Tom Crean Archive
On Tom Crean’s weekly radio show on Monday night, host Don Fischer opened his introduction of the Hoosiers coach by saying “Coach, it was a tough week for your basketball team…”
Crean interjected. “You think?”
By now, everyone knows what happened. Wednesday: Indiana leads a lowly 12-12 Penn State squad, 64-53, with 2:26 left and loses. Friday: Sophomore Hanner Mosquera-Perea is arrested on suspicion of operating while intoxicated. Saturday: The Hoosiers get blown out by rival Purdue, 82-64, in West Lafayette.
It was, arguably, the most turbulent week in the Tom Crean era. And on his radio show Monday night, Crean reflected on the week that was, starting with the second-half collapse against Penn State.
“We should have never been in that situation,” he said.
But what Crean admitted he did not calculate very well was the impact that 66-65 loss would have on his team. The arrest of Mosquera-Perea, who Crean likened to a “family member,” only hurt the team’s morale even more, he said. Crean has preached plenty of times, this season, a game-by-game mentality, but during Saturday’s game at Purdue he could tell his team’s spirit wasn’t there.
The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the seventh week of conference play. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:
· Prior to the call, the conference announced that Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes was named the league’s freshman of the week for the fourth time this season and Nebraska’s Terran Petteway and Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky were named the league’s co-players of the week.
· Opening statement: “Iowa is very hard to get ready for, and that’s why they are so successful. They have excellent players and Fran is one of the top coaches in our league and in the country. He does such a great job of going from game-to-game, doing whatever it takes to win that game. He has a lot of things in the gameplan that he can go to. At the same time, they have their constants and their principles.
“You can see with them being as old as they are and as experienced as any team in this league, that they are playing that way. They are extremely unselfish with one another and cause so many issues with their versatility. We have a great task in front of us and that’s what we are looking forward to tomorrow night.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Proceedings similar to Saturday’s game have unfolded plenty of times for Indiana this season. Turnovers, missed shots and poor defense have plagued the Hoosiers frequently, including most recently on Wednesday, at home, to Penn State in an 11-point collapse in the final 2:26.
But perhaps no performance this season shattered more decisively than Saturday’s at Purdue, as the Hoosiers (14-11, 4-8) suffered their worst loss of the season in an 82-64 defeat (their previous losses to now No. 1 Syracuse and No. 9 Michigan State were each by 17 points) at the mercy of the Boilermakers (15-10, 5-7) in a raucous Mackey Arena.
“We did not answer the bell the way that we needed to when they were on that run and get back and get stops the way that we needed to,” Indiana coach Tom Crean told reporters after the game. “And they took advantage of it.”
Just 6:45 into Saturday’s game, Indiana had seven turnovers and the Hoosiers found themselves trailing, 16-8. Freshman Noah Vonleh had two fouls. After what had been an already disappointing week for Indiana, which included the arrest of a current player for the first time since 2001, it appeared the team would get blown out by its rival for its third straight loss.
But for the next 12 minutes, the Hoosiers almost made fans believe they had righted the ship. They went on a 19-6 run to take a 27-22 lead, and the Hoosiers were shooting 8-for-16 from the floor. Crean had also put Vonleh in the game despite his foul trouble.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 82-64 loss to Purdue on Saturday at Mackey Arena.
Watch his postgame comments in the media player below:
In the span of 36 hours from Wednesday night to Friday morning, Indiana’s men’s basketball program experienced an 11-point collapse in the final 2:26 to lose to Penn State at home and learned news of the arrest of sophomore forward Hanner Mosquera-Perea.
After what has been, arguably, the most rocky three days in the past three seasons for the Hoosiers, at 4 p.m. today, Indiana will play its Big Ten, in-state rival. And though both teams have struggled this season, pride is on the line when the Hoosiers (14-10, 4-7) face Purdue (14-10, 4-7) in West Lafayette this afternoon.
“The ability to move on from setbacks, distractions and doubts are what fuel you to get better and improve,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said via his Twitter account on Friday evening. “That’s where our team sits. Our guys are learning that you have no choice but to move on to the next task no matter how you’re feeling. Resiliency is a skill.”
Less than two weeks ago, yet seemingly so long ago, the Hoosiers were celebrating an upset after a dominating victory over No. 10 Michigan in Bloomington. They were 14-8 overall, 4-5 in the Big Ten and within striking distance of a potential NCAA tournament bid.
In one of the most perplexing losses that fans in Assembly Hall have witnessed, Indiana fell 66-65 to Penn State on Wednesday night after holding an 11-point lead with 2:53 to play.
The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 14-10 overall and 4-7 in the Big Ten with a game at Purdue looming on Saturday. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Nittany Lions:
· Indiana played not to lose late, rather than to win: The Hoosiers had plenty of chances to close the game out down the stretch and simply couldn’t do it. Turnovers and poor execution were obviously a big part in that, but IU tightened up late and rather than just making the plays that helped them build a 13-point lead, the Hoosiers looked like they were just trying to hold on.
The blame for that, of course, has to go around. It doesn’t all fall on the coaching staff, nor does it fall completely on the players, either. It was, collectively, a poor effort down the stretch. What we’ve learned from watching the Big Ten this season is that every possession matters. And when you’re on a wrong side of the turnover battle consistently in close games, in this instance IU had five more than Penn State, the outcomes are not going to be favorable.
As the final buzzer sounded at Assembly Hall on Wednesday night, boos resonated from fans as Indiana’s players slowly walked off Branch McCracken Court, heads hung and hands at their sides.
The Hoosiers (14-10, 4-7) had just lost to Penn State (13-12, 4-8), 66-65, in one of the worst collapses of the Tom Crean era. Indiana led, 64-53, with only 2:26 left on the game clock. This was against a Penn State squad that lost two straight and had lost six Big Ten games in a row at one point, as well.
There’s no sugar-coating it: This loss was bad.
“It’s not very fun to lose a game like that,” said sophomore Yogi Ferrell, who finished with 16 points.
You can start at Penn State’s 4-of-4 shooting from the field in that final 2:26. You can point to Indiana’s four turnovers in the last 2:06 — three of which came from dead-ball, in-bounds plays. There’s plenty of familiar wrong-doings to choose from.
But the nature in which Indiana lost this game is what is most significant. The Hoosiers had pretty much dominated the Nittany Lions throughout, scoring at ease and forcing turnovers in what was a must-win game if they had any remaining hopes of an NCAA tournament bid. Games like these were the ones the Hoosiers had to win.