Notes, quotes from Tom Crean on the Big Ten teleconference

  • 03/09/2015 10:56 am in

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

On Yogi Ferrell’s play this season:

“Well I think he continues to get better and better. He’s his own worst critic at times and at the same time, he’s got an edge and a level of toughness that is outstanding. We need him to play with that. We need him to play with edge on defense as well as offense and be the stopper and be the team leader on the defensive end of the court that he is on the offensive end of the court because when we have that, we’re good. He does a lot of things. He improves all of the time. He improves every year and throughout the year and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody, he’s done a fantastic job.”

On the difficulty of building a program with staying power in college basketball when the elite players leave after one season:

“Well, it’s extremely difficult and we’re going through that now in the sense of what we lost in Noah Vonleh. It’s one thing when you lose them after two or three years like we did a couple of years ago with Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo, but when you lose somebody that carries so much of the bulk on offensive and defense, especially with the scoring and the rebounding for big players, it’s difficult because it’s hard to recruit to replace it unless you’re doing it year after year. And there’s some in the country that do a great job of doing it year after year, but that’s a little bit harder to do for most everybody else. I think our guys have done a fantastic job here of improving, of developing and then when that opportunity comes then obviously they want to take it, but you’ve got to … especially on the front line, that’s where it’s such a challenge. But to me, it’s part of it and it’s going to be the way that it is unless the rule changes and you want people to be able to pursue their dreams because that’s a big, big part of this and you want to be able to develop them and watch them be able to go and have success, that’s a big part of this, but at the same time, you’ve got to be able to respond and some times it’s harder than others.”

On how big of an issue the one-and-done is for college basketball:

“I think there’s a lot of discussion on it in the sense of, ‘is this the best way? Should it go to a couple of years? Should it be out of high school?’ Whatever it is. I’ve been a part of some of those conversations, but not as much because it’s going to come down to the decision makers not thoughts and opinions. So to me, it is a big deal. Would I like to see it change? Sure. I’d like to see it change a little bit, but I’m never going to be in the way of a person making progress and being able to achieve their dreams because again, that’s what we’re supposed to do. We’re supposed to help them get to that point and the beauty of it here and we never want to lose it, is the level of ability that you can get done academically. Noah Vonleh left here after one year and was 48 percent of the way to graduation. And so you never want to have anybody that’s going to come in and put academics or being a great teammate or being responsible on or off the court on the back burner just because of their talent basketball wise. And so again, I’m not sure if that has anything to do with whether it’s one year, two year, whatever it is, two years certainly gets them solidified that much more and even if they left after high school because they were good enough to do it, that’s something that’s gotta be on the table as well. To me, it’s all about the individual person and will they come in and do everything that they need to do to make your team successful no matter how long they are there and I don’t know that you can legislate that with a timeline.”

On whether the familiarity with playing Northwestern just a few weeks ago helps with preparing to play them on Thursday:

“Absolutely because there were some really good things in that game but we also saw where we lost our edge in that game as well. We’ve got to do a great job, just as we said then, we’ve got to do a great job on Tre Demps because he took the game over in the second half and we didn’t respond to it as well and that’s got to be a big part of it. They’re playing with a lot of confidence. The Michigan win was a huge one certainly after us, the zone is good because it keeps their players on the floor, it keeps them out of foul trouble, especially when they can play Alex Olah a lot of minutes. We can attack the zone better. We attacked it pretty well at times and there were other times that we missed what was there. We’ve got to do a better job all the way around in that game but I do think because it is still fresh in our minds from the mistakes that we made and the successes that we had, that it should help us lead into the preparation.”

On how much of a difference Collin Hartman can make:

“I think it’s going to make a huge difference. And it didn’t make as much of a difference the other day because he really played a lot of minutes, he probably played more minutes … he didn’t play more minutes than he was allowed to play doctors wise, but he played more minutes than he was ready to play. We needed him on the court. He was our leading block out guy percentage wise and he didn’t play a great game and didn’t play with his normal confidence and movement and that’s to be expected. We’ve missed him. We’ve missed him a great deal. There’s only one or two players whose percentages haven’t been significantly different without him in the lineup while he was out. Hopefully this gives us a couple of more days to get us healthier and get him more in a rhythm, get him more acclimated again. And get him feeling good because he’s been a huge, huge part of what we’re doing especially in the zone situation because you’ve got to account for him in so many different places because he can be at the basket, he can be in the middle of the lane and he can certainly shoot 3s. No question, we get him healthy, that’s going to help us a great deal.”

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  • Lance76

    Very impressed with Hartman. Does a lot of everything well and high IQ basketball player. Never saw that coming for this year, especially after the ACL injury.

  • Ron Swanson

    I would also have to admit that I had absolutely no expectations for Hartman this year. Happy to be proven wrong about him!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    not making the tournament this year (assuming we don’t go on a tear in the b1g tournament) is a tough pill to swallow. real tough. and while i’m not going to jump on the CTC bandwagon, i think it’s time to pump the brakes on the criticism. besides, i feel like i personally have said all there is to say (many times over). maybe if we luck out and land one of those two guys, the ship rights itself next year. afterall, yogi’s dad said one of the factors of him staying is whether or not CTC can land a talented big (another being whether or not CTC still has a job). i just have my doubts about both of em. everything i’ve read has TM a lock at kansas, and pUKe has recently taken an interest in TB. both are scary prospects, but what’s even scarier is we seem to have no backup plan whatsoever. at least not as far as recruiting another big.

  • Outoftheloop

    Play Collin 20 min with Emmett and Hanner 20 min with Troy. Then Troy 5-10 min as a perimeter player with Yogi, James, Robert and Nick.

  • MarylandHoosier1986

    Why doesn’t every other major power have problems with one and dones? They just reload. Not saying I think we should go after one and dones. What I am saying is fire Tom Crean.

  • Missing Moye

    As much as I would like to see Yogi finish his career in an IU uniform, I don’t think that should be a determining factor on the future of the coaching staff. I have no confidence that the current coaching regime can send Yogi out on top even if some top recruits are landed. Talent alone can only take you so far (as a Syracuse zone made perfectly clear a couple of years ago).

  • MAB 6275

    good points WhatsUpKnight2.0, As frustrating as it’s been, I’d like to see what this group can do together 1 more year. NO SENIOR LEADERSHIP hurt down the stretch. CTC deserves 1 more year.

  • eville87

    Please get this to Mr. CREAN. Emmitt holt though. Yes he is young and thin but he has huge upside and seems to be in the right place at the right time. Keep in mind he is 18 at 6ft 6 with a 7ft3 wingspan. crazy that he doesn’t play more.

  • PBzeer

    How can someone be a supposedly “great” recruiter, and still only be mediocre?

  • Drew

    The knack for being a great recruiter was something we bestowed upon him. It just means we need to reassess our opinions on his recruiting abilities. I still think he is a good recruiter. 4 straight years with at least 1 McDonald’s AA is better than most programs. However, there always seems to be one element missing since Zeller’s last year. Last season we had plenty of height, but very little shooting and ball handling outside of Yogi. This year is the exact opposite. If he is going to right ship, he needs to balance it out. If he gets TB, it is a start, but may not be enough.

  • KmanCRK

    I agree, I think “The Movement”, then Zeller leading to Yogi really made this urban legend grow. I used to say I will never worry about recruiting with CTC, but I’m beginning to change my tune. We haven’t really been recruiting too many complete players lately and “The Movement” was a total bust. So in hindset, I’d say he has brought in on average 1 McD AA and 1 “athlete” per class for the last 4 years.

    I’d like to see more fundamentally sound basketball players walking through the front door.

  • KmanCRK

    Not that I totally disagree with your thinking, but I think Crean already goes into games with set substitutions that drive us all crazy. I’d rather there be some fluidity to play the group of guys you mentioned above based on who is busting their arse.

  • Drew

    Zeller and Yogi worked out. But how many other highly touted prospects have? Hollowell (top 50), Fischer (top 40), Vonleh (top 15) all have left without leaving much of an impact. I would say Troy has worked out. Stan was top 100 but has, well, forgotten how to play basketball. I hope RJ and JBJ stick with it. I’d hate to see them leaving so soon.