So I’m at Huber’s Winery, where Tom Crean just wowed a crowd of 850 people at an event that has become, in it’s own little way, legendary. Crean first heard about this gathering — which Kelvin Sampson considered his “Welcome to Indiana Basketball” moment — on the day that Rick Greenspan offered him the job. It was part of Greenspan’s pitch to lure the coach from Marquette.
Crean’s message tonight did not diverge from the message he has delivered since his first day at IU: he deftly navigated the need to acknowledge how difficult the last few months have been for the program with a message of hope for the future.
There will be a full story on this event in tomorrow’s paper, but here are some quick notes:
— Crean said that there is no change in Jordan Crawford’s status. Crawford, who will be the only returning player who came to IU on scholarship, is back in Detroit right now and will not attend summer school. “He doesn’t need to, and I think it’s good for him to get home,” Crean said. “It’s important to remember that those guys have been through a whole lot.”
— Crean said his staff is still looking to add a scholarship player to the team for the upcoming season, if the player fits what he’s looking for. Crean said his staff is not worried about the scholarships number right now and is concentrating on putting together a strong team for next year.
— Crean expects most of the seven new players to be on campus for the second summer session so they can start working with strength trainer Jeff Watkinson, who is currently attending the pre-draft camp in Orlando.
— Football coach Bill Lynch also attended the event. He and his staff are preparing for camps — last year the Hoosiers picked up many of their verbal commitments by bringing players to Bloomington for the June events — and concentrating on recruiting. He gave a brief update on Kellen Lewis, who was not with the team through spring. Lynch said Lewis is doing the things he’s been asked to do but has not yet earned his way back onto the squad. He expects to make a decision on Lewis by the end of June.