Tom Crean Archive

Hoosier Hysteria Video: Crean, Creek, Oladipo, Roth

Indiana coach Tom Crean and guards Maurice Creek, Victor Oladipo and Matt Roth met with the media following Friday’s Hoosier Hysteria:

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Video: Tom Crean meets the media

Courtesy of the IU Athletics YouTube Channel:

Video: Tom Crean talks toughness

Apparently, I’m not the only one that still has a bad taste in my mouth from this. Tom Crean says the home loss to Iowa last January is the one loss that continues to make him sick to his stomach.  Watch and listen to what Crean has to say about IU’s toughness in this video clip following last week’s Cream and Crimson Survivor Media Challenge, courtesy of Rick Bozich of The Courier-Journal. And when you’re done, raise your hand if you’d be willing to run through a brick wall if Tom Crean asked you to. (Raises hand.)

Reading between the lines

BLOOMINGTON — Tom Crean has started speaking in past tense. It’s reasoned, measured and cautious, sure, but when Crean preached the rebuilding gospel that has endeared him to IU fans over the past 2 1/2 years Thursday night at the IU Auditorium, he suddenly began referring to so many of the Hoosiers’ obstacles much the same way America is supposed to now refer to the recession.

“Every day it’s been about rebuilding or restoring, however you want to look at it, this great program back to those great heights,” Crean said.

By this point, there’s no need for me to rehash or you to relive what’s gone on since February of 2008. That would be wasted space. But as his team has taken various steps — and often stumbled between them — Crean has offered both rallying cries and sobering, realistic assessments of the Hoosiers trials, in measures almost equal.

Thursday night, he began to speak like a man who knows that, at some important levels, his team has turned a corner.

“People have gotten used to seeing Indiana being down. … Our opponents, they don’t want it to come back,” Crean said. “They like knocking Indiana. They like the 19 Fs and all the drug tests failed. They like that Indiana.”

Perhaps Crean’s point, albeit one made abstractly, is that “that Indiana” is finally becoming a thing of the past.

There’s significant reason for optimism in Bloomington this fall. The non-conference schedule, while respectable, is by no means unbearable, and it’s easy to envision Indiana entering Big Ten play with 10 wins already on its ledger. The roster turnover and inexperience that marked the last two seasons is significantly lessened by the return of all but three players from last year’s team, and both Crean and his charges have talked of a productive offseason in the weight room.

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A notebook of all things Indiana following Tom Crean’s lecture

BLOOMINGTON — Mostly because I just can’t get enough of datelines, I thought I’d bring you just a few of the highlights of Tom Crean’s Thursday night lecture to students and fans at the IU Auditorium. Enjoy.

+ Perhaps the headline announcement was that Hoosier Hysteria will take place Oct. 15, so there’s that.

+ Crean said that, according to his players, Verdell Jones is right now perhaps the best player on the team. Pointing out that he himself has not been able to assess the team personally per NCAA rules, Crean has polled his players on any number of topics, and on this one in particular, Jones’ name was the one most continually mentioned.

+ Talking about the coming season, Crean said the three areas in which his team needs to improve the most are rebounding at both ends, defensive intensity and decision making.

+ With Franklin College already on the schedule, Crean told the crowd he expects to add one more exhibition, likely on the Monday before the Hoosiers’ season opener Friday. (So Nov. 8 before the Nov. 12 game against Florida Gulf Coast.)

+ Crean also highlighted three “great fights” every team struggles with: division from within, outside forces and fatigue. “Fatigue might be the greatest of them all,” he said, “because it is so easy to believe that you’ll do better tomorrow.”

+ Crean said he never picks wins and losses or projects a record for his teams. He also declined to name which team he wanted to beat most when questioned by an audience member, saying he didn’t want to give anyone “bulletin-board material.”

+ Asked to share his most embarrassing moment, Crean told of a time in eighth grade when he scored a layup into the wrong basket during a basketball game.

Quotable: “I do know that if you walk into any game, and you don’t think that you’ve found any way to beat that team, you’re a joke.” –Tom Crean, IU basketball coach

Around the Hall: Zeller, Scout’s 2012 rankings, more

(Photo Credit: Jack Arent/adidas)

Around the Hall is recommended reading from the Inside the Hall crew. So go ahead, get your read on.

+ According to this tweet, Tom Crean will make an in-home visit today with 2011 Washington forward Cody Zeller.

+ Crean went on a Twitter run Monday and admitted giving up field-level access to the Ravens-Jets Monday night game in order to recruit. So who did Crean see on Monday? Hanner Perea. And also Collin Hartman and Trey Lyles.

+ Scout.com updated its 2012 rankings. Gary Harris (15), Hanner Perea (21), Jeremy Hollowell (29), Yogi Ferrell (36), D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (37) and Ron Patterson (69).

+ According to a premium story on SpartanMag.com, Harris is down to Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Xavier.

+ eph521, one of the ITH comment overlords, sent us the following video interview with 2011 point guard Cezar Guerrero.

+ IUHoosiers.com posted a profile of junior center Guy-Marc Michel.

+ Illinois coach Bruce Weber showed up at Lawrence Central’s lunch room to visit Hollowell.

James Blackmon Jr. gives Indiana verbal commitment

UPDATE: 12:17 p.m. Friday

Just got off the phone with James Blackmon Sr. who said Tom Crean and Indiana’s coaching staff made his son feel “welcomed” throughout their recruitment, making last night’s decision easy.

“He made us feel welcomed, answered a lot of questions,” Blackmon Sr. said. “(Blackmon Jr.) had a lot of questions.”

Indiana’s recruitment of Blackmon Jr. really took shape over the summer, when his father said the Hoosiers got plenty of chances to see James play. The player also visited Indiana’s Elite Camp over the summer.

By the time he came down to visit last night, Blackmon Sr. said the last step in the process was easy to take.

“It just felt like this was a good opportunity,” he said. “I think Coach Crean is headed in the right direction.”

Blackmon Sr., who was a McDonald’s All-American at Marion High School and a standout guard at Kentucky, is his son’s coach at Bishop Luers in Fort Wayne. The elder Blackmon won state titles at the school in 2008 and 2009 with DeShaun Thomas, now a freshman at Ohio State. So his son’s pedigree is inherited from his father in more ways than one.

November 2013 is the earliest Blackmon Jr. can sign a letter of intent, but he’s already drawn rave reviews. ESPN has him ranked among the top 10 players in the ’14 class, and their top shooting guard. He is the only committed player in ESPN’s 2014 top 40, and it should also be noted he’s the only in-state player on that list.

Like many other recruits that have come through Bloomington since April, the Blackmons were particularly impressed by Cook Hall. More than that, Blackmon Sr. said, he was impressed by the convenience of having Cook Hall and Assembly Hall so close to the northwest dormitories.

“It was just so convenient,” Blackmon Sr. said. “It was exciting to be able to walk through (Cook Hall).”

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