The Tom Crean Show

Read through this rambling post for Crean’s thoughts on recruiting and other matters.

Oh, and for some thoughts from Calbert Cheaney and Chris Reynolds, who were the guest stars of the show.

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A nice moment here. Cheaney is saying that he doesn’t have individual memories form his career. It was all about team. There’s silence here as the fans listen to him.

“It’s about 12 and 15 players fighting out there for the same thing,” he says.

Crean’s thought on Michigan: it is one of the most dangerous teams in the country, both on offense and defense.

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Frank wants to know if Daniel Moore turning the ball over late in the Iowa game was an acceptable mistake or something the team should have executed better.

Crean says that Iowa played it pretty well and there wasn’t anything open.

We’re back to discussing intensity. Fischer asks the fellas if they played with different intensity levels in different games.

They say they had the same intensity in every game. (As if they’d admit to otherwise.)

A dude from Indy wants to know why Tijan Jobe isn’t playing more.

Apparently, this is what Crean’s wife has been saying to him, too.

“Really with Tijan it’s a situation where he’s got to be more consistent with what we need in practice,” Crean says.

He needs to rebound and defend the center position well if he’s going to play.

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Let’s go to questions.

Or not. Fischer faked me out.

He’s explaining to the fans here that Chris Reynolds is tied with 10 or 11 other guys tied for the best field goal percentage in a single game. He hit 7-of-7 in one game.

A local fan wants to know how important it is for Crean to get out to high school games.

He says it’s pretty important. “Never at the expense of the current team, though.”

Crean will go recruiting tomorrow after practice. He says Indiana’s behind with many of the young players. But he also says that he and his staff can’t rush to recruit kids; they need to be convinced that a kid can help them before they really recruit him.

Reynolds says that it was important to see coaches at practices when he was in high school. “You know they care about you,” he says. Cheaney agrees.

Cheaney apparently wasn’t recruited until late (you all probably knew that already.)

Crean doesn’t make it to a lot of high school practices right now because of his team’s schedule. But they’ll start practicing at 12:30 in the second semester, which should give him more time.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Crean tries to see the kids he’s recruiting do three things.

1. Play a rival.

2. Play in a game his team should win easily.

(He’d like one of the above two to be a road game).

3. See a practice.

He wants to see them have the same energy and intensity at each of those events.

“If you don’t play hard in every game, the rivalry games never become rivalry games,” he says.

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Reynolds and Cheaney at the table.

Fisch introduces Calbert as the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer. The crowd applauds. Chris Engel take s a victorious bite of his hamburger. Everyone here is fired up.

Crean is saying it’s a big deal to have these guys around. Cheaney will be here all week hanging with the team. Reynolds is around all the time and is a motivational figure for the Hoosiers.

Cheaney is living in Maryland, being a father. That’s his focus. He says he could have played a few more years in the NBA but decided that his family was his priority. He may get into coaching eventually.

Calbert’s perspective on this team: “They play very hard.”

He’s been to a few practices now. “It’s very, very intense.”

Cheaney, apparently, is allowed to practice with the Hoosiers. Interesting. I guess Crean has convinced him to do it yet. Reynolds keeps showing up at practice in his sweater vest and ties, much to Crean’s chagrin.

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Nick Williams stood out to Don Fischer with his play during the Iowa game.

Tom Crean says Nick Williams has been practice hard lately, and is learning to get open for his mid-range shot. Several times against the Hawkeyes, he dribbled one or two steps and then shot. It opened things up.

Dumes, Fisch and Crean agree, is the best defensive player on the team right now. He gets the toughest assignments. Dumes fouled out against Iowa, and Crean said he scratched his head at some of those calls. And that you can’t fault a guy for playing aggressively.

Crean is praising the fans for understanding that his young players are in an unusual situation. “Most of these guys would be candidates for redshirts in usual years,” he says. But they’re playing so many minutes now and being relied on so heavily now that they can’t be pulled along like they would in many years.

Now to John Harbaugh, his brother in law and the coach of the victorious Ravens. One of Crean’s best days of last year was when he was in the locker room after the Ravens lost at Indianapolis, a game that helped Baltimore turn the season around. Crean also enjoyed being with Jim Harbaugh, the Stanford coach, when the Cardinal were playing at Notre Dame.

Chris and Cal after this break.

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Let’s talk about last week, Fischer suggests.

“Our practices have to continue to make strides as we try to continue to improve,” Crean says.

He’s emphasizing — as he has at every turn recently — that the players must “make it personal” with each other and “be combative” and “go at each other.” This is really his biggest kick right now.

“Your practices just can’t be for the faint-hearted,” he says.

Crean now quotes one of his mentors, former Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote, who liked to say “Well, we weren’t good today; good thing the game isn’t today.” With a veteran team, that saying works. With this young one, it doesn’t.

It’s still learning to despise losing the way it needs to, Crean says.

When asked what he was most pleased about after the Iowa game, Crean says that it was his team’s devotion to the game plan. And his players’ resiliancy.

Some of Indiana’s most-used offensive actions against Iowa, Crean says, were things he put in that week. So the team is learning to learn fast.

But the key for the Hoosiers, he says, is always playing through the post. “We’re not a great driving basketball team right now,” he says.

Oh, and there will be some special guests on the show tonight: former players Chris Reynolds and Calbert Cheaney.

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As per usual, Don Fischer is taking us through the last week. He says the fight the Hoosiers showed against Iowa proved they are progressing.

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Tom Crean’s here. Show should begin momentarily.

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It’s tonight. At 7 p.m. You can watch it live at Coaches Bar and Grill in downtown Bloomington, or hear it on the IU radio network or follow it here.

9 comments

  1. Just a random comment: Big Ten football is pathetic! Only 1 bowl victory! Question: why would any top recruit want to attend OSU? Sure, they’ll make it to a bowl game every year, but then there is the inevitable ‘big game choke’. Why not attend a program like Indiana – at least you might realize the glory of resurrecting a program and be immortalized forever. At OSU, you’ll just be another ‘also ran’. Gainer: good luck at MSU, they simple don’t measure up to the hype. Watkins: Minnesota, really? Enough said!

  2. Dont agree. Have you been to OSU? Seen the amazing facilities and tradition? The fan base? I can go on and on. What IU has going on with the program and the zero hope Lynch, it’s a no brainer that any talent will go to OSU if they have an offer.

  3. Instead of random comments, why not work, hope and pray, that IU can begin moving in the direction of the OSU program? It’s so easy to critize but I have never read a single constructive comment here.
    Is Lynch up to the job, it is my opinion that no one really knows. He apparently can recruit a little. With a new AD, new basketball coach and a second year FB coach, this is a problem. Continuity is a real problem, whether any of you want to to believe it, or not. Anyone can point fingers at Brand, Davis, Sampson and whoever, why doesn’t someone come up with some constructive criticism? Perhaps all the people posting on here should provide five suggestions to improve the athletic department at IU (without firing anyone). My guess would be that there won’t be any responses!

  4. The AD as a department is paid big money to get it right. Don’t expect us to do their job. We are fans, outsiders that are allowed to critique every step these public employees make.

  5. I hate to ask a really dumb quesion, but where are the shows taped??

    I’d like to take in a couple this season…

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