Crean on Big Ten teleconference

Waiting for the playback to be available to go back for full quotes, but some basics from Tom Crean’s press conference this morning.

— Crean compared Iowa to last year’s Indiana team. Said it not only has raw depth, but a versatility of talent and skill with players who can run and shoot, defend and rebound. He pointed out that it’s one of the oldest teams in college basketball and said that he considers McCaffrey one of the best teams in the country.

— Crean said he had not yet defined Hanner Mosquera-Perea’s suspension.

— Crean said he does handle slumps better with a younger team. Said he still believes he’s seeing a consistency of work ethic from his team, but that he doesn’t see a consistency of understanding how to win games, which comes from the youth.

— Crean was asked if the lack of three-point shooting from players outside of Ferrell has led to defenses sagging off the wings. His response: “Of course it is.” He elaborated from there, but totally agreed with the sentiment.

— Crean said he thinks Noah Vonleh has to be more aggressive when he gets the ball and has to be more aggressive in getting the ball through offensive rebounding, etc.

UPDATE: Full quotes

Opening Statement on Iowa

“They are very hard to get ready for, and that’s why they are so successful. They have excellent players and Fran is one of the top coaches in our league and in the country. He does such a great job of going from game-to-game, doing whatever it takes to win that game. He has a lot of things in the gameplan that he can go to. At the same time, they have their constants and their principles.

“You can see with them being as old as they are and as experienced as any team in this league, that they are playing that way. They are extremely unselfish with one another and cause so many issues with their versatility. We have a great task in front of us and that’s what we are looking forward to tomorrow night.”

On the depth that Iowa has:

“We have to make it work for us. We have to take the speed of the game and make it work for us. They can do numerous things, whether it is pressure or man or zone or switching because of the versatility. He has recruited a very versatile team. It reminds me when we watch them – and it has been this way all year – of what we had last year with our team with the experience, shooting, scoring and guys that have been there in a lot of hard game. also some young fire power that brought some energy to the table.

“We have to challenge shots. They are as good as anyone in this league at getting out (on the fast break) after makes or misses. There are some very good transition teams in this league, but they are as good as any. Not only because they get the ball up the court with the dribble or down the middle, but the way they shoot the 3-pointer in transition. So we have to be really good there.”

On breaking out of the recent slump with a young team versus experienced teams from past seasons:

“I think you definitely approach it differently. You need to get after it. You need to work at it, in the sense of positive energy and fuel that. We have a lot of hard workers in here and a lot of guys that put a lot of time and effort into it. You don’t want to press too hard. You don’t want to feel an outside, unneeded pressure that can wear you down physically and mentally. So you absolutely try to do different things.”

On defenses focusing on Yogi and the challenges that presents:

“I think that is pretty obvious thing, that coaches are playing the percentages, or lack there of, of some of our other players shooting. So we have to keep the game in movement. I think Yogi is doing an excellent job with the ball because he is off the ball more, and that’s the most important thing – you have to be in movement. At certain times, it can look like the offense is slowing down because the defense is in a help position and a lot of the driving lanes aren’t there. That is where the screening has to be great. We are not reading back cuts as well as we should be. We are not reading some of the open gaps. And what happens is when guys that are used to getting the ball and having the defense centered around them – especially the young guys – when that isn’t happening because the defense is not respecting what you do, then you really have to go and be creative. That’s where offensive rebounding has to come up big.

“It’s the same thing with Noah. He touches the ball but he isn’t as aggressive as he needs to be with the ball. Some of that is the offensive rebounding. Some of that is taking advantage of driving opportunities when they are there. Some of it is being ready to shoot. Some of it is not looking to just pass the ball as soon as he touches it and he usually looks for it in the post. But Noah has to move around somewhat too. No question that when you don’t have as many outside shooters, the defense dictates so much of how the offense is going to look as a whole. But it can’t dictate how it looks from a person in movement, and the person in movement has to constantly try to create a look or opportunity for someone else. It doesn’t matter if it’s a set play or random basketball. That is why transition is good for us. That’s why transition pick-and-roll’s are good for us because the game is in movement and the defense isn’t set yet.

“But we have some of our guys that are not making as many shots have to be more aware of what they need to do with cutting, screening, flashing and those types of things right now. That is the consistency that we haven’t gotten.”

On having freshmen in the starting lineup compared to other teams with older players:

“I don’t think there is any question that plays into it. We are certainly as young as anyone in the league and at times we play that way. What happens is, when you are young and you don’t have the experience, you don’t have the consistency. What we have is a consistency in work habits and work ethic, which is good and part of the process. But we don’t have that consistency of what it takes, physically and mentally, to win the games. That is where awareness comes in. That’s where needing to make this cut or that cut or I don’t need to pass the ball here or running the play the way it needs to be run or I need to take one more dribble at the basket or I need to slow down…those kinds of things are all part of it.

“We have been down that road before and have played with young players. Our older players, with the exception of two, are basically sophomores. They are all trying to figure it out too. Bottom line is we just have to do a better job of being consistent and then when things get tight, we have to have even more internal leadership, which leads to external leadership when they are out on the court, where guys make their teammates feel like everything is going to be OK and it’s going to work out. And then they have to carry that out on the court. When you have guys that are struggling, sometimes for the first times in their lives, that takes a while to go through that process where they can get that confidence and get that consistency when things are going well for them. That’s what we are trying to work through right now.”


  1. “Youth excuse” Crean fiddles repeatedly is offensive to the human race. Crean’s 20 yr olds are not playing against a 36 year old Mateen Cleaves or a 29 yr old Deron Williams. They are playing against their peers. There’s a reason 19-22 yr olds compete against each other, the differences between them aren’t as drastic as losers want you to believe. When a player is a freshman he struggles…”well he’s young, still doesn’t know how to win,” when he’s a senior and makes mistakes, “lack of leadership and surprising mistakes from our seniors.” There’s no difference. Losers find excuses to lose, winners find reasons to win.

  2. Noah doesn’t get enough credit for how well he denies the ball getting into the post player he’s defending. He’s got great movement in inching around the defender and getting his hands in a position to stymie the guard from making the entry pass. And I think he’s pretty damn aggressive on the boards.

    He just needs to be a little more careful on taking the bait for cheap fouls. He has to know his importance and play intelligent within his aggressiveness. You can’t leave your feet on a guy 10 ft from the basket. You sometimes have to give the layup and preserve your status.

    But he has a lovely stroke from outside and he’s showing more and more of his game with each outing.

  3. Doesn’t Noah need to be fed the ball more often to actually be able to do something with it. Lets work on getting him the touches he deserves before criticizing him.

  4. If Crean didn’t substitute so darned much maybe the other players would see Vonleh and try to get him the ball. How the heck are you supposed to know ho’s playing when there’s a mass substitution at EVERY dead ball! I think that’s part of the problem both offensively AND defensively.

  5. A more fitting question would be at this late in the season, why hasn’t our coach taught these kids the fundamentals he constantly states the team lacks. He constantly tells us what the kids are doing wrong but hasn’t elaborated on what he is doing wrong. What a surprise.

  6. Does anyone know what he just said? What a lot of bs,I thought he was making an atomis bomb. I,s, laughable.

  7. I have seen enough of Crean to know he’s just an average coach at best, making millions of dollars. Why would Glass agree to these huge buyouts on his contract. He had a grace period of three full years. He’s not some young coach like Chris Collins. This guy has been coaching for years! He has shown that he is not going to change the way he coaches. After he wouldn’t help his team by showing them how to put the ball in play at home against PSU, I knew he was an average coach at best. IU can do better.

  8. @ JB… No. They wouldn’t play, and if they did they would be holding up the progress of guys like Stan and Troy without adding many W’s to ledger.

    Now Fischer… That stings. There’s an area we could really use depth going forward.

  9. You can see with them being as old as they are […] that they are playing that way. […] Our older players, with the exception of two, are basically sophomores. Bottom line is we just have to […] have even more internal leadership, which leads to external leadership […]

    — Tommy “Naismith” Crean, commissioner of rings to commemorate back to back sweet sixteens.

  10. Fab

    Creek vs Gordon is debatable… I’m convinced that it’s all a function of their situations, not their abilities. Here’s what I know, Gordon averaged 10 ppg last year for ASU… He averaged 14 at liberty as a soph… If he had transferred to GW I’m not so sure he doesn’t do at least what Creek is doing this year.

    Stan vs Remy is not… It’s not even close. Not even close.

  11. Remy brought the ball up against a VCU press as a freshman…You won’t see Stan handling that sorta “thrown into the fires” pressure.

    Stan’s game reminds me a lot of VJ III…He’s sort of a slasher and loose with the ball. Gets to the rim a little better. VJ could shoot the outside ball better. If Robinson had the duties to handle the ball with the same frequency demanded of VJ, it would be no less the disaster. Robinson slap-dribbles and it just invites the defender to disrupt or deflect…and it kills his rhythm…He’s got to clean that up or he’s just gonna cost us s key possession in big games. Remy is stronger.

  12. Geoff, I am going to weigh in for a short on the subject of Mo and RA on the IU roster this year. I understand your read on them not being of much impact this year. Also them postponing the development of the Frosh. But I see them impacting positively in 4 areas we are lacking. Shooting, outside shooting, transition and D. Both are better shooters and defenders than the Frosh(although Stan can defend). My friends and I all agree having 1 shooter this year would cure a lot of ills and would subdue some of the criticism of Coach Crean. Last year being maybe not the norm we had 2-4 ball handlers on every transition, this year 1 to a max of 1.5. For me as good a recruiters and talent evaluators as this staff can be, why Gordon over either RA or Creek is hollow. They both have more positives than he offers. Even substituting at the PG spot he is a trade off with Remy. I think with those 2 playing large parts in the rotation NV is more productive being smothered less with defenders having to respect the outside threat leading to a minimum of 3 more W’s this year. No doubt their positive intangibles would include inbounding the ball successfully and none of us would now be suffering those recurring nightmares.

  13. Fab… Maybe… But even so it would be like 10-9, and Remy would be a Jr vs Stan a Frosh… I’m not saying the potential for Abell to help this team is nil, but I am saying neither guy is a season saver or measurably better right now than the guys we actually have. With them on the roster maybe we win 2 more games. Whoopdy-doooo we go to the NIT…

    1) Remy didn’t want to be here
    2) Remy couldn’t help us be measurable better
    3) Remy was 5-14 from 3-pt territory in B1G + NCAA games
    4) Remy had 15 TO’s to 12 assists in B1G + NCAA games
    5) Creek was 3-11 last year in B1G + NCAA games
    6) Creek was visibly the worst perimeter defender on the team last year, and it wasn’t close (don’t even bring Jordy’s name up because it wasn’t close)
    7) Creek is 19-60 (31%) from 3-pt land this year against high-major competition, he feasting against the La Salles, St Bony’s, Fordham’s or worse of the world (38-85 for 45%)
    8) Creek looked completely over-matched last year when he was on the court.

    Besides the fact that this a a moot point, it is a case of everyone remembering things too fondly. Neither player could contribute for the team last year. They both hurt the team more often than they helped when given opportunities last season.

    I’m not happy about how this season is going either, but Remy and Creek are not, and never were, the answer.

  14. #1 has been refuted by a very reputable sports personality that claims to know different.

    I’m not sure if you’re combining Remy’s stats from both years, but his production and percentages dropped last season. Hulls was a senior…Yogi was a highly touted freshman that was going to get his minutes. Sheehey was more of a fan favorite and was always declared as the mid-range king…Remy never had much of a chance to get into a flow of the game. You start having to deliver and prove in very short stints. It’s not easy for any player and I don’t think those numbers Geoff is posting mean crap. Crean has certain players he’s already convinced are the direction he’s going with development and evolution of that player. Remy was hitting a roadblock of minimal minutes and it was showing in his confidence..Going forward, Crean no longer had a use for him because he knew his time would be more dedicated to the freshman coming in.

    Remy was a rather close-to-home kid…He was just up the road from Louisville. He was insurance and came up big in many games when thrown in with very little time to build confidence and consistency in his game. Yet, he still delivered. We never get to that first Sweet 16 without Remy Abell.

    But when a coach reaches 4-5 states across the land to go after a particular set of players, I think he’s already somewhat shown his hand on where the PT is going to be distributed.

    Xavier is a program that allow Remy to get on the floor. There isn’t the atmosphere that now permeates Indiana. Crean functions a someone pretending to be a coach. In actuality, he’s a mini-camp for the NBA. He recruits based on those ideals to find the next phenom. He puts them on the floor like lab rats and watches them scurry about in an unorganized fashion. There’s no team chemistry..There’s no players outside his choice set of experimental subjects that will ever get the same long patience, or anything approaching the chances to grow through mistakes, as he gives to his “chosen” few to be the next Dwyanadipo.

    Teams can be so much greater than their individual parts. It’s the only reason those five banners hang from Assembly. Yes, Bobby had his talent, but the focus and purpose was different. He found how to max the skills of every player rather than casting them aside if they weren’t total package, Sports Center Top-10, highlight reel hoarders. But for Crean, it’s about finding the golden nugget to save his otherwise very weak resume as a team developer/X’s and O’s coach.

    Remy is built for a team. He’s not built for the glitter. Whether pushed or left on his own accord, I’m happy he’s at a place he’ll at least get a fair shot to prove himself and his value to the team rather than an NBA scout or mock draft…Team. Huh, what’s that? T-tenacious E-everyone A-adaptable M-mission. It’s a strange concept these day at Indiana. Now we’re simply a mini-camp for an NBA scout posing as qualified to teach the game at a place teaching was once important.

  15. Crean’s strategy with Evin Gordon vs. Remy doesn’t take a genius. You don’t need access to every stat across the land. You don’t need to demean a kid by putting up his numbers that were amassed by getting 60-90 seconds on the court and then being quickly yanked once the next D-Wade/phenom had got his needed short breather.

    Why is Gordon on this team instead of Remy? Come on, people. That’s beyond easy. There’s an Indiana kid that probably has double the skills of James Blackmon. I think he’s related to this Gordon kid currently getting a chance to play close to home. How would fans feel about Crean if Eron went down to Duke?

    Why is Remy not on this team? Only a fool couldn’t see Crean’s tactical and manipulative purpose in that move. Is anyone in their right mind going to risk losing out on landing what is possibly the best guard to come out of Indiana in 25 years? And we are known for some very dynamite guards coming out of this state. So, ask yourself…Do you say no to Big Papa Gordon when he tells you that Evan is interested in leaving Arizona and he found one year in an NCAA loophole to go out a beloved Hoosier?

    Adios Remy.

  16. Crean is basically an insurance salesman. A-Hope projects was insurance to stay in favor with Adams when the Cody/Movement would come to town. Cody was insurance to buy patience for Crean to find his next D-Wade. Remy was insurance to help the inept and short Bloomington Polish homey that couldn’t handle a VCU press and get our backcourt to a Sweet 16. More limelight for Tom Crean. Evan Gordon is insurance to keep close to the family ties in landing the best guard to come out of Indiana in decades.

    Every move is an insurance policy. It has nothing to do with team development or chasing the elusive 6th banner.

    It’s about covering and shadowing the glaring ineptitude to coach the game. It can happen at a school wrought with fears because their beautiful and untainted program built by Jesus himself was ruined by Kelvin Sampson. The weak Indiana fans whine like Nancy Kerrigan getting her knee busted by a Tonya Harding thug…Whyyyyyyy me? Whyyyyyyy me? Why did Kelvin pick me…? Whyyyyyyy? SISSIES! WEAK! VILLAIN CHASERS! A vagabond, traveling snake oil salesman, was the opportunist that brought the cure… We don’t care about banners anymore. We care about our precious image and finding phenoms to get our name in NBA bedrooms…It’s all we got. It’s a safe and happy place to live in denial of what was once and what was lost. It’s where you go to give up…It’s finding the comforts of Sunday sermons because you’ve lost your “let’s get nasty mean” edge. Throw the coins in brass collection plate for Tommy’s millions for Hoosiers to play it safe. Because it’s Crean’s Indiana. Not this Hoosier’s Indiana.

    But guess what, Tom? The sad truth for you is that Indiana fans know differently deep in the reserves their hearts. And you’ll soon find out that you’re no different than Remy. You are our insurance. And we’ll change policies…We’ll switch to a banner policy instead of the safety in NBA phenoms. We’ll tire of sales job. We’ll tire of being used. We’ll go back to what made us different. We’ll want a teacher of a game rather than a a talker that is merely gold panning for NBA talent.

  17. Yeah, that’s a rant. Now leave Remy alone, servant and pedicurist for Pharaoh CharlaTom ..or I’ll feed you some more reality and logic that won’t require your empty stats.

  18. Everything’s a moot point cause this team is 5-11 against real D1 opponents, I’m aware of all the moot points, it’s just fun cause it’s entertaining. 🙂

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