Once more on the radio

Time to wrap it up.

Crean’s appreciative of the fans, he says. It’s been a great place to live and work. And walking out into Assembly Hall, with all of those fans, still gets to him.

Fischer says he speaks for everyone who cares about IU basketball when he says: Thank you for everything you’ve done for Indiana basketball.

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Next question: Will Crean redshirt players next year, specifically any from this year?

Crean says it’s not just up to the coach. The player and his parents have to be involved int the decision, too.

Tom Crean literally is signing autographs while he speaks. He is unstoppable. He’s also had 34 Cokes in the last four minutes.

Oh, right. Question: Which freshmen (from this year, so sophomores-to-be) are you excited about?

Crean, as he usually does, stays way from pointing to just one player. He’s excited about all of them, and about the competition getting better and helping them all develop.

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Crean will host camps this summer. He had to arrange them quickly last year. This year, there was more planning. So Crean is excited.

Ronnie on the phone line. He’s lost his eyesight a bit, so he wants Crean to run down the size of the incoming recruits and what he looks for. Crean wants a center, a group of really talented and versatile forwards to mix in at the 4, 3 or even 2 and some guards who can do a variety of things.

To Rob: He wants to know why Memphis is such a popular place for top recruits.

Crean thinks they have a great coach. John Calipari is a great coach.

But the way Crean sells his program is that the three best players in the NBA are LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. And only one of them went to college. And only one of them was coached by Tom Crean.

And Crean sells the fan support and the prestige and the history and all of that stuff, too.

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To callers….

A little difficult to here. But a Bloomington guy is saying that he’s been watching IU basketball for 30 years, and this season was the most fun he’s had. In general, this guys is proud of Crean, the other coaches and the players.

Next question: Has this been the toughest year of coaching you’ve ever had.

Every year has been challenging he said. First, he had to fit his system around the personnel. Then, he had to push for improvement. And, he exercised a lot. That helped him mentally, he said.

He learned a lot. All the coaches did. All the players did.

By the way, the players will be back after spring break and they’ll start off-season workouts.

Mike from Evansville wants to know if Crean will recruit one-and-dones, or mostly four-year guys.

Crean thinks there’s gotta be a mix. It’s not about when they leave, he says, it’s about what their mindset is when they come in. What hurts a team is when a player comes in and thinks he’s going to leave in a hear or two and never “locks in” on getting better and helping his college team.

So he doesn’t want guys who have made up their minds. But he does think you need to sign players who are going to be pros if you want to win national titles.

Of the six recruits who signed for 2009, only Jordan Hulls and Bawa Muniru are still playing.

Crean is impressed with the way Hulls ran his team Saturday during the regionals. The way he didn’t force things and helped his teammates.

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Now discussing the NCAA Tournament: Crean’s saying it is only natural for a coach to want more teams from his conference to get in. It’s just natural. He thinks seven getting in from the Big Ten is fine and said it could have been more. Pundits — including Bob Knight — have said too many Big Ten teams made the field.

Fischer wants to know who is playing the best coming out of the Big Ten right now. He picks Ohio State, a team he’s been saying all along would be dangerous this time of year. The Buckeyes don’t have a ton of depth, he says. But they have the talent to make a run.

Crean was surprised that the Big East got three No. 1 seeds, because of how well Memphis has played all year. But not totally surprised, because of the way Pitt, UConn and Louisville matured late in the season.

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Crean though the Hoosiers improved throughout the entire season. Just look at the stats, he says. Verdell Jones would be a top seven or eight scorer in the conference if you looked at the stats since Feb. 1.

He can’t help but think what would happen if Pritchard, Jones and Dumes were all hitting.

Crean regrets that last year he didn’t get to really tell his Marquette team how much they meant to him last year right after the final game. He figured he would be around; the Indiana deal happened quickly and he was left to say a quick goodbye.

Though he knows he’ll be at IU for years to come, he made sure to let his players this year know they meant a lot to him. Especially Kyle Taber.

His communications skills — and not to mention his game –  improved as the year went on. And Crean thinks Taber could parlay that into speaking appearances. “He’s got an interesting story to tell,” Crean says.

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This group, meaning the team, says Don Fischer, has reestablished the tradition and culture of Indiana basketball. Frankly, he says, that’s the most important thing that could happen this year.

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Whoops. I wasn’t supposed to tell my friends about the dessert deal. So, strike that. Do not come here and try to get free dessert. Do not.

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Incredible. Tom Crean is buy dessert for everyone tonight. I have ordered an entire cake. Also, I’ve declared beer a dessert.

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Women’s coach Felisha Legette-Jack has finished her segment of the show. She sounded hopeful that her team would be included in the NCAA Tournament Field. But either way, she said, the program moved forward this year.

Tom Crean is here.

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The smoke is in my eyes.

And it’s not as cool as the saying makes it seem like it might be.

Not sure why — maybe Tom Crean is maniacally manning the grill and cooking 57 cheeseburgers at once — but the entirety of Coaches is filled with smoke as a packed house awaits women’s basketball coach Felisha Legette-Jack’s radio show. As I understand it, she’ll have her show at 6:30 and then her and her team will watch the NCAA announcement here while Crean hosts his show.

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Indiana coach Tom Crean and radio voice Don Fischer will broadcast live from Coaches Bar and Grill in downtown Bloomington tonight. Should start around 7 p.m.

Since there’s no streaming of the show, and since I’ll be there anyway, I will also provide updates here.