Notebook: Crean unhappy with starting lineup

  • 02/02/2012 8:09 am in

ANN ARBOR, Mi. — Tom Crean didn’t have kind words for his starting lineup, calling it “a joke.”

It was Michigan’s 13-0 start in the first four-plus minutes that got the Hoosiers behind the eight ball before they knew what hit them in Wednesday’s 68-56 loss to Michigan at the Crisler Center. The deficit swelled to 20 at one point in the first half.

“The start of the game, we allowed a very good team to play like a great team, because our players came out like they’d seen a ghost,” Crean said. “You cannot come out and not have a physical presence right off the bat. You can’t come out and give that kind of space to a team that’s as good as Michigan. … We knew we were going to be in position to come back if we just settled in.”

The Hoosiers were able to cut it down to two points in the second half, but could never get over that hump. The start put them in a hole they were never able to climb out of.

Instead of calling a timeout to try to gather his team during the early run, Crean wanted his guys to play through it. He felt it was pretty simple what needed to be done.

“It wasn’t anything that a timeout was going to correct, in that sense, in the first couple minutes of the game,” Crean said. “It’s going out and doing what we practiced. You want to give guys a chance to get into the flow of the game, but (the
Wolverines) weren’t doing anything different. … I wasn’t concerned about they were doing, I was more concerned about what we were doing.”

ABELL TO MAKE THE MOST OF IT

In an attempt to get something going, freshman guard Remy Abell saw 16 minutes of action and chipped in four points and two rebounds on the night. All four points came in the first five minutes of the second half, as the Hoosiers made a
charge to get back into the game.

Abell had played 12 total minutes in the previous four games since his career-high 18 minutes against Minnesota on Jan. 12.

“He did an excellent job. He’s a fearless guy,” Crean said of Abell. “He’s an excellent athlete and he’s like Matt Roth with his shooting. Matt is going to be able to make them wherever he goes. … I think Remy can play in any environment. He’s got that kind of toughness. He’ll play more. There’s no doubt about that.”

JONES BRUISES SHOULDER

Late in the first half, Verdell Jones III injured his right shoulder when he was fouled while dribbling at the top of the key. He went straight to the bench and didn’t move his arm as the Hoosiers headed into the locker room. He did not return to the game.

“Verdell has got a bruised shoulder right now,” Crean said. “We’ll evaluate it more tomorrow. That’s where he stands.”

Chris Vannini is a freelance sports journalist in Michigan who has covered Michigan State athletics and the Detroit Tigers over the past four years. You can follow him on Twitter at @ChrisVannini and contact him at [email protected].

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  • InTheMtns

    Agree. When he learns to stop trying to take the ball to the basket against 3 or more defenders, I’ll be much happier with his play. Those moves don’t get recorded as a turnover, but they always result in one. So far, he seems to try it at least once every time he plays. I notice when he comes out CTC talks to him and my guess is that’s what he’s talking to him about. He’ll learn (I hope).

  • SHEEHEYisApimp

    From my point of view, here is how I see last night’s debacle:

    The Good: REMY, Wat and VO’s defense on Burke, Jordy’s killer instinct with the ball.

    The Bad: 40 minutes of energy, lack of mental toughness, Wat’s 1st half

    The Ugly: Cody’s inability to OWN THE PAINT on defense

    I know I’m going to get slammed for blasphemy, but oh well. I love Cody Zeller and what he has done for his basketball team. HOWEVER, with that being said, he played extremely passive defense last night and gave up at LEAST 8-11 points because he didn’t rotate to challenge Burke or Hardaway Jr. as they drove to the rim. The last 3 possession of the game, Michigan ran the same play over and over and over with Burke running the baseline. I was yelling from seat in Crisler Arena to “LET HARDAWAY SHOOT IT!” The Michigan fans next to me were saying “DON’T GIVE IT TO JR!!!” Three times Burke drove the baseline and Cody simply didn’t slide to cut it off completely. Granted, the final time they ran that play, Burke traveled as he got an assist on Hardaway’s dagger from the corner. 

    CW looked like he belonged on the short bus in the first half. Even the 9 year old girl sitting behind me asked her dad why #2 didn’t throw the ball to #40 when he was open so much?

    Mental toughness: the first shot of the game set the tone for the ENTIRE evening. Will shot a 3 from the far corner (far corner from my seat) and it LOOKED BEAUTIFUL! Right up to the point where it went in bounced around the rim, and popped out. That shot took the air out of our balloon for the next 10 minutes.

    I was STOKED to see Remy get serious time last night. I was excited when CTC called some isolation for him to attack the rim. I think with Will, VO, and Remy we could become a much more dangerous squad when these 3 attack the rack consistently. They will get to the FT line much more. Cody will get numerous amounts of dunks as his defender has to help to stop the drive.

    Ok…I’m done for now. I still love ya Will, VO, Wat, Jordy, and Cody! I was also amped up to see Derek get a ton of playing time as well. I think we need to roll with an 8 man rotation to help the kids get into a FLOW instead of up-down-up-down with this schizophrenic substitution patter.

  •  I agree, the fact is that Sheehey and Verdell had what 3 or 4 turn overs in succession.. taking care of the ball on the road in the B1G is paramount.

  • cooper

    I think Crean has done a good job, but he is way off base saying calling a timeout wouldn’t correct anything. If that is true, than he isn’t a very good coach. If they aren’t playing how you practiced call a timeout and correct it, or put in 5 guys who will. The flow of the game argument is silly, and we’ve already seen how well that worked when Nebraska came storming back. The game was lost in the first 5 minutes, and in my opinion, because Crean didn’t call a timeout and try to stop the bleeding.

    Zeller needs to step up his play and get stronger. I agree he gets a little manhandled at times but part of it is his own doing. He is a freshman, he isn’t getting any calls yet. He has to deal with it and play tough. He was soft last night.

  • cooper

    I think Crean has done a good job, but he is way off base saying calling a timeout wouldn’t correct anything. If that is true, than he isn’t a very good coach. If they aren’t playing how you practiced call a timeout and correct it, or put in 5 guys who will. The flow of the game argument is silly, and we’ve already seen how well that worked when Nebraska came storming back. The game was lost in the first 5 minutes, and in my opinion, because Crean didn’t call a timeout and try to stop the bleeding.

    Zeller needs to step up his play and get stronger. I agree he gets a little manhandled at times but part of it is his own doing. He is a freshman, he isn’t getting any calls yet. He has to deal with it and play tough. He was soft last night.

  • gnrnabk1

    That reason for not calling a timeout is the most absurd thing I have ever heard.  Crean gets lost in the game and is not a good ingame coach.  These excuses are getting old.  I think the highlight of our season will be the KY and OSU wins.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Isn’t quickness part of talent?  

    If your guards are too slow to defend (like ours often are), how do you have good talent?

  • Walt

    Would not trade Coach Crean for any coach in the B10. Our players are not far removed from High School. They have girl friends, probably in Bloomington, not on the road with them.  Got homework. And other things 18 to 21 year olds think about. We would like to make them perfect athletes, and they are not. But man, they have achieved a lot, repeat a lot this year. We cannot make them as professional as we want them to be, can’t stop them from being lackadaisical at times. Milla, think we will do a lot better than split the remaining games.

    Do hope we are a bit more physical with Perdeu’ and remember the choking sign that Barlow (Bardo) made against IU last year. What an insult, especially for a team with -0- banners. Just do it IU.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    How can you be so sure we won’t lose at AH?  We lost to Minny there.  

  • MRopp

    Not sure where you’re watching your 98%, but I watch a lot of games and I would put it closer to 50-50, especially very early in a game.  Simply put, players HAVE to learn to handle tough situations for themselves.  Unless Michigan had come up with something totally unexpected that IU hadn’t prepared for, what good would the timeout have done?  The players just need to put on their big boy pants and play!

  • robhoosier

    posted this on the minute after but i am reposting:
    I don’ think it has much do to with crean’s coaching. Look at how close we are in these road games. With the talent coming in, trust me, these close losses will turn into wins

  • Walt

    Is CTC still eligible to play. He can get out there and play defense, and maybe he would have less turnovers.  He sure did a nasty job coaching against Ohio St and UK right?

  • Hoosiergator70

    Better defense to stop drives to basket would be a good start to play better on the rod. What ford has regressed and needs to step up big time. Screens away from ball instead of high screen on the ball would also be a benefit in my opinion. Too much movement with no specific purpose is a turnover waiting to happen..

  • Hoosiergator70

    Better defense to stop drives to basket would be a good start to play better on the rod. What ford has regressed and needs to step up big time. Screens away from ball instead of high screen on the ball would also be a benefit in my opinion. Too much movement with no specific purpose is a turnover waiting to happen..

  • Dssnyder1

    ditto. people calling out crean and his coaching ability make me cringe. how many on this board ever played D1 ball? i’m guessing none. isn’t it possible that all the highly ranked players coming to IU know more about bball than you and me? i’ll put my faith in coach crean and the Hoosiers even when they fail. IU could always throw out things like ethics and moreals, then hire and fire coaches like UK just to get more wins. i

  • dssnyder1

    agree. calling crean a better recruiter than a coach is based on what? i assume it’s everyones experience playing D1 ball. NOT. any chance the highly ranked players coming to IU know a little more about bball than anyone on this board? IU could always go the way of UK and continue to hire and fire coaches with no morals just to get more wins. venting about IU’s struggles is one thing, but please try to throw in some facts. i’ll support crean and the hoosiers as they struggle along their way to bringing another banner to assebly!

  • Laueb

    He did make a very headed pull up, mid range shot which shows he must be listening. I agree with all who state he needs more minutes. If nothing else it should motivate those who are losing minutes as a result.

  • CB

    .IU is still recovering from the pits of hell.  It first descended upon IU when my beloved coach decided that his son was div. 1 caliber, and God help us, good enough to play on Branch Mccraken court.  That was the beginning of the end.  The recovery process continues…

  • CB

    .IU is still recovering from the pits of hell.  It first descended upon IU when my beloved coach decided that his son was div. 1 caliber, and God help us, good enough to play on Branch Mccraken court.  That was the beginning of the end.  The recovery process continues…

  • Kelin Blab

    Not sure what a timeout does. Hey guys don’t turn the ball over. Now get back out there……….waste of a timeout.

  • Kelin Blab

    Hulls might be the one who needs to watch his back. Who can he guard?

  • calbert40

     And that is exactly what he said in his post game interview.  He didn’t know that calling a TO would make them take care of the ball better or hit a shot.

  • Druid

    Who really cares if we go to the big dance? It isn’t being played at Assembly Hall which means we will loose our first round game.

  • Druid

    Who really cares if we go to the big dance? It isn’t being played at Assembly Hall which means we will loose our first round game.

  • Brklynhoosier

     I think you hit the nail on the head.  CTC has talked before about how you develop a winning mentality in stages.  First you have to learn to win games.  Then you have to learn to win consistently at home.  Then you have to start winning consistently on the road.  Right now (absent the Minny loss), we’re 2/3 of the way there.  If we can just get over the hump in ONE of these games against a ranked team on the road (we were SO CLOSE these last couple at Michigan and Wisky), then I think it would do miracles for this team’s confidence.  Too often now I feel like we start out a game w/out the EXPECTATION that we’re gonna win (see OSU game) — and then we don’t have the horses to reverse course mid-stream.  As someone else said above, it’s about mental toughness.  Sooner or later, we’re gonna get there.  I just hope it’s sooner…

  • calbert40

     “If we continue on the current path it’s time to start talking about what really is go on in Bloomington.”

    Year 1: 6-25 (1-17), getting blown out in game home and away.
    Year 2: 10-21 (4-14), competitive at home, still getting smoked on the road
    Year 3: 12-20 (3-15), competitive both home and away, but not getting over the hump still

    Year 4: 17-6 (5-6) dominating at home and competitive on the road.  Beat the #1 and #2 teams in the country, only two “bad” losses.  The other four losses are “expected.”

    I understand some of the frustration from some people about some losses right now, but so far as the direction of the program, I think we are on the right path.  I’m excited about the future!

  • calbert40

     I read you, Milla, and I agreed with you last night.  If I were the coach, I would have called a TO at 7-0 just to calm the guys down and let them know that they were going to be fine.

    That said, if CTC believes in following a similar strategy to the coaches that were previously mentioned, do you believe that he would be better served a) stick with his strategy or b) tailor his strategy to his personnel?  (side note: I don’t know if there is a right answer)

    Starting next year, I think his strategy may pay off with bigger dividends.

  • calbert40

     Pick a starting 5 from our roster and UM’s.

    Zeller is obvious, but anyone else from our roster?  Burke, Hardaway and Novak.

    Who is the 5th?  Douglass, Morgan or CWat?

    I agree that we have depth, but outside of Zeller, we have guys who would be rotation players on some of the better teams in the B1G instead of starters.  I don’t say that as a slam on our players.  They play hard, and they have been through a ton over the past 3 years.  I really appreciate their efforts, but I don’t believe we are as talented as the teams we are below in the B1G outside of PU and Illinois, but I expect we will finish ahead of them anyway.

  • calbert40

     Especially when we beat UK and OSU.  The only reason we won those games was because we were more talented, right?  Oh…wait, we aren’t?  I guess the coaching staff may have had a pinch to do with it.

    C’mon!  If you have a legitimate or reasonable issue, address it, but don’t drop bombs.

  • LongtimeHoosierFan

    What a bunch of whiner no-it-alls!!  I’m a 67 year old female who has been an IU fan for almost 60 years.  There have been a few times over these years I have ranted for a new coach in both basketball and football but not this time!!  Give Crean the chance he deserves.  Too bad the most of you aren’t as smart as you think you are.  If you were, then maybe you could be sitting where CTC is rather than letting your mouth over load your you know what!  I don’t care if you coach elem, middle or high school, or played college basketball or how smart you sound talking basketball plays,  until you have ridden that Div I bench as the head coach, you are nothing more than loud-mouthed armchair critics.  Criticism is essential but you guys get a bit carried away. 

    Knight used to go wothout calling timeouts.  CBK benched the entire starting lineup and ticked off a bunch of you so-called fans a few years ago.

    As far as those rich donors go, they were really happy winning at no cost with Sampson until they found out just what it cost us.  The quality of the players we were recruiting came into question, too.

    One thing I am getting tired of is the officiating.  Love home court advantage with the crowd and all the excitement but am getting very tired of the officials becoming the sixth man.  I don’t want that kind of officiating at IU and we shouldn’t have to face it on the road either.  The last 2 games left me scratching my head especially the one at Wisconsin. 

    I have been a “bleed Cream and Crimson” fan for longer than most of you have been around and as long as Indiana University continues to run a quality program, I will continue to be a huge fan.

    That being said, my phone calendar is set to alert me to an hour before Saturdays game.  I will get  excited as always….feel euphoric if we win….be extremely disappointed if we lose.  Then next Thursday  I’ll prepare to go thru it all over again. And at the end of the season, whenever that may be, I will be lost until….the next season when I will be ready to go thru it all over again. 

     

     

  • LongtimeHoosierFan

    What a bunch of whiner no-it-alls!!  I’m a 67 year old female who has been an IU fan for almost 60 years.  There have been a few times over these years I have ranted for a new coach in both basketball and football but not this time!!  Give Crean the chance he deserves.  Too bad the most of you aren’t as smart as you think you are.  If you were, then maybe you could be sitting where CTC is rather than letting your mouth over load your you know what!  I don’t care if you coach elem, middle or high school, or played college basketball or how smart you sound talking basketball plays,  until you have ridden that Div I bench as the head coach, you are nothing more than loud-mouthed armchair critics.  Criticism is essential but you guys get a bit carried away. 

    Knight used to go wothout calling timeouts.  CBK benched the entire starting lineup and ticked off a bunch of you so-called fans a few years ago.

    As far as those rich donors go, they were really happy winning at no cost with Sampson until they found out just what it cost us.  The quality of the players we were recruiting came into question, too.

    One thing I am getting tired of is the officiating.  Love home court advantage with the crowd and all the excitement but am getting very tired of the officials becoming the sixth man.  I don’t want that kind of officiating at IU and we shouldn’t have to face it on the road either.  The last 2 games left me scratching my head especially the one at Wisconsin. 

    I have been a “bleed Cream and Crimson” fan for longer than most of you have been around and as long as Indiana University continues to run a quality program, I will continue to be a huge fan.

    That being said, my phone calendar is set to alert me to an hour before Saturdays game.  I will get  excited as always….feel euphoric if we win….be extremely disappointed if we lose.  Then next Thursday  I’ll prepare to go thru it all over again. And at the end of the season, whenever that may be, I will be lost until….the next season when I will be ready to go thru it all over again. 

     

     

  • Suzan2211

    Exactly! His timing on substitutions is awful. Seems like just when he has a good 5 in that are playing in a groove he makes substitutions that kills the momentum. I have seen this happen on several occations. Just like last night when they got within 2 points and were playing well he subs and the lead went back to 9. Very frustrating.

  • Geoff_85

    Very well said. That game was pathetic.

  • Geoff_85

    Hulls has hit PLENTY of big shots for this team, so you’re “only hits shots well in non-pressure moments” is absolute garbage and makes you look like a Hulls hater, and someone who doesn’t watch the games.

  • js_nashville

    Frustrating and disappointing, yes.

    End of the world, no.

    Minus Darius Morris but plus Trey Burke, we just lost an “away” game to essentially the same team that lost by only 2 in the round of 32 of last years NCAA tourney. We went 12-20 (3-15 in conference). I believe we’ll win some more games and make the NCAA tourney, and I’m happy that we are a good team despite needing improvement in some areas.

  • Dick_Pepperfield

     Well, if you aren’t sure what a timeout does I suggest you watch a replay of the Minnesota game. That ought to give you a good idea. I was at the game and those timeouts not only slowed the Hoosiers momentum but shut the crowd down as well. I assure you, it worked.

  • Dick_Pepperfield

    Well apparently we need skyboxes with rich alum in it. What does a ‘skybox’ in Evansville serve? Sterling Grenades? Give me a break. When rich alum in Evansville ‘skyboxes’ are calling the shots I am done as an IU fan.

  • Dick_Pepperfield

    They are kids. Thrown into a fire they weren’t ready to handle in the Big Ten conference. Its baby
    steps for our program and we have made some giant steps this season.I don’t expect this team to win on the road where you have to battle the crowd, refs and opposing team. If you thought we were going to rip through the Big Ten on the road then your expectations were waaaaay too high.

  • Derbus

    AMEN  sister!!!  MANY OF MY POSTS HAVE BEEN SIDELINED DUE TO MY FRUSTRATED ENERGY.  Coaching includes the most important part of any skill:  Motivation and inspiration, CTC lacks this with his inability to bench players not playing their best.  That failure on his part has hurt the team dynamics for the road games they have lost.  It is ALL his responsibility as the big $$$ a coach receives for championships is ALL about winnning on the road!!!  Hate Cal all U want, he delivers and WINS on the road.  I predict pUKe to win it all this year.

    Thx for posting my comment in adance Alex.

  • SCHoosier

    Nice post…

  • SCHoosier

    Cody does seem timid in the paint now..foul calls have taken a toll ..probably under instructions to back off..cause without him..IU can stay home.

  • Plane1972

    I don’t disagree, but Jordy seems less likely to be publicly rebuked by Crean. He may have to prove himself, but I don’t see a starting lineup without him in it. 

  • Plane1972

    You go, girl! Did I just say that? My apologies.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Hulls has done zip …you must not watch games replay the last 3 min of all games….he is non-factor..worst defender on team

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    Hulls has done zip …you must not watch games replay the last 3 min of all games….he is non-factor..worst defender on team

  • Doleout

    Turnovers?  What can you expect when you try to drive through 4 defenders who are reaching, slapping and grabbing with every bounce of the ball? What ever happened to the passing game? We are doing to much standing around and doing nothing to advance the ball. Telegraphing every pass to Zeller. No wonder it get slapped away. It would take a blind man not to see where the ball is going in this offense.

  • Doleout

    Turnovers?  What can you expect when you try to drive through 4 defenders who are reaching, slapping and grabbing with every bounce of the ball? What ever happened to the passing game? We are doing to much standing around and doing nothing to advance the ball. Telegraphing every pass to Zeller. No wonder it get slapped away. It would take a blind man not to see where the ball is going in this offense.

  • eph521

    I agree with everything you say. However, your post is general in nature and mine is rather specific about CWat and Remy. What I mention are positive opportunities… and if they’re addressed it would only help the team play better.

  • jkmm

    He is right…  they were horrible at the first of the game…   He may also want to think about getting a tech once in a while when our players are being mauled…  I know you put a guy at the line and hand the ball back but sometimes, just standing up for the players can change the game 

  • trumpemall

    I really feel that Crean is still in “teaching” mode and that is why he lets them play when we are screaming for time outs. I remember a few years back Coach said that he really can’t come down on this team because it would destroy the morale knowing that they were not going to win. He is teaching them to be tougher knowing that next year is really his year. I will also explain I am disappointed just like many of you because after the first 10 to 12 games I was like wow we have a real shot and lost track of my expectations from the beginning of the year thinking that we were just know a .500 team. This team has real trouble moving laterally to stay in front of defenders which is why I think next years team will help. I could be really off but this is what I have been telling myself to try and save my voice from screaming at the TV thinking he will hear me and call a time out.

    OH B10 officials suck also…just ask Zeller