Crean “cannot wait” for challenges that await in Canada

  • 07/17/2014 10:37 am in

Indiana’s trip to Montreal in three weeks won’t be the first foreign tour for Tom Crean as a head coach.

In the fall of 2003, Crean took his Marquette program that was coming off a Final Four appearance to Costa Rica for a five-game exhibition trip. That group played for the first time following the loss of Dwyane Wade to the NBA, but it still had a solid core of upperclassmen, including senior Scott Merritt and junior Travis Diener.

The Indiana team that will travel to Canada next month will be considerably younger, but Crean is viewing the five-game schedule as an opportunity to see how this group responds to adversity.

“I’m really anxious to see who is real up when we are playing well and who gets real down when we are not playing well,” Crean said earlier this week. “And then you’ve got to have guys that can impact the game on both ends of the floor.”

This will be the first foreign tour for Indiana basketball since it went to the Bahamas back in the fall of 2007. That Indiana team crushed its opposition by an average of 58 points over three games. The competition level in Canada is expected to be significantly better.

Indiana’s third opponent on the trip, Carleton University, beat Wisconsin last year and took Syracuse to overtime. After a conversation with Badgers coach Bo Ryan, Crean opted to move the game against Carleton, which will take place in Ottawa, to later in the trip to allow his team to get a few games under its belt to prepare for that challenge.

“Bo Ryan gave the advice: Do not open with Carleton because of how good they are,” Crean explained. “Took that advice. Listen to Bo any time, you know, so took that advice. We changed it. We play them the third game.”

The Hoosiers will play two games in Montreal to open the tour. On Friday, August 8, they’ll play Laval University and on Sunday, August 10, IU will meet Ottawa University. After a Monday, August 11 trip to Ottawa to play Carleton, the Hoosiers will return to Montreal to wrap up the tour with games against McGill (Aug. 12) and the University of Quebec at Montreal (Aug. 13).

It’s an ambitious schedule given the frequency of the games and the travel involved, but the opportunity to get a head start on the 2014-2015 season should be beneficial for an IU team that will welcome six new scholarship players.

“What we’ll learn from it, I don’t know,” Crean said. “But we’re going to go through some tough days. We’re not going over there and winning all the games. No one is walking over there and saying, we’ve got to go 5-0 for it to be a successful trip.”

Three other NCAA Division I teams, Memphis, Vermont and Illinois-Chicago, are also expected to play a similar tour of games in Canada next month.

Indiana will get 10 practices to prepare for the five-game tour.

In Tuesday’s press conference at Assembly Hall, Crean was asked what he needed to see in Montreal in order to know that his team is going in the right direction. More important than wins and losses, chemistry will be a major focus as IU looks to begin the upcoming season on a positive note.

“Are we building chemistry? Are we eliminating frontrunning mentality? And are we finding guys that can play on both ends of the floor?” Crean said. “And then we are going to play Carleton. I cannot wait.”

Filed to:

  • Colin Riley

    Are any of these games going to be televised?

  • No, there will be no TV or radio coverage as far as I know.

  • bleeding crimson

    Alex, will anyone be traveling to take video’s of any of the games or part of the game (s)?

  • I’ll be at all five games. Not sure how much video we’ll be able to produce as that will be up to the hosting schools and IU.

  • HoosierInChapelHill

    Live chat?

  • Will depend on the internet access at each location and if I’m filming. Doing a live chat while filming could be a disaster. More likely going to be twitter and forum updates.

  • inLinE6

    I’ll go watch the game against Carleton U. Do we have tickets reserved for Hoosier fans here in Canada?

  • E Foy McNaughton

    This trip is just what the doctor ordered for IU. It will give them an opportunity to meld as a team, to determine who the rotation players will be in the coming year, and an opportunity to get condensed tournament experience. This perfect to prepare them for the B1G tournament and hopefully the NCAA tournament.

  • kaponya44

    Is there an arrangement to have stats from the games made available to the public or will it be kept close to the vest?? .I did not remember hearing about Wisconsin losing to Carleton..Perhaps I just missed it being reported ??

  • Kyl470

    It would be nice if they could do this every summer.

  • Candy Striped Kid

    I’m going to the final 2 games against McGill and University of Qubec at Montreal and bought tickets through their box office. $10 for McGill, $15 for UQAM. General admission.

    What sucks about Carleton game is that its 120 miles from Montreal. All other 4 games are in Montreal.

  • inLinE6

    I’m in Ottawa. If you do come to Ottawa for the Carleton game, let me know. We may sit together and hang a banner. LOL.

  • inLinE6

    If you need any help for the Carleton game, let me know. My wife and I are planning to go.

  • Did you call for the McGill tickets or place the order online? Just curious as I’ve had a few folks ask me.

  • Email me: [email protected].

  • CreanFaithful

    Great opportunity, but let’s be real. There is zero chance that rotations will be determined after 5 summer games. November is several months away and 6 of these guys have never been coached at the college level. There are 3 months of preparation and learning that will take place between these games and the start of non conference play.

  • Speed

    This trip comes at an opportune time. This team needs to learn how to play together. Important not to take the results too seriously but perhaps it will give the fans a peek at what this year’s team has to offer.

  • Kelin Blab

    IU fans please don’t expect this team to go to Canada and go undefeated….they are playing some quality competition… no melt downs please.

  • kaponya44

    Thanks for adding the link .. Given how many times I have saw similar output over a span of 2 games for Wisconsin it was a bit shocking to see..Not to mention it was a double digit loss.

  • marcusgresham

    I think the NCAA limits these trips to one every four years.

  • marcusgresham

    Yeah, how long will it take someone to demand IU replace Crean with Carleton’s coach?

  • HoosierOz

    Good luck…most the fans on ITH melt down over Crean’s breakfast cereal choice any more.


    Excellent point, and it can’t be made strongly enough or loudly enough ! I see these games being used much in the same way that NFL teams do a preseason game, in that it is more about seeing everyone play, at least for a little bit, and how certain players react to certain situations. Also to see a set play being called for a particular player, not because it gives us the best chance to score but rather to see how well that player is able to execute the play in a set of given circumstances. This is about the staff learning some things as much as the players learning some things.

  • Kyl470

    They do. Not sure why they do, but they do.

  • Kyl470

    I don’t care if they lose every game. If they can limit themselves to only turning the ball over on 10% of their possessions I will consider that a success.

  • marcusgresham

    Because certain schools that are willing to drop as much money as needed (Lexington, KY, perhaps) would take a trip every damn season. As if there aren’t enough advantages in recruiting, they’d get to throw in the “hey, we’re going to Aruba this season. Next year we’ll be in Australia. Stick around for your junior season we’ll head to Rio. Wanna go to Paris?….”

  • marcusgresham

    The Carleton Ravens. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am to learn that they’re the Ravens and not the Doormen.

  • Candy Striped Kid

    I called McGill (514-398-1539) and UAQM (514-987-3000). They were very helpful and accept major credit cards. Obviously French is there first language but everyone I spoke with spoke English as well. Doesn’t hurt to try out a little French with them too. Gives them a good giggle.

  • David James Downey

    Like many NCAA rules it is about limiting opportuniities so that other schools can be more competitive. It is the same with the every 4 years to travel to Hawaii or some holiday tournament during the season. The international trips are wonderful experiences for the players and any fans who can attend the games. More practice, actual game experience, building chemistry. And that does not even include a new cultural and learning opportunity to grow the players as people. I strongly encourage any fans who can take off to attend the games. It can really be a special trip to share with friends and family. Summer basketball is pressure free and gets your mind racing for the possibilities of the upcoming season. Teams find themselves on such trips.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Kyl — don’t ya think (or at least pray) that we are bound to have better ball control next year? I read the Yogi update recently where he is evidently taking a significantly stronger stance on leading and demanding from the team. Let’s hope he leads by example, cuts down his turnover’s, and then his leadership/required accountability causes Stan, DD, TW to become smarter in their possessions.


    Only you Marcus, lol, You probably have to be a certain age to get that one and I unfortunately was able to get it.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    Well, I think IU should be able to find out if HMP / DD can defend wo fouling, how good RJ and Max truly are, if priller can carve out some mins as a specialty shooter. I’m not saying the rotation will be set, but IU should learn a lot about its team.

  • Derek Morris

    yea, if I’m not mistaken UK has taken a few trips in the last few years. My dad just told me that UK was going somewhere and I’m thinking what the hell, there is no way it has been 4 years since the last one. Maybe I’m wrong..

  • It’s once every four years.

  • SCHoosier

    Because “It’s Indiana”….I’m sure the Canadian teams will be putting out maximum effort. I expect the Hoosiers to play hard…but this trip foremost must be about team development.

  • Kyl470

    I sure hope so. This team has some shooters this year and I’m just hoping they will be able to take advantage of that by actually shooting and not throwing the ball away.

  • marcusgresham

    Are you saying you French tickled them?