Indiana coach Tom Crean took the podium today at the Crown Plaza O’Hare in Chicago at the Big Ten’s annual media day. The video of Crean’s presser is above or you can listen to the complete audio of Crean’s comments in the embedded media player below:
A full transcript is available after the jump.
Q: Translating all of that on to the court, what do you think are the areas where this will make the most improvement?
A: It’s gotta make the most difference defensively. There’s no doubt about it. It’s gotta start with our transition defense which was good not great. In this league and against really good teams, you’re gonna have some jailbreak type run-outs at certain points. When I use the term jailbreak, guys are sprinting up the court for their life with that ball. You’re only gonna have one, maybe two guys back. For us, that was Jordan (Hulls) and Verdell (Jones) a lot and they were not very good at getting that ball stopped at all and people were able to take them on. At the same time, you lose games if you’re constantly at a disadvantage numbers wise on the break and we had too much of that. Our big man have to do a much better job of sprinting back. Our wings have gotta get back and help inside out. That’s the first area. And I think the other area is we’ve gotta guard multiple actions better, which means more athleticism, more strength allow you control the ball a little bit better. It allows you to play in a short space a little bit better, and then the big thing is where the physical strength and the awareness come in is the weakside defense, especially the weakside rebounding. We were not a good weakside rebounding team last year because we were not physical enough. Weakside rebounding comes down to who hits first. Holding your position, and you’re gonna have a lot of mismatches, because in rotation defense you’re constantly gonna be in a situation where people are gonna be matched up against people who are not at their position. Our guards have gotta be much better at being able to block out bigger people.
Listen to audio of Tom Crean’s appearance from earlier this afternoon on The Dan Dakich Show (via 1070 The Fan) in the embedded media player below:
(Photo credit: IUHoosiers.com)
Indiana has self-reported a secondary NCAA rules violation by the men’s basketball staff involving blue-chip recruit Gary Harris, according to multiple sources.
The school acknowledged to ESPN.com that coach Tom Crean committed the violation while recruiting an unnamed student-athlete in Indianapolis last week.
In a statement released Tuesday, the school said, “Coach Crean immediately reported an inadvertent recruiting contact violation to our compliance office, and we are following our normal procedures.”
The school says in its report that Crean visited the unnamed student-athlete at an Indianapolis-area high school on Thursday, Oct. 6. According to the NCAA recruiting calendar, the contact period ended Oct. 5.
Even though the program is still under probation until Nov. 24 of this year from the Kelvin Sampson era, IU’s report also notes it docked itself two days of recruiting as a self-penalty. Add this to the fact that the contact is a secondary violation, and it’s likely no further penalty will stem from this.
You can view the complete secondary violation report here.
Crean also commented on the misstep late Tuesday via his Twitter account: “We take the rules very serious and work very hard to stay compliant with them. We made a mistake. In reality there are no excuses and I am glad we realized it when we did so we didn’t repeat it that day.”
Q: How is Maurice Creek coming along after last year’s season-ending knee injury?
A: “He’s not 100 percent. He’s not ready to practice. He’s done some one-on-one in limited settings but it hasn’t been with his teammates, unless he’s sneaking in here late at night and doing that along with his shooting drills, which I don’t think he is. He’s smarter than that. We’re not in a rush with him. His rehabilitation has been fantastic. He’s getting stronger. Right now he’s doing things in controlled settings with managers and coaches. We haven’t put him into live action drills yet. There’s not a time period on that just yet. He was evaluated at length again [on Friday]. He’s definitely doing the right things. The mental part was the biggest hurdle for him last year, as far as overcoming that injury. As a coach I’m more concerned with that than the physical aspect, because we’re certainly not going to put him out there and ask him to do things that the doctors and trainers tell him he can’t do.”
Q: You lost the final nine games of the 2010-11 season. What was the most frustrating aspect of that streak?
A: “l look at those losses and say, “What’s the common denominator in those games?” That’s what we’re focused on more than anything. We’ve got to cut down our fouling in a big way. We averaged 22 fouls a game last season and finished last. Ohio State averaged 15 fouls a game and won the league. Right there, that statistic alone, you put a bright light on that, because that’s a big deal. You know injuries play into it and you know that not having enough scoring threats plays into it. But when the new year comes, you don’t focus on any of that. You just focus on what you can do to get better and what you can eliminate that has been getting you beat. It’s time for us to string some successes together, not just one here and there.”
Today, I received a call about Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean who is considered to be one of the better young coaches in the game and also one of the most focused and intense. The caller told me the story of a young man who is a freshman at Indiana and was finding his adjustment to college a difficult one. Crean saw the young man sitting in the lobby of the basketball practice facility recently and noticed him a couple of times as he went in and out of the basketball offices. He also noticed that the young man appeared to be very upset.
Crean invited the student into his office and proceeded to hear his story and counseled the young man on how difficult the transition to college can be and encouraged him to stick with it. He also introduced the student to the rest of his staff and he got him an opportunity to work around the basketball program as a member of the athletic department.
The young man had turned off his cell phone after telling his parents that he needed to take a walk and think and his parents were very worried when they were unable to reach him. When Crean inquired as to whether the young man had spoken with his parents recently the young man said no. Crean called the parents, gave them his personal contact information and told them he would look out for their son. After arranging for a job in the athletic department the young man is reported to be doing very well and has adjusted to life away from home.