Tom Crean hosted a press conference today. A few notes:
- Crean said the highlight of the annual tip-off dinner was listening to former players Steve Green and Ted Kitchel, as well as former H-T sports editor Bob Hammel, speak to the crowd. “They were talking to our players and talking to our fans in attendance and talking to all of Hoosier nation as well.” Crean said the night brought home to him “what kind of an honor it is” to be coaching at Indiana.
- The event was held in Assembly Hall, meaning the team took off on Tuesday.
- Crean says the latest walk-on to join the team, Evan White, will have the same role as the other walk-ons. He’ll need to come in and play pressure defense, facilitate on offense and spread the ball around.
- Right now, Crean doesn’t have enough time to do everything he needs to do. During full team practices he focuses on concepts such as rebounding and defense, because those are about developing a mentality. During small-group practices he focuses on developing individual skills, espcially on offense. Interestingly, Crean said that he wants his players to have a lot of confidence on offense because otherwise they won’t play as hard as they need to on defense.
- Verdell Jones is going to have to play a lot of point guard for this team, and he’s being forced to learn how tough that will be right now. He matches up against Jeremiah Rivers, who Crean said was one of the top defensive guards in the country last year for Georgetown, every single day. Jones said his biggest adjustment to this level has been learning to counter-attack if he can’t find a seam after his first step.
- Crean joked that he might wear a plaid jacket to the Haunted Hall of Hoops tomorrow night. No word on if he’ll then throw a chair.
- The HHoH will focus on another team scrimmage, though there will be other fun elementsÂ involved, too, Crean said.
- Crean’s team is progressing, he said, but a “laundry list” of problems remain. On one side, Crean wishes he had another month to work with his team before playing games (the first exhibition game is a week from Friday). But on the other side, he knows that much of what his team needs to learn â€” hustle and toughness â€” can’t be taught by having them practice against each other.
- Crean agained expressed his opinion that IU should not receiver further punishment from the Committee on Infractions. He said that having to wait for their ruling â€” which could come at any time â€” has hurt IU’s recruiting because of the uncertainity it creates.
Jared will have a story about White to post a little bit later.