Some of you might not have caught it, but I was actually poking a little fun when I posted the video IU released for Hoosier Hysteria last week. This time, however, I’m actually serious. Watch this video and then watch it again. And again. And then remember, we’re only two days from Hoosier Hysteria:
The season is almost here which means it’s time for video features from our friends at UWire (formerly The Palestra). Casey Richards has the story on the backcourt competition and the new up-tempo Hoosiers below:
Tom Crean met with the media Thursday and we’ve sifted through his comments and posted some highlights below. A full transcript is available here and you can listen to the audio from the H-T/Hoosier Scoop here.
On Jeremiah Rivers:
“As a coach you want the leadership vacuum to be filled right now. You want it to be set. But it is not like that. He hasn’t played in a year. I don’t know that he always understands when I say this, but he has won at every level. There is no question about that. He won in high school and he won in college. He has won three BIG EAST Championships and has been to a Final Four. However, outside of high school, which is a little different, I’m not sure he has absolutely been responsible for winning. He is going to have a huge responsibility in how we play to win. Not just coming in like at Georgetown. Now, he was on the court a lot at winning time at Georgetown because of his defensive abilities, but he also wasn’t the lead guard. He also wasn’t one of the 28 or 30 minutes a game guys. He very well could play into that for us.”
Given the situation inherited, the argument can be made that the 2009 recruiting haul made by Tom Crean and his staff was as impressive as any class in the country.
Before ever coaching a game at Indiana, Crean held on to a verbal commitment by Derek Elston given to the previous coaching staff and received commitments from five other players. Three of those players, Maurice Creek, Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford, were ranked among the top 50 prospects nationally by Scout.com.
When it was all said and done, IU signed a consensus top ten class last November in the aftermath of major violations less than a year before.
So it should be no surprise that Crean would sing the praises of the young men that he believes will, collectively, be the cornerstone of the rebuilding process in Bloomington. And last night, Crean did just that in these comments released by IU Media Relations:
“That kid never accepted that he wasn’t a college player, or that he might be a Division II player, and that he might be a low-major player, and that he might be a mid-major player. I don’t think he ever accepted that. Something’s telling me that kid always had his sights set pretty high.”
“The other guy that hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention nationally is Derek Elston. That guy is one of those people, if he hadn’t been injured out on that AAU circuit, there would have been a lot more things written about him. He’s good, he’s tough. And he wants to be really good.”
Tom Crean is still working his Twitter game hard. About two hours ago, Crean dropped the below video on his account in which he goes six minutes deep on the individual workouts the coaching staff has started with players. A few highlights: Verdell Jones is bigger and stronger; Tom Pritchard needs to get in better shape and has a flaw in his jumper; Maurice Creek is impressing the heck out of the staff; Jordan Hulls has been hobbled by a minor ankle injury.
Since these workouts are closed to the media, and Crean isn’t doing weekly press conferences just yet, this is your only in to the workouts so far.
New Herald-Times IU beat reporter Dustin Dopirak is wasting no time getting himself acclimated to the workings of Hoosier athletics. Dopirak was on hand for Wednesday night’s IU Tailgate Tour stop in Indianapolis with a pen and notepad in hand. Here are a couple of items Tom Crean addressed for IU fans (complete transcript here):
The eligibility of Maurice Creek and Bawa Muniru: “There’s some technicalities with it. We’re looking forward to them being cleared very soon. We don’t have any reason to believe that they won’t be. it’s just a matter of it getting done. The paperwork that goes into it, it’s all there. Hopefully we won’t have to revise their schedule at all. Right now I can’t tell you exactly what we’ll do there. We’re going to wait and hope we hear something by the end of this week or the latest hopefully by the beginning of next week, I’ll be disappointed if we don’t hear something by then, that they’ll be cleared and ready to go.”
On Bobby Knight’s induction to the Indiana Hall of Fame: “I was all for it. It’s just a matter of looking out and saying ‘Let’s get it done.’ I think it will be fantastic to be able to walk into that building and have people walk into that building and know that their coach is honored with all of the other greats at Indiana, because certainly it’s one thing to have him in the Naismith Hall of Fame, but with everything he did at Indiana, the shelf’s not full yet. Let’s get the shelf full and get him in there.”
Crean’s comments are a good indication that from the IU perspective, Creek and Muniru have completed the necessary requirements to be declared eligible by the NCAA. Unless there’s more to the story, it looks like all six freshmen will be ready to roll come October.
As far as the comments on Knight, both Crean and Fred Glass should be given kudos for attempting to bring him back to Bloomington. The gesture to induct Knight into the Hall of Fame and put on the full court press for his return is a brilliant move. If Knight shows up, many of the fans who are still angry that he’s gone (they still exist, believe it or not) are suddenly back on board. And if he doesn’t, the finger can no longer be pointed at the university for turning it’s shoulder and not acknowledging Knight’s accomplishments. Sounds like a win-win.