Crean: Players didn’t need reminders of what went wrong Tuesday

Anyone who watched Tom Crean’s post-game press conference chiding of his players on Tuesday night after Indiana’s 69-52 loss to Syracuse and expected the berating to continue throughout the week up until Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. game against North Florida was apparently mistaken.

Crean said the attitudes of his players at practice made it clear they got the message, and they didn’t need to be reminded of everything that went wrong.

“You can just read it in people,” Crean said. “They’re ready to go. There’s not a great deal of experience here, but there’s a lot of hunger. When you’ve got a group of guys that are hungry, they want to get right back at it. I don’t think there’s any question about that. The other night was a lot of things for us, but at the end of the day, it was the first true road game and in the second half, we played like that. Now, it’s just a matter of really moving forward from it and being that much better after going through it the next time we’re being faced with that situation.” 

And getting better from that, he said, means getting better at communication and through that collective leadership. That is where there were the greatest breakdowns in Tuesday’s game.

“I think the bottom line is ongoing communication,” Crean said. “What happens, and every team goes through it, and this was the first time for this team to go through it. We got down, we were making mistakes with the ball, we weren’t making shots because we got away from what was working. It was tied at 33 and we took a couple of 3’s that we didn’t need at that point, we didn’t get back the way we needed to, we didn’t start the second half with the energy and communication like I said the other night that it needed to be. Really, you have high expectations for the upperclassmen, the ones who have been through it, there’s no doubt about that. But it’s far more than just being on one or two people. The communication is on all five on the floor. We’ve gotta stay true to that and we’ve gotta play lineups that are going to bring that defensive energy and defensive alertness.”

It is especially important for this game, Crean said. Indiana is a 20-plus point favorite over North Florida and the Hoosiers will certainly have a significant advantage in terms of length and athleticism over the Ospreys. Still, the Hoosiers can get something out of the game because of the challenges that North Florida’s offense will present.

“They get great movement,” Crean said. “I think you can’t spend so much time on this team with all of their different sets and actions. This will be a great experience for these guys of really grasping, there’s a lot of concepts we’ve gotta be attached to here. If we try to overwhelm them that we’ve gotta know these three plays and these five actions here and all of that that’s gonna be too much right now, too much for these guys. But concept wise, it’s very important that we understand their spacing, it’s very important that we know their shooters, it’s very important that we understand what we want to do in the ball screen coverages. Transition defense is going to be paramount.”

The Ospreys are 5-5 so far with losses at Florida, Ohio State and Alabama. Senior forward Travis Wallace leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 12.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Point guard Dallas Moore averages 10.3 points per game and 6-foot-8 shooting guard Beau Beech is averaging 9.2 points per game and has 18 3-pointers so far.

“They’ve played in a lot of big games,” Crean said. “They’ve had a lot of experience being in some tough environments. … We’re not trying to inundate, but at the same time, guys are learning there’s a lot that goes into these games.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Evan Gordon, Troy Williams

7 comments

  1. You have a PG and a senior who have played a ton,but the results against SU were the same!One has more TO than assists and the other has no rebounds!
    So now after the second time of getting they butts kick,you get from the coach”you can just read in people”. WHAT did he read before the game with SU ?
    Hoosier Bob

  2. So this team is not good enough to beat the #4 or the #12 team in the country…yet. This is NOT news to any knowledgeable IU Fan. There is much work to do and plenty of season to do it in. More importantly we have great young talent to develop. The two big criticisms are 1) inexperience-which will be solved by playing through this season, and 2) no outside shooting- which has been fully addressed by the recruiting class of 2014. The first half was actually pretty good basketball by IU. This young team fought back from an 0-10 start to take a 1 point lead, on the road, against a top 4 team, in front of 27,000 plus crazy fans. The last 17 minutes of the 2nd half was disappointing. I agree. But what is the source of the anger against the players and the Coach and where does it come from? Cheer these guys to victory and dampen the condemnations!

  3. This will be a season of learning and trying. This season we may well lose to who we were supposed to lose to, and win against those we were supposed to win.

    As said above, we have great talent to develop. It is what it is. A season of learning.

  4. IU to be a top 1 to 5 program in the country should very seldom be in these situations….there should always be a shooter on the team and much talent….as KY, Duke, NC, Kansas, Louisville.

  5. I was pretty proud we held par the first half against the 4th ranked team in the nation. Obviously experience and leadership are going to take over at some point, that is the nature of college basketball. Go Hoosiers!

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