Notes and quotes from Crean on Big Ten teleconference

  • 01/13/2014 10:35 am in

The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the second week of conference play. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:

· For the fifth time this season, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh was named the Big Ten’s freshman of the week. Vonleh scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds in IU’s 79-76 win over Penn State on Saturday. Vonleh’s five freshman of the week awards is the third highest total since the award began in 2010.

· Crean’s started off by talking about his team’s play over the past week, including Saturday’s win at Penn State: “It was one of those games where both teams played extremely hard, both wanted the game.  I’m proud of the resiliency our guys showed in that game.”

· On the challenge of facing Wisconsin and Northwestern this week at home: “It’s a big week in the sense of two home games. An outstanding team with Wisconsin obviously, an outstanding program. One that’s just a very, very tough preparation. They’re a very, very efficient and smart team. And Northwestern is going to be coming in after getting their first (Big Ten) win last night. Another team that’s going to be extremely well coached with what Chris Collins and Brian James and that entire group are capable of.”

· Crean was asked by Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated for his thoughts on the consistency of officiating in non-league games versus conference games: “If I had to give you one sentence, it’s probably too early to tell that.” Crean also noted that while he hasn’t watched a ton of games this season, that for the most part the players are trying to “do the right thing and get used to the game.”

· Crean said that Will Sheehey was a game-time decision in the Penn State game after suffering an injury on Thursday and talked about how crucial his play was in IU’s win in State College: “100 percent for Will Sheehey versus 100 percent for somebody else, there’s a big difference there. Will’s just got an inner spirit that’s really hard to characterize. It’s hard to quantify it because it’s so unique. He’s got a great fire about him and I thought he brought it. I thought he was very, very passionate with his teammates and I thought it carried over. I thought our guys had a great week of building some real internal discipline as far as on the court that carried over into how we played. I think Will’s a big part of that.”

· Crean on what’s allowing Wisconsin to score more this season than in previous seasons: “I don’t know if the speed of their game is any different when you look at the time of possession for each possession. It’s in that 21 second to 22 second range when you look at that over a period of time. I do think the one thing that separates them on offense … They’ve always had the experienced players that they can put other people around those guys because they totally understand how they win and how they want to play. They’ve always put excellent shooters on the court. I think what you have right now that’s maybe a little bit different to me is they’re not an above average passing team, they’re a great passing team.”

· Crean said that one area where Wisconsin has hurt Indiana and many teams is when they get into rotation. “They not only make the next pass, they make the pass after that and if need be, the pass after that.”

· Crean was asked about his relationship with Bo Ryan and how it has changed since coming from Marquette to the Big Ten: “I have great respect for him. I always have. I think what I respect about him is that he’s one of the great competitors around. I think he’d be the kind of person that would compete in anything and want to win. I think you have to respect that more than anything else. He’s always been very gracious to me and I hope he would feel for the most part I have with him. I have tremendous respect for that entire program. And that’s a team, when you watch him coach and when you watch them play, you absolutely see his competitiveness, you see his diligence. All of those attributes you would want to say, that’s what a great team looks like, I think you can start with Bo and that’s what a great coach looks like.”

Filed to:

  • ForeverIU

    Anyone know if there are stats out there on deflections? I’d like to know how our players rank in terms of disrupting the passing lanes.

  • Gregory Spera

    Crean on why Wisconsin is so good offensively: “They’ve always had the experienced players… They’ve always put excellent shooters on the court…”
    I think I’ve found our problem.

  • ForeverIU

    I was wondering about that. They are good shooters, but not phenomenal, if you look at their shooting percentages. Maybe he means they are good with shot selection.

  • mk

    Jackson is not the typical Wisco pg. They give him a lot of freedom. We need to shut him down.

  • Alford Bailey

    Well I would hope Bo would be very gracious towards CTC. 9 B1G wins and 13 overall outta be worth a big thank you.

  • Alford Bailey

    I agree on how they use Jackson and this is gonna sound real negative but I don’t think it matters. I have watched Wisky beat us in so many different ways its just mind boggling. Two years ago in Indy we pretty much hold everybody in check and a kid comes off the bench to score 30 and beat us. With our struggles this year I just do not think this Wisconsin team can play bad enough for us to beat them. I know its negative but CTC has been a negative while at IU in this series and quite frankly its embarrassing, I’m sick of it and I don’t think it ends this year. Sorry this game just gets me riled up.

  • Windy City Hoosier Source

    Did anyone ask him about Hollowell?

  • oregoniu

    I’m sure CTC could tell you those ‘deflection’ statisics. IMHO, I would prefer that IU’s defense just focus on keeping their man in front of them. While an unusual college player, like Vic and sometimes Cody on the hedge last year, can turn a deflection into a steal, I’ve seen very little of that this year and more likely than not, the overplay this year results in a player being out of position and scoring opporrtunity for opposition. Example: Trioy has made a few steals this year but how many times has he’s wiffed and his man scored? Arron Craft is a player this year that plays great defense and gets deflections that results in a high % of steals, but these guys at the college level are rare. One thing I’ve always liked about a team I instinctively dislike, Wisconsin, is the way Bo has those players always keeping their man in front of them. Wisky usually doesn’t gamble on defense and they don’t lose as a result. IU’s defense is suspect at times I think it could be the over-focus on deflections.

  • ForeverIU

    Interesting insight, thanks.

  • Alford Bailey

    I agree. Defense 101 keep your man in front of you.

  • mk

    I agree we are a long shot, but you know how college bball is – full of suprises

  • ForeverIU

    And who is it that said sometimes you just have to spit in the face of destiny? LOL. Go Hoosiers!

  • CreamandCrimson

    An article found on the Hoosier Scoop ( shed a bit more light on the Hollowell “issue”. Tom Crean called Jeremy Hollowell’s high school coach JR Shelt (a guy I played for a few years while he was an assistant at LN before moving to LC to take the head coaching job there…good man) and told him they were going to sit him on Saturday.

    ““He called me and said ‘we’re having some focus issues with Jeremy,’”
    Shelt said by phone Sunday evening. “‘We’re going to sit him down. It
    could be a long-term thing, but we’re going to work through it.’ … I
    really appreciated him calling to tell me that.”
    He said he got the impression Crean wrestled with the decision.
    “He was very emotional about it,” Shelt said. “I think it was something he didn’t want to do, but he decided he had to do.”
    Shelt said he had no objection to the move.
    “When you look at it as a long term thing, sometimes kids, they do,
    they have to focus,” Shelt said. “… Hopefully, in the bigger picture,
    this is just going to be something we look at as a bump in the road and
    Jeremy is going to be a better player for it.””

  • kyle jenkins

    The best coaching move CTC has made thus far. The team definitely progressed last week. Now hopefully Jeremy gets his focus because we will need everyone and a little more luck to get Wisconsin tomorrow. All I ask is that we get Noah at least 15 shots and that Yogi can play under control the whole game.

  • sometimes I comment

    I appreciate the “we’re going to work through it” part. I think the tone he sets is most important and it shows a commitment to his player that we do believe in you.

  • Miamihoosier

    I think the Hollowell discipline is going to change his career. Either he falls deeper in the hole until he quits, or he determines to show everybody how good he really is. Either way, it had to be done. People were talking about Jeremy leaving early for the NBA when he got here….he has that type of talent in him. Christian Watford was just as “sleepy eyed” as Jeremy as a sophomore, but Crean was forced to play him anyway, because there was no other options. Watford came around as a Junior, Jeremy is going to have to do it a bit sooner. This team needs him.

  • Ole Man

    Wisc has been “the wind blowing back into our face”, so I’m not sure about spitting at this point! LOL!

  • CreanFaithful

    Interesting thoughts, but I think it goes both ways… Troy was a perfect example to illustrate your point. I’ll use Gordon of an example of someone who does just the opposite. While he might not be the best on man defender, he is often in position to put a hand in the passing lane when his man is receiving a pass, but he opts to get setup to defend the dribble (which is often the gameplan against him and is often effective).

    Bottom line is that keeping your man in front of you is of utmost importance. However, as these players grow and develop better instincts, they have to learn when and where to get deflections. When a team (such as Wisconsin) is able to rotate the ball with ease and lack of fear, they can really get rolling.

  • b_side

    Keep in mind that every time NV goes to line, it’s generally because he was fouled in the act of shooting. So while he only may attempt 8-10 actual shots, another 3-5 won’t be included in the box score if they translate to free throws.

  • Dee McDonald

    Possible comment of the year nomination right there….I hope the wind dies down tomorrow.

  • ForeverIU

    Well I’m glad I helped inspire such poetry in Ole Man.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Yeah, this. For some odd reason, the defensive philosophy is a high-risk, high-reward one: Go for steals and try to demoralize opponents with a transition game. Only works when you’ve got good horses, leads defenders to be out of position otherwise.

    That sort of defense can be made to work, but I’d rather see one that concentrated on the stronger fundamental of keeping your guy in front of you and only after that getting into the passing lanes. The high-risk part of the equation means that when things break, they really fall apart in a bad way.

  • Eastwood88_2

    This point is being missed by many including me

  • calbert40

    I think “deflections” is more than just stealing a pass by getting in a passing lane. It is any type of defensive play that takes the offense out of its execution. For example, Crean counts taking a charge as a deflection, and Pitino counts winning any loose ball situation as a deflection. It is more than just steals.

    I don’t believe there is any set definition of what a deflection is, but it is about pressure defense and keeping your opponent from just doing what it wants. It certainly doesn’t mean the defender should not stay between his man and the rim.

  • IUfan

    I see nothing that gives me the impression he has any skill that translates to the NBA. While I hope he ends up a productive player for us, NBA talent is a different animal. He is not really that quick, not a good leaper, has not shown to be an elite shooter, and does not appear to have a good handle. Feel free to tell me why you feel differently.

  • David Macer

    Ball…You…Man… That was preached by Coach Knight. There are times you don’t want to keep between your man and the basket…such as forcing them to go opposite their primary dribble or forceing them to the corner. That’s where help side defense comoes into play.
    An example..Ball is held by A1 at the free throw line exteneded. You are guarding A2 who is opposite A1 and below the free throw line extended. You want to be somewhere in the lane inbetween the ball handler and you man. This prepares you for helpside defense.

  • oregoniu

    Of course I agree with what you say, I just don’t think these young IU players’ are capable of focusing on more than one thing at a time right now, and IMHO now the focus should be staying with their man. That isn’t to say they are not getting a hand in the passing lane. As I said originally just watch Wisky tomorrow and you will see how they are taught how to stay in fornt of their man.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Before the season I was a HUGE JH fan. During the season, ugh, he’s been really hard to watch with all the turnovers and the horrible shot selection at times. I still believe JH can be a great player, if he can just figure it all out. I believe that CTC made a game changing decision by sitting JH. If he had played JH and there was not a significant change in his play, they would have lost at PSU. I also believe this will be a while playing out. I think JH will have to prove in practice that he can protect the ball before he gets back on the court.

  • ForeverIU

    You don’t think good rebounding and good shot-blocking indicates good leaping ability? He has the next highest total of blocks after Vonleh.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    I don’t understand all the love after the escape against PSU …a guy shooting 20 some odd % from 3 actually hits a 3 and a guy that averages 1 point a game hits a few free throws and now we say the season is saved…0_o

  • Rulysplash4

    Thank You!

  • CreanFaithful

    Have an upvote for your profile pic…

  • CreanFaithful

    Eh, I might agree that we don’t need to over-hype it, but it was an important win for this developing squad. Fischer gone and Jeremy to the bench, credit to the coaches and players for making it work. They showed fight in a game that looked like it was going downhill in a hurry.

    AE was touted as a shooter coming in and delivered in a tight game despite tentativeness that has prevailed all season (also, probably a source for poor shooting when he has pulled the trigger). But you wanna refer to him as a 20% shooter. Fine. If you can’t take pride in Howard stepping up and providing solid minutes, I feel sorry for ya. This was also the most vocal I’ve seen our team and was very pleased with that.

    So, in conclusion, I feel it’s a game we can feel good about (1st B1G win and on the road). We don’t necessarily need to continue to celebrate it, but downplaying it is pretty lame too. Until we lace it up vs Wisky, it gives the fans something to discuss. I doubt you’ll hear much about the PSU game after tomorrow night….

  • Jack Bowers

    Over/Under Number of times Tom Crean and staff says the word “TOUGHNESS” this year.

    Line: 2,000

  • SCHoosier

    Everybody in t he starting five is a threat t ohit a 3..that’s big. Combine that with their ability to really move the ball with the pass..and it is a formidable offense IMO

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I was there . . . that was freaking ridiculous! We couldn’t figure out in the stands why IU’s players couldn’t figure out that kid was HOT!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    And at this point, he’s shooting from the foul line so well, that I’d be as happy with 5-8 “shot attempts” in the books and 10-12 FT’s as I would 12-15 “shot attempts” and only 4-6 FT’s because the first means he’s getting good looks and it’s putting other bigs (i.e. – all of PSU’s bigs) in foul trouble.

    This game is simple: IU has to shoot very well from the floor and from the line. They have to defend the post. They have to defend the 3-point line. They can’t turn it over at a high rate. Lastly, they have to get some breaks from the officials and they CAN’T call the game like it typically gets called anytime Wisconsin plays! JUST FOR ONCE CAN WE GET CALLS ON OUR HOME FLOOR AND WATCH A BASKETBALL GAME AGAINST WISCY INSTEAD OF A RUGBY MATCH???

    In other words . . . we have to play near perfect and get breaks because Wisconsin is good!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, I’ve seen Jeremy show his athletic ability as a high school player, rising quickly for the strong dunk (looked like he was going to stick his elbow in the basket) but I haven’t seen that in college yet. I don’t know if the added size/weight has zapped some of that athleticism or he has just played so timid and soft that we haven’t seen it?

    I tend to lean towards the latter, but only time will tell.

  • ForeverIU

    You are right. I checked some individual games, scary with the 3, and they take so many of them, especially Brust. Even when their shooting percentage on the 3 is in the 20s or 30s, they still make good points in absolute terms because of their high completion rate on possessions (low turnover rate).

  • Alford Bailey

    I was there also thus all the bitterness.

  • InTheMtns

    A win is a win and for a team that was 0-2 in conference play, it’s important. A road win in the B1G is always important.

    Penn State’s at the bottom of the league, but they will beat teams at home this year and we’re glad we weren’t one of them.

    Love is nice. Embrace it while it lasts and feel blessed by its presence.

  • Scooter

    Watford was always a better shooter and rebounder

  • ForeverIU

    As much as I would like to see Jeremy back and do good things, I somehow doubt the Wisconsin game is where it will happen. Wisconsin can make even the best players look bad, and a “bad” showing in such a game might just seal his fate. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets some limited minutes against Northwestern, to slowly get him back in a different rhythm. Needless to say, I never got on the anti-Jeremy bandwagon, and never will.

  • Snookafly

    What about his favorite line: “I don’t think there’s any question about______.”

  • BrooklynHoosier

    Honestly, if you go look at youtube videos of his high school days, he looks about the same. Sure, he can dunk. He’s 6’8″ after all. But he’s not athletic. That said, he has shooting potential and with his height can still board and block so let’s hope he gets it together. We need him.

  • Jack Bowers

    That’s really funny. Never thought about that one.