Hulls: IU players must hold each other accountable

  • 11/05/2014 3:30 pm in

Jordan Hulls may be playing professionally in Kosovo, but he’s keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Bloomington at his alma mater.

Hulls, who played at Indiana from 2009 to 2013 and was an integral part of the rebuilding process under Tom Crean that ultimately led to the program’s first outright Big Ten championship in 20 years, said on Wednesday he understands the fan frustration that’s come as a result of recent offcourt issues.

But he also believes that Indiana has the right man in charge to navigate through the issues.

“It’s definitely frustrating, I would definitely share that with the fans,” Hulls told Inside the Hall. “I’m 100 percent loyal to Coach Crean and I have complete faith that he’s going to try and do all of the right things.”

Leadership, or lack thereof, has been mentioned as a potential issue since the end of the 2012-2013 season when Hulls, Derek Elston, Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford and Cody Zeller departed Bloomington.

The Bloomington native, who starred in high school at South high school and won the Mr. Basketball Award, says he views leadership a little different than most.

“You’ve got to hold each other accountable and look out for one another on and off the floor,” he said. “Coach Crean can’t be there all the time holding their hands. He put them all in dorms. Living off campus, that’s a privilege and an honor to be able to do that, but he’s trying to do his best and trying to wrangle these guys in. Ultimately it’s on the guys to take ownership of the situation and put basketball and school as the priority. That’s what they are there for.”

The solution, as Hulls sees it, is straight forward.

Accountability, laying ground rules between teammates and communication are three points he hit on multiple times during our conversation.

“I’m not saying that these kids can’t go out and have fun,” Hulls said. “It’s college. I understand that. But you’ve got to be smart about these kind of things that all of these guys are getting in trouble for. It’s simple things.”

As for any suggestions that Crean’s job should be on the line for the recent actions of his players, Hulls called that notion “ridiculous.”

“People don’t know what is going on within the program. They’re just outsiders looking in. So for them to say that Coach Crean doesn’t deserve to coach a game this season is ridiculous. How would that even help the situation, honestly? That’s not going to do anything.

“Throwing out those, I don’t even know what you’d call them, those rants, I think he’s more than deserving of coaching this season and the season’s coming as long as things go the way that they can go. Like I said, it’s a lot on the players. They’re making his job harder right now bringing up all of this off the court stuff. It’s happened, it’s done with and they’ve got to attack it.”

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  • b_side

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Kudos Jordy, for telling it like it is. And well done Alex for getting his input in a time of need. We can armchair coach all we want, but I’ll take the words of a former player over media pundits looking for click bait and some vindictive former manager looking to “Kent Harvey” the situation.

  • BlakeD1223

    It’s good to see former players speaking up for Crean. I feel like those that bash Crean for the actions of these players simply just don’t like Crean. If you want to bash his coaching abilities then go for it but to blame him for the off the court actions of these players is just ridiculous. You can’t hold their hands each night and make sure they aren’t doing anything they shouldn’t. These kids are old enough to make the right decisions. I also feel that these players should be giving CTC a public apology for the negativity that they have caused on the university, team and coach.

  • SilentBob

    Ah this is refreshing. I myself as an outsider have spent farrr too much time debating with other outsiders for no reason at all. Could have got a lot of studying done in those hours…. I wasn’t going to change their mind, and this probably won’t either. I feel like people took up their stances against and for Crean a long time ago. Alas I will leave it to former, current, and other University officials to stick up for Crean. I’m ready to get the season started!

  • SCHoosier

    Once again…”Jordy Hulls scores for IU!”

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Jordy from deeeeeep!

  • InTheMtns

    This is the way I feel about it, too – I’ll take the words of former players over media pundits and us fans who post on Internet boards. In addition to this interview, we’ve seen tweets from Jordy, Victor, Cody, Derek, Verdell, Jeff Howard, and Peter Jurkin and all of them placed this on the players. Not one of them mentioned the coaching staff as the problem. They can tell us how it is because they actually know how it is.

  • InTheMtns

    I don’t know about an apology to CTC – he’d probably never let them do that. – but an apology to the university and the fans might be good. Better yet in my mind though would be them giving us all a winning season and a trip to the tourney.

    Patty Williams said she told Troy that when he returns to the court, he’d better come out there with fire under his feet for that game and every game after that and that he’d better go hard and be the best. That sounds good to me. Go Hoosiers!!!

  • Ole Man

    You had me until number two. Sorry, but no way can you lay any responsibility for the lack of leadership at Cody’s door.
    If we could take that “stretch” and turn it into a basketball player, we’d have a starting center.

  • cooper

    Thanks Dan Dakich jr

  • ForeverIU

    Ole Man I definitely see your point, but I think BMusic’s point speaks to the idea that we have a team lacking senior leadership (don’t really fault Crean or our coaching staff; it’s becoming more and more the paradigm of the times, it seems). I feel like our team is a bunch of freshmen and sophomores without anchors and mentorship from the older players. Yogi is great, but he probably feels he’s standing on one leg after the summer debacle, and poor Nick is probably still finding his bearings at IU. Cody calling in is like the estranged father calling in to reprimand a son gone astray.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    Probably my favorite Hoosier of all time….and still reinforcing why half a world away.

  • Max

    I wish I could upvote your response more than once. No college or their sports fans should ever see players taking care of their families and their future as an issue.

  • Ole Man

    No; his point was Cody is at fault.

  • bsmitty

    On point 2, I don’t think the blame falls on Cody. He was a leader while at IU and left to continue to represent IU well in the NBA. The lack of leadership, in my opinion, has a lot to do with the enormous number of transfers recently. This is what has led to the lack of senior (or even junior) leadership. Only one player on this team that was here before June and hasn’t gotten into trouble is Hartman. From what I’ve heard, he is one of those on the top of the list to “move on” next season to make room for the oversigns. This, to me, is the problem. Crean needs to start treating those that he signs as 4 years players so that there will always be senior leadership on the roster. By shuffling players out to make room for more talent, he is causing a vacuum in leadership.

  • Aiken_Hoosier

    He’s actually the inspiration behind my Avatar. I nicknamed him “Silo” Hulls because I pictured him in Southern Indiana as a kid draining 25-footers on a goal mounted on the side of a Silo.

    Doesn’t get much more “Indiana Basketball” than that.

  • BMusic

    No, my point was that Cody is emblematic of a status quo that makes leadership hard to come by. The great players don’t stick around long enough to mentor the new guys and help build the culture of the program.

  • BMusic

    An “issue”? No. Contributing to a problem of lack of leadership? How could anyone argue otherwise?

  • Dave Carnes

    You don’t have to be an insider to know that Stanford’s punishment is not enough.Think about the programs we would like to emulate not the dirt bags we don’t want to be.What would coach K do?

  • ForeverIU

    I don’t think even the NCAA considers smoking pot a criminal act or an act of cheating (since marijuana is not a performance enhancer) but rather as a health issue for players and therefore should be dealt with either by deterrence or counseling or a combination of both.

  • Dave Carnes

    I don’t consider it all that big of deal either.It is his betrayal of Tom Crean that I find so upsetting.