So, not everyone likes Tom Crean

Illinois Indiana basketball’s Michael Rothstein conducted a poll of 11 Big Ten basketball players at last week’s Media Day, and the results were mostly predictable. Tom Izzo is respected by just about everyone, no one likes to play at Iowa or Northwestern and JaJuan Johnson is the league’s best defenders.

One of the few runaway winners (such as it is: there are only 11 voters) was coach you would not want to play for.

That’d be Tom Crean, who got four votes. Comment: “They say he’s a little crazy.”

Izzo picked up two votes, Bo Ryan and Bill Carmody got 1.5 each, and Fran McCaffery and Ed DeChellis each got a single vote.

As far as other Indiana votes, Verdell Jones was on the most overrated and underrated list (which pretty much means he’s rated correctly); Assembly Hall was second (tied with Ohio State’s Value City Arena) for best arena to play in; and Jeremiah Rivers got a best defender vote.


  1. That’s fine by me. I’m guessing Bob Knight would have won that voting contest too. Also, its interesting that the next two vote getters are probably the best two coaches in the league in Izzo and Ryan.

  2. Yeah… Pretty much non-news. Players are always going to have biases and this could be those coming out. I’d be fine with other Big Ten teams not liking Crean.

  3. Just to be clear…

    This is a poll of who coaches hate to coach against the most? Or is it a poll of the coach people would least like to play for?

    If it’s the former, then I view this as a good thing. I don’t want opponents to enjoy coaching against Crean.

  4. I would like to know who the idiot was who voted Rivers best defender.
    Verdell is a solid bench role player but I agree he is very overrated. He shoots very poorly but put up some points due to being on such a bad team and taking so many shots.
    I think it is actaully probably a good thing that your enemies do not like you as far as the coach thing.

  5. 4guards – VJ shoots poorly? Really? He’s got one of the best mid-range games I’ve seen in a while. Oh well, I won’t take your comment too seriously. After all, you told us all a few weeks ago that Oladipo is a very bad defender, which we all know to be wayyyyy off base. I’m starting to think you type with your eyes closed and just hope for the best.

  6. Also, Rivers is one of the best defenders in the B10. Whether you want it to be true or not…he just is. Fortunately for the rest of us, reality doesn’t care what you want it to be.

  7. one thing i like 2 point out about about verdell he he came to iu about 160 he is about 191 pds that will help him in his shooting.

  8. Doug,
    Jones shot below 40% from the field and 27% from 3. So yes, he shoots poorly. Also you are way off on Hulls. Hulls is our best option at PG by far. RIvers is nowhere close to being the best defender in the Big10. That is a joke.

  9. Im guessing the question was “play for?” not “play against?” given the “he’s a little crazy” statement?

  10. 4guards,

    I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere the Pritchard shot over 60%. So is he a good shooter. My point – going by percentages is one of the weakest ways to judge shooting ability…it cannot account for many important things. And, yes, Rivers is one of the best defenders in the conference. Keep saying he’s not though…maybe it will come true.

  11. Also, I don’t think anyone said anything about Hulls. Yup, nothing. At this point – I don’t even know what to say to you. You’re on another planet.

  12. lester

    vj is “about” 191 lbs? can you be more precise? 191? whigger please. stop drinking the kool-aid, son.

  13. doug,
    from pondering recruiting thread
    “not sold on Hulls at point”
    It depends on if he lands Zeller. If so , then yes he has turned around recruiting. If not, then no, that is 2 poor classes in a row and unacceptable missing on all the IN talent once again in his 4th class.

  14. 4guards,

    Crean’s already turned around recruiting. It’s not even debatable.

    You’re simply using the Zeller recruitment as a setup for criticism in the case that he chooses to go elsewhere. If he commits to UNC for Butler, you’ll have another perceived stone to throw at Crean.

    Reliable sources have been confirmed as saying Indiana has done everything possible to recruit Zeller, and that if he doesn’t commit to IU, it’s because he was never coming.

    You may have also noticed that he’s picked up five highly regarded (and four in-state) recruits in the past three months. If you don’t see that as a sign that he’s turned a corner on recruiting in state, then you’re simply blind.

  15. What top of the class IN kids has he pulled, not including the kids who have yet to play a high school game and will not be here for 4 years?
    I am thrilled to get Perea, but he is not an IN kid regardless of where he will play this year.
    I am happy to have Etherington and Patterson, but they are not the best the state has to offer.
    Everything changes when Zeller commits next week. The dominoes fall. Yogi and Harris will follow suit and we will take back the states best recruits.

  16. 4guards is way off in his assessment of recruiting and Crean’s abilities overall, but he’s correct when he says Jones isn’t a good shooter. That’s very true, and it was exposed last year when he had to force more jump shots.

  17. 4guards.

    Agree about your assessment about Jones. As for recruiting IN, Crean has turned a corner with Perea. You are entitled to your opinion but unfortunately you’re in the minority on the Crean isn’t recruiting IN effectively.

    When national recruiting experts are writing stories about said subject (even if it’s the Boo-Yah network) it’s a tough argument to go against Crean.

    You are a fun character to have around here and when I become president you will definitely be in consideration for my cabinet. Stay frosty.


  18. 4guards,

    Why don’t Lyles and Blackmon Jr. count? That doesn’t make sense.

    It simply shows that Crean is identifying and securing top future talent before his in-state competitors. That constitutes turning the corner.

    Perea (who plays for Indiana Elite, lived in Indiana for parts of the last two years and will play in Indiana for the next two, and is for all intents and purposes an “Indiana kid”) just committed. He’s ranked 10th in his entire class. His commitment constitutes turning a corner.

    No one claims Etherington and Patterson are the best in the state, but both are very good signings and if Cody commits here, you can bet Austin helped in many facets of that process. Both of their commitments constitute turning the corner.

    The fact that Crean is in on nearly every top recruit in the state (when just a couple of seasons ago, that wasn’t the case because of IU’s situation) constitutes turning the corner. The fact that these top-tier, 5-star recruits are even considering IU this strongly after consecutive losing seasons shows that Crean is absolutely making players believe in the program again. It’s a testament to the work he’s doing.

    The fact that you’re electing to pin Crean’s success on whether or not he lands one single player is short-sighted and overly simplistic. As has been stated several times now, if Cody doesn’t commit to IU, it’s not because Crean and staff didn’t do everything within their legal means to bring him here; it’s because he just doesn’t want to stay home. You once criticized Crean for not recruiting in-state. That criticism has since been squashed, obviously. Beyond that, it was unfounded from the beginning, as Zeller was the FIRST player Crean started recruiting when he got here.

    I don’t know what else to tell ya, man. For your sake, I hope you eventually realize that Crean is doing things the right way at IU.

    The ironic thing about all of this is, when you finally do come around, no one will care; you’ve been so ridiculously negative and pessimistic from the start that it’ll be more laughable than anything.

  19. jrig5,

    Jones is surely no Reggie Miller, but have you considered the other side of your point — that he had to force more jump shots?

    Often times, the reason he had to force shots could be attributed to one of two reasons that come to mind immediately when I think about it:

    1.) He was the only viable offensive option on the court sometimes, and thus received more attention from our opponents. When you’ve got Capobianco, Moore and Devan Dumes on the court, you can rest easy in electing to pressure Jones more because none of those players is a legitimate enough threat to be concerned with.

    2.) Our famous wait-until-there-are-five-seconds-left-on-the-shot-clock routine often put the ball in Jones’ hands with no other option than to put up a shot — even if the look wasn’t really there.

    Again, he’s not the prolific shooter some paint him to be, but I also don’t think he’s as poor of a shooter as some people claim. Put him in an offense where he has the luxury of picking his shots, and dishing the ball when the opportunity isn’t there for him, and I think you see those percentages improve. Also keep in mind — he was a sophomore forced into a premature leadership role. Theoretically, he’ll come back stronger, smarter and a better shooter in his junior campaign.

    I’m glad to have him on the team.

  20. Buss is probably at this point the best defender in the state, so dont say he doesnt count. What doesnt count are all of the nonsense posts 4tards showers us with day in day out. Does he say the exact opposite of what he really means maybe? Verdell is a decent shooter, hes only a Jr and has had to force alot of shots on account of playing on a poor team. Hanner is an Indiana kid in everyones midn but his, and Lyles and Blackmon are going to be terrific players whatever he might think. Just another idiotic day of nonsense posts coming from a person who must truly look at the world through Crimson colored glasses!

  21. BTW, how did Mcsqueaky at Ill not get any votes, let alone 11? I would rather pluck my eyebrows one by one than to ever play a game for that guy!

  22. To me an Indiana kid is a person who was raised here and has received Indiana coaching most of their life. Perea is a foreign kid. I am thrilled to have him, but not an Indiana kid. Was Carlino an Indiana kid too then?
    I didn’t pin Crean’s success on one kid. I pinned it on Zeller, Plumlee, Teague, and Dawson. He failed on the first 3, so that is why it all hinges on the one that is left.
    All this arguing on recruiting is premature, as I believe next week we will all be in agreement.

  23. If you’re going to count Plumlee then you’ve got to count Perea. The Plumlee family abandoned Indiana. Perea has come to play, albeit at a non-IHSAA affiliated school.

  24. Plumlee was born and raised in Indiana, Perea was born and raised in Columbia.
    So Traveler must think Carlino is another IN kid we missed on.

  25. Anyone that says Patterson is not one of the best guards in the state haven’t seen him play. Ask Marquis Teague how good he is from two weeks ago.

    Verdell Jones overrated is pretty funny.

    Jeremiah Rivers should have received more votes for defense….ask Manny Harris.

    So I guess Trey Lyles isn’t an Indiana kid given he was born in Canada and spent part of his life their.

    Hanner has played more games in Indiana, with Indiana born coaches than he has with his former high school team….

  26. Of course Lyles is an IN kid. He was raised here and received years of coaching here. Is this really that hard a concept to understand?
    You really believe somebody born and raised in a foreign country only to move to IN for last 2 years of high school is an IN kid? Wow.

  27. Rothstein is an awful writer, Hated him in FW. Glad he’s gone, now if they can get rid of Ben Smith and Justin Cohn, the paper might be worth reading

  28. Not Indiana Kids…
    Greg Oden and Rick Fox……

    Other NOT Indiana Kids…Isiah Thomas only spent two years on Indiana soil according to 4guards.

    Lyles was born and raised in a foreign country too?
    Perea has played more Indiana basketball than Lyles and received more Indiana coaching too.

    Wow Plumlee is an Indiana kid but does not play high school basketball here interesting.

    Dude you make no sense ever!

  29. 4guards: “I didn’t pin Crean’s success on one kid. I pinned it on Zeller, Plumlee, Teague, and Dawson. He failed on the first 3, so that is why it all hinges on the one that is left.”

    Think about what you’re saying there, though. You pinned his success on:

    – A player long considered a Purdue lean, who ended up fleeing the state altogether to play for one of the best coaches in the country

    – A player whose desire to be a one-and-done and play in the NBA trumped his willingness to be part of a rebuilding team, and who considers Kentucky to be a desirable destination

    – Two players whose two older brothers had both established precedents for leaving the state to play ball elsewhere during a time when the program wasn’t at its best

    I understand wanting those players given their obvious abilities, but to deem Crean a failure because he didn’t land any of them doesn’t seem reasonable.

    And as far as who qualifies as an “Indiana kid,” I guess everyone has their own standards. But to me, a kid from Maryland who loves the IU program with all his heart and appreciates its tradition is more of an Indiana kid than someone born within the state’s borders who leaves for Kentucky.

  30. The Region,
    No, Isiah Thomas and Rick Fox are not IN kids. Oden is as he moved to IN at the age of 9.
    Your Lyles and Perea comparison makes absolutley no sense at all. Upon arriving at IU Perea will have only been in IN for 2 years.

  31. Shooting percentages can sometimes be deceiving. At least part of the reason that Verdell’s percentage is so low is that he is the guy who often takes the shot on a team that is very offensively challenged. Although part of the game is getting your own shot, how well your team does in getting you shots is also important. IU didn’t do too well with the latter last year.

  32. I take offense to someone saying that Patterson doesn’t count. He may end up being the best player in that class. Plus, He was our first to sign up, so he will hold a special place in my heart. That guy loves IU, and I think in a year he will be an easy top 50 player. I would not want to player Broad Ripple this year. Ron is going to tear it up this year, and I think the IU fans will be out in full force.

  33. To me an Indiana kid is a kid that puts on the Indiana University jersey. 4guards’ isolationist attitude is a slap in the face the true history of Indiana basketball. Oscar Robertson and Larry Bird were two of the most gifted players this state has produced…maybe two of the top 10 names to ever play the game..I’m proud of the great basketball heritage our state. I loved watching highlights of “The Big O” and I’m sure many a proud Indianian was glued to the television when Bird took to the court as a Sycamore heading to a Final Four. But why should that sour my view of any the following names that are more a part my Hoosier blood than any legendary name from our state that never put on a Hoosier uniform? Names like:

    Quinn Buckner-Dalton, Illinois
    Scott May-Sandusky, Ohio
    Isiah Thomas-Chicago, Illinois
    A.J. Guyton-Peoria, Illinois
    Kieth Smart-Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    D.J. White-Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Earl Calloway-Atlanta, Georgia
    Rod Wilmont-Miramar, Florida
    AJ Moye-Westlake, Georgia
    Kirk Haston-Lobelville, Tennessee
    Dane Fife-Clarkston, Michigan

    How can you be a longtime Hoosier fan and not have some great memories and shelf space your heart for the Hoosiers above? I actually just threw the last name in for a painful reminder that we still must be very careful in choosing out-of-state players. Some have sabotage on their minds. That kid from Michigan nearly cost us a trip to a Final Four. Guess we shouldn’t be too hard on him. Though he didn’t have much a head on his shoulder in the final moments a game against a top-ranked Duke team, he was still a pretty decent shooter and strong defender. Anyway, can it not be easily argued that our success during many our great years of Hoosier basketball “hinged” immeasurably on having extremely talented players(many gained All-American honors) that weren’t hoops-raised in Indiana? I wouldn’t ever consider 4guards’ attitude as dated. I’m dated, but I never had an attitude that looked at my school as failure for not landing every star from this state. Nor did I not find overwhelming pride on our ability to lure some damn good players into Indiana! 4guards’ attitude is just wrong. It’s demeaning to the whole college experience. We should embrace a kid’s hard work that enables more freedom of choice to chase dreams wherever he has earned such opportunities.

    And if we want to look at big men that played for the Hoosiers, specifically, born and bred Indiana big men through the years(when Scout rankings didn’t mean diddlysquat), I not convinced Cody Zeller could hold up very well against names like Steve Downing, Kent Benson, Ray Tolbert, Landon Turner, Alan Henderson. The thing I remember about the post players just listed is that they all had great touch around the basket. I’m not sure Zeller has that skill. He has a good perimeter touch when he’s left alone and has time to set his feet(far more time than he’ll ever see in a college game), but I’m not convinced he’s agile enough around the hoop to drill the 5ft. jump-hook, the quick 10ft. turnaround, or produce a silky smooth touch while finding openings around the baseline. Unless you have the ability to create various moves and convert in traffic near the hoop, I don’t think you’re ever going to be a true dominating post player. Losing Zeller would definitely hurt, but I don’t think he’s anywhere near the type of talent we’ve had at the position in past banner years.

    And as far as a hangup about filling a roster with all Indiana kids…? Ludicrous!! What an insult to all Hoosiers from beyond our borders the past(and those I hope we get in the future)that have put their blood on the court and their hearts into cream and crimson. What an insult to the colors and damaging the views of how younger fans look at alumni of past generations.

  34. I think that we all agree that IU’s defense last season was pathetic most of the time. Indiana has to improve on defense this season for Indiana to play in the NCAA or the NIT. Therefore, it is good to see that Rivers got a vote for best defensive player, because all three of our 2010 recruits: Oladipo, Sheehey and Michel are BETTER defensive players that Rivers! Then you add in Creek who was emerging as Indiana’s best defender last year before his injury. That is exactly the defensive upgrade that we needed! Yes, I know that Sheehey fouled out and his man Watford scored 24. But his team won by over 10 and he guarded the opponents #1 scorer who was 3 inches taller, more experienced, etc. And Will scored 10 himself. So the NET was plus 14 points for Christian who WILL BE All Big 10 this year! Not bad for a rookie in his first live action. Do you think that Rivers could have done better against Watford? I don’t.

  35. When did I ever say we need to fill the roster with all Indiana kids? I am hoping for Darryl Hicks in 2013. I loved Kirk Haston.
    I want a roster of Indiana kids and ELITE out of state talent. People like to twist my words. I have always said I would want a roster of at least half IN kids. I am a big fan of Creek and Watford on our current team.

  36. Twist these words, 4blindguards. I do not care where the good ones come from when they are playing for IU.

  37. 4guards-

    Sorry I twisted your words. I could have sworn you once said you wanted to purchase acreage in Southern Indiana and create a compound where you and your followers could raise various varieties of Indiana “hinge babies” and “Zellerzygotes” from the DNA the only three Hoosiers that define our past and will mold our future(Alford, Bailey, and Zeller)…No? Wasn’t it on a ScoopTalk session with Dustin? Back me up on this one, Dustin. Tell me I’m not losing it. Weren’t these completely isolated and manipulated “hinge babies” to be grown in “ABZ situational pods” in a perfect scenario Hoosier world where “Tom Crean does everything the 4guards’ way”? Wasn’t this to guarantee us every top Indiana recruit the next 100 years? Man, I’m twisted…I’m twisted bad…I’m pretzel twisted. My apologies again, 4guards.

  38. As for Teague, we didnt lose out on him. Kid obviously chose Kentucky and anyone who does that and are from the state of Indiana should be shot. I think Teague is waaay overhyped anyway, ive seen him play multiple times and still not seen anything more than a kid who can dominate other high school players by driving past them. Ill take the kids were getting, and hope to get, any day over him!

  39. Dakich knows how to milk the ratings for another 7 days. He has now made public comments that he can cite no matter which school Cody selects-to say “I told you so”. Dan is worthless!

  40. Dak is media and the first rule of the media is to say enough things, no matter how the story ends so as to always be right.

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