Crean discusses Elston’s trip of Alex Marcotullio

  • 01/10/2011 8:51 pm in

On his weekly radio show earlier this evening, Tom Crean was asked about the intentional foul that was called against Derek Elston in Sunday’s game at Northwestern for tripping Alex Marcotullio.

Our friend and Herald-Times beat reporter Dustin Dopirak was in attendance for the radio show and transcribed Crean’s comments on the foul:

“I didn’t get a good look at it during the game at all. I didn’t see it until it was on the film. I brought him up to the plane. He stayed with the same thing. He said to me that he didn’t do it intentionally. I know exactly what it looks like. I told him the same thing. When I looked at it the referee had a good view of it. I didn’t argue it. In comparison to (Devan Dumes’s intentional foul two years ago) I don’t think there is any comparison because there’s no question that that was intentional. I wasn’t surprised by it. In this situation, it would be highly out of character for Derek to be dishonest or do something of that nature in a negative way. It would be truly out of character, and if he did it would be a mistake. That’s the end of story. We got the intentional foul, they got the foul shots. I looked at it. I discussed it with him. But the last thing I’m going to do is break down a trust by accusing a player of something that he says he didn’t do on purpose. I’m not trying to put my head in the sand, that’s just the way that it is. Again, it would be different if it was something that was after the fact that you see on film. Those are the things that you react a little bit more to. The referee saw it, the referee handled it.”

If you haven’t had a chance to see the play in question, here’s a link.

I wrote last night in The Minute After after watching the replay a couple of times that I believed that Elston stuck his foot out on purpose and the trip was a cheap move by Elston. I’m sticking to that analysis.

Filed to:

  • Krkinkea

    It never ceases to amaze me how people on here jump to conclusions like these sometimes, make his life hell in practice the next week and move on.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Maybe he’s looking at the replay with the same blind eye he’s using to look at the tapes of how his offensive and defensive sets are working?

    Ooohhhh, ouch, low blow! LOL – just kidding. I still think his sets will work when he gets his players but he only knows one way to coach.

  • MillaRed

    Maybe he thinks Michigan is a possible W and wants DE on the floor. Bigger ouch.

  • Anonymous

    I will preface what I am about to say with this, you don’t have to be a former bball player at a high level or even a former bball player at any level to be at least somewhat knowledgeable about bball but I would venture to guess that most of the people that are really upset by this have not played the game or have not played the game in a highly competitive setting. Anybody that has played this game at a highly competitive level, I think we can all agree that IU bball is a highly competitive level regardless of what our record is right now, and has not been pinched so hard that it almost results in a blood blister when being guarded very closely and away from the ball and refs, took a shot to the kidneys in the rebound area and / or took or given an elbow that, let’s just say made contact, has not really played at what I consider a highly competitive level and this kind of thing goes on at times where you aren’t frustrating from taking a butt kicking or mired in a losing streak.

    Raise your hand if you have never said the phrase ” if you’re going to foul him make sure you get your money’s worth ” or ” if you’re going to foul at least foul him hard enough that he doesn’t make the shot ” and then there is ” let them know if they drive down the lane against us there will be a price to pay and then next time they will think twice about doing that again ” if everyone tells the truth I’m guessing this is a very small group.

    I mentioned one time that I remembered Fife getting tangled up with another player in a game and while they were rolling around on the floor, tangled up, Fife actually bit him and I don’t mean he gave him just a little nibble either. (Marcus you actually gave me the name of the player but I don’t remember now) At that time everyone that seen it thought it was pretty funny and like someone said above it was probably just laughed off cause we had a pretty good record at the time and there was no foul called.

    Some of you have said that if Knight had still been the coach and it happened he would have come down on DE like a hammer, I couldn’t disagree more. Why ? Because Knight also played bball at a high level and after watching and listening to him for several years I feel safe in saying that he either delivered some of the things that I mentioned or was on the receiving end of some of those things, more than likely both and he knew, for the most part, that that is part of the game. Doesn’t make it right, doesn’t make it a good thing but never the less it is a part of the game. After hearing some of my dad’s old bball war stories I believe if anything it is not as bad as it was years ago.

    Contrary to what some say bball IS a contact sport, generally speaking, and without any kind of padding for the most part. If a person sat down and closely analyzed every B10 game played and looked for this kind of thing and nothing else I think you could probably find something that fell into this category in each game and if you didn’t it probably was because the camera angle did not reveal it or the guilty party was accomplished at it enough to do it so that it couldn’t be seen.

    Was it intentional, yea it probably was, but who knows what went on between the two of them before that. Now that does not make it a good thing but DE has been playing long enough to know that if you are going to send a message back to someone you wait and pick your spot and do it in a way to where it is so obvious.

    Crean should have just said I am going to review the film and if any thing needs to be done after that then we will take whatever steps that are warranted and let it go at that. There should also be a discussion between the coach and player and no one else and then it should be let go. The fact that the coach handled this kind of thing in that way will, in my opinion, make it more likely that it won’t happen again than if it was handled in a different way and if does happen again then the player knows that the coach has no other alternative than to come down on him like a hammer.

  • Anonymous

    The article over on Crimson Quarry, mentioned in the ITH on Twitter box is just what it says, a must read for all IU bball fans.

  • Honestly, I truly can’t wait much longer for this group to graduate and go down in history. We will never forget our weakest team. I thank the players for great APR numbers and for continuing to show up and play.
    Does anybody remember that screen that dazed VJ3?
    These guys were brought in for academics.
    Lastly, no way Zeller loses 30 games his 4 years with IU

  • CalbertCheaneyfan4ever

    CTC should at least set a precedent to the players on the team and sit him for at minimum 1st half during Michingan. No play like that will be tolerated whether it was on purpose or not. You have to keep your focus and cool at all times. I mean C’mon “It’s Indiana”

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Alex, didn’t Mbakwe transfer out of Marquette a couple years ago? Wasn’t he a Crean recruit there?

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I halfway agree with you. I was raised on the game and taught from a young age by my own old man a number of interesting ways to “get away with stuff” on the basketball court. He even taught me how to contact a jump shooter without getting called for the foul (he was an official). I was taught how to grab, poke, cut, trip, etc. but I don’t ever remember him teaching me how to trip a guy who’s on a full run through wide open space. That was just dumb!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Nice read but didn’t IU go 4-14 in the Big Ten not 5-13?

  • WALT

    Every other big ten team is extremely physical with IU. Pretty much beats us up. I am shaking my head at the fact that we did something that might be questionable. Rather the reactions to us being a bit physical. Oh pray tell, don’t do that we are INDIANA. Don’t be physical. Only guy that seems to get physical and everyone is on him like a pack of wolves. Stop it. Do you think Tom Izzo tells his guys to not be physical, or for that matter any other big ten coach. Maybe a little physicality might help our game. When TP, DE or Capo foul out, do not ever see a hard foul. I like the game, am not an officianodo by any means, but like IU a lot, but when I see people get holier than thou about this one incident, it is bothersome.

  • Anonymous

    That was intentional, but who cares. Let the coach deal with it how he feels is appropriate. You guys need to quit trying to micromanage the IU basketball program. He is 19 yo and I am sure is very frustrated at the way the season is going. He needs to be disciplined and move on. I am sure the guy is embarrassed as it is. I imagine it is payback for something that the other kid did to him. It is who gets caught that matters, right? Maybe Marcorubio punched him in the nuts?

  • Jungle Gym

    Exactly — anyone who is up in arms about this needs to get a life. I watched the youtube video of this and thought it was hilarious. Now I’m not defending Elston or anything, he shouldn’t have done that, but a 1-game suspension for that? Come on. I’m sure Crean handled it somehow — for all we know he had Elston running stairs after practice Monday until he puked. Or better yet, steel cage match with Tijan.

  • Jungle Gym

    Or maybe he is handling this in house. Since practices are closed, none of us has any idea what kinds of consequences Elston may have already faced this week. It’s incredibly naive to think Crean is gonna let this blow over. Just because he isn’t gonna suspend him doesn’t mean he didn’t punish him in some other way….and were you really questioning Crean’s integrity with one of your posts?

  • Anonymous

    Yea, dumb to say the least. Didn’t mean to come off as if I was trying to justify what he done but rather that people have got to not make as big a deal as some have of it. If he wants to ” play with an edge “, there are a lot of different ways to accomplish that and tripping another player, like you said, on a dead run, and right in front of the ref more or less at that, is not one of them. It will be interesting to see how he plays after this happening.

    Just listened to the conversation that Dakich had with Don Fischer and he said he thinks DE is not as mature as he needs to be, and he is right, DE has got to grow up in a lot of different ways and when he does everybody including him will benefit. A good place to start would be to not act like he does on a lot of the fouls called on him.

  • Anonymous

    If you haven’t heard the conversation that Dakich had on his radio show with Don Fischer then you really should. Dakich says that Crean asked him to speak to the team and when he did he asked CW why it took him an hour to run up the court and why does he act like he’s hurt all of the time and that nobody gives a rat’s a$$ if you’re hurt or not get over it and just play hard.

    I hope that Crean wasn’t depending on Dakich to tell him these things but rather wanted CW to hear from someone BESIDES him.

  • cooper

    Who cares he tripped someone. It happens. It was a cheap move but there are a hundred others in games we don’t see. It would be nice to see someone on the team or coaching staff show some fire

  • Anonymous

    I think Crean believes it was intentional, and I also don’t believe that just because he tells the media that he’s not going to contradict Elston that it means he hasn’t punished him behind closed doors, or disagreed with him behind closed doors. May just be a case where he’s just defending his player from the public. Totally stupid move by Elston though. I can’t believe he did it, to be honest. I’d have guessed Capo would have been the first player to go Dumes on somebody this season.

  • HoosierFromCT

    I just listened to Don Fischer on the Dakich show. It’s true, we don’t have one player that has “it”. Every sports fan knows every team has that one (or two) player that just has “it”. You can’t describe what “it” is, you just know if the player has “it” or not.

    To make myself feel better, I just think about our next 4 recruiting classes and how most of them have “IT”. I’m still behind this team 100% and I will not be one of those pathetic bandwagon fans starting in 2012.

  • 4-14 is correct.

    Beat Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern at home and Penn State on the road.

  • Kelin Blab

    If you want to punish Elston for tripping someone…. as a former coach a viable punishment is first done behind closed doors and second involves suicides or bleachers, not suspending a kid for a second. Ofcourse Crean will defend his player in front of the media, but behind closed doors…..I am convinced he has paid for it. This is between player and coach…..

    If you guys knew how many suicides I ran during my playing days for dumb stuff you would be calling me Kelin Lambier!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    To quote a certain person who posts on here quite often ” Kelin you are 100 % correct and 0 % wrong ” on the between the coach and player and behind closed doors thing. I for one was, in this instance anyway, glad to see coach defend his player in front of the media.

  • MillaRed

    He is also paying for it in the media. Think about it. He’s getting ripped to shreds. I am 100% sure he will not do it again. But if he does, can he do it to Bruce Weber?

  • 11th and Done (Dunn)


  • MikeinNC

    The video leaves virtually no room for doubt. Crean’s explanation gives the impression of hiding behind a rather lame cover story. It reminds me of when a coach has a star player break the rules, then says he will “let the team vote” on whether or not the player should be kicked off the team – choosing to hide from making the hard call. These are the great teaching moments when you clearly define who you are as a leader and what you stand for. He should make Elston run stairs until he drops, then suspend him for a game.

  • Jhoke1025

    Crean must have forgot how to coach AND how to view a play. That was, without a doubt, an intentional trip. An ugly play in an ugly and embarrassing performance by IU.

  • Kelin Blab

    Hasn’t weber suffered enough…with losing EJ.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, that’s what I said in an above post. It’s like a parent defending their kid to the principal after a fight but then punishing him when they get home. Sort of the same concept.

  • HoosierDavey

    And hopefully these guys will see the sacrifice the coach is making on their behalf and start going to war for their coach!

  • HoosierDavey

    To me, this does look like an intentional act on the surface. However, there is one more possibility that I don’t think I’ve seen mentioned- Derek ment to fake like he was tripping the guy (maybe to discourage him from cutting through there or to send a message), but he accidently made contact. I have done this kinda thing before in playing ball (like faking as though you are going to make contact with a shooter to try and throw them off their shot, but accidently fouling them). Is that a naive thing to take possible? Maybe. But it IS another explanation for how this could have been deemed “unintentional”. We weren’t in that conversation between DE and CTC, so we don’t really know that whole story

  • Diesel

    Yeah Ace, I once “bagged” a guy blocking out the free throw shooter

  • Diesel

    Well said. For instance, I love Jordy Hulls, but thinking that if we get him more shots we’ll somehow win games is ridiculous to me. He is what he is, a really good player with some flaws, and he has come a long way over last season. I said this a while back and got hounded, then heard Dakich say the same thing about a week later and felt justified.

  • This is what we need right about now. This is indiana

  • Anonymous

    I’m disappointed but I would like to see more fire from the IU team. This is an instance of bad fire from DE, but I’d like to see the team have a lot of fire on the defensive end, never letting the other team have any easy layups and generally playing an attacking style of defense. I’d love to see them get mean and angry, but not in the tripping way.

  • Anonymous

    I think the biggest danger this team faces at this point is that players may be on the verge of tuning Crean out. It looks like they are losing confidence in themselves and Crean from their body language at times. If coach begins to lose these players it could create problems beyond this year.

  • Anonymous

    The way one learns in life is by admitting a mistake to yourself.

    You plunked a batter 3 times in the same game and punched out your windshield because of a ticket? Interesting!

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting. I had not though about it from that angle. Makes a lot of sense and makes me think that DE suffering the consequences behind closed doors is what has happened or I should probably say is what is happenING.

  • 765Hoosier

    Sounds like someone is still upset with being beat by elston over 2 years ago.. bad attitude, ect? when you personally know the kid and his character on and off the court let me know. If watching a kid argue a call on a basketball court in HS qualifies for having a bad attitude, then no player has close to what you would consider a good attitude..

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Oh, yeah! It took me a few years to gain control over my temper. Now instead of saying I “lost my temper” I say I “found my temper” because I know exactly where it is!


    Oh, and by the way, the guy I hit three times ended up being a good friend of mine and we even played against each other in college!

  • RJG

    You’re right on target in my opinion. Coach Crean seems like a nice, positive guy, but it might be time to try a different approach with this team. Three years of the same mistakes is getting really old–I think a raging mad man needs to make an appearance and shock some of these guys into getting their asses in gear and playing like their scholarships depend on it.