Tom Crean Q&A: “It’s going to be extremely competitive” #iubb

Entering his ninth season as Indiana basketball coach, Tom Crean is overseeing a team that has the potential to be IU’s deepest and most balanced in recent memory.

The Hoosier coach sat down with The Herald-Times’ Mike Miller this week for an exclusive interview about his team’s upside and how the pieces are coming together.

What follows is a lightly edited transcript from that interview.

Q: How do the returning players view the incoming class, and vice versa? When you’re coming off a championship season, what’s the process for getting both groups to mesh?

A: I think in the two weeks that they’ve been here, it’s been an excellent fit because the one thing that stands out about the three freshmen is how competitive they are. They are not afraid and they’ve prepared themselves pretty well for this. Be it Grant Gelon coming in squatting 245 pounds the first time, which no one saw coming, or how competitive Curtis (Jones) and Devonte (Green) are. Those guys probably think they’re trying to keep up, but at the same time, they’re stepping in because of their competitiveness and because of their determination in standing out. That’s a good thing. Everything that I’ve seen has been a very good mesh. That’s been strong. We have a really good group of guys that spend a lot of time in the gym and these three have done the same thing. I think the bonds get built, not only going through the hard times of workouts and the sand pit and being over at Mellencamp or the weight room, but they really come together in the time they spend in the gym, or the locker room and then eventually away from here. It’s been good.

Q: How much is junior college transfer Freddie McSwain hurt by not being able to be here until August?

A: It’s a hindrance to his development here, it’s a hindrance for us getting his skills right, but at the same time, he’s showing a great determination because he could have signed with other schools and not have had to take this math class. But we require it and it was important for him to come to Indiana in his mind, and he’s taking this on as a great challenge. So we go to see him. Rob Judson has been to see him twice. We can’t see him play or workout and things like that, but to go to check on him and make sure he feels a part of it. That’s the same thing with De’Ron (Davis). De’Ron has got to get some academic work done and he’s doing it, and he’s doing well with it. I think if there’s anything that’s changing in college basketball and college sports in general it’s that everything is changing, so you better be fluid. It’s only going to change more. If you are rigid, regimented and can’t deal with change, you’re gonna struggle at coaching and you’re gonna struggle running a program. This is just part of it. I think the whole key becomes clear communication, staying in touch and making sure that we’re all trying to follow a plan that we have.

For the full Q&A with Tom Crean, visit


  1. blah…..blah….and more blah. I wish this man would have to be evaluated at a “very competitive” coaching combine. Recruits “earning”or “winning out” their minutes/starting positions is not the problem.
    Their so-called “competitiveness” will always have a head smashed into Glass when it finds Crean’s very low ceiling.

  2. Somewhere over the Rainbow…to many 2 and 3 star recruits; some who score a couple points, pass for an assist, and crab a rebound in an all star game demonstrate their very tough competiveness in the hallowed halls of assembly hall to prove they belong in the mid major college arena. Hail to the glory of the Branch McCracken ghost and the house that Knight built.

  3. t- I like when you bring out your poetic voice…

    Even more criminal is that “the house that Knight built” is going to be renamed for the daughter of a billionaire’s remodeling contribution rather than after the name of the man that truly put IU basketball on the world stage. I suppose it would have severely damaged Crean’s soft ego if Assembly had any name honoring a man who looks at InTompetent in this manner.

  4. And I don’t think it’s a stretch to claim Knight has not had his accomplishment appropriately recognized/honored by means of a dedication for an entrance pavilion, center court signature recognition, or any other of the many means to place his name on signage or building….is because he has not kissed the butt of the current coach or AD.

    They are so thin-skinned as to not honor him because he will not attend any anniversary ceremony? Many talk of Knights sad ego…? Is the ego no less sad when it requires your name put on a building because you donated cash? Just think of all the anonymous donors to institutions who don’t require their names plastered on buildings…? These whiners and crybabies need to really get over themselves and honor Knight no matter the feelings of the insecure and basketball challenged now in charge.

  5. Mike..Had to buy a paper, but this was a good read. Did not realize the scope of injuries affecting practice. Interesting approach evaluating potential new guys.

    Knight…Who cares? Obviously not him. They have a couple of construction out-houses near the front entrance. Guess we could ‘Knight’ one of them. He could care less.

  6. Yep i called u hater cuz thats what u are u babbling about coaching combines when a team picked to be 9th won the big ten outright that was a great coaching job get over the fact that he aint bob knight and for people like u it will never be good enough and thats sad move on my man life is too short

  7. The out-houses should definitely be “knighted” in Crean’s honor. He is the crappiest X’s and O’s coach to ever dump his stools near Assembly. We should save one for his coaching box.

  8. Picked to be 9th with that schedule? Mother Teresa without prayers at halftime could have coached the Hoosiers to a BIG title with Crean’s scheduling gift from Delany softer than Charmin. Why should I be surprised that the Establishment sportsdopes of ESPN would predict a lowly result for Crean? They wanted him to look like a miracle worker while fully knowing how sad and ridiculous his easy conference schedule.

  9. Have a great 4th, Jeremy. You da man.

    p.s. My old computer’s motherboard fried. I have to use a little piece of crap from a company that rhymes with Snapple…Lost all my software to do the doctored images the old school way. Unless someone would like to start a ‘GoFundHarvard’ a rebuilt 2007 Compaq Presario V6000, any new creations are not to be…..This situation has left me very broken.

  10. Ron-

    You have a great sense of humor….Are you the Easy Rider ‘Ron’ of Martinsville that used to like the t-shirt girl ad that occasionally popped up on Scoop? Knighting an out-house was very funny. Because of such easygoing sense of humor, you have been awarded a prize.

  11. Morning Harvard. ‘Easy Rider’? Not so easy anymore. Seems after 70 it’s not so easy anymore. Still was able to put 4500 miles on the bike visiting Florida last month. Camped for 20 day . Kayaked the St. John river and a week in the Everglades kayaking the 10 thousand island area. Met grandkid #10.

    ‘T-Shirt girl’? Thanks for my prize. I had to hit South Beach and see the latest/greatest breakthroughs in surgical intervention. Than to visit Canaveral National Seashore where clothing is optional – actually clothing is frowned on – where you see (I mean really see) normal people w/out the enhancements, many would look better with the t-shirt. Did meet an interesting lady from Bloomington (thanks to my IU hat – felt like I had to wear something). It is a much different world from Martinsville.

    I see you are keeping the site alive until football/basketball takes over.

  12. Ron, some of the biggest gators I have ever seen were in the St.Johns river near Lake Poinsett. I’m talking 14 footers! You lucked out there.

  13. Regardless of err’s, emotional wrongs, here say and hay day, the facts ARE (wins vs. losses; statistics as in rebounds, assists, field goal percentage, free throws, steals, points per game allowed, turn overs, points off turnovers, mental and physical toughness, = defense and offense efficiency = big ten championships, national championships, NIT championships, other tournament championships, Olympic gold medal, players fans could be proud , sold out assembly hall and heightened attendance at away games, big ten and national coach of the years, writer and speaker = ASSEMBLY HALL IS THE HOUSE THAT KNIGHT BUILT.

  14. I also might add Knight as a character and entertainer that some just did not appreciate that led to his demise with IU basketball program.

  15. RAM, lived in sw Florida many yrs. Gator awareness with #1 Goal being don’t fall out of the kayak. It was the increased bear activity in the area that was my main concern.

    t, I agree, just saying naming something after him would be a lost cause. Can imagine him publicly demanding whatever action was taken be reversed. Maybe when he is no longer alive?. Yet I would not rule out his will demanding no connection with IU in any way. Sad, but that is the way it is.

  16. Wow u people seriously need to stop livin in the past man knight hasnt coached in 16 years this is sad and funny at the same damn time

  17. Ron, yes I agree. I lived across the street from the Banana River. Every time I went out at night I turned on all of the outside lights and looked under my car.

  18. Ron- Dare I try to find your first post on Scoop showing great admiration for “t-shirt” girl? I could have sworn it was you…..

    Wonderful that you are so adventurous. I’ve gone kayaking a couple of times….One trip was on a very tame river/stream in upper Michigan….The other trip was on a lake bordering the Gran Teton’s….(coincidentally, a great place to kayak with t-shirt girl).
    Anyway, both trips were sort of disastrous…..My wife got her kayak turned sideways and got stuck at the entrance of a drainage pipe(the pipe went under a road….Kayakers were supposed to paddle straight through the very large pipe…My daughter went through the pipe fine….I went through the pipe fine….Once on the other side, we expected to see ‘mom’ paddle on through. Her kayak was wedged perpendicular against the tunnel/drainage pipe and leaning quite drastically. She nearly drown in three feet of water barely moving faster than a bathtub swirl….The rest of the river trip was much better….Many overhanging branches with an abundance of spiderwebs..Somehow she kept finding the shoreline and the branches…She has a horrible fear of spiders….

    Teton lake had its own interesting mishaps….I paddled us out beyond the markers we weren’t supposed to go beyond….The lake got very rough. We panicked our way to tiny island…I was scolded upon return to the rental facility.

    Always wanted to learn motorcycling…Never happened. Love the Triumph Bonneville bikes. I have located your ultimate kayaking trip.

  19. Living in the past is sad because it diminishes the present. But it is the only thing some folks have left.

    One version of the golden rule is that the one who donates the money makes the rules (as to naming rights). Been that way for a long time. Not going to change any time soon.

    Reconciliation and reunion with Knight have been attempted on numerous occasions, and those efforts have been ignored or rebuffed. No former player, coach, alumni, professor or administrator, no matter their accomplishments, is bigger than the University. It’s time that all Hoosier fans acknowledge the sincere attempts have been made and ignored, and that it is long past time to stop, and move on with focus on the present and future.

  20. Sure…Like admiring Dean Smith…or Muhammad Ali….or Rod Laver…or Ernie Banks…..or any of the truly iconic figures in professional or college sports is living in the past? I guess honoring our independence and those who secured our freedoms is also living in the past. What is saddest of all are those that choose to think its “uncool” to acknowledge and give thanks to anything other than the mirror of their own day.

    When Crean’s twitter was active, he put nearly as many Knight references as he did his obsessions with Joyce Meyer. He’s chased him around directly and in roundabout fashion(multiple concocted reunions, quotes etc) more than any of his former players that actually knew him.
    Knight has never answered Crean or Glass in any form….Because Knight has not validated or acknowledged the twits who want to prop themselves up via Knight’s accomplishments is why the current bozos in charge refuse to place any formal dedication upon a center court or stadium name in his honor.

  21. Although…I must admit that Knight has completely lost his mind….by moving himself into the “present” sphere to endorse a bigot of America’s “past” in the “golden rules” of Trump.

  22. I also understand that Trump is now going after a Ditka endorsement….Lord almighty.. Walls, Bible, Knight, and Ditka….This guy is Crean on steroids.d

    IU should have a Trump Day at halftime for our football home opener. We can finally fill the place and get Bobby to show up for Clown Creepy.

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