Crean: We’re not running enough

Tom Crean says he doesn’t have enough guards right now.

This may surprise the many who send the second-year coach e-mails and comment on blogs about the team’s lack of post presence, but Crean said in order for the Hoosiers to play the uptempo style he envisions he needs more perimeter players.

Through Monday, the Hoosiers ranked sixth in the Big Ten in scoring in all games, averaging 69.5 points per game. In conference games only, however, the Hoosiers are eighth with 61.4 points per game. That dip coincides directly, of course, with the season-ending knee injury to star freshman guard Maurice Creek.

“I don’t think we’re running enough,” Crean said Monday night on his weekly radio show. “I don’t think we’re running anywhere near the way we’re going to run in the future of this program on the fast break. Some of that is because our guard depth has gone down, without a doubt, and some of that is because if you’re going to run, you have to have guys that can run for layups and guys that can run for threes. We don’t have a lot of guys on that wing right now that are real comfortable shooting a quick three on the break. That’s something, we want to continue to push it, we want to continue to get the secondary break.”

It also hurts the running game, Crean said, that the Hoosiers can’t press as much to cause turnovers.

“We have some guys that are really good at pressuring the ball,” he said. “But we don’t have a team full of guys that are good at pressuring the ball. It’s probably put us in zone a little more now.”

As has so often been pointed out, however, the Hoosiers have commitments only from guards in the next two classes with wings Will Sheehey (Weston, Fla.) and Victor Oladipo (Hyattsville, Md.) arriving next year and Bloomington South’s Matt Carlino and Hamilton Heights’ Austin Etherington verbally committed for 2011.

“Down the road we have a lot of depth in that backcourt,” Crean said. “And we’ll really, really be going to be able to run.”

The question of the day Monday, (and one we kind of wished we asked after Saturday’s game, especially after watching the replay) was why Crean didn’t use Jeremiah Rivers, which he’s called his best defender to guard Illinois Demetri McCamey, who hit the game-winning floater.

“One thing that’s happened as of late at the end of games with Illinois is (freshman guard) D.J. Richardson has been more and more of a go-to guy for them,” Crean said. “We got hurt late on a double stagger at our place when D.J. Richardson hit one. What we started out doing was having Verdell (Jones) on McCamey, who had been on him a lot on the game, Jeremiah Rivers on Richardson, because we feel Jeremiah is probably our best guy at getting through screens. We felt that there was a strong option with what we had seen from them in the past that Richardson would be coming off two screens. What ended up really happening in the situation, we wanted Verdell on McCamey and we ended up having a switch that we didn’t really need to have. (Dumes ended up on McCamey because of a screen.)”

Crean said he didn’t regret the move.

“It’s a good question because Jeremiah Rivers is our best defender,” Crean said. “But D.J. Richardson is the best at coming off the screens. In a situation like that, you don’t want to get beat on a slip. That’s where we didn’t want to switch everything, because a slip layup, there’s not much defense for that. A guy’s gotta take a tough shot, you might have to live with it and unfortunately we did. But there wasn’t much I’d change about the matchups.”

An additional note. IU announced that the flex game at Purdue will be played March 3 at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.


  1. Please tell me this is a joke. Tom Crean says he doesn’t have enough guards right now? He is a complete idiot.

  2. Not exactly what he said…He said he didn’t have a enough guard depth. Can you disagree? the second guard off the bench is Daniel Moore. Not even Steve Alford would think that is enough depth at guard. If your reading is that poor, perhaps you should take a deep breath before calling someone else a complete idiot…

    Not impressed with you. You should do some serious self-evaluation. Anyone who is negative this much of the time, and this obsessed with a man….I mean just a man…and a man with an impossibly awful temper like Knight must have serious issues….

  3. I think CTC makes a valid point, but … can you really do much running without being a strong defensive rebounding team? VERY difficult to run well off made baskets by opponents. Good rebounding big men are needed to facilitate running even if the big men aren’t particularly effective offensively.

  4. yes, and this defensive rebounding big man needs to be able to finish with authority at the other end. I always thought that Matta’s biggest mistake with Oden was not using him to initiate the break more. There were a lot of games that they played a plodding pace in order to get him in the post and it cost them quite a bit of offensive efficiency.

  5. I know a “certain” person has a hard time believing that Crean knows more about bball then he does but that person only continues to prove that Crean has forgotten more about bball than he will ever know. Every post by him is more proof of it. With Dumes being a senior and JR being a senior next year there will not be an over abundance of gaurds for the style of ball that Crean wants to play plus as we have witnessed this year you never know when the injury monster will rear its ugly head and bite us again. This is not a knock on Moore because I think he embodies alot of what we all feel like is some of the requirements to play at IU but as long as he is having to be brought off the bench because it is our best option than I think it is hard to argue that we have too many guards. Further more none of us know everything that is going on behind the scenes, yes that is right not even you Mr. Negativaty.

  6. Everybody but stevealford is right. I know, I know, I’m being Captain Obvious, so let’s move on:

    We need more QUALITY depth at guard and the wing that can shoot, dunk, and press. We also need big guys that can defend the rim and start the break after missed baskets.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me we’ve had plenty of kids that were 6’6″ or 6’7″ playing along side two guards: Brian Evans (Bailey and Graham), Calbert Cheaney (Both Grahams and Bailey), Luke Recker (Guyton and Lewis) and Ricky Calloway (Smart and Edwards).

    Call these players from yester-year guards if you want, wings if you want, or small forwards. It doesn’t matter. But at 6’6″ Sheehey and, at 6’7″ Etherington too, fill a niche that others from good IU teams have filled in the past. They are athletic shooters that can get to the rim.

    Do we also need big, strong, long, active guys in the middle that can play? Sure. No doubt. Please.

  7. There are some real crean apologists out there. Do you have a statue of him at home to worship?
    I guess you are the same people who worshipped Sampson up to the very end as well so I really shouldn’t expect too much.
    I mean maybe he could say we need some more big men? just maybe?

  8. steve,

    I don’t want to even think about what you do at your home with your pictures of Bob Knight and Steve Alford. I’m guessing it is not appropriate for this board and ends in a big mess….

  9. I am a reasonable man. To appease you Crean apologists, I will no longer use the name stevealford. I hope that will help you in some way.

  10. 4guards,

    I think you are missing the point. Crean is claiming he doesn’t have enough guard depth on this team right now to play his style. If Roth and Creek were both healthy, Crean would feel like he had enough depth, and they would be running more.

    I agree with you also that we need a solid big guy. I just don’t see that guy walking through the door in our next recruiting class. Solid bigs are few and far between, and coaches have to start recruiting them early. Maybe if we land Zeller in 2011 and Hammons/Perea/Jurkin in 2012, we can put the big man thing to rest.

  11. Guys you need to stop responding to Alford. Do you not understand he is looking for a reaction and doesn’t give a damn about the Hoosiers?

    When you reply to posts like that he is getting exactly what he wants from you.

    When you are a person that goes to a blog and insert posts with the sole purpose of irritating the faithful, well, you are an absolute loser. It is not our fault you have no life, and have succumbed to trying to irritate Hoosier fans with your BS. Go out an get an X-Box or something dude. It’s pathetic.

    Do not respond to him and he will go away.

  12. “real Crean apologists out there” says the guy who can’t move past 1987…

    – Did you apologize for Knight physically beating his own players? (son, Sherron Wilkerson, Neil Reid, the entire team with the feet in ice buckets)
    – Did you apologize when Knight got in trouble in Puerto Rico? The LSU fan?
    – When Alford sold old having a sex offender return to his team hoping to win a few more games?
    – When Knight turned the air blue with his language but made his players run for using the same language?

    Seriously…who is the apologist here?

  13. Knight brought us national championships. His players respected him and he made them better men.

  14. stevealford/4guards said:’I would love to have Zeller, Plumlee and Hammons. Perea and Jurkin I am not sold on.’I just talked to the REAL Steve Alford, he said he would take any or all of these guys. Check out the height on his current roster. He said he would love Watford, Elston and Muniru also. He thinks that Muniru will be good next year and awesome as a junior. He said that Perea and Jurkin are the real deal and will mature about 1 year quicker than Bawa. He also mentioned that all great coaches know that college basketball is a GUARDS’ game, you can never have too many!

  15. I have been asking for months for him to change his name. So thank you. Please do not piss backward and start using it again! Now, that being said, I also take the pledge as number 3 behind GGDave and MillaRed.

  16. Perea is the real deal…..his top 2 are IU and North Carolina….6’8″ athletic big guy who can rebound and has some offensive tools

    what is not to like?

  17. Perea is a great athlete. at 6’8 and paper thin, he is not a force in the post. He can’t shoot the ball. Basically he is a project that Crean can’t develop.

  18. Right on Jubilee, Perea fits the mold of an up tempo, full court player. He also gets it mentally. He is the type of player the B10 needs more of. Obviously Roy Williams knows it too.

  19. You guys wouldn’t know a basketball if it hit you in the face!!!! RUN MORE?????? So we can watch Dumes dribble off his foot and Rivers miss wide open 15 ft. jump shots, come on Coach. We need to run offense and get the ball in the hands of the guys who can score: Jones & Watford. Playing a fast pace just to say your playing a fast pace is BS.

  20. YouWillneverknow,

    He wants to push the pace to get easy buckets. He isn’t talking about an Arkansas 40 minutes of hell kind of thing. He wants to speed up the transition from defense to offense and push the ball after made buckets. If nothing is there, then they will run their offense. Sort of like UNC does with their secondary break and pushing the ball.

    Also, I’m not for sure that Perea is rail thin. I know Jurkin is rail thin, but I thought Perea could hold his own, and he is only a sophmore. He is going to be tough. If he isn’t, then I will admit I can’t evaluate young players

  21. Interesting statement by Crean. I had to sift through much to get to the end. It seems like the identities of some have changed as well?

    I understand where Crean wants to be with guards, but my question is how long will it take? My concern this year is how his uptempo offense reacted to the slow grinding style of Big Ten basketball.

    Initially Crean seemed to force the up tempo offense to work, and in most cases it didn’t react well with the Big Ten schedule. This was a result of many of Indiana’s competitors being more talented and just plain better. They adjusted to Indiana’s up tempo style and forced them into a half court set. While Indiana is getting better at their half court sets, there still is a lack of consistency. Screens need to be worked on as well as entry passes into the post.

    What I don’t want us to become is the college version of the seven seconds or less Phoenix Suns offense. I’m a big believer in defense. You know the stuff that wins championships and creates offense.

    I’m all for Crean right now, there’s really no other position for me to take. Although Hutch of the IndyStar started the Crean evaluation conversation last week. Now, next year will be interesting when there will be higher expectations set by both the fans and media.


  22. Dec 28, 2009, Washington Apple writes:

    I’d be worried if I were an Arizona fan. Arizona coach Sean Miller inherited a team with experience, including all-Pac 10 senior guard Nic Wise. In his first year, he is only 6-5, with one of his wins an overtime scraper over Lipscomb.
    Arizona hoops has been to 23 straight NCAAs, won a national championship (1997), and competed for another national championship (2001), including 4 final fours and 8 elite eights. Like IU, they suffered through one scandal during this period (1999) and saw one coaching great depart from the program. So how can we explain only a 6-5 start? My only hypothesis: Arizona basketball lacks that special blogger like stevealford or L’accent who holds the team accountable.

    Now let’s fast forward 40 days, to an Arizona Team Report that starts like this:

    Arizona is no longer the Pac-10 team known primarily for its youth and inexperience. The Wildcats’ new label: Pac-10 title contender.

    What a difference a good coach makes!

    You just have to follow through to realize that 70% of the washington apples from last year were just too rotten.

    Meanwhile I can’t wait for Roth to come back!

  23. How many conference championships to CTC win before he came here? How many good big men has he had on his former teams? One run to the final four is not enough to make be believe that he can win Big Ten championships.

  24. Luke 72
    You make a good point. Outside of that one run to the final four, Creanie boy has won exactly 1 NCAA tournament game.

  25. Anybody could compete for the Pac 10 this year.

    Agree. But look at Arizona: 6-3 (12-9). Last year’s conference winner, Washington is at 4-5 (14-7). And here’s what I am writing is related to the Scoop: a good coach knows WHEN and HOW to motivate his team. Outside conference games Arizona is 6-6.

    My feeling is that only now, in the next 10+ games, Tom Crean is going to give his full measure as a coach. He will silence his critics and astonish everybody, even his biggest fans. IU will be 5-5 in the next 10 games conference games producing some of the biggest upsets ever seen, and going 3-1 in Indianapolis during the tourney (if we have no more injuries). That’s what the pundits say — eyes scrunched up and all. Just ask them , if you don’t believe me.

  26. I guess to get back to the original thought of more guards, opposed to once again questioning TC’s coaching ability or talking about the PAC-10 and comparing this guy to that guy, I am more than a little worried. All in all I guess I see where TC is going with this though. He wants 6-3 to 6-7 athletic guys that can run and play pressure D.

    Bringing in Sheehey and VO is a direct sign in trying to do that. I think we all know what we are getting with VO. Not a ton of offense, but athleticism and defense and a high flying slama jama kind of player which is fine with me cause I think we need a guy like that. Sheehey on the other hand is a little bit of a mystery. Im assuming TC has done his homework with this guy. I’m thinking this guy is a dime a dozen. I mean there are probably 100 guys that are 6’6″ – 3 star athlete’s from here to Florida. So my question is why this guy? I actually think ole’ boy is a diamond in the rough, or at least thats what TC is hoping for.

    Then bringing in 6’6″ Etherington and 6’3″ wing/spot up player Carlino. I mean this is exacctly what Crean wants and I think it could be a lot of fun. A lot of fun as long as there winning, but start putting up .5 seasons around here and it wont last for too long. Hey I’m all for a different style, pro set – lots of running – lots of pressure D – pull it out if its not there and run some offensive — Wow sounds good, will it look good?? I hope, especially for his sake!!!!

  27. Oh and by the way, I also pledge to shut out stevealford/4 guards. From this point forward, dead to me…………bye,bye

  28. RHF,

    Agree with some of your thoughts. Took a look back at the MSU teams of the late 90s which Crean was responsible for most of the recruiting. My take is that is the type of team he wants to put together.

    The only thing is that those MSU teams ran a pro set style of offense with some spurts of up tempo when the defensive pressure caused turnovers. Agree, that I hope he pulls it off.


  29. YouWillNeverKnow and 4guards. I actually did meet the Real Steve Alford, twice, and I watched him play for 4 years. Can either of you HONESTLY say the same? I thought not! I have also been to New Mexico-the White Mountains and Santa Fe. Can either of you HONESTLY say the same? I thought not! I can’t get another job or I’ll have to pay the new taxes on the Super Rich. Well that might be stretching it a mite. But you will never know (notice the literary play on your name?)!

  30. Come on, guys. He’s the pencil necked guy who never played sports. He’s just comic relief. Really, you can get him to say anything you want. Give it a try. It’s kinda fun. I make side bets with friends. I just won five bucks on his name change. Would’ve won $10 if he had done it yesterday. He’s so easy.

  31. Well, look how well Jay Wright and Villanova do with guard oriented offenses. They have had a lot of success with no real big man down low.

  32. UCLA Bruins, the most storied program in college basketball history, with an unprecedented 11 championships, and championships competed-for, both recently and not-so recently.

    This year?

    10-11 in a terribly mediocre Pac 10, including a 4-5 conference record. They are starting 1 freshman, 2 sophomores, and 2 seniors.

    Fire the coach, everyone!!! Fire Ben Howland!!!

  33. the same villanova that has only won 1 championship in its history, and it was before IU’s last one?

  34. I don’t know if anyone was watching the Mich. St. game last night, but I believe Crean wants IU to push the ball like they do.

    After a defensive rebound or made bucket, they take off and sprint the other way looking for an open 3 or easy layup.

  35. Yes, Villanova 2009/2010. Contain your prejudices, don’t be blind and watch them play. They are indeed a powerhouse.

  36. Crean is an Izzo disciple, so naturally his preferred offense is similar to the Izzo/Heathcoate school.

    You can do a lot worse than emulate Sparty, says I. MSU is and remains a powerhouse program.

  37. Yes, fire Ben Howland when UCLA is now tied at the top of the PAC-10! How many illogical requests can you make Washington Apple?

    Totally stupid: UCLA is 6-4 tied at the top and IU is 3-6 in the bottom three (after losing at home to Iowa)… And Washington Apple sees similarities ?! Aarghh…

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