried to make it as great an opportunity as we could.”
· On the legacies of Zeller and Oladipo at Indiana: “I think it’s just beginning. I think it’s got to be leadership now. I think when Cody and Victor come back to the gym in the summertime, they’ve got to help lead the young players. They’ve got to continue to … when they see something in the program, they’ve got to say, ‘no, this is how we do it here’ or ‘this is the way it needs to be done here.’ Those are the guys who helped bring that to that level. But I think their legacy will be that they came into Indiana, one very unheralded in Victor and one very heralded in Cody, bonded together with another group of guys and helped make the Indiana program the blueblood that it had been used to being. And I think that’s the most important thing, that they can feel tremendous strength and pride in what they did and help bring it back.”
Tom Crean addressed the media earlier this morning via teleconference to discuss Thursday’s NBA Draft. On the call, he discussed several topics, including Victor Oladipo’s work ethic, Cody Zeller’s game translating to the NBA, Christian Watford’s future and more.
Here’s the complete transcript of his comments, via ASAP Sports and IUHoosiers.com:
COACH CREAN: Thank you everybody for joining like this right in the middle of our basketball camp. We had a great night last night, relatively short night by the time everything got finalized with Christian Watford. But, nonetheless, a great, great night for everybody in Indiana, but most importantly for Victor Oladipo and his family and Cody Zeller and his family.
I think the fact that both of them went the way they did speaks volumes about their work ethic, about their character, about the intensity and competitiveness that they have. And in my mind as a coach, the greatest thing about the two of them moving forward is the upside, the tremendous upside that both of them still have. Because Victor just turned 21 in early May, and Cody’s not 21 until October.
So there is a tremendous amount of growth in those guys that we’ve had the privilege of being a part of the last couple of years; and I think that their coaching staffs, management staffs and the fan bases in both Orlando and Charlotte are going to be really, really excited, not only about what they do on the court, but I think they’re going to be blown away by what those guys are capable of in making people feel invested and a part of the program the way they’re going to be in their communities in the states as well. So I’m excited to watch all of that play out too.
Q. Victor’s reputation as an extremely hard worker is well known including here in Florida. But can you cite some examples of just how much of a hard worker he is?
COACH CREAN: Yeah, I can. In the three years that he was here, especially during the season, there might have been two days that he took off. One of them I told him not to come in. I’m talking about not just after a game or before a game or on a day off or at the end of practice, I mean, every day he came to work.
It started when he first got to Indiana. When he and Will Sheehey who is from Florida, became two freshmen that walked in and utilized our new building and started working on their games until the last day Victor was here until he headed back to D.C. two days after graduation and all that time in between.
He is an extremely gifted athlete, tremendous charisma, and just strength of will and personality. But when he gets in the gym, it is all business, and that is exactly what propelled him to so many different things. I mean, it was just common for us to practice and if we ended practice and weren’t going into films or the weight room, he stayed in the gym. Put his cones up and started to work on different things, with a coach, without a coach, with a graduate manager, and work on his shooting. Even if we went to weights and to film, he always came back out.
STARLIGHT, Ind. — The IU Tailgate Tour rolled into Huber Winery on Wednesday night with an estimated crowd of 900 fans.
Before taking the stage, Tom Crean met with the media and talked about his team’s APR recognition from the NCAA, Will Sheehey and Yogi Ferrell trying out for the World University Games, leadership on next season’s team and much more.
Watch and listen to Crean’s comments below:
STARLIGHT, Ind. — When Indiana takes the floor next fall, the Hoosiers will be without two likely lottery picks in Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo and two four-year, 1,000-point scorers in Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford. Will Sheehey will be the only four-year player in the program and seven new players, including six freshman, will be counted on to play significant roles.
From a depth perspective, Indiana could be stronger top to bottom than it was last season, but losing four starters also leaves a potential void in leadership.
But just as the Hoosiers had different players lead throughout the 2012-2013 season, Tom Crean said Wednesday night at the IU Tailgate Tour stop at Huber Winery that next season’s team might not have a definitive leader.
“I don’t know if this is a team that you say, ‘this is the one leader,’ Crean said. “We’ve got to have collective leadership. I don’t think this is a thing where it’s going to be one or two guys that we bestow the leadership mantle to in the summer.”
The Indiana players currently on campus have already started summer workouts and all seven newcomers are expected in town by the end of next week.
While much of the offseason dialogue will be centered around what Indiana lost to early entries to the NBA and graduation, the opportunity to mold a new group of players into a team is exciting for Crean.
“It’s really going to be important that so many of them can step in and play,” he said. “I think we have a chance to have a deeper team. I think our athleticism is going to be really strong. The glass half empty is that we lost a lot of people. The glass half full is we’ve got such a young team and they’re going to have that much more of a chance for growth.”
INDIANAPOLIS — Ever since Indiana’s home-and-home series with Kentucky after the 2011-2012 season, there has been a lingering question of which school would replace the Wildcats on the schedule in the long term.
Many schools have come up over the last year, including Kansas and Louisville, but no deal has been reached with any team to this point.
Indiana coach Tom Crean said Tuesday night at a Tailgate Tour event at Lucas Oil Stadium that the Hoosiers are still working to fill the void in the schedule left by Kentucky, but he was rather vague as to what that might mean.
Crean said he had discussions with Gonzaga last week about scheduling a home and home with a game this season at Assembly Hall and one in the future at Gonzaga, but Mark Few’s team already had enough non-conference road games scheduled for this season.
“Nobody wants to do that,” Crean said. “It’s too big of a deal to play at home. It’s a big deal not only for the program but for the athletic department.
“It’s so hard right now with what could happen down the road. There’s no question losing Kentucky screwed us up for the home and home situation. But there’s things that could potentially be out there for the future that we can’t talk about publicly but we have to plan for privately. The last thing we wanna do is get caught in a situation where we’re trying to play too many non-conference road games.”
As it stands right now, the Hoosiers will play in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden in November with Boston College, Connecticut and Washington. Indiana will also play at Syracuse in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge and against Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in December.
Crean was asked specifically if the possibility remained that the Hoosiers would not get another marquee home game this season.
INDIANAPOLIS — There was plenty for Tom Crean to discuss on Tuesday night at the IU Tailgate Tour at Lucas Oil Stadium.
At his second tour appearance, Crean talked about next season’s non-conference schedule, Noah Vonleh’s progress since arriving on campus, offseason workouts, Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller and the NBA Draft and much more.
Watch and listen to Crean’s comments below: