Over at Assembly Hall

New Indiana coach Tom Crean met with reporters again today, this time sitting down for televised interviews (including one with the H-T). As he discussed the big ideas behind rebuilding Indiana, the process of doing just that took place all around him.

On the court below (he was being filmed at the top of the North stands at Assembly Hall) several players went through conditioning workouts with strength coach Jeff Watkinson. Brandon McGee, Kyle Taber, Brett Finkelmeier and Jordan Crawford were all there. They started by shooting around for a bit before shifting to agility drills.

Eric Gordon and Lance Stemler also worked out with Watkinson, and D.J. White strolled through the building a little bit later, presumably to get some shots off in preparation for his upcoming NBA evaluations.

Two of the new assistant coaches were also in the Hall, getting adjusted to their new jobs. Tim Buckley, who was the head coach at Ball State and an assistant to Steve Alford at Iowa, is following Crean from Marquette. He left the building in mid-afternoon with Jeff Meyer, a Sampson assistant whose job status is unclear.

Meanwhile, Bennie Seltzer had a 20-minute conversation with Armon Bassett, the point guard who is still trying to work his way back onto the team after being kicked off by Dan Dakich. Bassett was very loyal to Sampson; Seltzer has a long history with Sampson. He played for him at Washington State, then coached with him for nine years at Oklahoma. When Sampson came to IU, Seltzer went to Marquette. Now, two years later and after so much trouble for his mentor, Seltzer finds himself in Bloomington.

Crean has not said what, if anything, Bassett could do to rejoin the team. But obviously, the two sides are having discussion and there seems to be a possibility that something will be resolved soon.


  1. Thanks Chris, great info. Obviously its early, but do you think Tom will let you guys watch practices on occasion? I hope so.

  2. I believe that TC has the perfect attitude and perspective for the job, therefore, whatever he determines is best, I’m OK with.
    My first thought is, make grades this semester and then we can talk. No need to let them back on the team just to be on academic probation. Let them goof off someplace else.

  3. As an I.U. fan for decades – as opposed to a few seasons – I’m looking forward to the rebuilding of a basketball “program” here at Indiana University. That means more than racking up wins next season at the risk of compromising the overall bigger picture.

    One of the first errors Crean might make (IMO) is to reinstate Ellis and/or Bassett. These two have already been given chances to change courses in their attitudes and behavior while playing for the Cream and Crimson. They blew previous second chances. They have shown themselves and shown their inability to overcome pressure.

    Some argue that these fine young men need to be given more chances due to their age and their impetuous behavior following the turmoil of the Sampson debacle. I disagree. They had before them one of the finest examples of hard work and decency and total “class” in their senior team leader, DJ White. In spite of this, they chose to walk a separate path. DJ White is the type of player who any coach in the nation would embrace and feel lucky to have on the roster. DJ could easily play for Tom Crean because DJ prioritizes team and attitude and effort. These other two did not, and most likely will not change themselves.

  4. Has there been any mention or sightings of Deandre Thomas? We have heard all the other team members talked about but nothing about him. Is he still on the team and attending these workouts? I agree with KO, tell the players there will be no decision or futher discusion until the end of the semester and they will need to bring their grade report with them to that meeting. If they have not been going to class since this all started then their grades will reflect that and they can go to a school that allows that. Seems Memphis is going to have some slots.

  5. Coach Crean continues to amaze with his ability to operate under the lingering sanctions. He’s constantly visible in the media with appearances at the Obama fundraiser, Pacer game, on campus and in film clips with banners in the background, etc. It appears that he may even bring in an assistant coach who trained under Coach Sampson for a dozen years who will be able to connect easily with many of the players remaining on the roster. The program may be down for a couple of years, but even this may have a silver lining as it likely will weed out many of the non-graduate “supporters” who don’t care about the reputation of Indiana University, but rather “adopted” IU only so they could claim to back a team with a winning record.

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