Crean feisty on radio show…about somewhat random topics

You might have expected a few edgy responses from Tom Crean in his radio show Monday night, considering that his Indiana squad is coming off back-to-back losses. And the Indiana coach had a few, but not in response to the questions you’d think.

When asked about his team’s defensive shortcomings and other issues in the losses to Minnesota and Ohio State, his responses stayed mostly along the same lines as they were after the game and on the Big Ten teleconference on Monday morning. He’s tried to make teaching points in film sessions, and has stated plainly that the Hoosiers haven’t been physical enough the past two games.

“We weren’t as physical as we needed to be,” Crean said. “And we didn’t come back and pop (Ohio State) when we needed to. … Bottom line of the week is we missed shots we’ve been making. I don’t think we played with the confidence that good teams gotta have when the shots aren’t going. You can’t rely on the shots. We had a tough week shooting the ball. We didn’t play great defense. We certainly weren’t as aware, alert as we needed to be the other night. Yesterday we didn’t respond to the physicality of the game as well and at the end of the day we didn’t make shots we were making. This team has shot the ball well all year. What we’ve gotta do when those shots aren’t going is we have to be able to overcome that.”

But two seemingly innocuous questions got Crean rolling on tangents that led him to take a couple of broad digs, including one at assistant coaches of opposing staffs he didn’t name.

Crean was first asked about his assistant coaches and what their roles are.

“I think when you get to the game and you get out there at early at Indiana, you don’t see our (assistants) hob-nobbing with national media members and sitting on the sideline and relaxing,” Crean said. “We don’t have a team of guys that are out wearing their Beats headphones as they’re warming up. Our guys are out there working with them. I don’t have a group of guys that are grandstanders, that are looking to get an article done about them. I’ve got a group of guys that are really, really hungry to make the team better. That’s game night.”

He went on to say that the assistants help a lot with the scout, and obviously with recruiting. He then went back on attack mode and said he only had one problem with his staff.

“Our coaches, they’re very tolerant, and sometimes I don’t like that,” Crean said. “They’re tolerant of some of the things we see in recruiting. They’re tolerant of some of the negativity. They’re tolerant of some of the grandstand assistant coaches that run their mouth constantly against us in recruiting and want to talk about development, yet they’re the guys that are cheerleading and hob-nobbing and all of those kinda things. It’s about making your players better, and I don’t think there’s any question whatsoever that our coaches are making our players better. … I’m not good with silver spoon coaches. I’m not good with male models. I’m not good with guys who need to have a lot said and written about ’em. I’m good with guys that roll up their sleeves and get to work.  I think that’s what we’ve got.”

Crean also took the opportunity of a question about his emotions when junior forward Christian Watford hit his buzzer-beater to beat Kentucky to fire back at Kentucky players who said it was a lucky shot.

“It was a hard-earned shot,” Crean said. “Every time I walk by that picture I see Marquis Teague coming from behind and Darius Miller come straight up with him. With our team, it’s like today. When we look at the game, we look at the scoreboard. We didn’t win the game. We look at the scoreboard and it is what it is. Our job is to get into that film room and correct it. When we beat Kentucky, all I would say to everybody there, look at the scoreboard. We beat Kentucky. I know I saw the comments out of Lexington where the players referred to it as a lucky shot and they had a two-point lead, but at the end of the day, you lost the game and we won it. There were times inside of the game at the seven minute when I felt we should be up by more. It was a very good game and it was a great shot. We’re not giving the scoreboard back. We’re not giving the win back. We’re not giving the Ohio State win up here back, and the bottom line is we didn’t earn it yesterday. You just move forward, you keep moving forward and trying to get better.”


  1. Any insight guys on which asst coaches he is talking about? Is it Paulus at Ohio State? I mean they were just there, and CTC’s emotions are high…

  2. Get em Crean!! Any coach who would try to convince a kid that Crean doesn’t improve his players must be one hell of a poker player!! Imagine saying that with a straight face.

  3. Wow! I take back my comment yesterday about coaches interviews being irrelevant. That was amazing.

    “I’m not good with male models.” are you kidding me? That’s an all-time classic!

    I actually might consider a twitter account if I thought I’d get nuggets like that.

  4. Love it. I hadn’t heard about those comments from UK players, but it made my day reading Crean’s response. Comments like the ones from Lexington show how deeply we wounded their pride, and how completely embarrassed they were. The videos and photos of that moment will be around for a long, long time… and Teague and Miller will always be in those shots.

  5. I’m pretty tolerant of spelling errors but for God’s sake learn the difference between an apostrophe and a comma! Talk about gobblety gook… Pot to kettle: you’re black.

  6. Kind of like your sentence, elmo? Pretty pathetic use of grammar and punctuation. Love what Crean said about the UK game as well. I have too many UK fans still telling me UK should have won that game.

  7. Hey elmo,
    You might want to turn your spell check on. I would continue working on that GED! Reading is fundamental!

  8. J Estrada, there is actually video of Calipari saying the same crap. What a bunch of Morons. I guess UNC should say that Davis’ block was luck and that they won that game. There was some stupid assistant on OSU bench that kept motioning a travel every time our guys drove to the basket. Maybe once you can do that, but 10 times? If I were Matta I would kick that guy off the staff. He looked like a dope doing that.

  9. Why is he even talking about the UK game?? Get over it, for God’s sake. It was a good win for IU and there are always going to be people talking trash about it, why address it? If you think UK is really that upset about it, you’re delusional. Maybe if that game meant something, but honestly, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean anything. Worry about your Big Ten schedule, not a win you got earlier in the season.

  10. Yeah, when one of the top three point shooters in the country hits an open three you can chalk that up to luck. He was lucky quite a few times that game.

  11. IndianaWildcat: Why don’t you take your own advice and worry about your own team, and not one that handed you a loss a month ago. “Worry about you SEC schedule, and not a loss you got earlier in the season.” 🙂

  12. I thought the same. Watford hit that shot, from the same spot, about four times that game. I guess IU was LUCKY Kensuckey didn’t play defense on any of those shots. Obviously Coach Crean is perturbed about something with the OSU staff. Been that way for a few years now.

  13. Daburns0, That was beautiful. Even though he supports pUKe being from Indiana means he should get the drift.

  14. The fact that we basically led the whole game until right b4 the end is enough to tell any idiotic pUKe fan that luck had nothing to do with that game. They were outplayed, plain and simple!

  15. Well, if I was IndianaWildcat I’d be embarrassed, too. Naturally, he wants people to forget about the Kentucky players talking crap like that. But then, I can’t imagine our guys saying that kind of thing. In all fairness, when you field a team of freshmen every year it’s hard to develop leadership.

  16. Chet, I keep asking friends of mine that are Kentucky fans if they really like the direction that the Kentucky program is going. I always ask how long KU fans are going to put up with bringing in a new roster every year, getting lots of win, getting high rankings, but due to lack of experience in big games, never win a national title. They usually say that Calipari probably won’t be around long in that scenario because it is still about national titles at KU and if he can’t deliver them, then the KU fan base will get him removed. I tell them, then you better get ready to find a new coach because that is all they will ever get out of Calipari.

  17. Point is, the only reason he’s talking about the Kentucky game is because he was asked a question about his reaction to the end of the game by someone else. It’s kind of hard not to talk about the game when he was asked to do so.

  18. Hoosieralum2009, correct.

    iuhoosier1992, Calipari has never even been to a Final Four. At least that’s what the NCAA says.

  19. Chet. Do you have that short of a memory? I guess with the past seasons you guys have had, I should expect you to repress them.

    Funny how this is already becoming about UK. Your coach is begging for attention, and you guys talk about Calipari and UK.

    Good stuff.

  20. LOL Creen can take his 3 point win in Bloomington when half of the OSU team was on the bench by the first TV timeout with 2 fouls. I’m sure Matta will take the total blowout this weekend. 14 points at halftime Creen? Really? That coulda been a 40 point beatdown if Matta had kept his foot on the gas…maybe you should start complaining about your own assistant coaches before you start worrying about anybody else’s. Maybe Matta will be nice at the B1G tournamnet and only let his guys be up by 20 at halftime…

  21. Tom Crean is still crying? I hope he took off his ladies glasses so he didn’t smear the lenses with tears of jealousy. Crean is SO MAD that Thad Matta keeps out-recruiting him in the state of Indiana. And beating his arse on the court.

  22. Hey Tommy, how about winning a game away from your home court before you start spouting off you prima donna. If your hand picked refs don’t immediately put the opponent in foul trouble, IU doesn’t stand a chance. Let’s see how far you make it in post season on a neutral court.

  23. If I was 2-31 in non-home Big 10 games over my 4-year tenure, I’d be clinging onto those two home wins against UK and OSU, too.

  24. Amazing, BrilCREEN is obviously jealous and still smarting from the beat-down in Columbus.

    Saying stuff like this makes him, his coaching staff and the IU team look small.

    This will be bulletin board material in the tournament – assuming IU gets to play more than 1 game in it.

  25. If I was him I wouldn’t give the wins back either because you’ll probably never get them again. I am not one to blame officiating, but Indiana didn’t exactly win the game. I have not seen a game in the past decade that was officiated that poorly. Sure Zeller fouled out but it was at the end of the game. The refs kept calling absurd fouls on the Ohio State players and that kept most of their starters out of the game, the fact that they were still able to stay in the game is very unbelievable to me. At any other neutral court UK and tOSU both wipe the floor with IU. As a Sparty fan watching the OSU game the only word that came to mind wAs “wow!” You dont see referees at this level give one team an obvious advantage like that very often, perhaps the odds are better of seeing a lunar eclipse. He has nothing to complain about because he is obviously the luckiest person in college basketball right now and finally finding out hey maybe we aren’t as good as we thought. He is turning into a male diva after winning two basketball games in the past few years – way to act like you’ve been there before coach.

  26. I was sitting 20′ from Creen, you Indiana applogists crack me up. He not only was calling every move his players made that was stopped a foul he was stunned when it wasn’t called. Name one assist. who doesn’t try to influence the refs by saying the other team traveled. Indiana assiatance don’t because they are to busy getting the chairs ready for the next time out. Creen really needs to look at his players and ask why Wofford had 0 points in the 1st half…simple coaching, his assistants did help with that issue did they? Wait until the Big Ten tourn and IU gets bounced early, again because Creen thought he would get fouls called. KY and Ohio State games spoiled you guys because of the serious issue with Big Ten refs. Big Ten refs have not called the same game the same way all year. Old people do suck…and they also ref for the Big Ten.

  27. Crean just did more harm to an already earned reputation of a whiner and crybaby who thinks he is above it all. He needs to come back to earth and worry about his own team and assistants. He hasn’t earned the right to admonish other coaches for how they coach THEIR team.

  28. Tjay & bigdawg; I doubt most Hoosier fans will agree with your assessment of Crean’s comments. We’ve been waiting to see a little more fire from Crean. In fact, I’d like to see more of it, a lot more of it.

    You two are exposing your bias. Suggest you read his comments again. You were obviously inferring things Crean did not say. There was no whining. He never criticized any other head coach. He took responsibility for his team’s losses, straight up.

  29. Podunker, I am not biased toward Crean at all…I have heard the sour grapes time and time again from him…and you should try reading what I said again…I never said he critized another head coach…I said COACHES and in the interview he did criticize other coaches and their demeanor as well as other things in his thinking were not who is biased

  30. Tjay said: “Crean just did more harm to an already earned reputation of a whiner and crybaby who thinks he is above it all. He needs to come back to earth and worry about his own team and assistants. He hasn’t earned the right to admonish other coaches for how they coach THEIR team.”

    The name-calling, aside from being ridiculous, sounds pretty biased to me. What “earned reputation as a whiner”? Never heard anyone call him a whiner before. Who says Crean “thinks he’s above it all?” You’re welcome to your opinions, but those comments clearly exposed your bias.

    Are you an OSU fan? You’re certainly not a Hoosier fan. And by the way, “a whiner and a crybaby” would not have tolerated the mess that Crean inherited or persevered long enough to clean it up and return the IU BB program to relevance. That has not been easy and a man of weak character would have been looking to escape a year ago. He may be many things, but Crean is certainly not a whiner or a crybaby.

    I’m sure, if you try hard, you can do a better job of name-calling and think of one pejorative that is appropriate.

  31. I just wanted to welcome all of the ridiculous UK and OSU fans to our IU board. Apparently, you have nothing better to do than talk s*** over the internet on an opposing teams website. What interesting lives you must all have.

  32. Indiana is truly back. Last year, nobody cared enough to spam our fan blogs. This year, we have a swarm of sour grapes fans who lost to IU coming here to whine and make excuses. The best line here was probably “Indiana didn’t exactly win the (first OSU) game”. Classic. I couldn’t be more happy than to see the pain in the opposing fans who LOST to the big red machine.


    Love it! Bring on the whining and excuses all you buckeyes, wildcats, wolverines, or whatever. By being here, we know that we got under your skin and we gave you the agony of defeat!

  33. I don’t think the Watford shot bothered UK fans one bit. That’s why they are signed on to an IU blog!! I have never ever been to a Uk blog. I live in Kentucky and can assure everyone that loss hurts them every day as bad as it did when it happened. My barber a UK season ticket holder said every other friday is always the worst day of the week for him. That’s when I get my hair cut! Now im sure if UK had a few more losses it wouldn’t matter so much but for their lonesome loss to be against IU kills them. Now to the idiot who said OSU out recruits us every year you are aware that CTC has had recruiting restrictions the past 3 years aren’t you? It’s so great when people bring up the last 3 years at IU. It shows they know what the next 3 years is going to look like!!! #2 recruiting class and returning everyone that matters next season!!!

  34. Tjay it’s pretty easy to tell that you just hate IU. For you to just make up the point about Crean being known as a whiner is something a child would do. Lie to try to prove a point. What an idiot!! Your officially a joke on this blog buddy. Might want to go find another blog and try again!! Unless you want to direct me to any article ever that refers to Crean as a whiner. Didn’t think so.

  35. IU is back! Go Crean! Your right Chet. Ferg really had a good one & ole podunker too. Us Indianans are awesome!!!

  36. I am not the type of person who gets on other teams websites and makes comments. But, I have heard Tom Crean has some type of problem with Thad Matta. Creans comments about certain assistants was another shot at Ohio State that he is becoming famous for making. I think Coach Crean needs to stop worrying about Ohio State. Obviously, Tom Crean has his style of getting things done, and Thad Matta has his way of getting things done. People forget that Thad Mattas first year at Ohio State, the Buckeyes were not elegible for tournament play, did not have a very talented roster, and he still was able to win twenty games and beat Illinois when they were ranked number one in the country. My point is, that Thad Matta is one helluva coach, a tireless recruiter, and a high energy guy. Thad Matta has built Ohio State into a power in the basketball world, even though Ohio State is a football school. Coach Crean, Thad Matta is not a silver spoon coach. I believe that Indiana being relevant again is great for the Big 10. When Ohio State gets beat now, opposing fans rush the court. Thats when you know you are a top 5 program consistently. Indiana is not there yet. I wish Indiana well, but Indiana fans must realize that when you run up against the Buckeyes, their will be more L’s than W’s.

  37. I’m a Buckeye fan, but I still enjoyed Crean’s comments. There’s no question that IU is heading in the right direction, and that makes the B1G conference that much stronger. The great thing about College B-Ball is that everything gets settled in March!

  38. jc – those are interesting and valid opinions. It’s good to see an opposing fan not come on and just throw a couple of stupid and pointless shots out (probably to never be heard from again). I find it interesting that any of these fans, including you, are even on this site and posting comments. I definitely don’t have a problem with it, it’s only validating our relevance.

    I disagree that Crean is becoming “famous” for taking shots at Matta and OSU. Outside of OSU I’m sure that no one is aware of any of this. I have never heard of it in the past and I’m an IU fan, which tells me two things… 1) IU wasn’t relevant enough for the story to get picked up; and 2) OSU fans are simply over-sensitive to the remarks.

    The only 3 things that Crean is famous for are taking DWade to the Final Four, marrying a Harbaugh, and bringing the IU program back to life. He may become somewhat famous for his religion in the future, but IU will have to reach even greater heights for the larger population to pay attention to that.

    I don’t think you’ll find many Hoosier fans that will debate you that Matta isn’t a talented coach or recruiter. Of course every site has its morons… However, Matta certainly didn’t inherit the mess that Crean did. It’s not even close.

    OSU is certainly a better program than IU right now, but that is beginning to balance out. I think we are only 2 yrs away from that advantage being completely nullified. Crean has done a great job of regaining the recruiting reigns in Indiana. I’m sure Matta will still be able to come over and grab a top prospect from time to time. But the days of him getting his pick are over. That in itself will even out the playing field going forward.

    By the way, OSU has exactly ZERO recruits signed for 2012! They offered scholarships to EIGHT 4 & 5 start recruits, but 6 decided to go to other schools leaving only two 4-star guys undecided. Meanwhile IU has a top 5 class that includes a top PG, SF, and PF and also a SG and 7′ athletic C. That’s a quality recruit at every position if you’re paying attention. I wonder why so many top recruits turned down OSU and so many signed with IU? Interesting…

    I certainly agree that OSU is the superior team this year – in my opinion the best team in the country, and I have stated that more than once on this site over the last couple months – but that last sentence you wrote has a very short shelf life, so enjoy this while you can. Soon enough you and other OSU fans will have to realize that IU will be beating you consistently.

  39. jc, I mostly agree with what you say as far as Thad Matta being a good coach and Ohio State being a good team right now. I don’t know anything about the history between Crean and Matta, if there is any. However, you did exaggerate a bit as I would expect any fan to do:

    It may be premature to say Ohio State is consistently a “top 5” team, esp. since they aren’t top 5 right now. I believe the only recent year they finished ranked top 5 was last year. And some fans may storm the floor when OSU is defeated but IU fans did not. This is all a matter of perspective… what do you call “consistently”? OSU fans would love to focus on the last 3 years only, whereas IU fans would love to forget the last 3 years.

    If you look at the last 50 years, Ohio State would not make the cut of Top 5 basketball schools, but IU would.

    True, we’ve had more L’s than W’s lately vs OSU, but going forward I like our chances to have a winning record against any team!

  40. I don’t know of a contentious history between Crean and Matta but it does seems as though there is an unusual fondness for CTC in the coaching community. I have rarely heard as many coaches saying as many nice things about a peer as opposing coaches seem to bestow on ‘Tommy’, as they usually refer to him.

    Matta is a great coach and recruiter but, for whatever reason, he doesn’t seem to elicit the same type of warm fuzzies, and that could simply be a result of his success.

  41. I’m an Ohio State guy, but love Indiana basketball. Thad Matta has stated publicly that IU’s resurgence is good for everybody in the Big10. He’s right. Winning in a mediocre conference is no great honor. In Ohio we want the Big10 and Indiana to play great basketball. Geoff is right that you’re very good now and you’ll be terrific in a couple of years.

    So why is Tom Crean angry about Ohio Styate assistant coaches? What did they ever do to him? Greg Paulus is the video tape guy — it’s a stretch even calling him a coach. On our site, we assumed Crean was pissed at Jeff Boals, Matta’s #2. But again, why?

    Woody Hayes always said that a getting your butt whipped was a good thing. Keeps you humble and focussed. But when Crean loses, he takes out after assistant coaches? WTF? Chill-ax, Hoosiers. You’re back and we’re all glad.

  42. I’m guessing we’ll never know and he may, or may not, have a good reason to dislike someone on their bench.

    Just have to wait and see.

  43. Original Geoff: you snide little comment about OSU 2012 recruiting is intentionally skewed. You’re obviously a smart guy, so you must know better. Ohio State is packed with Freshmen and Sophomores, and has only one senior, which you surely know. There simply is no room for a big recruiting class. Congrats to IU for putting one together this year. But implying that recruiting at Ohio State is off this year is an ignorant position, and you don’t seem like an ignorant guy to me. So I can only assume you’re spinning a disingenuous tale, as homers invariably do.

  44. According to Scout, there is only one commit (verbal or signed) to OSU for the next 4 classes. It’s true they are loaded with freshmen and sophomores today, but they will lose 2 this year at a minimum (Buford, Sullinger), and at least 2 the next year.

    On the other hand, there are 10 commits to IU right now. I’m just saying…

    Admit it, we’re all homers anyway.

  45. Yeah there was a little spin and snide-ness there, but there is also some fact…

    The fact is that Matta offered scholarships to 8 prospects:
    DeJuan Coleman (#14) – chose Syracuse
    Daniel House (#15) – Houston
    Rodney Purvis (#16) – NC State
    Amile Jefferson (#24) – undecided
    Brice Johnson (#25) – UNC
    Tony Parker (#31) – undecided
    Adam Woodbury (#41) – Iowa
    Joel James (#57) – UNC

    That’s a pretty aggressive recruiting list for a team not trying to fill spots. Listen they have Buford leaving and Sullinger who almost certainly will too, they are trying to replace a lot of talent, so I don’t buy that they weren’t being aggressive on the recruiting trail. For all we know Thomas may be heading toward the draft as well… Do you really believe that Smith, Craft, Weatherspoon, Ross, and Scott are going to lead you to a Big Ten championship or a Final Four?

    If OSU isn’t trying to fill those spots they arent showing the type of preparation that will keep them at the top of the B1G…

  46. I would guess that Crean was not too happy to have lost a star Indiana High School player to Ohio State. Maybe, (I’m just speculating here) he was not too happy with certain comments/recruiting tactics used to sign that High School player at the expense of his team, especially if they were denigrating to Crean, his staff, or IU BB in general.

    Bob Knight used to discuss the crooked tactics used by opposing coaches quite often. I don’t recall him ever naming names or getting too specific, but of course his comments were directed at college BB insiders who knew what and who he was referring to.

    It’s a mute point for next year’s class, since IU’s class of 2012 is loaded. And given that momentum, it looks like IU will be getting the players they desire for years to come. Win a Big Ten Championship, take your team to the final four, and continue to be ranked in the top ten and Crean won’t have to worry about the recruiting tactics of opposing coaches or assistant coaches.

  47. Darn, I did it again. I will now have to write moot on the blackboard 1,000 times.

    “I used to think I was perfect, but I was mistaken.”

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