News and notes from Tom Crean’s radio show

  • 02/09/2016 9:20 am in

Tom Crean returned to his live radio show Monday night in Bloomington following Indiana’s split in road games last week. Here are the highlights.

On the 28-0 run against Michigan

“Even though you would never expect to have a run like that, the way we came out inside of the game, gave us a lot of confidence,” Crean said. “We have to play better at the beginning of games, there’s no doubt about that, and we’ve got to execute better, but at the same time we were aggressive.

“The defense was keyed by the fact that we were adjusting quickly to the mistakes that we were making. We never got done mindset wise because we weren’t making shots at the beginning and that’s got so much to do with how you play.”

On Yogi Ferrell

Against Michigan, Ferrell scored 17 points, had nine assists and turned it over just once.

“That’s the way that he has to play,” Crean said. “Certainly with the five turnovers the other night (against Penn State) we’re not going to win.”

Early in the game, Crean called a timeout to recollect his guys – and it paid off.

“It’s two parts, it’s one thing to see it and address it, and it’s a whole other thing for the players to respond to it,” Crean said. “A timeout was called because we made a real mistake coming off the corner to over-help in the lane.

“That’s really the one time all night I got concerned because if we were going to lose our focus like that, with (Ferrell), then we were going to be in trouble. He responded quickly, he knew it was a mistake and things came together from there. We did a much better job of staying in front of the ball so we didn’t have to over-help.”

On Penn State

“I had a friend of mine in the league tell me that they played their best game,” Crean said. “We knew they were pretty good. You can’t play the records. You just can’t. They’ve got Big Ten players just like everybody else.

“There was no difference in our approach to Michigan than we had at Penn State. We just didn’t play with the same level of confidence when things weren’t going our way. We got off of our coverages and then we started to over-help and they made shots that they hadn’t been making.”

Brandon Taylor hurt Indiana, scoring 24 points for the Nittany Lions.

“We weren’t as aggressive and I should’ve subbed earlier,” Crean said. “I could do a much better job of making sure we understand the time and score situation with where our strengths lie in that particular game.

“We have to understand what’s there for us inside the game, and we didn’t do a great job of that.”

On practicing during the Super Bowl

“In all honesty I was going to practice (Sunday) anyways,” Crean said. “This is the first time in four weeks we don’t have a Tuesday game. We took Wednesday off this past week so we were going to practice Sunday. There’s no question it was a little longer, and it was a lot more physical, a lot more scrimmaging. There’s also a lot more teaching to it. There’s an 8th grade aspect to this right now, that’s exactly what we’ve got to do, is get back to making this game simple. Some of it was our post feeding, some of it was our decisions on the break, some of it was our spacing, some was pass faking, shot faking, things like that.

“We came in and played a half-court game, I got this idea from Will Perdue a week ago, where the scoring comes down to defensive rebounding. You don’t score a point unless you get a defensive rebound or create a turnover. If you score, you get to go on defense. It was amazing how competitive it was.”

Crean said he thought the practice went really well and built on some of the things they had been working on previously.

“Hopefully they have DVR so they could watch the Super Bowl later.”

On Jim and John Harbaugh and how much he talks to them during the season

“I would say now that their seasons are over probably a bit more frequently,” Crean said. “They watch a lot of games, John sees a lot of games. Obviously both were at the game at Michigan. John watches constantly, I think Jim does too even though he was in San Francisco for the Super Bowl. Sometimes we talk about the games, but a lot of times it’s talk about the other things that go into it. The other night Jim and I were talking about recruiting, because the next day was signing day. So there’s a lot of that, just different things. The biggest thing he knows is that as hard as they’re working, they’re going to have them for at least three years. That’s the biggest thing. We may work the same level and only have him for one season. That’s a huge difference there, but there are a lot of similarities, we share recruiting stories and behind the scenes stuff that’ll someday go in a book but not right now.”

On Iowa

“They have so many strengths, and the one thing they have always done against us is run in the transition game,” Crean said. “Fran (McCaffery) is a fantastic coach. When people start to talk about National Coach of the Year and they mention him, I mean if I had a vote I’d give it to him. I think he does a fantastic job at utilizing his personnel. We’re going to have to take care of the ball pure and simple.”

Filed to:

  • TomJameson

    The offense has to start clicking, but that will happen if IU can limit turnovers and have a good defensive game. So, it will come down to turnovers, defense, and rebounding. Oh, and it would be nice if IU could get to the free-throw line, and make the shots of course.

  • IUBizmark

    Forget who it was, but they said every time IU turns the ball over, that means we’re giving away 1.5 points. That’s what we average on possessions where we don’t turn it over. Turnovers will never be eliminated, but if we could learn to reduce that number to 10, we’d win most games.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    here’s what i can’t figure out. it seems to me like iu has to get into almost a perfect rhythm to play well. in other words, they either look absolutely amazing, the offense is flowing, they’re making quick decisions, etc….or they look absolutely abysmal. tons of turnovers, missed shots, lots of standing around, etc…there just doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.

    my question is, why the jeckyll and hyde? do some teams simply have CTC’s system figured out? and this system simply isn’t adaptive enough to counter what those teams are doing? or maybe there’s just no margin for error? meaning, if you’re not super focused and playing at maximum potential, does it blow up in your face? i.e. there’s no plan b if plan a isn’t working?

  • John Gasaway on a recent podcast.

  • Fivelefts

    It just simply comes down to, “Who wants it more?!” Every time we play a decent team, I fear that we can’t match their energy level.

  • Fivelefts

    Also, I think we need to “Really” use or fouls!!! I mean, we get called for countless ticky-tak calls, and the player usually gets the ball up to the rim, for a chance to score. I say.. we need to foul harder! We need to start sending the message that we are not just a finesse team!

  • Ole Man

    Good post and excellent questions!

  • Ole Man

    At this time of the year other teams, i.e. MSU, Maryland, Iowa, are beginning to jell.
    IU is still spending time “learning”? This is a mostly veteran team; and we’re over half way through the season.
    Either we have really “slow” players or a really bad Coach; or a combination of both.


    Excellent point, and as if it was necessary, it further highlights the importance of not turning the ball over at the rate we normally do, especially against teams that know that their only chance to win is being able to defend us in a way that disrupts a finesse offense that wants, and needs, to play fast.


    IUMIKE1 slowly and sternly nods in agreement.

    To echo Ole Man, excellent questions and ones that need to be answered by the appropriate people.



  • BL

    I think it’s nothing more than effort and focus. You see it with other teams as well. I’ve seen PU and MD play at a level where it appears no one in the country can keep up with them; I’ve also seen completely the opposite. Players have to make the effort to move, cut, screen, share the ball, etc. When they do, it can look effortless. Also, just like in a pick up game, if the ball starts going in the basket, the energy and confidence picks up and you get the compounding effect. It’s human nature. The challenge is to play the right way and with high energy when the ball is not going in the basket. We did that against Mich. Against PSU, the opposite; we just starting jacking up threes.

  • SpankyBtown

    Isn’t it actually more like 2.45 points that we give up for each turnover because we lose a possession (1.5 points) and we give the opponent an extra possession (.95 PPP). I am not one of the Crean haters, but I wish he understood this better or, if he does understand it, I wish he valued it more.

  • Lance76

    I am not trying to be adverse here, but I think CTC understands this and values it too. At some point it must rest on the shoulders of the players. I think the 17’s send a strong message. Some may say “not strong enough” but perhaps a player or two just don’t get it or can not perform when the lights are on. I would like to see what happens in practice.

  • Ole Man

    Not seeing that, Tom.
    IU’s offense has clicked once in the past four games.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    And that should have been one of my other questions…do other teams go through the same struggles. I’m sure they do, but dang they’re just so night and day. And one other thing worth mentioning, you gotta wonder if we win the psu and maybe even the wiscy game if we have jbj

  • BL

    We didn’t shoot well so yes, you would think JBJ could have helped.

    Personally, I just think this is a tough team to coach. First, TW and RJ are TO prone and inconsistent. When they play well, we’re pretty darn good. When they don’t, not so much. Second, YF can be fantastic but he still has a tendency to play too much one on one when we’re struggling. Third, in addition to challenges with veterans, to be competitive, TC is forced to give three freshman significant playing time.

    Appears to me they went back to basics in practice this week (post feeding, spacing , pass and shot faking, etc.). I think that’s perfect given the team makeup. Hopefully, we’ll see better play on Thursday. A good indicator will be whether we see less three’s (57% of all shots against PSU), replaced by more post ups, drives and transition buckets.

  • BL

    Perfect Jeckyll and Hyde example tonight. PU comes out with great energy and focus and jumps out to an 18 point lead on MSU. In the second half, MSU did the same thing. PU looked like a completely different team (no energy and Swanigan taking awful shots too far out on the floor).

  • TomJameson

    I did have conditions … LOL

  • Ole Man