Crean: Players responded well to early morning practice

Tom Crean dismissed his players relatively quickly after Saturday night’s loss to Northwestern with the understanding that their punishment for a less-than-stellar effort would be a 7:30 a.m. practice Sunday morning.

But as frustrated as Crean was after the loss, he said he was pleased with the effort the following morning.

“ They responded much like I thought they would, which was very well,” Crean said on Monday morning’s Big Ten teleconference. “They have a lot of determination in them, They’ve got a lot of desire to get better. We just don’t always play … we’ve gotta have all the intangibles going too. Intelligence, communication, emotion, all those different things. There were too many times especially after watching the game the other night where we let mistakes compound because we got our heads down.”

Crean stressed on Saturday night that there had to be more accountability among the players themselves, that the Hoosiers had to want to do the right things on the court not for the coaching staff but for each other. Crean said that was addressed early in practice, mistakes were pointed out, and then the Hoosiers moved on.

“I think in a situation like that, you break down exactly what happened,” Crean said. “You lay out the accountability and the responsibility based on what the numbers say. The assignment of responsibility more or less. ‘This is what we gave up. This is how you participated in it.’ But you don’t spend the rest of the time playing the blame game. Accountability is not about blame. Accountability is about understanding what’s at stake and then doing something about it. Yesterday’s practice, the discipline part of it and the get the attention part of it is early morning, but it wasn’t a practice where we just sat there and did blood and guts thins now. I mean, we got better, and we worked to get better and they did get better inside of it. But it was very competitive, very combative. Much like our other practices, but probably a little bit different sense of urgency and a little longer. Probably a lot longer.”

And the Hoosiers now move on to the home stretch, which is the most brutal part of their schedule. The Hoosiers play the top four teams in the Big Ten standings including all three of the conference’s ranked opponents. First is No. 8 Purdue on Wednesday night at Assembly Hall, then No. 2 Ohio State Sunday in Columbus. Next week, the Hoosiers play No. 12 Wisconsin at home before closing out with Illinois at noon on Saturday, a time Crean said on his Twitter account later he was not pleased with.

“ I think when we look at our schedule starting with Purdue on Wednesday night, I can’t see anyone in the country that would be playing the type of schedule we have the next two weeks,” Crean said. “We play the top four teams in the league. It’s a great challenge, but we’re trying to get our team to understand that it’s an incredible opportunity. That’s exactly how we’re viewing it as a coaching staff. We want our team to view it that way, our fans to view it that way. We’re excited to get it going, starting Wednesday with Purdue. Especially after the week they’ve had, they’re playing as well as anyone in the country without a doubt.”


  1. DD- really bummed to hear this again, every time we have heard how “locked in and focused and great the practices were, how much better they got, how the intensity was good, how combative it all was”….they always lose the game. I’m ready for Crean to say that practice was horrible and the effort was atrocious, it’d probably lead to a win. Judging by Crean’s past ‘gauging’ of his team his thoughts are irrelevant at this point. Yes Hulls has gotten better, because of his own work ethic, but no other Hoosier has ‘gotten better’ as Crean has always tried to make us believe. If they have continued to ‘get better’ like he says each week, IU would be the best team in the nation because this is about the 4th or 5th month now that Crean has told us all how much better they have gotten.

  2. The quotes above would yet again indicate that the Coach thinks most of the problems that need to be corrected are intangibles (emotion, accountability, responsibility, mental toughness, intelligence, on and on …) within the players themselves. Does that mean that the offensive and defensive schemes being taught are deemed solid and that the players’ knowledge and execution of fundamentals and those schemes are not the primary problems being scrutinized by the coaching staff? Sure sounds different that most coaches’ recaps after tough losses.

  3. you talking about the WS who averages 5 ppg and 2 rbs? Will Sheehey had never played college basketball before, naturally he’ll improve as he adjusts to the game, now that he has played 27 ncaa games, sure he is better than when he started….well maybe not: 2 pts and 1 rebound against MI and 7 pts and 4 rebounds against NW….both embarrassing losses last week…hmmmm you are right Crean has totally revolutionized Will’s game, Sheehey owes so much to TC…uh nope.

  4. I really did not know what to expect prior to the season, but I like Sheehey’s contribution. He’s a freshman that appears to have a big upside. Hopefully Creek will really heal and rehab well for next year, but if not, I would expect Will to get a bunch of those minutes.

  5. Andrew- please list your long list of Hoosiers who Crean has pushed over the top and to a whole other level of strength and abilities? Pritchard? Roth? Elston? Capo? Ola? VJ3? let’s hear it…..

  6. Priceless. Listing an injured Creek above is a paragon of realism. Clarion, why stop there: six with an eligible GMM! Seven with Kyrie Irving if he had come. Eight with Jordan Crawford had he not left (but he wouldn’t have blossomed at Xavier without Crean’s benefic influence anyway!) Nine with Eric Arnett (named Big Ten pitcher of the year after practicing with the basketball team). Ten with Zeller, eleven with Perea (these haven’t happened yet but they are accessible via delayed gratification plus a lot of wishful thinking).

  7. Rivers? A 5th year senior who was called out by Crean recently for not playing well. How exactly has Rivers’ game taken off under Crean? He’s good at defense and he’s athletic- the same things he was known for at Gtown, is he ‘better’ than last year? Sure because Crean realized he had JR playing out of position, that doesn’t mean he got better. Hulls is not better because of TC, Hulls is better because he’s Hulls, he’ll get better in-spite of his coach. Sheehey doesn’t count, he’s a frosh- of course he’s better than when he started, he’s played 27 games at this level now. Creek? C’mon man, that isn’t even worth responding to. Watford? Crean might’ve made him a bit tougher but that’s it, his game is the exact same. Plus this is pointless, the team went 0-4 against Iowa/NW, 2-7 against the worst 5 B1G teams, that is all we need to know.

  8. Sick of hearing Crean say we did well in practice. Just shut up and show production on the court. Just don’t say anything about practice anymore because all it does is get hope up and then the disappointment happens. For the final four games and one in the B10, start building for next season and start with Rivers on the bench and only play him when the game is too far gone to recover or we are killing someone, which would be never. He started out ok this season and now he’s back to same old JR. Oh and the next time we are close in the last minute or so, let’s get the ball to VJ III to blow it for us again. First Iowa, then NU. Best plan to lose a game. Forget getting it to someone who can actually play with their head up and see the court or one that can score. Also, never play Capo again. Send him packing.

  9. Larry Legend- thanks, I did on Sunday, it was nice to see a roster full of Indiana kids with an Indiana coach show that they can play with the big wigs; I guess Butler and Notre Dame also show that as well, its good for the state to have those 3 teams reppin so well, ‘it’s indiana’ afterall right? It is nice to see teams that know how to play basketball do well. Maybe someday IU will be in the same class as those 3 programs, maybe….

  10. He doesn’t require any defense from me or anyone else. Because against all popular and emotional opinion the sky is not falling. That happened 3 years ago.

  11. Fab, I love the fact you are just giddy over all the other in state teams. But taht begs the question as to why the hell you are on here berading our prgram! Get a life, go root for the PUkies on their board, we have enough jackals around here without someone who obviously is just here to casue a stir. As for who has gotten better, Hulls, Sheehy, Watford, Vic, Rivers, and Creek if he was healthy. Elston is still a mystery to me and pritch and bobby were always just filler anyway. VJ has become a much better shooter but still needs alot of work on the D. Anyway, if you havent noticed the state has closed it borders to us. Any kid and every kid wants to be a hooosier, not something PUke, ND, or even Butler can say! Thats the way it should be too!

  12. Davis– hahahaha. I’m a fan of basketball and a fan of good people/players, not a fan of a jersey or of a ‘school’. I’m a huge IU fan but it doesn’t blind my knowledge and experience of the game of basketball. I’ve been disappointed to see Crean ruin something so simple and make it sound like an unsolvable equation, he’s even got the fans believing that winning a basketball game is the hardest thing on the planet, when it happens IU fans don’t even know what to do anymore. Hulls is the man and it is a bummer to see him used so poorly. Hope it doesn’t happen with Zeller. I don’t root for ND or Butler or PU but I don’t hate on them, but I hate to break it to you but the players and coaches on those teams play, win and coach the right way and they do it without a ton of excuses and mental agony….why? Because basketball is simple, if the coach stays out of the way and lets the players play….

  13. hahahahahaha…I’m just a huge fan of watching squirrels gather nuts…not particular to one family of squirrels….No strong preference for tree squirrels over ground squirrels…or chipmunks more than flying squirrels or prairie dogs..It doesn’t matter. I guess you could say I’m bigger fan of tree squirrels since they’re more in my backyard..I’ve watched them play the most but that doesn’t mean I just support any squirrels that can’t collect nuts …I rarely get to see chipmunks play(Hinkle?)…not sure I even know where prairie dogs do their squirrel thing..nor do I understand why they have “dogs” after their name when their technically squirrels(guess it’s like saying Indiana “Football”)..It’s still all basically nuts…It’s a simple game, really…you run around looking for nuts….you find nuts…you store nuts…put the nuts in your pouch… nuts for winter….eat nuts when your hungry…run fast from predators…jump back and forth from tree limb to tree limb while savoring your with your nuts if you’re a flying squirrel…try not to drop your nuts(nut turnovers can stagnate your nut flow)…taunt dogs from up in trees…throw nuts at them to drive them nuts(but not your best nuts)…be proud of your nuts but don’t go all nuts when times are good…be humble and collect nuts the right way… more pick and roll if most the nuts have already fallen…don’t force the nut issue…take what the nut collecting game gives you…keep a good amount of nuts for winter…always be recruiting good looking nuts…close the borders your nut forest…keep in mind that some nice nuts do go unnoticed at times.

    Please tell me why fans of squirrels collecting nuts think it’s all so damn complicated?…you basically score a nut, you keep a nut…squirrel with most nuts wins…plenty of nuts for all.

    Go Tree Squirrels!

  14. Fab5, you’re not a fan of any school, yet you’re a huge IU fan? I’m confused. Which one is it? Geezus, people around here think Indiana was going to be challenging for Big Ten titles within 3 years of having their program nearly destroyed. Even if we lose out the rest of the year, we will still have more wins than last year. Yes, quite a few of them were against cupcakes, but those cupcakes were beating us regularly last year and the year before. If Indiana finishes with 12-13 wins next year with Zeller, Etherington, and hopefully another big man in the middle, then I’ll start questioning Crean’s ability to coach. Until then, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

  15. Psych, put the bong down and seek medical help immediately! What cupcakes were beating us regularly last year? Two years ago we beat Iowa. Last year we beat Northwestern. This year BOTH swept the floor with Crean’s Hoosiers.

    This is the third year Crean will lead us to 20 losses or more. Nobody says we should win the Big Ten title (seriously, get rid of that bong and start a rehab program) but 20 losses again — and the BOTTOM of the league? What benefit of doubt do you need?

    On top of all that two of the three quality wins came when Crean’s influence was seriously diminished by injuries and Hulls was able to run the point. Hulls is a true facilitator, because he brings synergy in a natural way to his team. Yet Crean is not able to see even this very simple truth and persists in running a systeem nobody understands — certainly not his team — and is passes opportunity after opportunity to just lok at what he has and think what he can do with it. That’s the most troubling aspect and the reason for the 20+ losses per season so far.

  16. Psych- look around and open your eyes to how bad IU is, you act like IU is in the middle of the big10 and all of us are overreacting and we have no reason to be dissappointed. You have no clue what my expectations were for the season so don’t throw words around. You didn’t think IU/Crean would be 12-15 and 0-4 against Iowa/NW, I know that much. Sure they have won more than they did last year(not in the B1G though)and you have to remember that they started off 6-0, and were at one point 9-2, however the first 9 wins were against laughable opponents, so if you wipe the board away with those joke wins(which clearly didn’t mean anything since IU can’t even beat an Iowa or NW) IU is actually 3-15 on the season, 3-15. 3-15. Hoo Hoo Hoo HOOSIERS! 3-15

  17. Stationary Front: Boston University, George Mason, Loyola (Maryland) are not cupcakes to you?

    3-15, you tell me that I have no idea what your expectations are, yet you assume to know what mine are by saying “You didn’t think IU/Crean would be 12-15 and 0-4 against Iowa/NW, I know that much”. Yeah, ok. You have no idea what I expected. I do know this much, I didn’t expect Creek to break his other kneecap, and I didn’t expect Guy Marc-Michel to be declared ineligible. Injuries happen, yes, but it is obvious we still are not a deep team, and so losing a legitmate big man inside certainly hurts. Maurice Creek was leading ALL freshmen last year in scoring. Sure, he was not 100% this year, but he would have continued to get better and help the team going forward.

    We beat Illinois and Minnesota this year when they were ranked, and took Michigan State to the wire @ the Breslin Center when we haven’t done that even in our good years. Yeah, we have been swept against Iowa and Northwestern, but you’re going to blame those losses on Crean and not give him some credit for the 3 games I mentioned? That’s B.S. Firing Crean right now would set us back at least 5 years if not more. Like I said, if we are 12-15 and 3-11 in the Big Ten next year w/Zeller, Etherington, and hopefully another big man on board, I will become worried. But I am not right now.

  18. Psych- These types of discussions are fun because where you have wishful thinking and fanhood getting in your way, the proof and evidence is out there to shut down your arguments:

    GMM- was a nobody at a junior college last year; averaged 7 and 7, you think he was going to be a contributing big man in the B1G? Crean sold him as being such, the same Crean who can make it sound like Iowa is the best team in the country, he can also make you believe that Michigan is the best transition team in the nation. GMM wasn’t going to save IU, sorry. Are you mad at the NCAA or Crean for wasting a roster spot on a sketchy player.

    Creek- you are right Creek of course ‘had the highest scoring average of any frosh in the country’; in a whopping 12 games for an awful team, a team with no veterans, so who is going to get shots? Freshman, who is going to score? Freshman, Creek wasn’t leading IU to the tournament, they were 6-6. But he scored 31 against Kentucky! In a blowout loss to Kentucky…

    Minny and Illini are currently not making the big dance, MSU is having one of their worst years, sure we did well against them and that is great. And actually you are proving my point, why couldn’t they play like that each game? How is that possibly asking too much? How can you go 0-4 against NW/Iowa and 3-15 against respectable opponents when you have a team that can beat people?

    Anyway, my point is: with this current team, the team Crean has had this year and last year, he has done an awful job of coaching this team(we are not talking about the future or recruiting), with this current program Crean and the players have underperformed greatly. Even the fact that they have to ‘find a way to bring it every night’ is hilarious…what are they waiting for? Do they really think they could coast to a win, any win? How many times have we heard the exact same 4-5 excuses over the past 3 years? Fans who don’t want to be made fun of for what they believe in shouldn’t believe in such funny things. The fans are fed a long list of excuses, excuses other teams don’t even discuss. Fans are given a long list of reasons for why we are bad, reasons that other teams don’t even worry about, they just play and win. Crean actually has people believing that winning a game of basketball is the hardest thing to do in the world…

  19. Agree to disagree, 3-15. If Indiana is in this position next year with better quality players, I’ll be on board with you worrying about Crean’s ability to coach. Until then, calling for his head and saying he is a terrible coach is unwarranted, IMO.

  20. Haven’t said those things either psych so I will agree with you, I don’t want him fired, I think he is a good coach and I think he did well at Marquette, liked his MU teams actually, just saying with this group its been a dissappointment, I enjoy arguing so that is why I have a hard time sitting by when people blindly support when evidence and proof shows that they are being let down. Sure when he gets his 5-6 future pros IU will win again and it’ll be great, doesn’t change the fact that for the last 2 years now IU has played awful basketball and been crushed consistently by teams who are as good or worse than themselves, not to mention the fact that all the same excuses/hold ups have persisted for 3 straight years…what improvement on the court have we seen(don’t say recruiting).

  21. Psych you listed three teams. Of these BC beat us this year and beat us last year. We haven’t played the other two this year but we beat a D2 team in OT on AH. Is that the improvement that you keep talking about?

    And give Zeller a break. He’s a kid Crean is making his millions off, a kid who’s just as confused as you seem to be:

    “I can’t wait to get started,” Zeller said. “I think this program is right there. They’re that close. You can see that they’re improving. They almost won this game tonight. Last year they might have lost by 20.”

    Actually, Indiana beat Northwestern a year ago at home.

  22. Psych you listed three teams. Of these BC beat us this year and beat us last year.

    And these blowhards that act like they know what they’re talking about? This year’s loss(88-76)was against “BC”. That would be the same Boston College that had won the two previous contests against the Hoosiers on a bit of a different stage..Knight’s IU teams lost twice to Boston College in the NCAA tournament during the ’90s.

    The 71-67 loss in Puerto Rico(’09-’10 season) was against Boston University(member of the American East conference).

    The American East conference has a team named Stony Brook..The ACC conference has a team named Duke.

    Would you like like some Boston baked beans to fuel some more of your wind? Matt Damon is from Boston. Not to be confused with the cupcake, Johnny Damon…Boston Cream Pie?…Yum. I like Boston.

  23. It’s hard to see the improvement in the win-loss column, but I think there have been some games we looked nothing at all like the fluttering team from last season. All in all, I think the focus has been better. The stretch of games with Hulls at the point guard(especially the two contests Jones was completely sidelined)things really did seem to click. Was it all coincidence? I don’t like to be anti-Jones..Every time I want to sell the kid out he proves worthy by a follow-up strong performance..It’s hard to deny he’s a slippery and creative scorer..Is it enough to not make the commitment to Jordy for full-time investment at point guard?…Not for me. I like Hulls running the show.

    More positives?…We can find some…There is only one senior on this team! I still think we have some excellent talent. Elston is starting to show a little sign of life..Pritchard has played far better on defense as of late..He’s a step quicker..He did a hell of a job against Johnson in the last meeting against Purdue. He just looks more invigorated and in better shape..the slap-fouls have nearly disappeared(hope I didn’t just put on the jinx). And will we ever forget..”THE Dunk”. You have to watch a lot of sports to ever see something comparable to that moment. Maybe only Bob Beaman in Mexico City dropped as many jaws to the ground as that Pritchard slam. Inexplicable. Feel damn lucky you got to witness it…Whatever the hell it was. And Pritch had taken so much abuse..How could anyone not feel delighted for the kid? His game may wax and wane but he is forever changed.

    Watford is growing into a very tough guy to defend. Before the hand fracture he was playing as good as any forward in the Big 10. He still needs to be a bit more sound defensively, but I love his versatility on the offensive end. Only a sophomore…a lot of time to still improve upon his wonderful repertoire of scoring skills. Playing hard defense may have a slower learning/energy curve against the strong bigs faced in the Big 10..He’ll get stronger..He’ll get there.

    Hulls…Incredible improvement. Tremendous heart and energy. He’s proving he can create his own shot. A couple years ago I honestly didn’t believe he had the size and quickness to compete with the best guards in the league. He’s made me a believer this season. Every announcer behind a microphone is astounded by how different he looks from last year. Could only imagine the heads he would be turning if he could stay at point guard where he seems to get his mojo.

    I don’t see everything bleak for this team. They are still very young. Many of these guys will graduate from IU…Their bodies will get stronger and their heads will understand the game better. Good things are coming. Don’t be so down on Creek..Put yourself in his knees. He may just surprise us all and lead the conference in scoring in two years.
    The coach you are all so down on may also surprise you. His players will mellow him..With calmness and bonding to his bench will come clearer thoughts. This is not an easy conference to rebuild in. It’s a stronger conference top-to-bottom than ever before…Keep positive. This aint Hoosier football yet…Let’s kick some Boiler ass tonight!!

    Go Hoosiers!!

  24. The coach you are all so down on may also surprise you. His players will mellow him..With calmness and bonding to his bench will come clearer thoughts.

    I certainly hope so. Go Hoosiers!

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