Crean: Everybody has to step up

Tom Crean reiterated at Wednesday’s media availability that Maurice Creek’s surgery went well. He said the freshman guard will not return to the team for a few days, and will not be present at Thursday’s game against Michigan. When asked specifically what bone Creek broke, Crean said he didn’t think he could do that because of privacy laws.

As for how to replace Creek, Crean used the “What to say when you have an injured player,” handbook. There was no discussion of who would start in his place, and Crean once again said that the the burden of making up for Creek’s absence would fall on the entire team.

“The whole team just has to get better,” Crean said. “I think if we look at it like we have to replace one guy, there’s not one guy that’s going to make up 18 points. There’s just not. And there’s not one guy that’s going to make up for that athleticism and that ability to create havoc, especially when his instincts take over defensively. It’s got to be a team-wide, everybody-get-better-because-they need to, but everybody bring a few different things because they have to. That’s what our focus is. Our focus is not going out for practice, ‘OK, Maurice did these things, now you’ve got to do that or you have to do this.’ It’s really continuing to stay with the whole developmental process of this program.”

Crean then reiterated that he had not impressed upon any of his players that they have to change their game in the wake of Creek’s absence.

“I think everybody has really got to continue to stay on the improvement side of it,” Crean said. “I think those things will work themselves out as the games go on. I certainly have not walked out there and said, ‘Ok, you have to take six more shots a game. You have to take seven.’ I think that would be the wrong message. Plus that would be an insult to our guys or the ones that I didn’t say that too. I’m more concerned about shot selection, more concerned about ball reversal. More concerned about better screen. Those are the things. Trying to climb up that 20 assist mark as much as possible every night. Those are the things that we’ve got to try to do. Those are the things that are more important than anything else.”

From the available players — Devan Dumes, Jordan Hulls and Jeremiah Rivers — it was more of the same. Even Dumes, whose playing time would logically appear to increase the most from the injury, was mostly mum about how his role might change. Regardless, they acknowledged that it’s a challenging time for the team to suffer such an injury with Big Ten play beginning today.

Michigan, of course, presents a very different sort of challenge than most of the other teams in the league. Wolverines coach John Beilein made a name for himself at West Virginia where he ran an offense that relied on taking mass amounts of 3-point shots. Michigan has attempted 290 so far this season, the most in the league. Their percentage so far of .290, worst in the Big Ten, is surprisingly low, but considering they make just short of eight 3’s per game, Crean knows that those shots still need to be challenged.

“If John Beilein is coaching the team, his team can make threes at any given time,” Crean said. “We’re not putting any stock whatsoever into what they did against this team or that team. It’s all about us making sure that we’re making catches hard, that we’re making entries difficult, and that we’re pressuring and challenging shots and then making sure we’ve got five guys blocking out.”

Audio from the players follow. Crean’s file was too big as usual. Gotta get me some better software.

Devan Dumes says little about his new role

Jordan Hulls talks about heading into Big Ten play and adjusting to life without Creek

Jeremiah Rivers talks about the ridiculous Elmer Fudd hat he was wearing, about shaving off his curls, and also about IU’s post-Creek existence

One comment

  1. How about Tan Boy stepping up and doing a better job of coaching.

    His offense sucks. But no one ever called him a genius.

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