Highlights from Tom Crean’s appearance on ESPNU podcast

  • 06/30/2015 4:04 pm in

Indiana coach Tom Crean was a guest on ESPNU’s college basketball podcast earlier today where he primarily discussed the legacy of Bo Ryan following yesterday’s news that the Wisconsin coach will retire after the 2015-2016 season.

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Crean also discussed a couple of topics pertinent to next season and here are some highlights:

On Thomas Bryant: “We’ve had four different individual workouts with him now and every time I walk out of one there, there’s something that I really didn’t realize he has. Right away, I thought, ‘We’re going to have to do a lot more with his left hand this summer,’ though his left hand is pretty good. His shooting is coming, he’s got to learn to shoot off the move, and all of a sudden, he rings off five 3s in a row the other night in drills. To me, when you’ve got someone who can space like that — and that’s what we’ve got to get to as a team, is that you’ve got to guard us in the paint, you’ve got to guard us at the 3-point line and everywhere in-between, especially in transition and in the shot clock.”

On Troy Williams: “When Troy develops a day-in, day-out ‘I’m gonna do extra’ mindset, he’s gonna play for a decade-plus at the next level because he’s gaining all the tools to go with it.”

On the offseason thus far: “We had a great spring, and obviously when Devin Davis and Hanner Perea had to leave, that wasn’t a good time. As far as an improvement time and academically, the whole deal, we had an excellent spring and we started off that way. The whole think was, ‘OK, we’ve had a great spring, now we’ve got to have an excellent summer.’ We’re in our fourth week of the offseason workouts, the freshmen are in their second full week and I think we’re going to give ourselves different opportunities.”

On how improving the defense should help the offense: “We’ve got to be a lot harder to score against, because we haven’t been. If we can improve our defense, get to the foul line even more, go through the post even more, I think it’s going to enhance our ability to shoot the ball better.”

On what he’s looking for out of next season’s team in terms of style of play: “The three-guard offense this year could be a lot more of weapon than a necessity because we’ve got to be bigger, we’ve got to be more physical, we’ve got to defend better. This league has got a lot of big threes and things of that nature. When we played against some of the more physical teams in our league, we didn’t do well, and we’ve got to be able to be a team that can play in a lot of different ways, so the more we can play two-deep, the more we can get Yogi (Ferrell) to play on and off the ball, the more we can put it in (James) Blackmon’s hands, the more that Rob Johnson continues to understand his strengths, the list goes on and on, then I think we’ll be a lot better.”

Filed to:

  • inLinE6

    So it’s still a 3-guard lineup. Ferrell + Johnson + Blackmon + Williams + Bryant.

  • hoosier93

    I’m confused… is he saying that we need to have a 3 guard lineup so that we’re bigger and more physical (which doesn’t make any sense) or that the lineup will only show up at a time it seems needed?

  • Dr Dave

    Always dangerous to interpret Coach-speak, but I’m hoping he’s contrasting between the 1-under; 4-out sets that predominated last year vs. a 2-big; 3-out set that we might see this year. Effectively, the difference between TW at the four vs someone like EH/CH.


    Glad I’m not the only one confused by that wording. It would seem like, if we go by what he said, “we’ve got to be bigger”,” we’ve got to be more physical”, “this league has a lot of big threes and things of that nature”, “we did not play well against some of the more physical teams last year”. Reading those quotes it would seem like a 2 guard lineup would be more of a necessity than a 3 guard lineup.

  • Robert Golden


  • robmac10

    This is how I interpreted it as well. 3 guards 2 bigs.

  • Philip Perdue

    Tom Crean is to sports-talk what Sarah Palin is to politics-talk: disjointed, non-linear, and peppered with confusing switch-a-roos. (“what we’ve got to get to as a team is that you’ve got to guard us”). His way of talking plays itself out during in-game coaching, where at times his decisions—subbing, defenses, lineups, timeouts—are just downright confusing and hard to unscramble. Both Crean and Palin are smart, but as audiences we have to wonder if they have the verbal capacity to match their intuitions.

  • KirkHaston

    Much of last year, Coach Crean would have told you we were playing a 4-guard line-up. I know it’s confusing because there’s a SF/PF/C, but the 1/2/3/4’s last year were all guards. By three guard lineup he is talking about the 1/2/3 being guards and the 4/5’s being PF/C. It means they’ll be bigger this year.

  • Trevor Howenstine

    On what he’s looking for out of next season’s team in terms of style of play: “The three-guard offense this year could be a bit more of a necessity because we’ve got to be bigger – Anyone understand what he’s saying here????? Sounds like an oxymoron to me…

  • Hardwood83

    I am confused by the 3 guard remarks as well. I hope to see a starting line-up of: Yogi, James, Troy, Colin & Bryant. Offensively and (potentially) Defensively that is a pretty well rounded line-up.

    I am not confident my wish will come true, however.

  • VAHoosier

    But that sort of begs the question. Does that contemplate TW being a guard? I agree our best lineup has TW as a swing-man, with two true Bigs, but I can’t be sure that’s what Crean is saying.

  • inLinE6

    I don’t think he’ll remove any of Blackmon, Johnson or Williams out of the starting lineup. Two are pretty much NBA-bound, and the other is a solid contributor last season and a starter from day one. So I don’t see Colin starting.

  • SCHoosier

    I believe the quote was “The 3 guard line-up this year could be more of a WEAPON that a NECESSITY.” To me that says..we had no choice last year..but this year with a quality big in the post..we can use the three guard scheme much more” effectively.” Maybe I’m reading to much into that..but it was hard to play thru the post with three guards last year when there was no efficient post to play thru.

  • Jeremy

    Id like to see Bryant-C Holt-PF Troy SF and James and Yogi.

  • Ms hoosier

    I think that would be a solid starting 5 and rotate Rob in with Yogi , and JBJ and Max and Collin with TB, EH, and Troy. I think that would be better than playing 3 guards

  • cbags05

    I would totally start Hartman over RJ. Just because he started last year doesn’t make it a right. With NZ and Hartman off the bench that gives us a second unit with questionable athleticism.

  • Gregory Spera

    I know people love to make fun of Tom Crean, but whoever picked that derp photo is just being mean.

  • hoosier93

    Are there really any good photos? Photoshop can only help so much lol.

  • hoosier93

    I’d start Holt. I was wanting to start Hartman too. But the more I thought about it.. it needs to be Holt.

  • hoosier93

    Ok. So meaning Troy is a guard. Which means RJ will be coming off the bench. This would make sense. Thank you.

  • Dereck Johnson

    It sounded like he was willing to mix it up. I could be wrong but I believe he’s willing to go with Yogi, JBJ, Williams, Hartman & Thomas. At least against bigger teams. I think he realizes we don’t have a lot of back court depth. This is what im hoping CTC is seeing lol.

  • Dereck Johnson

    That would be a lineup I’d like to see especially against bigger teams. Would love to see Rob except a role off the bench. At least against bigger teams & our back court depth is limited. The front court is loaded tho. Zeisloft can’t play all the backup mins at guard.

  • marcusgresham

    Agreed—Hartman is a solid, stabilizing factor for the subs.
    I also think, more than a year removed from his injury, he’s going to show that he’s quite a bit more athletic than most people give him credit for being.

  • hoosier93

    It was a weapon in like 2 games lol.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    Who plays better D?

  • Indiana_Banners

    He is misquoted in the article. He says, “The three-guard offense this year will be more of a weapon than a necessity.” He meant that it will be an option rather than the only way they can play.

  • Fixed.

  • TomJameson

    I think you are right on, SCHoosier. I was going to make the same comment when I saw yours, so figured I would just support it.

    3-guard lineup used as a weapon means (to me) that he will use it a lot more sparingly depending on what they’re facing. Like needing to use the point of the sword instead of the slashing edge. When CTC talked about going 2-deep, I thought he was referring to the fast pace and the pressing he intends to bring to the game … ergo – needing to swap out guards more often to keep them fresher.

    I know there are a few that are really down on RJ (inordinately so IMO), but whether he starts or not, he’s going to get plenty of minutes for sure.

    I think we could easily see Yogi, Blackmon, Colin, Troy, & TB as a starting 5. First off the bench could be Holt, RJ, NZ. Even Juwan Morgon can get some relief minutes in for TB. And I hope we get to so OG at least a little bit to get him exposure.

    Lineups will be loved/hated no matter what they are! LOL

  • TomJameson

    Another thing to remember is how the team (to some degree) plays a “positionless. “.

    For example ….
    Yogi is for sure the main point guard, but him RJ, & JBJ play the 1 thru 3. Troy has the most range and plays the 1 – 4 (mainly the 3/4) NZ and Colin play the 3/4. Holt & Juwan will be playing the 4/5. TB will be playing center, with a little 4 thrown in because of his outside shooting.

  • VAHoosier

    Thank you. This should clear up everyone’s confusion about his meaning.


    Went and listened to the actual podcast and what he was saying was that last year we played the 3 guard lineup more out of necessity and that this year it can be used less out of necessity and that now we have the players that will allow us to utilize it more as a weapon as opposed to necessity like last year. Guess that answers the question about if he intends to start and play the 3 guard lineup or the 2 guard lineup.

  • millzy32

    I think what he really means is that he’s going to still go with a 3 guard lineup like he always does but this year if he wanted to he could do something else. He wants everyone to know that this year he is going to the 3 guard lineup because he wants to not because he has to. Basically, we could go big but we won’t because that’s not the way I do things.

  • Gregory Spera

    The new one is better.

  • SilentBob

    Agreed somewhat. I’ve loved what I’ve seen from Holt on those snapchats and people are saying he has come a long way with his jumper. Either would be good. But I think we will definitely need Holt on the floor when Bryant comes out though

  • hoosier93

    I’m really going to feel lied to if our starting lineup has Yogi, JBJ and Rob in it. He says we need to be two deep as well. Who is behind Yogi then? And who is behind Troy?

  • Tyler T

    Holt looks like a beast in the snapchats.

  • HannerTime Hoosier

    This is CTC’s make it or break it year. He will not play Bryant outside the post, as he never did with Cody or Noah. It is absurd to think his coaching style will evolve to optimally utilize player’s strengths as a strategic advantage to gain an edge.

  • SilentBob

    Heck yea he has. Looks load quicker. Of course being quick off the court doesn’t always mean quick with the basketball but man he has been impressive. Emmit, Rob, and Yogi are just on another planet of fitness than of their teammates right now