Crean: “I’ve had a lot of caffeine today. A lot.”

With his team hoping to a void a seventh straight loss and fourth straight lifeless performance on Wednesday, Indiana coach Tom Crean faced a new round of questions about the mentality of his players and how they can get themselves our of their current funk.

The answers were pretty long.

“I’ve had a lot of caffeine today,” he said after spending about 10 minutes answering the first three questions. “A lot.”

Those verbose answers didn’t necessarily produce any concrete strategy about how to get this team’s heart back, but simply made the point that it has to happen as soon as possible.

“We’ve gotta get that spirit and energy back, and really the believability that you can play and win,” Crean said. “That’s what I think we’ve lost in these games. It’s a product of not having the leadership anywhere near where it has to be and not having guys that are truly confident that they can really make a difference. That’s what we gotta continue to build. We’ve gotta have a collective mindset. And so every day in practice, we’ve just gotta stay with it. … Getting that spirit back is more important than anything.”

In practice, the Hoosiers say it’s there. But then, especially when practice is closed to the media, don’t they always?

“We’re wide awake,” freshman forward Christian Watford said. “We go at each other and we’re competing hard every day.”

And they also claim that despite these losses, the chemistry is generally good. Crean said it’s not necessarily a super-tight club, and it’s also not a group of guys that feel comfortable calling each other out on the carpet. But they claim that the team isn’t fractured.

“We’re still together,” Watford said. “We go hard at each other every day in practice. We go at each other hard and compete against at each other. But in the locker room after practice, we’re back teammates. That’s the main thing. … We go into practice with an edge and just want to get better every day.”

Crean said Devan Dumes returned to practice on Monday after missing Saturday’s game at Wisconsin with the flu. His status will be continually evaluated up until tip-off. Verdell Jones also practiced again Monday after playing through the flu on Saturday, but Crean said he’s lost a significant amount of weight because of the illness.

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls

AUDIO: Christian Watford

AUDIO: Tom Crean


  1. Let’s show that group from Lansing, MI how Hoosiers play basketball! Nothing easy for them, let’s take it to ’em.
    Go Big Red!

  2. You know if I could say something to the team right now, and I know this sounds sooo freakin corny, but I would just tell these kids to go out and have some fun. Seriously man, they need to laugh, then maybe cry, I dont know. Win or lose and of course I would love to win, but really just go out and have some fun. Play your freakin heart out, quit thinking about stuff so much and just have fun. They are still kids so act like it, these guys are like a huge ball of stress and worry and all these negative things. Go out — have some big time fun — and take State DOWN!!!!

  3. If I remember correctly Painter’s first two years at Purdont garnered only sixteen wins combined and they were not battling back from the depleted state that IU is. There is plenty of time, resolve and returning players for the new facility to offer an environment for our talent to fine tune.

  4. I would like to tell the team to remember they are still, for the most part, freshmen and sophomores. Hang in there and support one another. Your day is coming!!

  5. Clarion you either don’t remember or you don’t want to remember (or even spend two minutes checking.) Here are Painter’s first two seasons at PU :

    2005–2006 Purdue 9–19 3–13 11th
    2006–2007 Purdue 22–12 9– 7 T–4th NCAA Second Round

    Sixteen wins combined? How about 31 total (12 in Big Ten)? Rear mirror foggy? Damn. In a parallel universe there’s indeed plenty of time, resolve and returning players … and everything you say is both valid and right besides being absolutely wrong (since your premise is false)!

  6. Clarion, now read this:


    At the start of the 2005–06 season, Matt Painter took over for Keady as the head coach at his alma mater and became the second former Purdue player to become the head coach since Ray Eddy (1950-1965). In his first season in that role, despite the absences of four starters to suspension and injuries and only playing with seven scholarship players, they finished with a 9-19 record. Painter’s first Purdue squad as a head coach came up with wins against eventual NCAA Tournament qualifier Wisconsin and #23 Michigan.

    So when you say “… and they were not battling back from the depleted state IU is.” allow me to point out one more time that you’re completely wrong. Painter’s first season is by and large comparable to Crean’s second season (currently under way) and he made the NCAA tournament.

  7. Damn! I lost it. Painter’s first season comparable with Crean’s current season. Next year we should make the NCAA. Quite possible. Man, maybe you’re right. Sorry. 😳 Now let me go hide under a rock somewhere.

  8. His first year was o4-o5 with 7 wins (Keady was there for games and media only). Even on your calculator 7 plus 9 is still 16. Now your rear view mirror is clean.

  9. Gene Keady was the coach in 2004-20005. Don’t bother giving Clarion facts, he doesn’t know how to process them.
    Painters first year was 2005-2006.

  10. I’m so down on the state of the team right now I don’t even want to post about it. Except to say that we should be better than we’re playing right now.

    But enough about basketball. How much snow piled up in Bloomington yesterday (Monday)? I was in town for the weekend and when I left yesterday, probably 6″ had accumulated and it was still snowing like mad. Now I’m back in Nashville where school is cancelled for a second straight day due to a heavy dusting of snow.

  11. Bingo you now have it exactly right about the first two years after MP’s reappearance at PU they had 16 combined total W’s. Have a treat fore you have learned this exercise in record time.

  12. I don’t have a ‘dog in this fight’ but let me weigh in on the Clarion vs VPeople clash. Living in Tippecanoe county and having some small ‘inside’ info via friends and relatives, Painter was the de facto coach in 04-05. Gene was on the bench, but didn’t really know what was going on day-to-day (couldn’t even remember players’ names)- Painter was by then the coach. And the team was as bad as we (IU) are now.

  13. Will someone please just take one sentence and tell me how much snow fell in Bloomington yesterday?

    I will say that Painter won a lot of games 2 years ago when the core of his current team were freshmen and sophomores (the ‘baby Boilers’ they were called), and IU can’t seem to do the same this year.

  14. Can someone please tell me why anyone cares even one bit what Painter did or did not do? I do not see the relevance to IU basketball discussing Keady, Painter our PU.

  15. I have hated Purdue my entire life , but I have to admit that they did it the right way by hiring from within and focusing their recruiting on the state of Indiana. It seeems like it should be common sense, but unfortunately it obviously is not.

  16. Clarion, nobody is going to convince you of the truth, so we’ll have to agree to disagree about Painter’s true 2nd year as coach.

    When Crean goes 22-12 next year, 9-7 in the Big10, makes the NCAA Tournament, and loses to the eventual national champion in the closest game they played in the entire tournament, then you can come back and compare Crean’s progress to Painter’s. Until then, it’s not even close.

    Another parallel to consider. In 07-08, Painter took 2 returning unspectacular starters and a few role players and combined them with a Top10 incoming Freshman class….not unlike Crean this year. The difference is that Purdue went 25-9 overall, got 2nd in the B10 (15-3)and again made the Tournament. Thus far this year IU is 9-15/3-9 with prospects of winning maybe 3 more games.

    And Painter is EATING Crean’s lunch recruiting the state of Indiana.

    Keep drinking that Caffeine Tom.

  17. Truth is I am rather easily convinced by the truth when it is not twisted for advancing an agenda.

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