Tom Crean talks in-depth about Indiana’s 2013-2014 roster

  • 10/03/2013 1:48 pm in


Wednesday night, Indiana coach Tom Crean gave his annual “State of the Hoosier Nation” address to an assembled crowd of about 500 people at the IU Auditorium.

During the speech, he spoke in depth about this season’s roster, and selected thoughts about each player are gathered below:

Will Sheehey

“Will Sheehey has had an up-and-down offseason because he has had a couple different injuries. He’s still coming back, but he had his first full practice yesterday. He’s still trying to come back from a groin injury and put himself in position. Today was a Will Sheehey level practice. The leadership was strong. He was very active. Will Sheehey is one of the most gifted, smartest players that I’ve ever been around in my entire life. Will Sheehey is the kind of person that he understands what it takes. He understands how to win. He understands what’s going on on the floor. He’s a tremendous teacher for somebody that’s his age of helping his teammates.”

Evan Gordon

“He’s got to come in here and he’s got to see his game go to another level. He’s got to see his game rise on both sides of the court — offensively and defensively — and see that leadership rise. He’s got to get out of whatever comfort zone has been acceptable for him — because he works hard, now — and step above and beyond that. He’s got to bring a pitbull, junkyard dog mentality daily. He’s got to take people with him. And that’s one of the biggest things that will show: is he going to have that kind of year? Here’s a guy that’s a great young man. He works hard, comes from a great family, spends a lot of time at the game. But he can do more.”

Taylor Wayer and Jeff Howard

“Two guys who have put a lot of time and effort into this program. Two guys that haven’t seen a lot of minutes. Two guys that are great young men, are very strong academically, come from the state of Indiana. Now is their time to really be counted on as leaders, as well. Not just hard-nosed practice players, not just guys that do the right thing in practice, but guys that will compete to another level.”

Austin Etherington

“What we need Austin to do is make jump shots. We need Austin to hold his ground defensively. We need Austin to get out and get out on that break and be a guy that can space the court. And we need Austin to play with tremendous toughness. And if Austin can do those kind of things for us, he’s going to have a chance to contribute on this team. He’s got a lot of people nipping at his heels.”

Hanner Mosquera-Perea

“Hanner Perea, over the last two weeks, has shown more improvement. But also yesterday, and one day last week, had practices where you didn’t know he was out there. And that’s the thing about Hanner right now: the consistency, the consistency. He’s getting better as a competitor, he really cares, he wants to be better. He’s got to develop a consistency. He won two different scrimmage situations today with big time, big time rebound-tip type plays. And those are the kind of things he can do. Hanner has got tremendous athleticism.”

Jeremy Hollowell

“There’s nobody that’s scored more points in our first five practices than Jeremy Hollowell. But he’s not one of the leading percentage guys. He’s not one of the leading rebounders. He’s not one of the leading deflection guys. We need him to have a consistency that’s constant in our practices. And again, five days of stats is not a big deal. It’s the level of what he’s capable of: that’s what the big deal is. We need Jeremy to continue to put himself in a spot where he’s not quiet. Where he understands that he’s going to absolutely be — it’s going to be counted upon, demanded upon — that he’s going to be a paramount defensive player for us.”

Yogi Ferrell

“The No. 1 thing with Yogi was will he be demanding enough of himself and of his teammates to keep taking steps, because Yogi has got tremendous gifts. He’s got great speed. His shot is definitely getting better all the time. … Yogi has got a chance, because of his ability on the defensive end, his ability with the ball and his ability to shoot and find people, to be really, really good. Will that leadership be demanded enough of his teammates day in and day out? That will be the crux of it.”

Peter Jurkin

“He has never been in a situation where he has just been absolutely able just to lay it out there, health-wise. He’s getting closer to it. He’s going through a tough thing at home right now with his father, who he has not seen in years. He’s so sick, he’s going to be spending some time going back there fairly soon as soon as everything gets worked out paperwork-wise for him. But there’s a guy we’re really hoping can come in and make some shots, block some shots and space the floor.”

Troy Williams

“Troy Williams has been out since last week and Luke Fischer has been out since the end of last week. We miss them. All of the sudden, I’ve noticed every day that we don’t have Troy Williams’ energy in there. And that’s rare when you miss a freshman like that. Troy Williams has got a rare level of energy. He’s got athleticism that’s gonna just blow your mind. We won’t get to see that on Friday night, unfortunately.”

Luke Fischer

“He knows what it takes. He knows how to score. He’s not afraid. He comes in there and battles. He got hurt going for a rebound: a freak accident. He’ll miss a few more weeks. But there’s a guy that can go with both shoulders, go with both hands. He’s developing his jump shot, he can rebound, he’s smart, he’s got toughness. And we’re gonna need him. We’re gonna need him.”

Noah Vonleh

“This kid, he’s got some natural leadership in him that’s only going to continue to grow and take off. And if he learns to be as demanding on others as he is on himself, look out. I mean, it is hard to believe that this young guy has been 18 for only a month. He loves to be in the gym. He epitomizes right now where we stand on being a 365-day-a-year type guy.”

Stanford Robinson

“Stanford Robinson is a very unique, unorthodox type of player because he can do a lot of different things. He can handle the ball. He is as good of a downhill player that we have right now, outside of Yogi, when it comes to playing the game, going straight by and straight downhill. Now, we’re trying to help him get his fundamentals. We’re trying to help him get both hands where they need to be, trying to help his jump shot as consistent as it needs to be.”

Devin Davis

“He’s got a toughness level that he doesn’t even know he has yet. He sometimes fights the conditioning and sometimes fights the fatigue part of it. He gets totally offended when I bring that up; I’ve already found the thing that drives him a little bit. But that kid gets to the basket. He gets to the basket. And he can make things happen around that basket. He can finish. He’s got a chance to get on that court right now because of his rebounding and because of his defense.”

Collin Hartman

“Collin Hartman we need to make shots. We need him to be a ball-mover, a body-mover; a guy that can space and knock down shots. And he’s still getting his body. He’s getting stronger. He’s trying to get to the endurance level that he has to have. At this point right now, we’re trying to fix certain things in his jump shot so that he’s down low so that he’s not arching his back.”

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  • BlakeD1223

    I enjoyed reading what Crean said about the players. He came across as being very honest. I’m a little disappointed in hearing that Hanner is inconstant and lost on the floor. He looked extremely lost last year. We need his height in the middle. I hope he shocks us all this year.

  • Kerry Smith

    I think Hanner and Jurkin might transfer. Crean’s comments make it sound like they won’t even be able to see the floor from where they’ll be sitting.

  • mikeeee

    It’s early in the year, so there is absolutely a TON to be worked on by all these guys.. I take it that these comments are challenges to the players, trying to dig deeper every day… I know that they are hearing it in practice too, not just in these comments. That said, sounds like we have a lot of inconsistency.. and that’s part of having a young team. But sounds like the guys who seem to be the most gifted aren’t showing up consistently in practice or at a consistent enough efficiency (Hanner/Hollowell), guys that are more polished are inconsistent with their health (Will, Luke, Troy), some guys are consistently demanding enough of their teammates..

    I understand you can always improve and I hope these guys take these comments to heart and are learning. Hopefully we’ll have consistency in more of these areas as the season progresses

  • winston smith

    I’m a little concerned that these kids seem to be getting so dinged up in practice. Isn’t there a way to instill toughness and improve your skills without beating the crap out each other?

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Is this Kerry the TROLL?!

  • BlakeD1223

    I don’t see that happening but you never know. Last year I was saying that I think Hanner could be another Victor. That is saying a lot, I know. I only say that in the aspect of I think he’s a type of player that will be fun to watch improve. Everyone saw how athletic and energetic VO was his freshman and Sophomore years. I remember thinking, man VO could play pro ball with his style of play during his Sophomore year. Then he shows up his Junior year and just tears it up. I’m just patiently waiting and hoping that Hanner does the same thing. He will improve a lot this year and then during his Junior year he becomes a complete stud and everything clicks for him.

  • winston smith


  • Kyl470

    I hope Hanner does develop because if he can’t contribute the team is going to be playing a lot of small lineups this year.

  • HoosierBBallNut

    Is it just me or is anyone else getting geared up for a rough season looking at CTCs comments. If I read between the lines, our solid contributors are going to be Will, Yogi, JH ,NV .. Luke and Troy if they don’t loose too much time being injured .. Thas not deep at all..

  • Hoosier Hall

    I like what I hear about Hollowell. I’ve always thought he could be a big time scorer.

  • Ole Man

    Sounds like CTC is saying he needs to learn to do the other stuff. If you get 15 and your man gets 15, what good is it?

  • michaelaa

    I don’t like saying it, but I could see you being correct about Jurkin, if he can’t start contributing and soon. With Hanner… I don’t see that happening. You can’t judge tone from written quotes, but Crean does sound frustrated with Hanner. From all of his comments, it seems like he wishes everyone had Will’s intensity and leadership. Sounds like Yogi needs to start cracking the whip. He made it sound like Evan is soft and needs to improve his defense a lot. Sounds like Hollowell has potential to score in bunches, but that he’s not efficient, not rebounding, not a defensive presence.

    I’m not trying to be negative here, but there is a lot of criticism in these comments. Yes, it’s early and I imagine we’ll improve a ton IMO. and again, I know everyone can always improve, so he’s trying to get these guys to push themselves, but CTC definitely spoke about everyone in a way that should limit expectations. Not that he was totally down on the guys, but basically with everyone it was that they lacked consistency in a lot of areas. Or they’re hurt.

  • calbert40

    Sounds to me like CTC is merely building up the confidence of the freshmen, while also saying they need to continue to work hard to earn minutes. For the upperclassmen, he’s trying to suggest they better not think their PT is guaranteed simply because they are older. They need to work hard too. I like it.

  • Perry Smith

    Oh its going to be a rough year. But you should be careful making comments that could be perceived as negative because people on here will call you a troll. Constructive criticism is not welcome on this site.

  • Snookafly

    Listening to it you hear Crean approaching his evaluation as a realist. He’s a good coach in part because of his ability to analyze players honestly. Some of it was hard to hear, but it’s probably better that some of our over enthusiastic excitement about certain players ability to make an immediate impact is tempered before the season starts. We have some key pieces in place for future success, but patience will be key for such a young team.

  • SCHoosier

    This year is going to have a series of ups and downs. One thing TC said really rings true to me…”Luke Fischer..we’re going to really need him.” That’s especially true if GO…as it appears now..goes elsewhere. Luke has a little bit of an injury history..and IU needs him to play big in the post and do it now.

  • Hoosier Hall

    True. He did show some shot blocking skills last season. Let’s hope he develops that defensive tenacity as well.

  • winston smith

    It sounds like Hanner, Hollowell and Jurkin are not improving much. Actually in Jurkins case it seems like he will never develop into a contributor. I hope we don’t end up with four more just like them this year. I’m lowering my expectations considerably (which were probably too high anyway).

    The upside is that we have the athletes and they will get minutes which the freshmen didn’t get much of last year so maybe we can be greatly improved by March..

    His comments on NV and SR did seem pretty positive though. Hopefully the injuries will take care of themselves and not be a major issue…

    It’s going to be an interesting year.

  • dtfreed

    I am sure CTC wants a defensive stopper who not WS and Yogi. Both play good D but shutting down the other teams high scorer needs to fall on Jeremy or EG. DD was getting good props because he could be that stopper and provide decent scoring, rebounding. Troy will be counted on that too when he comes back. The defensive effort VO gave on 2,3 different positions last year will be several players trying to duplicate his effort in spots.

  • unclekerfuffle

    Your comments just caused a thought to flash through my mind and a snicker to flash across my face–
    What if ITH and the same willingness to comment to media existed in the RMK era when it came to assessing players and their readiness for the upcoming season.

  • winston smith

    I was going to say it would make him turn over in his grave and then I remembered….he’s still alive.

  • BlakeD1223

    I agree, I don’t like hearing that we need to be tougher. I’m sure it’s hard to watch a team perform without Zeller and Dipo on the floor when you spent a whole year last year watching those guys perform. CTC has high standards which is a good thing. We had a great team last year so anything this year is going to seem weak. Hanner is no Zeller. Jeremy is no Dipo. Actually, Jeremy reminds me of Watford. Has that lazy type of style but can hit big shots. It’ll be an interesting year that’s for sure.

  • Drew

    Can we all take time and stop the speculation about Peter Jurkin transferring? I know he hasn’t contributed for us at all yet, and that he has been constantly battling injuries. That is a huge letdown, but for the time being he is a Hoosier, and in this serious moment of family difficulty that will require him to head back home, he needs our support 100%. The fact that he is with us demands our support.
    In regards to the rest of these quotes, I think I have a general level of excitement for this year. We have so much youth. Crean’s report on HMP is a little disconcerting but this might just be part of the growing pains for him. Yogi, Sheehey, Gordon and Vonleh are the bedrock. Williams, Hollowell, Fischer, HMP Davis, and Robinson are all guys I want to see give it their all and can reasonably expect to see as solid role players this year. We won’t be as good as last year, and I expect a more talented squad next season, but I still can’t wait for this upcoming season. #HoosierNation4Lyfe

  • Indiana_Banners

    Hope he’s more like VO than Patric Young at Florida, though Young isn’t at all a bad player just a bit overhyped. Either outcome would be great, but obviously one would be much better…

  • Indiana_Banners

    He’s a coach. Seriously, none of them are talking about how good they are right now. It’s all about how good they can be if they keep working. This is insight into how Crean is coaching these guys and where he wants to see them grow.

  • BlakeD1223

    maybe people think you are a troll because you are always making comments like these. The world isn’t ending…..well it may be….. but you don’t have to always look at the negative stuff.

  • IUDan

    Some of you guys should pay attention to other programs every once in a while … What Crean is saying is very typical of any good coach at the beginning of the season – any coach who comes out and says “we’re right where we want to be” is going to be out of work at the end of the season.

    Furthermore, what IU is going through on the recruiting front is very typical ofany programs that sign a big class … Sure we missed on a few kids – it happens. Get over it.

  • CreamandCrimson

    I think it’s rather telling that there are fewer than 30 comments on this article while the article about Goodluck Okonoboh choosing UNLV has over 175.

    I think it’s time to focus on this year’s team and the guys who are working hard to represent IU. Interesting comments about Noah Vonleh’s leadership capabilities. Devin Davis’ potential to play right away, Troy Williams’ “energy” factor and that the team is noticeably different when he’s on the floor.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Wonder why Jonny Marlin was not mentioned? Previously the talk was he could get some PG minutes this year.

  • TomJameson

    I agree, although in the 4 hours since you posted this the number of comments about GO to UNLV is over 280!! lol

  • hoosierdaddynow

    short answer: no.

  • PacerFan

    Agreed…and any good coach should be mixing the critique and the praise.

  • BluegrassHoosier

    I live in Louisville and the last few years many people complained that Pitino was too hard in practice and that was the cause of the injuries. Those complaints mysteriously vanished in March.

  • BluegrassHoosier

    Completely agree with you on Hanner. Seems like knowledge of what to do in certain situations was a big issue last year. Serms like when he was in there and the opponent scored because off a breakdown, there was always a couple of teammates running up to him and telling him what he did wrong.

    HMP has definitely been hitting the weights hard. Wow.