Tom Crean Archive

Crean, Elston and Zeller talk Butler

Indiana media relations issued the following quotes earlier today from Tom Crean, Derek Elston and Cody Zeller as the Hoosiers prepare for a Sunday night meeting with Butler at Assembly Hall:


On the tournament (Hoosier Invitational) and scheduling:

“We saw this as an opportunity to get four home games. We have to play so many home games every year because the department is dependant on the revenue.

“We really look at scheduling on a year to year basis and we already have the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Kentucky series, and the Crossroads Classic for next year, so we have to look for an exempt tournament and home games each year moving forward.”

On whether Andrew Smith will be the best post player Cody has had to face thus far:

“Andrew Smith presents a number of challenges and as a team we have to do a good job of not letting him get comfortable.”

On what concerns he has about Butler:

“Their veteran guys have experienced winning at the highest level and have done a great job of transferring their experiences to their younger players. They play very well together. They execute their offense and they cut hard. Defensively, they will get into you and make you work for everything you get.”


Wins are there, but so are questions

Five games into the season, the 2011-12 Indiana Hoosiers have yet to be challenged.

Four games in Assembly Hall and one at the Ford Center in Evansville have produced five wins by 20 points or more by Indiana. That’s never happened in the history of the program.

Dig into the box scores and you’ll find little to nitpick with the way Tom Crean’s team has dismantled the opposition.

The fouling epidemic, an Achilles’ Heel a season ago, has tempered at least for the time being. The Hoosiers are one of the top shooting teams in the country thanks to unselfish, crisp ball movement and smart shot selection. And there’s an inside scoring threat roaming the paint for IU for the first time since D.J. White’s departure. His name is Cody Zeller and he’s already picked up two Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards.

IU’s 5-0 start feels different than last season, when the Hoosiers didn’t always win convincingly. This year, IU has left little doubt who is the better team. There are high fives, smiles and a cohesiveness present in Assembly Hall that was not visible last winter.

But how much better is this Indiana team?

The answer to that question will begin to take shape in the coming weeks when the competition level increases. Significantly.


Savannah St. Notebook: Zeller’s value, free throws, more

Notes, quotes and observations from Saturday night’s 94-65 win over Savannah State:

Indiana is 4-0 for the second consecutive season. But this 4-0 start feels different than a year ago. The Hoosiers are dominating teams they should be dominating. And the one major ingredient that has changed from a year ago is Cody Zeller.

Tom Crean was asked to quantify how much better Zeller, who finished his fourth collegiate game with 23 points, makes his team following IU’s rout of Savannah State.

“No, I can’t (quantify). That’s nothing I really think about,” Crean said. “Cody is a really good player and we have some other really good players that are really developing a synergy and a togetherness.

“It goes back to what I’ve always said about Cody. I said when we signed him, and I’ve seen nothing that leads us to believe any differently and everything gets based on this, you can go at him and you can play through him. When you have a player like that it makes everybody better. so in answer to your question, that’s probably the best way for us to put it.”


As Ryan pointed out in The Minute After, Indiana got to the line at a ridiculous clip on Saturday night. The Hoosiers shot 47 free throws, which nearly matched their 49 field goal attempts.

Take a picture of the box score as a free throw rate that high is unlikely to happen again all season. And while Saturday may have been an aberration, Crean was still happy with Indiana’s early progress in getting to the line.