Tom Crean Archive

Hoosiers ‘ready to play’ as season opener awaits

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It has been 246 days since Indiana last played an in-season basketball game. 246 days mixed with plenty off-court drama and new, on-court looks. The wait ends tonight.

With a roster that was overhauled over the offseason — nine of the Hoosiers’ 15 players this season are new to the squad — the team will take Branch McCracken Court tonight at 7 p.m. for their season opener against Mississippi Valley State.

“I’ve been so excited to play here,” freshman guard James Blackmon Jr. said on Thursday. “So I don’t think it came too quick. I’ve been ready to play these games, so I’m just glad it’s here.”

In the more than eight months since Indiana played a regular season game at Assembly Hall, plenty has changed. Several players transferred. Newcomers arrived. Others faced legal troubles and suspensions. New opportunities arose.

After two exhibitions against Northwood (Mich.) and Indianapolis, the Hoosiers will have their first chance to make a result count since last March 13, a 64-54 season-ending loss to Illinois in the Big Ten tournament.

Now, the 2014-2015 Hoosiers can make a statement of their own.

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Video: Tom Crean previews Mississippi Valley State, Texas Southern

Tom Crean met with the media on Thursday afternoon to discuss Indiana’s season opener on Friday night against Mississippi Valley State and also look ahead to Monday’s game against Texas Southern, which is coached by Mike Davis.

Watch the full press conference below:

Quotes are available after the jump.

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Video: Tom Crean reacts to win over University of Indianapolis

Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 76-63 exhibition win over the University of Indianapolis on Monday night at Assembly Hall.

Watch the full press conference below:

Notebook: Hoosiers knock off anxiety in 94-70 exhibition win over Northwood

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Indiana coach Tom Crean could see it during Wednesday’s practice.

His players were “really, really anxious” to play in Thursday’s exhibition against Northwood.

After what had been a turbulent six days, the Hoosiers played their first game of the 2014-2015 season with only nine players active, knocking off the Timberwolves by a 94-70 score in Assembly Hall.

“Everybody was anxious to play,” Crean said. “I know that. You could really feel it in practice yesterday, that they were really, really anxious to get to the court. I thought they played that way today.”

The Hoosiers suffered from a slow start on Thursday evening, trailing 15-8 through the first 6:57 of the game. After a week in which one of their teammates was hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury and the program was placed under scrutiny, the Hoosiers started the game tight.

But as the game progressed, the Hoosiers settled in. Among the positives, despite the lack of size due to suspensions and injuries, they had a plus-seven rebounding margin, shot a 55.3 effective field goal percentage and had only a 13 percent turnover rate — a feat they achieved just once last season.

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Video: Tom Crean reacts to win over Northwood

Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 94-70 exhibition win over Northwood on Thursday night at Assembly Hall.

Watch the full press conference below, which begins with an update on Devin Davis:

A full transcript, via ASAP Sports, is available after the jump.

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Notebook: Crean feeling ‘tremendous amount’ of responsibility for recent struggles

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Late in Tom Crean’s lengthy press conference on early Wednesday afternoon, the Hoosiers head coach was asked to clarify a comment he made earlier in the press conference regarding how else he would have handled the events of last Friday night.

After more than 40 minutes of speaking on the team’s multiple offcourt issues, the coach beginning his seventh season at Indiana paused, holding back emotions, and gave an answer.

“If I could go back and do it again the other night, I would have had them in there until midnight, would have gotten some sleep and then would have come right back in (at 5 a.m.),” Crean said, pausing at times during the answer to contain himself. “And I would have never let them out of my sight. Not sure if that’s realistic, but that’s what I would have done. Could I do that every night? I don’t know, but that’s where we’re at.”

Just after Indiana’s practice ended on Friday afternoon — the night of Halloween — Crean spoke to his team for more than 20 minutes on what not to do that night. Hours later, he was in the emergency room at IU Health Bloomington Hospital with sophomore Devin Davis in serious condition and freshman Emmitt Holt scarred, rattled and cited by police.

During Wednesday’s press conference, Crean said he feels “a tremendous amount (of responsibility)” for what occurred that night — not because his players did not listen to him after practice but rather that he had to confront Davis’ parents in the hospital just after.

“My passion level for what my responsibilities are are as high as they can possibly be,” Crean said. “And when it doesn’t go right, it’s the responsibly that falls on my shoulders. Am I disappointed? There’s absolutely no question about that. Am I extremely disappointed for my family, for our coaches, for their families? No question about it.

“But when you do this, you feel the responsibility to the kids. You feel the responsibility to the parents.”

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Hulls: IU players must hold each other accountable

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Jordan Hulls may be playing professionally in Kosovo, but he’s keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Bloomington at his alma mater.

Hulls, who played at Indiana from 2009 to 2013 and was an integral part of the rebuilding process under Tom Crean that ultimately led to the program’s first outright Big Ten championship in 20 years, said on Wednesday he understands the fan frustration that’s come as a result of recent offcourt issues.

But he also believes that Indiana has the right man in charge to navigate through the issues.

“It’s definitely frustrating, I would definitely share that with the fans,” Hulls told Inside the Hall. “I’m 100 percent loyal to Coach Crean and I have complete faith that he’s going to try and do all of the right things.”

Leadership, or lack thereof, has been mentioned as a potential issue since the end of the 2012-2013 season when Hulls, Derek Elston, Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford and Cody Zeller departed Bloomington.

The Bloomington native, who starred in high school at South high school and won the Mr. Basketball Award, says he views leadership a little different than most.

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