Crean discusses leadership, Hulls’ shooting among other topics at radio show

Jordan Hulls’ lack of recent scoring prompted one caller on Tom Crean’s radio show Monday night to ask if Hulls was being told not to shoot.

Though it has never appeared that Hulls was dealing with a coaching mandate, there has been some reason to wonder why he hasn’t shot more. Hulls went scoreless against Northwestern on Wednesday, shooting 0-for-3 from the field, then was 1-for-5 against Iowa on Sunday for two points. He remains the team’s third-leading scorer with 11.4 points per game, but the recent point production was noticeable.

“He gets a great matchup,” Crean said. “He gets one of the other team’s best defenders. There’s no doubt about that. He’s gotta do a very good job of being aggressive coming off screens, reading the pick-and-roll the way that he has. We want Jordan to shoot the ball more. Has Jordan passed up some shots? I don’t think there’s any question he has. Matt Roth is passing up shots. Those are guys that need to look for their shot. They’ve got quick releases. We’d rather have them be shooting in the flow of the action rather than trying to feel like they’ve gotta create a shot at the end of the shot clock. Jordan certainly has got some of those capabilities. As far as his role, yeah, he’s asked to do a lot. He’s a starting point guard in the Big Ten. Shooting the ball is certainly one of the things that he does best.”

Crean was asked a few questions about the team’s energy, and whether or not he felt like his team was hitting a wall.

“Every team is tired,” Crean said. “Every team has got issues. Every team has got frustrations in dealing with successes or adversities and all of those different things. The most important thing is to make sure that you’re getting your work done, that you keep it intense, that you keep it short, but at the same time, players gotta improve. … Players are always getting better or they’re getting worse.”

Crean was also asked about leadership, whether he chooses or a leader or simply allows one to emerge.

“It’s the same group of guys that went up to Purdue, and I’m not sure if there were one or two guys that led the team,” Crean said. “It was the team. Now, would you like to have somebody that rallies the team from one point to the next? Yes. I think you can try to create that, but it’s never as good as it is when it’s natural and you’re just enhancing it. I think it’s different. You’ve gotta have a team of guys that understand they’re going nowhere without each other and that’s where the communication comes in. A lot of times, the best leader is the bench. The bench can be a situation where it can get a guy adjusted. It can give a guy a chance to catch his breath. But it also can be an eye-opener that, ‘We’re gonna play without ya.'”


  1. 1. What is the coach doing to get Hulls open looks? Hulls does nothing compared to Roth in finding a way to get open. Whether it’s setting screens or Hulls working to get open, it just has to happen.
    2. We have no true leader on the team and we haven’t had since Crean got here. Not his fault. He had to fill out a roster. Zeller will emerge, but as a freshman, he’s probably looking for the older guys to step up. Once he figures it out,(probably already has and is just waiting till the end of the season) he will take over the team. Jones, Pritch etc, are not leaders.
    3. If Crean is suggesting the bench would be a good place for some guys, then he needs to go for it. The ones that aren’t producing need to see the bench and not get off until they prove themselves. But Crean’s track record of benching non-producers has been horrible to this point. Go for it coach.
    4. As far as energy level, play the ones who are producing more minutes. Sometimes he pulls people out when they are hot and kills momentum. I don’t buy 18-22 yr olds needing a rest. Plenty of teams play guys 38-40 minutes and they produce. Keep the best producers on the floor at all times. So what if it means only playing 6 or 7 in some games? If it produces victories, it will be worth it and make the ones on the bench hungrier.

  2. Bill, I like most of what you have to say, but #4 doesn’t make much sense… His current philosophy has produced 20 wins this season…

  3. We EASILY should have had at LEAST 3 more wins if not for the HORRIBLE effort of the players.

    Don’t give me “Everyone is tired” crap. Missouri has a short bench, wasn’t expected to be great, and they’ll probably get a number one seed….AND they have a new coach.

  4. Mizzou was 23-11 last year and returned their top 8 players. Sure Bowers got hurt, but this is a very veteran group that has a ton of athleticism and has enjoyed success together in the past…

    As far as depth goes, they have 7 players that play over 15 minutes per game and 8 in double figures, all guys that also played double-digit minutes last year… IU has 6 and 9.

    Not the best comparison you could have made, but keep trying pal.

    I love how this team has over-achieved beyond everyone except Harvard’s wildest dreams and now your pissed because (a team full of players that have never had success in the past) they are only 20-7 instead of 23-4.

    You’re hilarious.

  5. Geoff, do you listen to or watch the body language of coach Crean and the IU players(some of them), they are more disappointed and negative about this team’s struggles than even Laffy is. So when you rip on Laffy you are ripping Crean and the IU players too. They aren’t satisfied with the low expectations you have given them. Not Crean and not Oladipo, Zeller or Sheehey. Listen to Crean’s post games and his radio show, he isn’t sitting back going “We are 20-7, its ok to lose to Iowa, Minn, and Nebraska.” He’s ticked off because he knows his players shouldn’t be losing to those teams, his opinions are more accurate to Laffy’s than to yours.

  6. I am not satisfied, nor am I setting low expectations. Again it’s just clear that you haven’t been reading my posts all season. When they were 12-0 I was catching flac for posting about the things the team wasn’t doing well and how it would lead to losses down the line.

    As a coach or player I was rarely satisfied after a win, much less a loss. That’s just the nature of the game as RA as I’m concerned. I would be thoroughly concerned if Crean or the players reacted any differently than they did.

    My job is to keep things here in perspective, which means when the team is winning and everyone is going googoo-gaga over them I try to temper expectations… And when they struggle a little and all the haters come out of the woodwork I feel the need to step in and look at things realistically. it’s rarely as good or as bad as a lot of the posters on this site make it out to be.

    You can either go back about 2 months and look at all the posts where I was being attacked for trying to hold an undefeated team to higher standards, or you can simply ask Harvard or some of the others that I was debating.

    Laffy is not in the same boat with Crean or the players. He is actively anti-Crean and tries to take advantage of any situation to blow things out of proportion in an attempt to discredit CTC. He is part of the group that takes a loss to Minnesota and turns it into proof-positive that Crean is incapable of ever being successful here. He believes that the last 3 years are evidence that Crean will never be able to bring IU to a Final Four.

    I don’t know if Crean can or can’t, but I do know that we are back on the right track, I will continue to show patience because we’re on that track, and I will look at all things in the proper perspective. I also know that not one of these haters has come up with a viable alternative, they just like to bitch.

  7. I have to admit, Geoff has been the most consistent bloggers on here. He doesn’t let personal bias play into his analysis and as a steadfast IU fan he remains fair and objective in his comments. At times, there almost seems to be a bit of a detachment from getting too emotionally invested in the Hoosiers. You’ll never hear him overly hype a player with praise or come down on them with the frustration and borderline hate typical many of the extremists viewpoints when a kid has a bad game or two. He still doesn’t commit to the VJ shouldn’t play crowd and he seems to ignore me when I make claims the Hoosiers suffer immensely because “he who shall not be named” sucks the chemistry and energy out of our team.

    Geoff lives in the safety of being even keel. His posts most often appear as tempered a Ryan Kartje attempt to not let Hoosier fans get too caught up in the joy a very prosperous season. Heaven forbid the highs a Kentucky win get too high or the lows a Nebraska loss get too low. Heaven forbid ever lose an argument at the cost of showing a heavy bias toward a Hoosier kid that you just simply like. Always temper. Always play it safe. Always wear a backup stat chute and with your mouth never pollute.

    I like Geoff…I only wish that he would sometimes just let his heart refuse to listen to his mind. He’s not alone. Very few fans can just enjoy the ups and the downs and love the team for their uniqueness. There are battles through the imperfections that can bond a heart to a team just as much the expectations of always wanting more based on their past achievements. It’s easy to get caught up in it all. I don’t see it as a sign of weakness when a fan abandons reason to defend a passion and belief a player or team can defy what so-called experts make us to believe so clear-cut.

    If Geoff thinks keeping perspective is his job on Hoosier Scoop, then I have no problem with it. I just find it rather boring and emotionally detached…I watch sports for the exact opposite reason. I want to lose perspective and escape the reality constrained by the over-analysis of every detail by the so-called experts. I want to observe the inexplicable. I live for the games that break all molds of what every “know it all” thought was coming. Why must we want everything in life so calculable and explained? Why can’t there be mystery in the game? Why can’t Jordan Hulls defy every doubter and one day play in the NBA? Why must we predetermine and deface people based on our own narrow parameters? Perspective? Is it really perspective to temper all the hope out of hearts and dreams?

  8. The tale of 2 teams is that Mizzou started the seasons with low expectations & they keep winning. They didnt appear to exult each other and stop being HUNGRY after 20 wins.

    Then there is Indiana. Tradition BUILT on excellence, then reduced to rubble, then meandering back. I use “meandering” because there is NO HUNGER or heart on this team unless we are playing a team ranked higher. That seems to be the only remaining motivation in this team, aside from a very focused purdue road win.

    These guys could just care less against the Iowas, Penn States, Minns., NWs. Theyve won some of those games in spite of themselves. I was horrified after we let Iowa shoot 80% in the 2H @ home. That is proof of NO KILLER INSTINCT or HUNGER. I just don’t get it! And here’s why….

    ….how many times did we lose by 20 or 30 in the BIG 10 these last three years? Geoff??? THAT’s why there’s fire in my belly & many other posters.

    Sure, we’ve proven the doubters wrong & won 20 games. Well, I’m NOT satisfied at all with this relative mediocrity. Losing like we did to Iowa, Neb., & MN is mediocrity. Plus we are in the center of the Big 10 pack.

    I like Crean’s enthusiasm, recruiting & heart. He sure talks a lot w/o substance on game day. I’ve seen him sit Watford once all season after a horrific 1H. I’ve never seen him pull Jones after a flurry of bad shots or TOs. And I have seen him do too muh subbing, for the same of it, when someone is playing good & hard (Elston, Abell, hell even PRITCH!)

    I’ll say it once again for consistency….this NCC game is a perfect opp. to send a msg to 2 & sit them the whole game. We’ll still win. Ignite a fire Coach! We’ll all see how much he backs up his lips from the press Conf., won’t we?!?!

    I sure as hell hope that these kids coming in have the heart, hunger & desire to win, close games, and payback some of the ass kickings we’ve endured. Until then, I guess mediocrity prevails.

  9. ….& yes, 23-8 with this team, & what they’ve been capable of (Ky, OSU, @ purdue, @ NC St) is mediocre. Those Ws are their potential.

  10. AWinAZ, no offense man, but you are living in Candy Land. We won 12 games last year, if you somehow forgot. Twelve. And now, one season later, we’ll probably end up winning anywhere from 22 – 27. And that’s mediocre? So we were supposed to essentially add one player (Zeller) and go from 12 wins to 26-5 at the end of the regular season, or else we’ve underachieved? That’s Loony Tunes.

    Seems to me that you want instant gratification. Unless you root for Kentucky, it doesn’t work that way. Respect the process, man. We’re getting better every year. I want us to be back in a Final Four soon, too. And we’re on the right track, and it should only get better from here. Relax!

  11. Here are the truths: (1)We have the least athletic guards.aside from Oladipo , in the B1G ; (2) The coaching staff has had 4 years to teach fundamentals such as blocking out,help side defense, and overall defense ;yet, has failed miserably;(3) player development in our Senior and Junior classes is non existent, and (4) better talent next year with current coaches will not automatically lead to greatness.

  12. Dear cemdinc, refer to post #10.
    Mediocre = a trend to the middle. As in the Big 10, let alone all of CB!
    Our Effort < mediocre.

    Look, we have proven we can compete with the nations best on our floor.
    And we've proven we can't on theirs.
    We can beat anybody.
    We can lose anybody.
    It is because the effort isn't there when the shots aren't sinking. There are things that can be done in 92 linear feet, on a wood floor, like rebound, play D, take selective shots, move, hit FTs, etc… to overcome inconsistency.

    That's what's maddening.

  13. Geoff–

    Your “job”? Get over yourself.

    Guess what? When we beat Iowa last time and I was mad we let them shoot 80% in the second half, I was BLASTED for “not enjoying the win and nit-picking.”

    And not just that win either. If I complained we played a creampuff schedule while racking up those wins, I was called a “fake” fan then, too.

    I am not actively “anti-Crean.” I think he’s doing a decent job. However, I don;t think he should be on Mount Rushmore like the “real” fans do.

    Show me where I said he’d “never” get us to the Final Four, Gilligan. Baby Jesus hates liars.

  14. Laffy – that’s the point, you complain after everything. We win you complain, we lose you complain. Who is putting Crean on Rushmore? Of course IU doesn’t have a deep history of great basketball coaches – RMK, McCracken, and Everett Dean basically are the only 3 heads up on the mountain, so theres room for a 4th if Crean can complete the restoration project.

    Psych and wisco complained after the loss as well. They weren’t happy with the effort and neither was I. The difference is that they don’t go over the top and make ridiculous statements.

    Harvard – I’m much tougher on the constant complainers than I am the hopeless romantics. I have little problem with people who just want to root for IU and be joyful, but it doesn’t mean I will let “Hulls to the NBA” statements go unchallenged.

    AwinAZ – why did Mizzou have low expectations? They were 23-11 last year with the same team, and now they are one year better…

  15. The CTC offense needs a dynamic PG to run offense smoothly. IU just has to many flaws in running the offense and will have trouble being effective. B1G teams are either playing man to man pushing out to limit 3s,doubling Cody on the catch and living with some dribble drive buckets or going zone packing it in around Cody and forcing Hulls to give up the ball.
    The fact still remains that the only player who can get his own shot is VO and since he has no in-between shots he has to get to the rim and gets called for offensive fouls every game and limits his minutes.

  16. Wrong, Geoff.

    I did not complain after the Kaintuck game or others.

    It sure is odd you claim to be a “coach” and brag “I tell others to not get too excited and point out faults” when that is all I do.

    Seems you’re jealous and are just crying someone is taking your “job” from you.

    While I wasn’t a “coach”, I did manage 4 different Kinko’s. And one of them was number one for customer service out of over 70 stores.

    One month we got a perfect score…something everyone thought was impossible. How? By ALWAYS striving to be better and NEVER being satisfied and resting on our laurels.

    Kinda sounds like a “coach” to me.

    And before you whine “everyone must have hated working for you”, almost all my employees told me they never had a harder boss…..but that they also never had more fun working anywhere.

    I made it fun…..while performing at a high level. And I ALWAYS looked for ways to get better.

    You’ll just have to deal with someone else doing your “job” of pointing out flaws, crybaby.

  17. Real IU fan – the Results don’t back up the sentiment of your posts…

    1) we do have unathletic guards, but that is part circumstance because we couldn’t attract more athletic players that were better, and part luck because when we did he got hurt – Creek. Regardless, they are part of a 20-7 team, so I wouldn’t consider this group of guards as under-achieving.

    2) this team is not a defensive juggernaut, but they looked very fundamentally sound against teams that were the same size or smaller or same athleticism. They were choking the life out of teams early in the season with their defense. That means that they have some understanding of the concepts they were taught, but they don’t have the size or athleticism to do it consistently against B1G teams. Starting next year and going forward they will have the athletes and size to compete defensively with any of those teams.

    You are ignoring the facts when it comes to rebounding. We are the 3rd best rebounding team in the B1G… We have a +2.7 rebounding margin in conference games, and it’s +3.5 overall.

    3) our senior class is basically made out of walk-ons that weren’t recruited by other D1 schools, so why would you bring them up, they weren’t ever going to be the core of the program. The junior class’s best player (Creek) has been destroyed by injuries. Elston has also been dealing with injuries his first 3 years. Watford has regressed, but he has also had to see his role with the team decrease drastically as more talent has come in. That can be hard to adjust to. Hulls has certainly developed… He is a far better player this year than in in previous years, and it was his leadership in the off-season that set the foundation for this teams success. He has developed into a better player and a better leader.

    I noticed that you left out the sophomore class in your criticism… Is that maybe because Dipo and Sheehey have shown great growth in their games? Apparently that has nothing to do with the coaches.

    4) nothing is automatic or given, but you can look at trends and past results to make some educated guesses. Right now this program is trending up. We have increased our wins every year and taken a quantum leap this year with, yep you guessed it… added talent in Zeller. Why is it a stretch to think that the trend will continue as we continue to add talent next year?

    If you look at Crean’s past performances you’ll see that his system has been extremely effective when infused with talent. It took 2 years at Marquette to get things rolling, but once the athletes got there they were very successful. When he had great athletes and great talent he took a team to the Final Four. As far as we can tell he will have great talent and great athleticism going forward. Why is it a stretch to think that Crean can compete for a national title with that mix when he has in the past?

  18. Laffy, congrats on your past success. I have been in similar situations and can appreciate what it takes. Being a manager is almost exactly like being a coach, just without the media scrutiny at he higher levels… I don’t come on here to brag about my business accomplishments or talk about my basketball prowess. I simply point out that I have experience and make statements from that perspective.

    Anytime you come at me with relevant or reasonable points I will give you your due. For whatever reason, you just seem to always be over the top. I can’t go back and just pull up all of Laffy’s comments on here, but I know you are a constant instigator on the negative side.

    Having a perfect customer service score is more analogous to having a perfect driving record… You may have difficult customers from time to time, but by and large you have control over how the situations are handled. It’s more about maneuvering through traffic and avoiding accidents.

    In basketball you have an active participant who’s only mission is to prevent you from succeeding… They are in direct and intentional conflict with you. So while you can always expect great effort from your team, you obviously aren’t always going to get the results you want, much less be perfect.

    If your only mission here is to hold IU hoops to a high standard and not accept anything less than their best efforts then I have no problem with that. It just seems that you make some more inflammatory statements than that, as well as making some projections about how this program will do in the future that seem to lack perspective.

  19. I reject the extremist label for anyone voicing their opinion about a kid(s) having an occasional bad game because are about 2 veteran players who continue to have as many bad games as they did when underclassmen. Those opinions when recognized in the correct context are called “even keeled” and “fair and objective”. Also there is no avenue for developing a killer instinct on the field of sport without a strong does of success(W’s). Check the IU rear view mirror for proof as to why they don’t yet own that trait. This team, this season is just now able to develop in that kind of environment.

  20. Sheehey has shown “great growth”?

    From what I’ve read, he’s looked horrible lately.

    And for the record, I think Crean can get us to the Final Four if he benches most of the team we have now and let’s the freshmen learn early next year.

    Watford should rarely see the floor next year until he proves he WANTS to be out there.

  21. Holy crap Laffy… Sheehey went from averaging 4 points a game last year to averaging 11 ppg and being talked about as not only the best 6th man in the B1G, but one of the best in the country. Then maybe you forget this, but he got injured and sat for 5 games… He has had a hard time finding his groove since then. (lack of perspective)

    Next year… Jones will be gone and everyone else of consequence will be coming back from a 20+ win team. I agree that Watford’s role should be reduced. Obviously the freshman will need to play quite a bit, but it’s foolish to dismiss the efforts and abilities of Hulls, Dipo and others off the bench that have lead to a very good foundation for success.

    The freshman will have plenty of opportunity without benching “most of the team we have now”. These are the type of over the top statements and lack of persoective that I’m talking about.

  22. I don’t think it is a growth/development issue. Sheehey’s foot/ankle injury is slow in returning to 100%. I think it has also limited him earning more minutes from CW underachieving play. Because of that he is playing less above the rim than he did before the injury and last season. By the March Ho-Down he should be more to his previous form.

  23. Dang, and here I thought I was talking to a “coach” and “expert.”

    Sorry, but I just don’t at point averages. I also look at defense. And from what I’ve read, he’s been BAD lately.

    And I’m really tired about using injuries as an excuse. There isn’t a team in the country that is perfectly healthy.

    Our guys used to dive for loose balls like their lives depended on it. And go after rebounds.

    The last couple of games I saw, the players just look at loose balls and hope it comes to them. Or hope the rebound falls in their lap.

    The funniest part about all of this is Knight is considered GOD by most IU fans…..and I’d bet you ANYTHING he’d agree with most of what I’ve said.

    The team is soft and not living up to their potential. And don’t give me that garbage about “NO ONE expected them to make the NCAA and would have been THRILLED to make the NIT.”

    I thought they’d make the NCAA before the season started.

    And they are NOT living up to their potential.

    Last time I checked, the teams we’ve looked like CRAP against aren’t filled with All Americans.

    The most TIRED line is “we have a young team.” How many freaking seniors and juniors do we need before we aren’t a “young” team anymore?

    Is every team we face starting 5 seniors?

  24. Laffy – again you use the word “lately” when describing Sheehey’s play… Well that just equates to “post-injury”, which whether you like it or not is a reality. Sheehey’s name was brought up in the context of development between his freshman and sophomore year. If you fail to see that there was significant improvement to his game prior to the injury then I’m pretty sure you will lose even what last shred of basketball credibility you have here. Also, there is no part of a players game that is affected more by a high ankle sprain than defense. It is not only obvious, but I know from experience. Defense requires quick lateral movement that often times you don’t have the luxury of dictating. On offense you know generally where you are going, when you are cutting, and are doing more forward and backward movements as compared to lateral.

    You are right about no team being perfectly healthy, but that has nothing to do with the Sheehey development conversation.

    If you want to bring up the effort conversation again, fine, but we have been in agreement about that all along, so what’s your point. If you want to say they are soft, fine, but I’ve said that too. So what’s your point.

    If you were one of the few that believed they were a NCAA tourney team congrats! Most didn’t, although I’m nt sure many would have been “thrilled” with a NIT bid. Pretty sure that WAS expected by everyone here except the most ardent Crean haters.

    I didn’t say we are living up to our potential. In fact I’ve said quite the opposite. I just don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a team that has never experienced success to understand how to respond to every situation.

    What I am satisfied with is the trajectory of improvement the program is on. So I can lean on that when I’m disappointed by individual efforts and bumps in e road.

    Also, I have nevere said that this is a young team. So that isn’t pointed at me either. I have said numerous times that this is a veteran team, and even the young players have more experience than most because of the lack of talent in the upperclasses.

  25. I seriously do not know why you have a stick up your a$$ over me since we agree on so much.

    My guess is because I don’t slobber all over you like the rest do.

    I’m done with this.

  26. IMO, I think Geoff makes perfect sense with most of what he has posted since I have been visiting this site.
    Most fans are very critical and over the top, and I am one of those from time to time. But, lets try to keep things in perspective…..reality.

  27. Thanks Chris. I’m always up for a good debate. I am sure I come across as overbearing and condescending from time to time, so I appreciate your patience with me.

  28. Geoff you don’t come across as condescending, just very comical.


    As far as we can tell he will have great talent and great athleticism going forward. Why is it a stretch to think that Crean can compete for a national title with that mix when he has in the past?

    Crean went to a Final Four only once and then he lost by 30 points to Louisville. You call that competing for a national title? You’re definitely a comedian, dude.

  29. What do ya’ll say when this season is over, say Mar. 17th if effort doesn’t improve; after all, it is St. Patrick’s Day, we can all get together and have a beer and reminisce about how good of a season it was.

  30. Geoff, I’m with Chris. There’s that handful of people that want to come on here after losses and say ‘Crean sucks’ and they want everyone to chime in. You post analysis without trying to label everything as good or bad. Just what it is. That’s not what that group wants. They want red meat. You give them data sheets.

    I love the wins. I’m over the losses pretty quickly. I guess I don’t have the requisite hatred they thrive on. My interest level is very high. My emotional involvement not so much.

    Love your family, like your team.

  31. You look at it now and it’s even more amazing we did the number on Ky. On a lighter side check out the Yahoo comic “In the Bleachers” The Monday Feb 20th….Think it is kind of fitting……….

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