Notebook: Tom Crean on The Dan Dakich Show

  • 10/11/2012 1:47 pm in

Indiana coach Tom Crean joined “The Dan Dakich Show” on 1070 The Fan this afternoon (full audio here) and touched on a variety of topics. Below is a recap of some of the highlights:

On whether the team is talking about the preseason rankings and expectations or just working: “I think it’s both. I think it’d be crazy to think that they don’t see them. Everybody reads, everybody gets Twitter, everybody follows ESPN and the dot coms. And so, those things are not a secret. I think it’s all how you handle it. I would say this: There has not been one time since all this started — and it’s really been six and a half months since we played Kentucky — where we’ve looked at it, where there’s been a guy or a couple of guys that it’s like: ‘What are they doing? Why are they not working as hard? What’s wrong with their attitude?’ There hasn’t been any of that. And I think we do talk about it in the sense of how fleeting it is. And I think it’s like this: Last year, they responded to the lack of expectations, but they weren’t driven by it. They were driven by their desire to get better, they were driven by how hard they’d work in the summer. And I think it’s the same thing now. There’s a response that comes from that but I don’t think it’s what the drive is centered on. I think these kids are driven kids and I think that’s what’s most important. If I thought that they were just wound up and all excited because there’s rankings, well we would have probably saw it a year ago that they would have been depressed and nonchalant because there weren’t any. I don’t see any of that with this group.”

On the team’s offseason strength focus: “Guys have advanced their bodies. The biggest thing we needed to do in our mind from the offseason and especially the way we lost the Kentucky game — because there were certain times in that game we just got overpowered physically and where they took us to the rim or we couldn’t get a big rebound — and you could say Kentucky’s Kentucky and all that. But that’s the benchmark our guys use now. Because they know they’re the national champion, we played them in that environment and we’d beaten them here. So physical strength and being able to really hold our own in one-on-one situations is a big, big part of what we tried to improve this summer.”

On Christian Watford: “I think in Christian’s case, my biggest concern, our biggest concern there is he has not had a start to finish healthy summer. He was dealing with some issues from the season that he had to get taken care of in his foot. He did. There were a couple of setbacks at different times. He’s not had a smooth offseason. Now he’s done a great job with it. He’s changed his body even more. He’s not back where I would say: ‘Wow he’s really ready to go.’ So that’s going to take a little bit of time with him. He looks good. As far as that rhythm, he missed a lot of time with these guys in the pickup games and the individual workouts and things like that.”

On Austin Etherington and the team’s depth: “Last year it was hard to get him in the games. Well he would have been our leading scorer probably the first year. And in the first three years, there’s no question he would have been a starter in my mind in this program — at least one of the main guys. And it’s not like he’s not getting better, it’s not like he’s not improving, it’s just it’s hard to get minutes. I think, to me, that’s what you want your team to be about. And I don’t see this team having a set starting lineup. I don’t see this team having a set rotation. It sounds crazy, but I’d like to have a starting eight. A group where these eight guys or so, you can go any way you want and you’re not going to drop anything when you put these eight in. Cody’s different obviously. And Jordan’s different with the way he shoots it. But (what I’m talking about is) when you put guys in that there’s really no dropoff whatsoever because they play both ends of the floor at a high level.”

On how Yogi Ferrell factors into the team playing fast: “A ton. Because he’s a one-man press offense. We really haven’t done much — we’re going to do a little today —  in these two hours with full team stuff and as far as scrimmaging. I think since the summer we’ve probably scrimmaged maybe ten minutes where I’ve been out there.  Now they play pickup, not as much pickup as we used to because there’s so many bad habits that are hard to break once you get closer to the season. Just in the drills alone and watching him, his vision is second to none. I mean the passes that he can make. And I remember it so much last year watching him at North Central, when they went in at North Central and he was incredible. He was just incredible how he passed the basketball. Those are things, the getting in the lane, he’s becoming a better shotmaker around the rim. He’s becoming better at finishing around the basket. And we tell him: ‘If you can finish around the basket on this team with the length that’s down there now you’re going to be able to finish against the opponent.’ So those are the kind of things we’re trying to see from him.”

On Hanner Mosquera-Perea’s current condition since being in a walking boot: “He’s back. He’s limited. So I don’t think he’ll be in a full practice situation yet. So we’ve got to really monitor that, we got to meet later on on that. There’s a difference with him. He didn’t lose any time in the weight room, I know that. And he doesn’t have his endurance, he doesn’t have his conditioning, he’s missed some of the skill development things, but he’s back and I think within a couple weeks he’ll be back full time.”

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  • MillaRed

    Interesting comments on Etherington. Fact is the talent is so deep these guys just have to wait their turn. Great for everyday practice. Makes everyone better. Austin will get his turn.

  • Benhyoung14

    That’s the way it always should be at IU. I’m glad we’re there, and I hope we keep it.

  • KevOMG

    Agreed. Unfortunately, I think he’ll end up transferring. He’s already behind Hollowell and Parea (IMO), and of course Sheehy, Elston, and Waterford. I don’t see him getting many minutes this year, and next year Hollowell, Parea, and Sheehy will be back.

    Sometimes you don’t forsee what will happen with recruiting classes when you pick a school and how you’re position on a team can fall. Obviously a great kid.

  • MillaRed

    AE is a small forward. So right now he is behind Vic if Yogi and Jordy are the starters. I suppose Hollowell’s progress is the big question in terms of AE’s minutes. I hate the thought of anyone transferring. But anything is possible. I’m hoping AE gets his chance.

  • Wright Harney

    I really hope Hanner’s foot heals up like it is supposed to unlike DJ White’s sophomore year (my freshman year)

  • dtfreed

    and maybe he would rather be part of a really good team, The IPFW kid transferred to be part it.

  • Pritch24

    I agree, his electric athleticism makes me believe he can play a lot like Vic did his freshman year and come in to provide a spark on a night this team is flat. He athleticism could be very important in our defensive improvement as well. Hope to see him ready to go next Saturday.

  • indianaroots

    I just have to say this after seeing another top 5 recruit going to pUKe. I was not the biggest fan of Tom Crean when he first came here, but the guy does it the right way. I have no doubt in my mind that Kentucky is cutting the edges in recruiting. Tom Crean is putting together a group of young men that love basketball for the sport and not the money. I am proud to be a Hoosier, whether they loose or win. We will do it the right way. Crean has my respect.

  • Knuckledrager

    I think this season is set to be “The Perfect Storm.” At the end of last season what were we lacking? The one position. A POINT GUARD! We got one of the best in the nation. This season could well be the perfect storm. Every position has a bench that could be starters at most other Div.1 schools. We can fill every position without any loss of height, loss in talent and experience, some what, but not much at all. IU should be the best 3 point shooting team out there. Every position has solid backup. And our second team will finish running the other teams to death. Hell, our third team will get good playing time. A 15 man rotation. KIll ME NOW, Kill Me Now. “Thou arth’ Mortal! Oh goody here comes the jacket and the heavy meds. “GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME YOU DAM……” Already used that one. Go Hoosiers. 5p.m. tonight. ESPNU

  • Kelin Blab

    Listened to this interview and like what I heard. Not sure how Crean creates his perfect situation of having a solid 8 starters. I see 10 guys getting consistent minutes.

    His Core 8 Starters:
    1. Yogi
    2. Jordan
    3. Christian
    4. Cody
    5. Victor
    6. Will
    7. Derek
    8. Remy
    Then you have….
    9. Austin (Crean says the kid would have played alot in previous years)
    10. PJ (Someone has to back up Cody)
    11. Jeremy Hollowell (Tough to keep him off the court)
    12. Hanner (Brings IU inside athletic ability)
    13. Mo Creek (If Healthy, is a good spark and leader off the bench)

    Someone(s) will have to be patient and the minutes they get play them like Remy did last year. Good problem to have.

  • Kelin Blab

    Has a totally different game than Hanner. Is ahead of Hollowell in my opinion just based on practice experience and is a better defender. Kid has a role at IU that could evolve like Will Sheehey.

  • Kaleb

    The thing i really like to see is, how honest coach crean is. He doesn’t sugar coat situations. And even though i really like etherington, coach is right, there’s really not a spot to put him. Hollowell is going to be a sleeper from our 2012 class, dude’s got game. But back to Etherington. You can’t play Austin in with Will and Victor’s spot, because he’s not the same player as them.

  • I’m sure Yogi will be fine. But being a freshman and playing fast going against taller defenders and smarter coaches will be something to watch. He’s elite, poised and ready. Can’t wait for the live practice. Most anticipated season in a long time. Although I’m geeked every year.

  • HoosierTrav

    Honestly, after hearing CTC talk about Derek Elston needing to be their “Brian Scalabrine,” I Dont see him getting anything but garbage minutes at best. We are going to see more of Jeremy Hollowell than most think simply bc of his ability to score the basketball from anywhere on the court. He’s not a bad defender either. If Hanner can stay healthy and make big strides, he sees more minutes than Derek. You dont leave elite athleticism on the bench unless you HAVE to. Just my opinion.

  • HoosierTrav

    I predict many WTF dunks that send the Hall into a frenzy and the opposition into a downward spiral. I cant wait!

  • KevOMG

    I agree he has a different game than Hanner. However, if you look at all of the past posts/articles on this website this summer, I don’t see any mention of AE’s name ahead of either Hollowell and Hanner. I don’t even see much of his name…

    He can absolutely be a Will Sheehey. However, Will had a chance to show himself and turn into what he is because of the less talent we had back then. Now, it’s harder to do that with the depth we have.

    I’m not against this kid at all, I’m just stating an obstacle he has to overcome.

  • hoosierdaddy3

    Yea, I think he would probably be spot on if he switched Derek and Jeremy.

  • MillaRed

    I would be shocked if Elston is not a consistent part of our rotation the entire season.

  • Jethro Troll

    Come on guys. Derek’s a senior, and has been in Crean’s system for 4 years now. He’s going to play. He can be a real asset on the road, having been exposed to how hard you have to play to get a road win at this level.
    He definitely has a role on this team.

  • Dos

    I see this all the time on this site and just don’t get it. Why would Cal be cheating to get recruits? It makes no sense. They have a national title under him. They send whole starting lineups to the NBA draft. They have luxury dorms for the players to stay in with their own chef. They don’t need to cheat to grab recruits, their reputation does all the work. The risk with doing so is enormous, and they simply don’t need to. The eligibility issues they sometimes have (like Noel’s) are simply the result of high profile recruits and the people who surround them. Maybe Cal cut corners at Memphis or UMass but he’s definitely not doing it now. It’s unnecessary and the negative consequences are debilitating.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    every thing he has won he’s had to give back. UMASS and Memphis. it will be the same when pUKe gets stripped of the lastest title cmon man open your eyes

  • HoosierTrav

    Don’t get me wrong I think he’ll contribute but i don’t think he’ll be as high in the rotation as Kelin guessed. Coach Crean said himself that he needs to be our “Brian Scalabrine!” That mean he is a bottom of the rotation guy who comes in for very brief moments and provides a spark. A guy that can be a pesky defender, get clutch rebounds, scrap, and hit the occasional three ball. My assumption is in no way a slight on DE. I’m going by what our Coach has said publicly. I’m sorry but I don’t see someone who received limited minutes on last years team getting more minutes on a deeper, more talented Hoosiers squad. IMHO i believe he is our 10th option at best. I don’t believe for a minute that he’s going to get more minutes than Remy, Jeremy, or Hanner. Based on need alone, he is behind all of these that i listed. Hanner gives us something that we NEED, which is another uber-athletic big who can run the floor, rebound/ finish around the rim, ignite the crowd, and block shots from the weak side. Jeremy is a hybrid wing/forward who can rebound, shoot the three VERY well, put the ball on the floor and get to the cup/create his own shot, and guards more than just one position (CTC’s words.) Remy is a guy who can come in and handle the ball without turning it over, play lock down defense, and hit a big shot from time to time. These are all things that I believe we NEED more than a 4 man who is average in his strengths. We don’t NEED a limited, one dimensional player to gt more minutes than kids who offer more. His leadership can be felt from the bench, locker room, and at practice. I love the guy. I even have to get into shouting arguments with my marine buddy, who cringes every time he touches the floor, to explain how he’s better than he thinks and it was just with the mask that he was so god awful. To sum up everything i said: Brian Scalabrine is NOT the second option off of the bench! No matter how bad you may want him to be, he’s just not.

  • HoosierTrav

    On a side note, does anyone else think that CTC is bowing to the opposing Coach before he kicks his butt? Classy move coach. I like it.

  • Derbus

    Thank you CTC for clearing up how you select the primary player rotation: based on energy/performance/skill in practice! This will evolve as players perform in game situations, not based on tenure. Also Yogi is gonna be EPIC, a ‘one man press offense’! Lol @ the doubters on him starting.
    If you don’t play D, enjoy the pine.

  • Dos

    This is exactly what I’m talking about. I said maybe there were some nefarious doings at those first two schools, since he had to build the programs, and whose first choice is Memphis? Actually if you read about the UMass stuff with Camby that’s not really in Cal’s hands, many players take money without the coaches knowing. I bleed Cream and Crimson, but you and many others on this site are just being irrational. Look at it from a risk-reward standpoint and realize that Cal would never wantonly cheat at this point in his career. I don’t like the guy; he’s ruining the college game with one and done all-star teams who have no intention of gaining a college education, but everything he does works within the rules. He games the system, but doesn’t cheat it. I know this doesn’t seem to fit into the the collective mindset of this site’s commenters so downvote my comments all you like. Dislike the UK program, the fans, the players, the coach, whatever; but calling them cheaters is just being butthurt. I think I’ll return to the more reasonable discussion channels elsewhere on the internet. Although I love talking about the IU players here and people seem very knowledgable on that, anytime our two rivals get brought up, fingers get put in ears and the PUke and pUKe echo chamber starts up.

  • Kreigh_Smiths_Short_Shorts

    IU will be great. Still need to improve on D though.

  • Jethro Troll

    Really? For starters, I never said he was going to be our second option off the bench. I just dont agree with you that he’s going to be relegated as a “garbage minutes” guy. Im fully aware of what Crean said, but you’re taking his Scalabrine comment much too literal.
    He was simply trying to describe the type of player he wants him to be, not how many minutes he’s going to play. If you think Elston, a 4 year player who can play multiple positions will only see “garbage minutes”, then you simply dont have a clue what you’re talking about. Sorry, but that’s the truth.

  • HoosierForLife

    Dos – I love the fact that you are so optimistic. That’s a really good quality to have. However, let me just say that your assertion that Cal has no reason to cheat is rediculous. It does not matter how great or attractive your program is, you could have the most attractive program in College Basketball, which UK probably has by most people’s standards (championships, luxary living, high profile) and you still do not get three of the top five recruits in the nation to sign with your school. (Anthony Davis, Michael Gilchrist, Marques Teague). Sure its possible, but it just doesn’t happen. These guys are not there primarily for a championship, they are there to get to the next level. They want to be in the spotlight as much as possible to showcase their talent to pro scouts. It does not help to accomplish this by playing with a whole team of such guys. Anyone of these guys could have went to a different program with almost as much prestige and would have had a much easier time to get where they eventually wanted to be. It does not add up. I’ll admit there is no evidence at this point to back up any accusations, at least that we are aware of, but I’m telling you it has an odor, and unfortunately Cal has a record.

  • HoosierForLife

    Jethro Troll – I get what you are saying about Elston, but this is a really deep team. Unless Perea and Hollowell struggle to get started and Elston has dramatically improved on defense during the offseason, its going to be really tough for Elston to see much significant time. I could see him getting plenty of garbage minutes through the non-conference schedule against cupcakes, but once The Big Ten rolls around, you gotta be ready to play in the best Basketball conference in America. Elston has a nice shot, but he’s not a shooting guard, he’s a forward, and if he wants to play, he’s going to have to be able to play defense

  • HoosierTrav

    For one you obviously aren’t very detail oriented. Refer to the VERY FIRST sentence in my reply. I replied to Kelin Blab’s rotation assumptions, which had him as 7th. That’d be the second option off of the bench. I also stated that i see him as the 10th best option on this team. There are only so many minutes in a game Jethro. If you think that a guy who received garbage minutes (very little) on last years team is going to receive more on this team than I’d say you’re just flat out wrong, borderline delusional. Elston cant play the 5, the 1, the 2, and cant play with his back to the basket. I’d say that’s as one dimensional as you get. Are you related to DE? Buddies maybe? Is this why you were so offended by me stating my very feasible opinion? Just curious.
    Coach Crean also stated that the best players were going to see the floor REGARDLESS of class. So I think you can take your “he’s a senior and I’m going to cry if he doesn’t get 10-15 mins/game” and toss it from your line of thinking. Or was this another one of those subliminal/mystical statements by CTC that I’m taking way too literally? He’s pretty “to the point” with his statements, so when considering what he said about the comparison between he and Scalabrine, I took everything into account, including minutes. Oh, I don’t think that since you state your opinion so blatantly on this forum, it makes it the “Truth!” I made it clear to make mention that my comment was IMHO (In my honest opinion.) I guess I’ll just not have one…. an opinion that is.

    NOTE TO ITH”ers:
    You are no longer allowed to express your opinion on this site, especially if it contradicts the expressed opinion of THE Jethro Troll. Anyone who does not subscribe to these new rules will be subject to belittlement and torturous reminders of what the “Truth, The Way, and The Light” really is according to the greatest ITH’er of all time. “TOUCHDOWN SEAHAWKS!” -Jethro Troll

  • JimJ

    I’ve got to agree with Dos on this one. Calipari is slimy salesman and will always raise doubts about whether he plays by the rules or not, but he really has no reason to cut corners anymore. Perhaps he did with his first two or so classes at UK in order to get the program to where it is now, but whether we like it or not, Kentucky is the premier program to be at right now if you are an elite recruit who wants to a) get drafted in the lottery and b) have a shot at a national title in your only year of college. I would love as much as the next person to see the NCAA come down on Calipari and UK for something illegal he has done, but until there is proof we should at least acknowledge that he is the best recruiter in the game (like it or not, he is a charismatic guy who can relate to high school kids) and is great at getting a bunch of studs to play together.

  • Kris

    Dos, please continue coming to this site and sharing your opinions. Although a large part of the IU fan base does behave how you desribe when it comes to UK and Purdue, it’s not accurate to say all ITHers do it. The fact is that everyone has an opinion and as long the discussion remains civil and doesn’t get too personal, ITH allows all opinions, including yours. Keep making your comments and adding to the discussion.

  • adam

    agreed. whatever was done in the past i dont picture cal doing things that are blatantly illegal with respect to the ncaa rules and regulations at uk. dont get me wrong, i think its possible he could be doing some semi-unscrupulous things to get the top recruits to his school… i just doubt that any of those things are breaking any specific ncaa recruiting regulations.

  • You have Perea and Jurkin to low. Especially Perea, dude is a beast. When we get into the B1G schedule and need those big bodies down low (and above the rim), he’ll be in there.

  • HoosierForLife

    For the life of me, I just can’t figure out why you guys don’t think Calipari has reasons to cheat. He wouldn’t have the program that he has (prestige, talent, championships) without the recruits that he is bringing in. I have no proof of Cal doing anything wrong, but it would be extremely gullible of me to assume that Cal would be where he is today with the UK program without the unprecedented quantity of quality talent he has accumulated. Kentucky has always recruited well, but no school including UK has ever been able to bring in the quantity of top 20 talent year after year until Cal showed up in Lexington. Once again, it is possible that he’s just doing things right, so to speak, but to assume that he has nothing to gain from doing things wrong is just simply credulous and naive. Goal number 1 for most 5 star recruits and several 4 stars is to find the best possible senario to showcase your talent to the NBA. It certainly can’t be the best possible senario to do that to go to a team loaded with other 5 stars (future NBA prospects). So then, what is the motivation for these guys to do that? Its just a question, not an accusation. I’m just trying to be realistic. They want to make the big bucks, but they aren’t quite there yet. Why not pocket a little now while you can and rely on the TV exposure and the rediculously talented best team in the nation publicity to get you there.

  • SCHoosier

    Cal-no need to cheat (now)..for same reason a sitting President with a good track record doesn’t have to work hard on fund raising…he’s got the goods and knows how to use them Cal has those goods now as others have mentioned. All he has to do is point to the kids he’s recruited..his W/L record and the entry levels he’s had for kids going pro..sold! Not saying I’m a big Cal fan..but he is a better than credited b-ball coach and a rock star it or not.