Hoosier Morning

Wisconsin Indiana basketball

Indiana coach Tom Crean said Wednesday that the program lost a generation of fans. Chris Howell | Herald-Times


  • Tom Cream whipped the faithful into a frenzy at Huber on Wednesday. He also told media that the program lost a generation of fans and recruits, Dustin Dopirak writes.





The Who’s “My Generation.”


  1. The Who is THE band I associate my IU years with. Quadrophenia was on all the time. The power, anger, depth, awareness and originality in their music was/is what drew me to them. Keith Moon, imo, was the greatest rock drummer ever and you knew that he was playing immediately by his signature triplets.

  2. Crean pulls off events like Hubers better than most NCAA coaches could. I know I have made it known I don’t like his offense at all and am not at all ready to anoint him the right coach for the job, but he does do events very well. I could never question his enthusiasm, I like what he’s done for academics, and he gets people excited. I do think we will be better next year, but maybe not as good as we could be.

    Still can’t like that offense though, and don’t know whats going on with our defense that doesn’t practice help side at all… yuck.

    So serious question to the Caseys out there who can have a civil discussion… Do you guys like his offense? defense? why? Or is your support and love for him more just his enthusiasm and hope that past success will translate into success here?

    (None of these opinions are wrong by any means, just I can’t personally accept him on the latter and want a better picture of what people actually think and where they are coming from. I think he was great for Marquette, but IU is not Marquette at all)

  3. Hoagland,

    I’m still reserving judgment on his offense — mainly because of the personnel with which he’s had to work thus far.

    Especially in his first season, I couldn’t fault any coach for not being able to run an efficient offense or competent defense with that roster. Last year, freshmen were freshmen. This year, I do expect to see some discernible form of adequate defense, and a more focused and intentional style of offense.

    Do you think Crean’s had the right players and the appropriate time to truly implement his offense, or do you think some of the ugliness of his systems has been due to the situation?

  4. Hoagland,
    I completely agree with you on this. Crean is a great PR guy. There is no questioning his enthusiasm and focus on academics.
    I think everyone already knows how I feel about his offense, defense, fundamentals, in game coaching, and recruiting.
    I am also skeptical that you will get Casey or some of the other Crean Apologists to admit anything they do not like.

  5. Casey,

    I agree with you that he has not had the best players for his offense. I think that is part of my problem. Maybe its a college thing, or maybe I have the wrong opinion, but I always liked and admired coaches that could tweak their systems or change systems for the players they had. No one trick ponies.

    I think it will get better as the players get better, but is that not the truth with any offense? Just because Mo Creek can hit some incredible shots (Which I love by the way) does not mean the offense is any better, just that Creek made something happen. This does not reflect the offense to me.

    I think with a smart kid like Jordan Hulls, we could have pulled off some more upsets, even with injuries and freshman being freshman. However, Jordan Hulls is not highlighting his skills by playing in a ball screen creation offense. Put people in position and he will get the open man the ball. Ask him to get the guys open by drawing 3 defenders and I just don’t think thats his game.

    Obviously you can’t change for every kid, and people will say its hard to change offenses, but I really only saw about 3 set plays tops last year. These kids are in college and playing with house money, the least the can do is learn more than 3 sets. I don’t think that is asking too much, nor does it rely on talent

  6. Bob Knight was a master at getting players to play above their talent level. I mean he got Brian Evans to the pros…just sayin.

  7. Hoag,

    I like the idea of his offense (uptempo a la MSU), but I don’t know if he’s had the personnel to implement it just yet. I was very impressed with VJ3’s improvement (but of course that seemed to be countered with TP’s seemingly inexplicable backwards development).

    Our defense has been our weakest link and Crean knows it. That needs to be our biggest area of improvement this year… offense is more talent-reliant than defense, which can be intense with a sheer force-of-will mentality. I’ll be looking to our defensive improvement this year as a good way to gauge Crean (and I think our D will be helped out by our incoming people, namely Guy and VO; interestingly, even with a small recruiting class, we were in the middle of the B10 rankings: http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1090238.

  8. I really want to throw in the towel when it comes to watching the Hoosiers…Instead, I’ve decided to advocate vigorously pursuing recruits, program changing dorks, to play in a system inherently flawed. I can’t wait to see 4years of misery placed upon kids that dream of wearing the cream and crimson so they can play in total confusion for an inferior coach.

    You don’t have to thank me. I know the appreciation and gratitude felt by the Hoosier faithful that look up to me. It’s difficult at times to let everyone on this blog know what a wonderful person of unblemished character I am to support IU basketball though coached by an intellectually challenged blowhard doofus. It’s my calling to squash optimism and do the right thing.

    Now let’s go lose some games!!

  9. Hoag, I will admit that there are not enough ball screens being set. I do say I cannot totally judge the offense until talent pool gets better and/or kids are more seasoned, maybe this coming year. As far as defense I think it is almost on par with what we saw from Sampson and Davis but that is just my opinion.

    We could have 96 sets like Davis had and kids having no clue what is going on half the time. I think that you will see more emphasis on offense and defense strategy this year than the last 2…

  10. To give credence an obvious agenda is to advocate the same.

    Now let’s go lose some games!!

  11. With seasoned talent the offense and defense will look much like MSU. The reason why is obvious. Now we will here from the Crean haters.

  12. I’m not trying to hate on him. I hope he does succeed. I like a lot of what he does. I can agree to a point that things will get better as talent improves, but thats just a dumb statement. It has to get better as talent improves. We have no where to go besides get better.

    If we look more like MSU, that would be a great thing, but more than just talent has to improve. MSU has some of the best helpside not only in the league, but in the NCAA. Purdue does as well, thats why you always hear about both teams D. We have guys that don’t even know where to start with this. That is not all talent. I’m not talking people just not getting places on time, or not moving their feet, or not being big/strong/quick enough. I’m talking total lack of recognition. That has nothing to do with talent. And nothing gets said to them.

    Just one example. Jeremiah Rivers. Pretty darn good on ball defender and 1-on-1 defender. Leaves the team out to dry all the time. He doesn’t play team defense at all. Watch for it. He misses rotations and calling out off the ball stuff all the time. If something is being told to him, or he is working on this, then they aren’t working very hard, he possibly got worse as the season wore on.

    I might just have to try and Do Drew Adams job and cut up a tape of all the plays in a couple of games last year where guys just didn’t even attempt to move to where they should be, yet nothing changed the whole game from it. I realize we only have so much to work with, and our hands are tied in some places, but it has nothing to do with effort. We might not have the most talent or best athletes but our kids are smart enough that throughout a whole big ten season they could learn helpside defense. Even if they were slow or late getting there, at least try and acknowledge they should be there.

  13. Hoagland,

    Granted, if you have better players, the team will perform better independent of the system. I’ll give you that.

    Here are my thoughts, which may or may not actually be right. I’ve said before that I feel Crean may have been reluctant to completely rearrange his system to cater to lesser players.

    Imagine how our team would’ve looked had he dumbed down our system for the sake of perhaps squeaking out a few more wins. We undoubtedly would’ve tried to slow down the game as much as possible, simplify our approach and grind out some ugly wins, and while maybe we’d have a handful more wins to show for it, we’d also be engaging in an unappealing style of basketball.

    Think about it from Crean’s perspective. He’s got to somehow field a competitive team while also ensuring that better players are going to have a desire to be a part of his team in the future (recruits). Recruits want to be able to watch the teams recruiting them and identify what kind of system they’ll play in and how they could fit as a part of it. I don’t think many of today’s players are expressing the desire to play in a slowed down, grind-it-out system, and Crean knows that. Further, it’s really the opposite of what Crean wants to do stylistically.

    I truly think Crean doesn’t want to compromise his system for the sake of showing fans and recruits how basketball will be played here for years to come, albeit at the expense of a few wins in the early going.

    Some would also argue that dumbing the systems down to cater to player inabilities could stunt player growth. Isn’t it better to push them each day to fit a system that challenges their minds and bodies, even if it results in some tough lessons early on? There’ll be growing pains, but it may actually end up benefiting us to push players to play in a system that forces them to be faster, quicker-thinking, more accurate and stronger.

    Just some food for thought.

  14. The issue is talent because it is issues a lack of experienced talent creates. With no veterans, there is no one on the floor to understand what is going on at full speed. Because of the things you listed JR does poorly is exactly why he is not a good defender. He has the physical talent to be a good defender. But until he decides to swallow some ego and make better choices, his poor decision making will never allow him to be anything more than a practice player. Rivers as a starter has simply filled a need in a rebuilding timeline. When these 09 ballers are Juniors and Seniors you will recognize the MSU look and style.

  15. Casey,

    Point seen and taken. My comeback would be this:

    MSU was thrown out as an example. I like them, and IZZO. In no way have they been the same team in any of the past 10 years when they’ve been wildly successful. The team with Goron Suton and Travis Walton that got beat in the NC game to UNC wasn’t close to the team the made it to the final 4 this year. Both teams were good, but catered to what they had at the time. Also, neither team was remotely close to the years with J Rich, Mateen Cleaves, and Mo Pete.

    Now I know they weren’t rebuilding, and have a ton of talent, but Corey Lucious and Kalin Lucas were used and set up differently than Kalin Lucas and Travis Walton were. Each year is different and you have different kids with different skills and you try to win as many games that year as possible. Not cater to a future style that recruits may like.

    MSU has identifiers that their teams always seem to have: toughness, effort, and they board. Other than that their style has varied greatly even within games and they play to who they have on the court.

    That may be Creans thought process that you bring up, but sacrificing wins to show some style that players supposedly like better means nothing if we never win enough to win the recruits we need for that style anyway. Josh Selby and Kyrie Irving liked our style, but there is no way they were coming somewhere where they couldn’t win in a year or two. The only way this ‘style’ works is if you have a ton, and I mean a TON of talent, and even then its not a given. Case: Memphis, Kentucky. More talent than anyone and every recruits favorite style, but 0 NC.

    I guess we simply disagree. I see your points, and how you get to them. They aren’t bad points at all. I just see them and don’t feel the same. We are hampering a player more by playing him in a style that will never fit his skills or ability than we are by ‘crippling’ him because we play to his style so that he can succeed and expand his game with confidence.

    You can’t make Jordan Hulls 6’6″ 220lbs. and jump out of the gym (faster/quicker-thinking/stronger/more accurate), but we can use that he already has great passing and floor vision, not to mention an understanding of the game that others will never have. Kind of like if Christian Watford would have tried any other move besides a lazy turnaround, he wouldn’t have gotten blocked about 6 times (arbitrary exaggerated figure, not actual statistic) a game. You can disagree with that, its just how I feel.

    Either way I appreciate the civil and spirited discussion. We actually talked about basketball and strategy and no names where thrown and no one walked out bloody or called a retard, turd, or racist. Thanks.

  16. Hoag, you ask a question and I answer and then you say it is dumb. When you play the style of offense Crean does I think talent is a bigger deal than say a motion offense with screens set all of the time. In Crean’s offense you have to create for yourself but with Knight’s you set constant screens to get people open. Which system would athletic talent be more important in??? That was all I was saying with that. You also have to admit that when these kids get experience in Crean’s system…in theory they will play better on offense…and defense for that fact.

  17. Also, it appears what we really have is a chicken and egg situation. Whats the actual cause of our offense being so bad. Reality is its probably somewhere between everyones answers, and we may never agree. What I do know is that if I am wrong, and we don’t change anything over the next 3 years and we start blowing people out of the water because we get better talent, then I will gladly admit I was/am wrong. I still probably won’t enjoy the offense itself, but the points and wins I will relish…

    Still, my thoughts are we will need some form of significant change in our offense and defense to ever really be successful over a long period of time again in the Big Ten with their strong defenses and systematic offenses, not to mention the talent level that is always in the league.

  18. J Pat,

    I was saying my statement of saying more talent will mean better offense is dumb… not your point. I don’t think your point was dumb, just that an obvious statement in itself that better talent equals better results is pretty dumb from me, but felt it needed said regardless of it being obvious.

    I agree more athleticism and talent is essential in Creans system. My fear here is that no matter how much we have, there are always good defenses in the Big 10 that help off and it is tough to get the deep and vast talent needed to make this system work over a long period of time. You are correct though in saying that Creans style requires better athletes and more talent.

  19. Hoagland,

    Likewise. It’s nice to just discuss some things that have to do with basketball for a change.

    I agree with a lot of what you say, actually. I see your points about MSU and I agree that you must continually tweak and adjust to fit the players you have.

    I guess what I see that sets the two situations apart is simply where the teams are right now. It’s a given that MSU will get great recruits pretty much every season. If you have to change your system to cater to top talents with varying fortes, then I understand and advocate for that.

    I guess the trouble here is that Crean has to find a way to get to that point — where it’s a matter of WHICH great players will commit to IU each year, and not IF they’ll commit. When and however that inevitably happens, I do think we’ll see more of what you’re talking about — with Crean’s basic philosophy serving simply as the foundation for an altered and calculated style of play dependent upon the players on the team that season.

    It’s a tough situation that I’m glad I don’t have to be the one to solve. And I’m in the same boat as you — if we’re winning consistently in a year or two due to the absolute opposite of everything I’ve said, then I’ll be glad to admit being wrong.

  20. Hoag, thanks for the clarification and just want to say it’s nice to have a respectful discussion on here…

  21. Wow, I was actually able to read all this. It’s great when the grownups get to talk without being interrupted by noise from the kids table. Hoagland, well presented case. I think we all get frustrated watching the lack of movement. From my coaching days I remember well the frustration of trying to get the sophomores (I didn’t play many frosh)to follow the plan. I was the bad coach. When the kids became juniors and had a year of the system under their belt, not only were they looking better but so were the new sophomores that had upperclassmen around them. Then I became the smart coach.
    Again, it was enjoyable to read adult discourse.

  22. Any style of winning basketball requires deep talent..Knight had talent coming out the wazoo…And a lot more talent coming off the bench, too!
    Our #1 talent was sidelined for nearly the entire year last season. Our next most lethal threat from beyond the 3-point line was out for the whole year. Call that nonsense above a civil discussion if you like..I read it as a six page dissertation attempting to brainwash clean an inkling of commonsense from basic understanding of what transpired last year.

    Pretty difficult to set the world on fire with lack of a true threat in the paint(something a Knight team never suffered from), a first rebuilding wave of local talent that was fleetly assembled in the midst of recruiting against national up-and-sailing programs and strong tournament worthy teams within the same reaches our local efforts, the absence of having one of our best outside shooters available coming off the bench, and the immeasurable bad fortune of an untimely injury occurring to your leading scorer and most highly-touted recruit to boot!

    Get serious. Your agenda is more than obvious.

    Granted a healthy Creek, we will be exponentially better this year. And let’s not forget Creek is still basically a freshman with regards to Big 10 experience.

  23. Knight didn’t suffer from a lack of a true threat in the paint as you put it because he knew how to recruit.
    Creek was a big loss and I think he will do great things here, but we stunk up the place when he was playing just as much.

  24. Come on, 4guards.

    Could it be possible that the top post players, along with point guards, are first on the list of programs having current big-time success? Isn’t this why coming into a completely decimated house is a monumental challenge?

    Teams littered with inexperience will be plagued with inconsistency on the court. Creek was barely wet behind the ears..Give the young guns a chance. It took Jared Odle 4years to have his breakout game against Duke…and how wonderfully timely it was.

    Of course, I think you, wearing your favorite shade of blue, could have shut him down.

  25. Oops. Jarred Odle

    Soon as we land Cody Zeller everything will be shipshape. Keep the faith.

  26. At last , others realize that CTC is “all hat and no cattle”. After watching IU basketball for over 400 years, it is disheartening to watch IU play. They never control the tempo of a game so therefore the opponent dictates the pace– pathetic.Fundamentals are non existent and the offense is a joke. The Big 10 will be appreciably better this year but I doubt IU will change. Jones and Rivers are not team players. Hulls is being misused .

    I would rather see Buckley and/or the new assistant coach the games and let CTC spend 2 more hours in the tanning booth. I have been from Peegs for stating my opinion , but this coach is the worst game coach in the Big 10.

  27. Not even a good attempt. We are all onto cherry picking info to support negative, biased agendas.

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