IU preparing for Michigan

Indiana coach Tom Crean spoke at length Monday about the teaching points he was finding in the film of Sunday’s game against Northwestern, about all the things that were wrong and all the things that he could fix.

On Friday, during a media availability session for Saturday’s 8 p.m. game with Michigan when the Hoosiers will try to snap their eight-game losing streak , he didn’t elaborate quite as much.

He was asked about the team’s preparation this week.

“We got a good week,” he said. “We’ve had a good week.”

Asked later what they worked on, he was unspecific.

“We just worked to get better,” Crean said. “That’s really all we’ve done. We’ve tried to examine everything that we thought we could get better at. We put some real keys out for what we think that it should be. That’s what we spent our time on.”

Crean’s players, though, suggested it was exactly the sort of thing you’d expect.

“Defense,” sophomore forward Christian Watford said. “Defense and rebounding. Those are our main focuses this week. That’s one of the things we know we’re going to have to take up a notch to really be successful.”

Said sophomore guard Jordan Hulls: “It’s just a lot of different things defensively. There’s some breakdowns that we’re having that we need to take control of. We need to get more stops and then come down and convert on the offensive end.”

Senior guard Jeremiah Rivers said the first thing the Hoosiers need to fix is communication. The group needs to get more vocal, he said, and he has an example of how that works.

“I was at a Boston Celtics game,” said Rivers, whose father Doc is the Celtics’ coach. “I was like third row so I could hear everything. When I go to these games I can hear. Those guys talk so loud. You would never know because you don’t think they really talk. You’re watching a game on TV because it seems quiet outside of the crowd and the refs or whatever. They talk super-loud. I kind of told the team, those guys are the loudest, I mean obnoxiously loud, during the game. … I think this week we really picked up on that.”

They’re going to have to to deal with a Michigan team that can attack in a lot of different ways. Led by emerging star point guard Darius Morris, the Wolverines use an offense under coach John Beilein that incorporates some Princeton-esque backcuts and a lot of 3-point shooting with speed in transition.

“I think one thing they’ve become now is the best transition basketball team in the Big Ten,” Crean said. “I haven’t seen anybody that runs like they run. I think right now they throw it ahead. They’re a gang rebounding, which we’re working harder and harder to become. They play fast on the break.”

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Christian Watford

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls

AUDIO: Jeremiah Rivers

7 comments

  1. ALL RIGHT THEN!Tonight’s the night.Preparation plus a great effort equals a win.”Push yourself again and again.Don’t give an inch until the final buzzer sounds”
    Larry Bird

  2. I’ve followed the posts here and at Peegs and the IndyStar comments section. I appreciate sincere criticism and concern for Crean’s handling of the team. The comments seem to boil down to “we should be winning now because Crean is in year three and if we are not winning it is because he cannot coach. I’ve posted on Peegs that I think Crean has done everything he has been asked to do to date and that he will be judged by the team’s performance in year five of his tenure (and, to a MUCH lesser degree, next year) I’ll post the questions here that I posted on Peegs that I think will focus in on a legitimate assessment of Crean;s ability to coach his CURRENT players. (We know he has been ridiculously successful at recruiting and that major INDIANA talent is on the way.)

    Four questions:

    (1) What do you think IU’s record will be the rest of the way?

    (2) What record would earn your praise for Crean’s coaching/handling of this team (because the team “outperformed” the rest of the season)?

    (3) What record would be worthy of criticism?

    Not fair to comment on the season to date.

    (4) And if you are a fan who cannot let go of the RMK days, what record would this team have the rest of the season if coached the rest of the way by RMK or some other coach of your choosing?

    My picks: IU will win 5 Big Ten games (from these six MI, @Iowa, ILL, MN, Iowa, Purdon’t)
    Outperform: 6 or more wins
    Underperform: less than 4 Big Ten wins
    Another coach: The BEST Coach K could do is seven wins.

  3. Spanky setting aside the home game against Penn State those are realistic expectations for the rest of the year. More important than the number of wins is that they are mentally prepared to face each foe and that they give a 110% effort.Last year is dead and gone and next year is not here yet. If they do those things then we should all be proud of them.

  4. I don’t expect a perfect season. I don’t expect a great season. I don’t even know if I expected a good season. But what I do expect is a team that understands the privilege of a free scholarsip and opportunity they have and go out there each game and give it their all without laziness and lack of motivation. Period.

  5. spanky,

    i agree with your 5th year assesment. first year doesn’t count at all. crean had to play ollie, for christ’s sake. also, crean had to take on schollie players he normally would not have, like pritch and capo. probably wouldn’t even take creek or jones in the future.

    i don’t see more than 3 wins the rest of the way. more than that, i just would feel better if pleyer development were mmore obvious. tell me who looks appreciably better than when he first got here, aside from hulls. also, the offensive principals look flawed, at best. clueless, at worst.

    still, i know how hard it is to get a young team to do what you want, so i give crean a couple more years to do it his way.

    on a more positive note: GO PACK GO!!!!

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