Crean takes “full responsibility” for Notre Dame loss in radio show comments

  • 12/16/2013 9:55 pm in

Don Fischer hosted the third edition of Inside Indiana basketball with Tom Crean this season on Monday night, which is broadcast live from the Holiday Inn in Bloomington. The show is broadcast each Monday at 7 p.m. ET during the season.

Here are some notes and quotes from Crean’s comments:

· One of the first topics Crean addressed was his team’s inability to break through on Saturday in a 79-72 loss to Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“We had chances the other day against Notre Dame where we just needed to string together a couple of stops and we didn’t. Every time we would cut it, it remained close until the very, very end, but we never got that combination of a couple of stops with a couple of buckets to get us over the hump. We just have to learn how important those things are. No matter how you’re playing, you’ve got to keep grinding it out, grind it out and figure out how to win the game at the end.”

· Crean talked about the recent offensive surge for senior Evan Gordon and noted the extra time he’s spending in the gym as a primary reason for his success.

“That’s really the culture of the program. The guys who spend that extra time, it’s amazing how well that works out. The guys that just practice, it’s amazing how poorly that turns out. There really is no secret.”

· Fischer asked Crean what stood out about the Notre Dame after going back and watching the film:

“We played worse than what I thought during the game. I take full responsibility because I should have done a much, much better job in the game of making sure at the end that the ball went inside. We made mistakes and we never got really over the hump even though we were right there. We defended at a pretty good rate. We didn’t defend at a great rate. We made numerous game plan mistakes in this game. That’s concerning because we’re 11 games in and we’ve got to be better than that. And I know there’s a certain amount of fatigue that kicks in when you haven’t been through it like we haven’t been through it and how important every one of these things are.

“The game plan the other night was (against Oakland), we’re going to defend the 3-point line. And Travis Bader didn’t get one. Well in this game we needed to do a better job, but the bottom line is the ball has to go in the post more. And we’ve got to do a better job of making sure we get better possessions, especially at the end of games.”

· Crean said that as a coach, he has to do a better job of helping his team understand momentum. He added that his team is “a work in progress” in terms of communication. Also says that team still has to grasp “momentum, time and score.”

· More on the Notre Dame loss: “Frankly, with the mistakes we made in the game and the poor coaching job that I did, I’m amazed we were even in it at the end. But it was still a very winnable game in all honesty and we’ve got to do a better job of understanding what we want and that starts with making sure it’s going through the paint and going through the post.”

· Fischer said that Royce Waltman had surgery this afternoon and it went well. Fischer said it is “a serious issue.”

· Crean was asked by Fischer if Noah Vonleh has a better understanding of the need to demand the ball in the post.

“Not yet. Not yet. Noah should be a senior in high school. I’ll defend him ’til the day ends. He’s being coached hard now. He can take it, but Noah should be a senior in high school. It is what it is. He’s not your typical freshman in body or mentality, but he’s also not your typical freshman in age because he re-classified.”

· Crean said that Indiana had yesterday off to focus on academics with finals week underway.

· Crean had a chance to watch Robert Johnson on Sunday and offered some comments on his play.

“Really impressed watching him, watching his toughness, watching his strength. He’s got a lot of things,” he said.

· Crean also touched on James Blackmon Jr., whom he called “the best player in the state.” He added: “He knows how to make everybody else better.”

· Crean said one of his regrets in Notre Dame game was not playing Hanner Mosquera-Perea more minutes.

· Crean said he’ll be recruiting on Wednesday and they haven’t really started to prepare for Friday’s game with Nicholls State yet.

· Crean noted that his team will be watching film of its turnovers from last few games.

“To some it will look like the Rocky Horror Picture Show,” he said.

· Crean said he’s not sure if the deep bench will continue. Said there are some guys playing too many minutes, some are playing too few.

“I wouldn’t look at this say, ‘oh wow, what a starting five they’ve got.’ I don’t think that’s how it is right now,” he said.

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  • Ole Man

    Your bottom line and that of mine and others are in disagreement…LOL!
    Was Cody developed and used properly?
    Was the offense designed around him?
    See, that “game” can be played on and on, with nothing but our opinionated observations….LOL.
    Part of the fun of boards like these.

  • Victorbear

    I wonder what this board will be like next year if:
    1. iu goes 6-10 in conference this year and Vonleh goes pro
    2. Iu loses in second round next year and Blackmon goes pro

  • Victorbear

    What about not having the 4th overall pick in nba draft on the court when Butler drove the lane on Jordy for the buzzer beater last year?? That is asinine. I was at Pacer/bobcat game last Friday and Cody swatted Lance Stephensen driving the lane on a similar play. That’s what we are trying to say, also how many baskets do we get after a timeout.

  • Victorbear

    “If we lose to Illinois” we lost there last year no way do we win that game.

  • HoosierPat

    Those of you who have said something along the lines of “Crean ran off Mo Creek” are totally ignorant. As noted several times by other commenters, Mo said it was completely his decision, plus he does have a child there. Also, I follow him on twitter and he has tweeted several things about Indiana this season… All positive. With as many injuries he’s had here, I don’t blame him for wanting to get some new scenery around him. Plus, why wouldn’t you want to be near your child?

  • HoosierPat

    I agree that Hanner needs more minutes, but I think Luke needs more minutes too. Luke is very fundamentally sound and has great court awareness, especially for a freshman.

  • HoosierPat

    Sorry most of us are not satisfied with a B1G title.

  • TomJameson

    I like your list except for #3. Coach has a ton of energy and just CAN’T sit still, surely ya’ll know other people like that. He would merely vibrate on the bench. I say hook some motion/wave type generators to him when he’s on the sidelines, and start generating some energy! LOL
    Especially agree with #5. Yuck!

  • dwdkc

    I don’t want to find out. But what will it be like if–IU goes 11-7 in conference, gets hot in the Big 10 tourney and gets to the final beating Wisconsin on the way before losing a close one–then makes the Elite 8 as a 6 or 7 seed. Then wins the title next year with Noah staying.
    OK, so we’ve given everyone a range of scenarios that could happen, worst to best. Either way, the fans will vent, trade opinions, and probably enjoy the ride (not so much in your scenario). We’re fans, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

  • dwdkc

    I call BS on this. Crean and the staff love Mo, and after all he went through, they wanted the best for him. With the limitations he showed, and what we had coming in, they may have figured Mo might not get that much time for his last year. The kid in DC and the prospect of lots of playing time was a no-brainer. The fact he is surprising with his scoring is after the fact, and nobody is happier for him that Crean. Get real.

  • RealFan

    Honestly what do you guys expect. We are young. We don’t know how to play hard enough to win. We are expecting two role players from last year to be instant leaders. We will get netter but there will be games like this. We would be better in the shooting and experience if Abell and Creek stayed. Then the young guys could buy their time some.

  • dwdkc

    Nah, too much fun to keep bashing you. Get off of my lawn!
    (I can say that, I remember when Knight was hired).

  • dwdkc

    Agree they were good enough to win. Disagree they were far and away the best team. At their best, they were as good as anyone. 3-4 other teams could say the same thing. They had great offensive skills and polish, and were solid defensively but not outstanding. They were never dominant, just very good. They seemed to get a little tired at the end–too much hype too soon? Hard to say. They played really well in Ann Arbor in the last regular season game, and against IIlinois in the first tourney game. After that, not so much. Jordy’s slump then injury hurt. So I can’t really agree with last year as an indictment of the coach–more of a mixed bag, as he deserves great credit to develop them to get as good as they were.

  • Maybe crean should return his salary for that game.

  • Miamihoosier

    You have to know it would be possible to find a coaching mistake in every basketball game at every level right? Pointing to a specific instance as proof of bad coaching, would be like using a turnover as proof Lebron James is bad at basketball. Victor was the 120th? best player in his class, Cody the 14th? They went 2 and 4? That’s years of development, that’s evidence of coaching. Oh and saying we lost at Illinois last year so we can’t win there this year is like an ACC team saying they lost at Miami last year, and can’t win this year. You think it matters Shane Larkin and 4 seniors are gone? What about Illinois losing 5 guys? Illinois is the only team in the league younger than us. That matters, because talent wise? They don’t even belong on the floor with our team….again if their fans (minus all the students who are on Christmas break by the way) make that much of a difference, in my book it’s on the coaches

  • Victorbear

    Creek is a good guy but you telling me if Crean told him he would be playing 30 minutes/game and be one of our go to scorers he would have transferred, if so then you are naive enough to think Buss made a C- instead of a C. Give me a break.

  • CreamandCrimson

    That’s fine…I’m not in the business of bashing people, it rarely goes anywhere constructive. I don’t have a problem with people criticizing Coach Crean or any of the players. People are entitled to an opinion. I have a problem with the people who only show up on this board after a loss. I have a problem with the people who only rip Coach Crean, call him “Clappy”, say he is incompetent, a fraud, arrogant (take personal shots). I have a problem when every loss is boiled down to “Crean can’t coach”. I have a problem with the people who single out a player and write that he “sucks”. I just don’t see the need for the vitriol that we see after every loss. That’s just my opinion though.

    I like Crean but have some issues with some aspects of his coaching. He’s not the best coach in the country. I happen to be of the opinion that he can grow as a coach and I think this is a good step by him. There are going to be other losses this season and Tom Crean and his staff are going to be partially to blame. I’m just not going to be questioning the long-term future of the program or his competency as a human being every time we drop a game (not suggesting that you ever do this). IU wins as a team and loses as a team and I think too often, this site turns into a “hater” or “troll” (Crean can’t coach crowd) versus “kool-aid” or “delusional” (don’t criticize Crean crowd) debate and to me, basketball just isn’t as simple as “it was all because of the coach”.

  • CreamandCrimson

    If Tom Crean told Mo Creek he would be playing 30 minutes a game then Tom Crean would have been lying and Creek would have known it. There is one guy playing 30 minutes a game on this team (Yogi)…no one else is over 26.8. Believe whatever you want to believe but I don’t think you should call others naive for believing in the widely reported story that both sides are telling.

  • 3AM Burrito

    Yeah I know that is just his style for #3 so I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing, just my preference that he would dial it back a little bit but that is part of how he coaches. He could definitely generate some energy with his motion, he is active out there!

  • 3AM Burrito

    I think he had the team to win it, but not the athletes. Hulls and Watford were ahtletic liabilities, but I do agree they were an outstanding team that had as good a chance as any to win it all.

  • SCHoosier

    I didn’t like some of the late game decisions from the bench..but as a coach you don’t expect your senior (Will) to turn the ball over twice and your point guard to take 3 questionable shots at crunch time. Crean said he called Yogi’s maybe the blame does shift to him. Given the absence of reliable scorers on this team..I’m not sure he had a better option..altho sending a 5-11 guard into the middle of the big, smart ND’s trees didn’t exactly rock my world.

  • Ole Man

    In total agreement with your last paragraph.

  • OhioHoosier

    I just feel like right now he is such a liability on defense and his offensive touch is just not there. Hope you’re right tho, because we could use a developed luke fisher for the game against whiskey.

  • SCHoosier

    Playing five freshmen..a lot of sophs..and none of them can shoot a lick!
    We should be further along..but TC can’t put the ball in the hole for them or play better pressure defense on their behalf. These are quality kids and potentially good players who need to step up. Not sure they wouldn’t be better developed in a different offensive system..but they still couldn’t shoot!

  • SCHoosier

    Fact is there is no rotation u can come up with that doesn’t lack scoring potential and is prone to TO’s.

  • millzy32

    Couldn’t agree more. I want to like him. Heck I want to love him as a coach but there’s just something about him that makes me think he’s just a little too eccentric. Seems good for recruiting but the coaching aspect well um not so much.

  • IUBizmark

    I thought the JBJ comment was Crean lobbying for JBJ to get Indiana Mr. Basketball thus taking the heat off Crean for nor landing Indiana Mr. Basketball and also to help support his recruit (and not other deserters like Lyles).

  • 3AM Burrito

    Definitely could be just pumping up JBJ and trying to get him Mr. Basetball. It would be hard to think there is any heat on Crean for his recruiting, if there is one thing he has done very well it is that. Also he got 2 of last 5 Indiana Mr. Basketball’s so that isn’t too bad.

  • IUBizmark

    Admittedly I don’t have a good feel for the heat on Crean in this area. I feel like people expect IU to get Indiana Mr. BB every year AND to keep in-state talent without exception. This is obviously not realistic.

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    I try not to stream. I am on a 4G hotspot for internet service due to the lack of high speed in my area. I would burn through my data if I started streaming a lot of stuff. Good advice though!

  • oregoiu

    Of course I realize CTC isn’t probably going to change his system but there are many changes he can make including how he preps the team, bench time for lack of execution, subing patterns, off-ball screening, etc.

  • papawglen

    I would just like to say that all this complaining about the coach is great for recruiting
    (just not ours). Why unload all this crap on here where anyone can read it?

  • IUDan

    You guys are delusional – I think last year’s team probably hit their ceiling, maybe overachieved. Especially with Jordy injured and not being able to hit a shot.

    The truth is we probably could’ve beaten many of the other Sweet 16 teams, but I knew we were doomed when we drew ‘Cuse – worst matchup we could have drawn.

    There are many, many team in IU history that would have soundly beaten last year’s team.

  • Kyl470

    I’m 100 percent positive no recruit is going to make his college selection based on comments made on this site.


    You’re right he’s probably under some kind of physical harm threat from the IU camp if he says anything but complimentary things about them. I wouldn’t expect him to say real negative things about IU even if he did really feel he got forced out, but if that really was how he felt I don’t think he would have went out of his way to say the things that he did. If anything he would have just basically not answered it or answered it in a way that didn’t lean either way and left everyone to make of it what they will. This is only 1 example, out of many, that his transferring was solely his choice. Now show me any credible example to prove otherwise or any kind of evidence, besides you and a few select others’ opinion, that he was forced out. Oh, and spewing conspiracy theories with nothing to back them up don’t count.

  • William Hagenmaier

    why does tom c rave about jeremey hollowell other than I game I have not been impressed

  • nwiniu fan

    Boy you said it, go to a open practice next yr, Haunted hall of hoops, I go every year, hes different, that’s all I have to say. He all about pushing that ball up. I think that’s his only concern on offense. Listen to him during a gm if you can get close, push it, push it, are his famous and most used words.

  • CreanFaithful

    I agree too, but I’m not sure those are strange orders for a team that wants to get out in transition…

  • OhioHoosier

    Good call on that one! Great game by Luke yesterday.