A week after Indiana’s season-ending 81-76 loss to Wichita State in the NCAA tournament, athletics director Fred Glass spoke out in support of Tom Crean, who just finished his seventh season in Bloomington.
In a statement sent to The Indianapolis Star, Glass reiterated his support for IU’s head coach, while also stating that he expects more from the school’s signature athletic program in the future.
“While from a team perspective, there were certainly some positives this year, from a program perspective, we are not where we want to be,” Glass told the Star.
The Hoosiers finished the season 20-14, but were at one point 15-4 overall and tied for second in the Big Ten standings after a win over Maryland on Jan. 22.
Indiana finished seventh in the conference, which was slightly higher than where the Hoosiers were projected by most at the beginning of the season. After there was speculation late in the season that Crean might be coaching for his job in IU’s final home game against Michigan State, Glass told both The Bloomington Herald-Times and ESPN.com that wasn’t the case.
OMAHA, Neb. – Tom Crean, Yogi Ferrell, Nick Zeisloft, James Blackmon Jr. and Troy Williams addressed the media earlier today at the CenturyLink Center in advance of Indiana’s game tomorrow
THE MODERATOR: Nick Zeisloft, James Blackmon, Jr., Troy Williams and Yogi Ferrell represent the student body of the Indiana Hoosiers. They’re the No. 10 seed in the Midwest region; they’re out of the Big 10 conference, they will play No. 7 Wichita State in Friday’s second game.
Q. Yogi, as you look at Wichita State, what are some of the things that they present that make them a difficult match for you guys? What makes them good?
YOGI FERRELL: One thing about their team is they’re a very solid team. They’ve got basically five solid positions, and that’s what makes them such a great team. They start junior and seniors, so they’re obviously a lot more experienced than we are. They’ve got great 3-point shooters; they’ve got great post presence. Like I said before, just a great experienced team.
Indiana coach Tom Crean looked away from the TV and examined the scene inside the Hoosiers’ locker room.
Players were jumping up and down, yelling in celebration. His family and other coaches families embraced. Crean, himself, was in shock.
The Hoosiers, who were on the bubble according to many bracketologists, had been selected into the 2015 NCAA tournament. And not only were they in the field of 68, they were selected as a No. 10 seed, scheduled to play No. 7 seed Wichita State in Omaha on Friday at 2:45 p.m. ET.
“I was stunned,” Crean said. “I’d be lying to say I saw a 10 seed coming.”
Since their loss to Maryland in the Big Ten tournament on Friday, the Hoosiers have been on edge. After all, they had nothing else to occupy their time in the hours leading up to the NCAA tournament selection show on CBS.
With a 20-13 record, an RPI of 60 and a 5-9 record to close the season, the Hoosiers had plenty of reason to be nervous. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi projected them as his last team out of the tournament. Several others predicted them participating in a play-in game in Dayton, Ohio.
In a surprise to many bracketologists, Indiana safely made the NCAA tournament field as the top No. 10 seed. The Hoosiers will travel to Omaha to play Wichita State in the Midwest Region on Friday afternoon on CBS.
Tom Crean, Yogi Ferrell, Nick Zeisloft, James Blackmon Jr. and Troy Williams met with the media on Sunday evening at Assembly Hall to discuss IU’s tournament selection and much more. Watch both press conferences below:
The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the final week of conference play and to look ahead to this week’s conference tournament in Chicago. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:
On Yogi Ferrell’s play this season:
“Well I think he continues to get better and better. He’s his own worst critic at times and at the same time, he’s got an edge and a level of toughness that is outstanding. We need him to play with that. We need him to play with edge on defense as well as offense and be the stopper and be the team leader on the defensive end of the court that he is on the offensive end of the court because when we have that, we’re good. He does a lot of things. He improves all of the time. He improves every year and throughout the year and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody, he’s done a fantastic job.”