Crean discusses life without Michel

Tom Crean got his first chance to vent about Guy-Marc Michel’s ineligibility on Friday and he didn’t hold much back.

“I have trouble seeing any wisdom in the decision,” Crean said. “I really do. I have great respect for how we handled it at Indiana. I have great respect for the council we got legally to work with it. It’s an unfortunate situation. It’s just extremely disappointing that there wasn’t any leniency given at all given the situation based on the circumstances.”

Crean said the Hoosiers have leniency to use him as a student assistant coach, which means he can help in practice, but in a coach’s role. Crean said the Hoosiers will continue to work with him and hope to help him get to the next level.

“We’ve got some leniency there, which is good,” Crean said. “He’s going to continue to be a huge part of the program. He’ll be with us every step of the way. That’s what I hope he’ll continue to do. I have great confidence that he’ll be a professional basketball player. Certainly when he went through those stages in France that wasn’t the case. It’s disappointing on many levels, but this is the hardest working — outside of one young man I worked with at Marquette named Robert Jackson, played for us on our Final Four team — this is the hardest working young man, young big kid that I’ve ever been around.”

And now the Hoosiers have to figure out what to do now that he isn’t coming back now or ever. His absence wasn’t much of a problem for the Hoosiers in their first six games against weaker competition. Their lack of production of the three players they are using at center — junior Tom Pritchard and sophomores Derek Elston and Bobby Capobianco — hasn’t been much of a problem.

But Crean said as the Hoosiers move forward through the tougher portion of their non-conference schedule and conference play, more will be needed from them.

“They need to score more,” Crean said. “They flat out need to score more. There’s no question about that. We need, there’s different ways that they score. We have to understand that as we go through. One of the great ways they can score is to run the court. Another great way they can score is to get offensive rebounds and putbacks like Bobby did the other night.”

And making up for Michel and the lack of a dominant post presence has to be a more collective effort in the rebounding game. That’s especially true because Christian Watford is playing small forward and spending more time on the perimeter.

Crean said he still wants him to average close to a double-double each night.

“Our goal with him is to be the best 3-man, small forward, whatever you want to call it in the country,” Crean said.

But the “other wing” as Crean called it, has to recruit extremely well also. On offense, Crean said he’s only sending three players to the offensive glass because of concerns about transition defense. In the Hoosiers’ starting lineup, that means sophomore Jordan Hulls and Verdell Jones are getting back while Watford, sophomore guard Maurice Creek and Pritchard crash the boards.

That means Creek needs to grab more than the 2.6 rebounds per game he’s averaging for the Hoosiers to be effective.

“That puts more pressure on Christian and more pressure on whoever’s at the five, but what it’s gotta really do is put more pressure on the other wing,” Crean said. “Maurice, it was verbalized loud and clear right now that he’s gotta do more in those areas. Victor (Oladipo), Will (Sheehey), Jeremiah (Rivers), those guys have to do more on the boards. Not to beat a story, but what we anticipated being our best rebounder is not eligible. It puts more pressure on everybody else to pick those things up.”

9 comments

  1. I think Lynch should at least be allowed to keep the Old Oaken Bucket as severance pay. If I were Glass I’d make one from him (just made, of course, of glass) and fill it up with Cutty Sark.

    I miss Lynch already. Can anyone remind me why Glass fired him? I thought he was a fairly decent coach…

  2. ^ … sorry: I’d make one [for] him. He more than deserves it.

    I guess I should also admit 4guards was right: playing too many cupcakes sooner or later will turn you into one. So now I’m busy chewing on the crow leftovers… Too bad we have so much basketball talent but not a coach that knows how to properly use it. The team continues to be a Turn Over Machine (TOM). Coincidence? I think not.

    I really miss Bill Lynch…

  3. Obvious and deserved frustration from our head coach. I think we could have won more than 50% the games on our Big 10 schedule with Guy in the lineup. Now we’ll have to play flawless and win more. This was a purposeful and untimely hit to us from the NCAA once again. I’m convinced there is a grudge and a disproportionate fixation our every step coming from their headquarters in Indianapolis. Let’s hope the players use this as a chip on their shoulders to make this season full of memorable underdog victories. Let’s go out and have a great season despite the sabotaging interests of power-hungry propaganda makers in cheap suits more interested in personal vendettas discussed around mahogany conference tables than being just to the young student-athletes they’re supposed to have best interest. With this ridiculous decision against Guy-Marc Michel, the NCAA has again proven that they prefer to ignore the true corruption in college sports and choose the lazy policing games of making mountain examples the molehill offenses. If the NCAA was the Vatican I’m certain they would rather hunt down the one nun for failing to disclose her double life as a hooker on the streets of Rome than rid their own halls of child-molesting priests.

  4. Yeah, let’s blame the NCAA for enforcing their rules. Pretty clear cut. The rules were broken and he’s not eligible. After hearing the audio of what happened, it sure doesn’t seem Guy was overly forthright with information until he was asked. Crean should never have even taken a chance. Crean is the only one responsible for giving the program another beating. Why in the world with all the crap and scrutiny we have faced over the past 3 years would you go out and take any chance on anyone that remotely might not qualify? Baffles me. I generally like Crean, but he blew it on this one.

  5. You’ve obviously never dealt with the NCAA up close and personal. Their decisions define ambiguity. It’s primarily about money. The only reason they came down on Reggie Bush and let Cam Newton skate is because Cam Newton is still making money for them. The situations were the same.

  6. In your Crean quote, I think he meant “counsel,” not “council.” In other words, he was complimenting IU’s attorneys, not the NCAA “council” that rendered the decision.

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