Crean discusses ’76 team, Wisconsin on weekly radio show

  • 01/05/2016 7:02 am in

Back for his first radio show of the new year, Tom Crean answered questions from fans ahead of Tuesday’s game against Wisconsin at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington.

At halftime of Tuesday’s game, Indiana will honor the 1976 undefeated National Championship team. Don Fischer, the voice of IU basketball, said he expects almost all of the players to be there along with several assistant coaches.

“I saw the list today, and it’s really, really impressive,” Crean said. “So many people are coming back. I can’t imagine the loyalty that they all have with another.”

The halftime ceremony will be shown live on

Crean credits Bo Ryan

Crean talked about the style of Wisconsin’s swing offense, calling a it a mix of a flex offense and a five-man out rotation. The key to the offense being effective is to have players who can shoot, pass and post-up, which is something Ryan has done well with in recent years.

However, Ryan is no longer running the show in Madison after retiring in mid-December. Ryan’s longtime assistant, Greg Gard, will be coaching just his fourth game on Tuesday evening.

Crean said the most important thing when guarding against the swing offense is to stay alert. Wisconsin has traditionally been good at playing matchups, and the Hoosiers will see how that changes under Gard.

Two road wins in conference play

As both Crean and Fischer said at the beginning of the radio show, picking up road wins is critical to win a conference. IU is off to a 2-0 start in the Big Ten after wins at Rutgers and Nebraska.

“It got harder from the very beginning when we lost James (Blackmon Jr.) in last Monday’s practice,” Crean said. “It changes a lot of different things, it changes rotations, it changes combinations, it changes how much guys are in at a certain time.”

Max Bielfeldt had a double-double versus Rutgers and Yogi Ferrell had 24 points in the Nebraska win.

“For our guys to find a way to get better inside a game, and to withstand some runs, to be on the road, to not play great in any one area, but to play good enough and to persevere through things to win the game was really, really strong,” Crean said. “If you’re going to be in a 40-minute game, you can’t have many empty possessions.”

The bench played a major factor in each win, most notably the freshmen OG Anunoby and Juwan Morgan, who continue to improve as they get healthy and the season moves along.

“I think it’s important that you have a team that doesn’t pace itself in the game,” Crean said. “You want to play by a possession-to-possession mindset but you don’t want to be in a pace where you say well I’ve got to play a lot of minutes so I’ll go 60 when I could be going 90. You want to make good decisions and play fast, but at the end of the day if you have enough good players who can come in the game and impact the game, that’s what makes it work. If people aren’t impacting a game, it shortens your bench.”

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  • sarge

    Halftime ceremony broadcast on ESPN3? That seems odd don’t you think? I wonder if that is because the general is back in town today?

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    that would be huge, eh? i think we have a better chance at seeing pat knight, the black knight, gladys knight, m. knight shamalayan, and kit from knight rider before we see bob knight

  • CreamandCrimson

    I truly hope Bob Knight is back in Assembly Hall tonight (or at any point). However, the halftime ceremony being streamed on ESPN3 is not an indicator that anything more than the 1976 team members being honored is happening. The ESPN cameras are already present so there’s no additional cost for the network. In addition, ESPN3 streams a ton of content and this doesn’t stick out as something abnormal for them to show.

  • SCHoosier

    It’s likely ESPN doesn’t want to give up the commercial breaks in its half time show…so putting the full half time recognition ceremony on their website makes “cents” from the ESPN perspective.

  • Koko

    Very funny but sadly true.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    Okay, so my posts criticizing language that is couched in prejudiced discourse are deleted, but this comment by another poster stays:

    “What upside? Troy’s “upside” is much much lower than you think. His freshman year it was super high. By now.. obvious he can’t shoot, super low IQ, no handles and can’t play defense(which comes from such a low IQ). He’s just an athlete. He can run and jump. That’s about it. Honestly he should try playing WR if he has the hands.”

    Does anyone not see a problem with this type of language?

    I’m done with ITH if this is acceptable.

  • Lobills

    I assume you’re upset w/ the “he can run and jump. that’s about it” part. Because everything else is a fairly honest critique. Troy hasn’t improved as a shooter, defender or ball handler. And due to his propensity to turn it over whilst playing out of control (usually unforced) there really shouldn’t be any issue w/ the bball iq take either.

    Me thinks you doth protest too much.

  • inLinE6

    Back in town, possible. In Assembly Hall, not any time soon.

  • Well Bruce, I for one do not like that type of discourse about a player. First, I think it just is too much in a vein of mean spiritedness. Hey Troy makes mistakes, but I do think it is overboard to say “super low IQ .. plus he does have handles.. Anyone who can go up and one handed catch a pass and slam a dunk with it has handles…and he has done it. I’ve seen it. I think Troy’s problem is more in the vein of focus at times, and at times trying to do too much.. All of that said, you’ll never stop people from making those comments on this or any other IU blog. People are mean spirited and really care less the terminology they use with respect to a player or any of the coaches for that matter. It’s just the way they are. You almost have to take the good with the bad.. and don’t let the bad get to you.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    Thanks, Ken. I know I can’t stop people. I was never under that illusion. But I think I had some intelligent things to say about this issue, and I got deleted. I guess I finally realize that this is not the place for me to be having those types of discussions. And that’s fine.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’m sending you copy of a of great song from a great movie……..FROZEN….Idina Menzel singing “Let it go…..let it go…oh would you PLEASE let it go” It’s a Disney movie so extra friendly. Are you serious about being done here or just blowing smoke?

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    No, I’m serious. I’m done after this thread. I put in a great deal of thought and effort into my comments, and I get deleted. That’s fine. I respect whatever it is the mods are trying to do here. It’s just not for me.

  • dwdkc

    People get careless and revert back to stereotypes in lieu of real analysis, and some of those stereotypes can be troublesome. The assumption is that the black guys will have more explosive athleticism, while the white guys won’t and have to make it by being savvier and playing with higher b-ball IQ. When it becomes a lazy putdown of the black guy’s intelligence, then yes that is a problem. I don’t think that’s really happened here. People are driven nuts by Troy’s judgement and turnovers and wild shots, while loving the crazy athletic plays he pulls off. I think that’s pretty well justified. I think the guys that play at a high level in Div 1 without high athleticism generally do have to play savvier to pull it off, which feeds the stereotype, but that applies equally to people without regard to race. And then you have guys like Vic that put it together and become superstars as a result.

  • dwdkc

    Also BB I hope you stick around, I think the mods do a great job generally. They are smart to not let arguments veer into political territory.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    I’m not going to go into a lengthy answer, because I’ll probably get deleted anyway. I will just say that the so-called “athleticism” is also a form of intelligence. I also think it is a myth that black people are more athletically endowed.

    I’m leaving not because I’m pouting, but because in my mind I just can’t accept the lines drawn between what is permissible and what isn’t, and it’s no fun posting when I have to police myself. I actually thought I had some fruitful discussion going. I could understand the deletion of the thread in which we were screaming at each other (seemingly), but in the second thread I made an effort to avoid the screaming and controlled myself to keep it “intellectual”. If I’m the only one having a problem here, then I should go. No hard feelings.

  • BL

    Hard to comment not knowing what was deleted.

    You made many good contributions to the various conversations. Hope you’ll reconsider.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    Thanks. They do a great job, according to their vision of the forum. But it does not fit my conception of what should and should not be allowed. I respect their preferences.

  • justlikenebraskafootball

    The Wisconsin game is being played at the Holiday Inn? I heard that the Assembly Hall crowd was a little thin for some early games, but…..

  • RDD#76

    Wisky does not want us to get out and run so they petitioned for a smaller court

  • Young Hoosier

    After the performances of Buddy Hield and Brice Johnson plus the OU-KU game… tonight’s games seem underwhelming.

  • Young Hoosier

    Really picking for something there aren’t ya? I never said anything about race. It isn’t about stereotypes. Troy can run and jump. That’s what I’ve seen from him. You can do that no matter what race you are.

  • justlikenebraskafootball

    oh no, what will we now for such insightful comments? it’s all fun and really unimportant… get over yourself.

  • BL

    While I don’t agree entirely with the content of the relevant post, from a style perspective, my only comment would be I wish the writer had used, as you referenced, “bball iq” vs. simply “IQ”.

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    Well I’m glad you’re happy and light-hearted. But don’t think for a minute that what you are enjoying doesn’t have some very hard and intentional thought behind it. For me, there’s nothing to get over. I’m not sure what’s bothering you about me.

  • justlikenebraskafootball

    thought you were done after the earlier thread? promises, promises

  • Breakfast at Bruce’s

    The easiest way to be done with me is to buzz off.

  • justlikenebraskafootball

    you’re to easy… have a good one.

  • I guess that depends on which team you root for. If you’re an Okie fan or a Jayhawk fan, you might think that. But to be honest, I could gave cared less about that game, or the Kentucky vs LSU game they keep pushing on ESPN today.. So I really do not feel underwhelmed about tonight’s game. have you given any thought to switching your fandom?

  • Dagwoods

    Yes, he has been back in town a few years back. VERY quietly. I’m surprised how well they kept it out of the press.

  • Young Hoosier

    If you didn’t get pumped watching last night OU-KU game then you’re just not a basketball fan. That was one of the best games the last few years. Plus Buddy Hield going off for 46. It doesn’t matter who you’re fan of. You can still appreciate a great game. And I am a basketball fan. I don’t just watch Indiana games only and get all other games off the TV. That game was amazing. Brice Johnsons performance amazing. 39 points, 23 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals.

    And tonight you should try watching Ben Simmons. #1 pick. One of the best talents of the last 10+ years. They “hype” these games for a reason. Last night it was #1 vs #1. Tonight it is UK vs Ben Simmons.

    If you don’t like watching basketball then that is your choice. But I try to watch as much as possible. NBA and College.

  • IULore

    Thats fine, but when you aren’t excited about IU playing Wisc, then that’s where folks take issue.

  • Young Hoosier

    I didn’t say I wasn’t excited.

  • I did catch some of the highlights of that game, It was a great game.. I wish I could watch at least a little of the game tonight, unfortunately I will be at work.. I will have to DVR this u game even if I want to get to see it after the fact.
    I was just giving you a little crap.. I actually wish IU did consistently play a better game, but I still think tonight’s game will be plenty exciting. Just hope we win.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    As loyal as his ’76 team has been to RMK, you would think he would honor that loyalty. But he’s too prideful.

  • E Foy McNaughton

    We need to be more consistent to win. This may not be the elite Wisconsin, but it’s not a poor team either – probably the best team since ND.

  • InTheMtns

    So you’re underwhelmingly excited? Or excitedly underwhelmed?