Recapping Tom Crean’s radio show on Monday night

  • 11/03/2014 10:35 pm in

On Monday night at his first radio show of the 2014-2015 season, Indiana coach Tom Crean faced several questions from both host Don Fischer and fans regarding the Hoosiers’ multiple off-court issues.

During the hour-long show, Crean addressed the condition of sophomore forward Devin Davis, announced suspensions for freshman Emmitt Holt and sophomores Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson, commented on leadership issues and updated the injury status of several Hoosiers heading into Thursday’s exhibition against Northwood.

Davis remains hospitalized

Following Monday night’s radio show, Crean said he would immediately return to IU Health Bloomington Hospital to spend time with Davis, who remains hospitalized following Saturday morning’s accident in which Davis was hit by a car driven by Holt.

During the show, though, Crean discussed how painful the incident was to him on a personal level — getting visibly emotional on multiple occasions and choking up on air, as well.

“I think our team is hurting big time,” Crean said. “We know mistakes are made. But our team is hurting big time.”

In the hours leading up to the accident, Crean noted that Davis was the last one off the court following practice on Friday. He said Davis had his best week of practice yet, and that “he was the process of really what we’re trying to get accomplished.”

And during the first 24 hours following the accident, he described how pivotal every advance in his condition was.

“When we’re with him, he’s got his memory,” Crean said. “He’s got his speech. And the other day, it was such a pivotal thing where little steps were milestones.”

Davis, though, still has a long way to go, according to Crean. And he said they will deal with his recovery in the weeks and months ahead.

But for the coach with three children of his own, he recalled just how painful that early Saturday morning was.

“You never stop coaching and trying to make them better and wanting them to be successful,” Crean said. “And we won’t. And that was very hard a couple hours later.

“Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing is worse than having to put a family through what I was a part of the other night.”

Crean talks discipline as Holt, Robinson and Williams are suspended

Just 15 minutes before the scheduled start of the show, Jeff Goodman of broke the news that Indiana had suspended Robinson and Williams for “failed drug tests.”

During Crean’s appearance, he confirmed that Robinson and Williams will be suspended four games for their actions, which occurred over the summer. He also revealed that Holt will be suspended four games, too, for his actions on Saturday morning.

“We had a couple guys make bad choices,” Crean said. “The rules say that they sit a certain amount of games, I say they sit more.”

Indiana’s policy for a second failed drug test is a three-game suspension. Holt, Robinson and Williams’ suspensions also include the Hoosiers’ two exhibitions — meaning the trio will miss the Mississippi Valley State and Texas Southern regular season games.

They will be eligible in time for the early-season game against preseason No. 22 SMU.

“The bottom line is it all comes down to choices,” Crean said. “And we try to have an understanding as much as possible that there’s punishment and there’s discipline. And they’re two different things and they both have a very strong value because ultimately what we try to do is change behavior — or build behaviors. Build the right habits and eliminate the bad ones.”

When asked following the show about if he has disciplined junior Yogi Ferrell following his arrest in April, Crean said the punishment is over and it was taken care of in-house. During the show, Crean mentioned how there are public and private domains, and that he prefers to keep as much of his matters “in-house as much as possible.”

But Crean mentioned how he certainly is not pleased at the moment, and that he still needs to get a message across to his team.

“We’ve got to get our team to understand that there is nothing normal about being a college athlete,” he said. “You don’t get to have the same freedoms that maybe others have when you have that responsibility. And we’ve got to continue to get that across in the most powerful way we can.”

Crean admits leadership an issue

During the call portion of the show, Crean was asked how much of an effect there has been of not having three- or four-year experienced players on Indiana’s roster anymore — something the Hoosiers had during the successes of the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 seasons.

“It might play a part of it,” Crean said. “But it’s not as much as you think it would.”

That said, though, Crean did admit the team is “lacking” in  leadership, and that it has contributed to some of the off-court difficulties.

“Leadership matters the most when we’re not around, when there’s nobody of authority around and decisions have to be made that aren’t comfortable or easy, teammate-to-teammate,” Crean said. “That’s leadership and that’s probably what we’re lacking as much as anything else.”

Hoetzel injured, April and Hartman on the mend

Freshman Max Hoetzel was injured in practice last week, Crean said, after getting a slam-dunk attempt blocked in practice by junior Hanner Mosquera-Perea. Crean “wouldn’t expect” the forward to play during Thursday night’s game unless “something were to really change,” as well.

Crean also said that freshman Jeremiah April is “making strides,” and that he has started non-contact drills. That said, Crean noted it’s “going to take a while” for him to return to full action. Sophomore Collin Hartman is still limited as well, Crean said,”but those limits are coming off more and more.”

As of now, the Hoosiers will be without Davis, April, Holt, Hoetzel, Robinson and Williams for Thursday’s exhibition opener.

Filed to:

  • SilentBob

    Someone remarked a few weeks ago all this coverage was like Christmas. It has quickly turned into Nightmare On Elm Street. Hey at least Bench Mob will get some minutes this week! Lord this sucks. But coaches, teachers and parents can learn as well as athletes, students, and children. Praying for everyone in hopes they receive proper guidance.

  • HoosierPat

    “The rules say that they sit a certain amount of games, I say they sit more.”
    Crean acts like he’s doing some great, noble thing by suspending these guys for ONE extra game. Hell, two of the games are exhibitions. We could probably field a team at the HPER that could go 4-0 in the games these guys are suspended for.

  • SilentBob

    He doesn’t seem to be acting like that to me. I disagree with the strength of the punishment as well, but he seems to me someone who is frustrated and hurt right now. He is in need of guidance just like his players.

  • ForeverIU

    Maybe the journalists out there have a more informed and “industry” take on this, but why is an ESPN journalist (Jeff Goodman) the first to break the story on the suspensions? What about the local journalists? Aren’t they entitled to the news first? And did the “insiders” know something that we didn’t, and that in part explains some of our low pre-season rankings? And is there more to come?

  • INUnivHoosier

    Should be exhibition plus 4, not 4 including exhibition.

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    It all started back with HMP’s DUI back in February — he should’ve been done for the year at that point.

  • ForeverIU

    The way I see it though is you also end up punishing the other kids on the team by depriving them of a supporting cast.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Then they need to hold their teammates accountable.

  • ForeverIU

    How do you know they haven’t been, or that they’ve been privy to the improprieties? And these things happened over the summer anyway, so they might have very well been holding their teammates accountable.

  • INUnivHoosier

    Maybe so.

  • Crean….. is lost.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I’m not advocating severe punishment. The truth is when you mess up, it hurts other people. Theit teammates will feel that hurt, and they will have to deal with that, because they are a team. Troy and Stan particularly will have to earn trust and respect again.

    Maybe they already have, but they still have to do the time.

  • Brian Goodman

    This dates back to when Hanner was suspended for only 2 games for his OVI (although he would have been suspended for the postponed game against Iowa). Punishments for Troy and Stan have to be harsher. Lighter for Emmitt.

  • Brian Goodman

    I think the comment about pre-season ranking is reading into it too much. Those guys will break a story as soon as they get one.

  • HoosierHuckleberry

    Bill Milliken wrote the book, “Tough Love” in 1968…”Athletic coaches who maintain strict rules and highly demanding training regimens, but who care about their players, could also be said to be practicing tough love.” Perhaps this is on his list of books to read…

  • HoosierPat

    Basketball is a team game. If the irresponsible actions of a few players cost the whole team, so be it. Like I said in another post, I’d rather see a team lose doing things the right way than win doing things the wrong way.

  • ForeverIU

    I guess the difference is that for me it is not a moral issue (at least not with weed), and therefore all I care about here is that we adhere to the legal requirement, which Crean might have exceeded by an extra suspension, but at least met the minimum requirement. I respect where you are coming from, but this is my philosophical orientation on the issue.

  • ForeverIU

    Yeah, I agree. But it still feels weird being on ITH and hearing the news of our program from faraway corporate headquarters.

  • INUnivHoosier

    It’s not really a moral issue for me. I wouldn’t smoke pot because of my personal morality, but I don’t care if others do.

  • ForeverIU

    Yeah but doesn’t the NCAA require a 3-game suspension for drugs? Or some minimum at least. I’m sure they have factored in various considerations, including ensuring some continuity for the program for other players and fans as well. I don’t see how a few more suspensions will make a difference.

  • ForeverIU

    So then what is it? The punitive effect of a couple more suspensions? Or are you not counting exhibitions as real games?

  • HoosierPat

    I don’t want Indiana to be held to the same standard as every team in the NCAA. I want these kids to be held to a higher standard, both on and off the court.

  • INUnivHoosier

    I just think that if you are going to suspend someone for a game, it should be a regular season game.

    I only think Holt should get two games. I think Troy should get 4 games because pot won’t be legal when he is 3 years older, and I think Stan should get 8 games because he should get Troy’s suspension multiplied by the number of times he’s been cited/caught.

  • ForeverIU

    I’m pragmatic. These kids went through a tremendously tough year. Troy’s twitter was one of the few places I went for solace and reassurance after a demoralizing year. The academic standards are high. It was summer. NBA-type conditioning. A nice but sometimes humorless coach, lol. So their sin was that they smoked some weed to decompress. I bet it happens in most programs, but maybe the difference at IU is that we put it out there, and we talked about it, and something good might actually come out of it.

  • This is pretty simple, really. Yogi should be the leader, but Yogi is not a leader. Yogi is about Yogi, and given his own issues, he has no high ground on which to base his leadership (at least in terms of off the court behavior).

    But the biggest issue is that these guys simply do not respect this coaching staff, period. If you respect/fear/admire this staff, you simply do not do these things, because you don’t want to disappoint them. True in sports, true in business, true in life.

  • notfargj

    “Yogi is about Yogi…” nailed it. what’s more, it appears there’s a core group of players that are also about themselves.

  • N71

    That was me and you’re right. How I long for the good old days of “Thomas Bryant is planning a second visit in just that many weeks”.

  • Hoosier Taxidermist

    Stan may have just lost a good bit of playing time after the suspension. On a team that has as many guards and shooters as we do to let JBJ and RJ get some more game time experience could prove to be hard for him to overcome, especially given his 2 past violations.

  • MK

    Hanner, yogi, nick, rj, and JBJ will have to carry us for the first four games and then we will go from there

  • ForeverIU

    Somebody talking basketball and lineups again! Go Hoosiers!

  • Hoosier Hall

    Nate Ritchie and Ryan Burton will do fine against our first 4 opponents. It will be good for them to gain the experience anyways. (I’m trying anything I can to put a positive spin on this)

  • INUnivHoosier

    At this point, that’s all we can do to maintain sanity.

  • Notithatlives

    When CTC was finishing up talk on suspensions, I think he said, “and that’s all for now.” Did anyone else hear that?

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Is this on a podcast or anything where it can still be listened to?

  • VerdellJonesIV

    The article said that 3 games was the suspension for a 2nd failed drug test. Therefore, they are serving more time as 1st time offenders than they would have to as a 2nd time offenders according to school rules.

  • SCHoosier

    “Just smoked a little weed.”? What matters to me is the embarrassment to the school, program and team when people opened the Tuesday edition of USA today and saw 3 players names in national print for a really selfish reason. Bet their parents are proud. Just smoked a little weed my arse… they just smoked the coming season for their team mates…and fans.

  • ForeverIU

    Enough moralizing. We haven’t even played one game, and you’re smoking the season away. Also, I don’t read the USA Today and don’t care about it.


    I’m sure that by this point you have heard that a lot of the things being put out there are based on info from a former disgruntled manager that had an axe to grind when it came to Crean.


    Rather than rehash (no pun intended) it all, I’ll just say that I agree with everything that you said. Guess that’s the lazy man’s way of commenting. lol


    Exactly what I was wondering. If you find it somewhere please let me know where it was that you found it.

  • ForeverIU

    Yeah, only today I did. I’ve been hearing “manager” here and there, but I just learned about the disgruntled guy today.