Vonleh: “Ever since I was a little kid I had a dream of playing in the NBA”

Indiana held a press conference for Noah Vonleh’s early NBA draft entry. A transcript follows.

 TOM CREAN:  I’m going to have a couple opening remarks, then give it to Noah.  I’ll make a couple more remarks after that and then we’ll open it up to Q & A.

            This day is completely centered on Noah Vonleh, and he’s earned it.  Noah has earned, in a period of his life, I think it became very clear to everybody that he had a chance to ‑‑ maybe I’m speaking on behalf of all the other people that recruited him or have been involved in his life.  I know I’m speaking on behalf of us, that it became really clear when we started recruiting, we were recruiting somebody unique, not just because of his size, not just because of his abilities, not just because of his athleticism.  Those things are obvious, all right.  The talent in him, the skill level, it was there.  There’s no question that it has grown at a pace that he’s been on with here.

But more importantly than that, it didn’t take long to see his personality, it didn’t take long to see his character, didn’t take very long at all to see his work ethic, and for someone his age, much like we’ve had with other guys that we’ve been up here with that were 20 and 21 last year when we did that, those things all really, really translate.  They translate into how good you are on the court.  They translate into how good you are as a teammate.  They translate into how coachable you are.  They translate into your upside.

And Noah, if you were taking a definition of upside, you could easily put his picture next to that definition because he has it, but it’s more than that.  There’s a tremendous amount of substance to what Noah does, and that I think is why he was probably attracted to this program from the

beginning, why we were attracted to him, because there is a lot of substance to this program.  There’s a lot of ‑‑ it’s been forever, the tradition of it.  But we also have a program where people are going to continually get better, and that pace that they’re developed at and the pace that they work at have to go hand in hand.

Well, we’ve put our time into helping him become better, but he has worked as hard or harder than anybody has worked with him.  He has got an uncommon work ethic for his age.  I’ll give you one example.  I’ve never coached a freshman as an assistant coach or head coach in the time that I’ve coached that dives into the film and studies film like he does, and not just the film that we watch as a group but the film that he watches.  It took Victor (Oladipo) basically his junior year before he really got that down and transferred that into a big part of how he learned and a big part of how he played.  Noah started to do that this year.

Again, it’s his day.  We’re extremely proud of him, and I’ll turn it over to Noah.

NOAH VONLEH:  I just want to thank God for having me here today to announce that I’ll be going to take my talents to the NBA.  I want to thank the whole Indiana staff, Coach Crean, Coach McClain, Coach Buckley, Coach Johnson, Coach Jackson for all helping me get to where I’m at, Coach Crean just pushing me hard every day on the court and off the court to be a better person, a better player, and just taking my game to a different level.

I want to thank Coach Jackson for pushing me in the weight room, helping me put on a lot of weight so I was able to go out there this year and play against top big guys in the country and showcase my skills.

I want to thank Marni Mooney for staying on top of me, pushing me to be determined and finish my work, finish my work and be on top of every school ‑‑

TOM CREAN:  Tell them how close you’ll be to graduation at the end of the semester.

NOAH VONLEH:  At the end of the semester I’ll be 43 percent done with my degree and be ready to graduate, so I want to thank her a lot for pushing me to get to that point.

Starting last May when I came up here, I just came in with the right mindset and wanted to complete all my work, and she helped me out a lot and motivated me to get to this point.

I want to thank my mom, my AAU coach Ben, my high school coach Pete Hutchins, my other high school coach Mike Trovato for pushing me and helping me get to this point.

TOM CREAN:  And some of these guys that you had even back before then in Massachusetts, good to throw their names out there.

NOAH VONLEH:  I want to thank some of my AAU coaches like Barry Spears, who helped me start AAU basketball in like the fifth grade and helped me get a passion for basketball.  That’s about it.  Guys like Scott Hazelton, who mentored me and helped me build a love for the game of basketball and just keep getting better.

TOM CREAN:  See, that’s important because, first off, when you talk about his mother, we knew ‑‑ we’ve always tried to do this.  We try to recruit certain characteristics.  You try to recruit year‑round winners, but when you can recruit a family more than just a player, you know you have a real opportunity to have some great things, and that’s exactly what you get with Noah and his mom Renell.  They are as close as you can be, and the respect level is so high, and even though she didn’t get to see him every night in person, knowing that we had somebody that was raised by her has been phenomenal.

And again, you don’t get this passion and drive without a lot of people in your life along the way on the coaching side of it, which he’s had, going all the way back, like I said, to the fifth grade.  His AAU coach Vin Pastore did a tremendous job with him and had an interest in him long before it was really clear that he was going to be a great player.

Certainly his coach at New Ham, Pete Hutchins, did a phenomenal job with him in our estimation, and that’s what you get because you want that. And as happy as we are for him and as much as you’d like to spend more time with him because he’s such a good person and he’s got such a good work ethic and he’s grown so much here, the bottom line is he’s had a dream, and Indiana is in a place ‑‑ he chose Indiana to be the place to help him get to that dream.  I think the pace that he worked at and the pace that he played at and the pace that he developed at speaks a lot about everybody here at Indiana but it speaks a lot about what he’s capable of and it’s speaks a lot about his teammates.

He’s been a phenomenal teammate here.  I think he’s built some lasting ‑‑ I’d say some lasting lifelong relationships here potentially with these guys, especially with the guys in his class.

But you can get your dreams accomplished here, and that’s a big thing.  I mean, he’s going to stay in this line of lottery picks that we’ve had now over the last ‑‑ based on the projections, which ‑‑

But bottom line is this program was able to help get that process sped up.  We’re proud of him.  He’s got an unlimited future because of his potential, because of his character, because of his work ethic, the talent is there, the weight and the strength that he’s put on in a short period of time.  Think about it:  Five weeks or go, give or take, he was the leading three‑point shooter in the league.  The way he’s developed his shooting, the way he’s developed his defensive abilities, to be able to guard numerous people, to get in switch situations, to be able to guard guards.  His rebounding speaks for itself; freshman of the year in the league, leading rebounder in the league, third leading offensive rebounder, first leading defensive rebounder, his shooting percentages, his free‑throw percentages.  We mentioned the three‑point percentage.  All those things are really, really strong.

Proud that he chose us to come in here and help realize his potential, and now it’s going to be fun to watch him continue to grow, develop and let the next coach at the next level and that coaching staff take the next step with his potential, all remembering that he’s basically 18 and a half years of age and could easily be a senior in high school.

We’re proud of him, and he has cemented himself in here in the Hoosier tradition because he’s come in here and he’s done a fantastic job.  He’s touched a lot of lives in a short period of time, and he is always going to have a home here, there’s no doubt about that.


Q.  Noah, how difficult a decision was this?  Who did you talk to or what factored into it?

NOAH VONLEH:  It was a pretty difficult decision, but ever since I was a little kid I always had a dream of playing in the NBA, so I said, why not.  Why not go for it?  I went home, I talked to my mom.  She’s like, if that’s what you want to do ‑‑ we sat down and talked for a while, and she’s like, if that’s what you want to do, it’s always been a

dream of yours, why not go for it.  So I just stuck with my heart and went with it.  I talked to a few other people.  I talked to my AAU coach, Vin Pastore.  I talked to Coach Crean.  I talked to Scott Hazelton and a few other people, and I thought that was the best decision.

TOM CREAN:  And what we did during spring break time was we did research like we’ve done for others and went straight to the decision makers, not the opinion givers, which is so easily sometimes to get caught up in that and get caught up in what you read or what somebody is projecting him to be.  The projections were never the question and the projections have come back from the NBA at an extremely high level.  They just came back today.  It was never about his projections or where he might be drafted.  It was about what do they see, what could his contributions be, and there’s no question that from the decision makers they see all that we see.  They see the development.  They see a young man, and when they get to know his work ethic and his desire to be great and what kind of person he is, he’s going to have the same attachment to his coach he had here and the same thing with his teammates.  He’s got a chance because of his abilities and his skill levels and his desire to get better at the things he’s got to get better at.  He’ll flourish, and I think the next level sees that.  I don’t think there’ll be any doubt that’ll happen.


Q.  What did you hear?  What did you find out that told you now this year was the time to go?

NOAH VONLEH:  Like Coach Crean said, we got the information from the teams and we got the feedback from what they said, and I just felt like I’d be ready to go, and it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the NBA.  The chance was there, and I just went with it.


Q.  Is that based upon some confidence on where you might be drafted?  Is that a pretty decent consideration?

NOAH VONLEH:  I heard I’ll be somewhere in the lottery, but that’s unknown.  I’ve got to go into workouts and showcase my skills and hopefully end up where I want to be.


Q.  Do you become a facilitator in terms of you give your suggestion do you stay or go, or do you just provide information?

TOM CREAN:  No, no, you can’t have a truth‑based relationship if you don’t tell him the truth and you don’t tell him what you see. But again, you work very hard to not have people get caught up in the opinion giving because everybody has got one.  I mean, it’s the way that it is, and all you have to do is pick up a dot‑com or see some scouting analyst, and what I try to get across to these guys is the people that are making the decisions aren’t talking to those people because they’re not going to be quoted, and they’re not talking ‑‑ the unnamed sources are usually not going to be the GMs or the directors of scouting and things like that. You have to have an ability to get to those people, and I think we do and we have, and I think there’s a respect level for this program that ‑‑ the way they get better so they can project them.

I think that was certainly the case with Victor last year and with Cody.  But the bottom line is the projections are high no matter who’s looking at them.  It was really based on what will he go and contribute, because he needs to play.  He absolutely needs to play.

The bottom line is this:  I mean, you’ve got every country represented here.  You’ve got the third largest alumni base.  People come here to realize their dreams.  They come here to build on their goals, and where everybody has something in common, nobody comes here ‑‑ nobody goes to a university like Indiana just to get by, and you know what, I really don’t want to do anything.  I guess occasionally somebody might, but they figure it out a couple years later when their parents can’t pay for them any longer.  Noah is realizing his dreams one year in.

Think about what he said now.  Last year we had Victor graduating on his 21st birthday, graduating in three years.  Cody left, he would have graduated in December this year, so he would have graduated in two and a half years, and this young guy who was in college a year earlier than most everybody else that he’s gone to school with during his life is going to be 43 percent of the way there, okay, and the summer it would have been even that much higher, and I know that’s important to his

mother and to him, and we’ve got to keep it important to him to get that someday.

But here’s the point:  He did a phenomenal job.  Grade point, class choices, the way he’s handled his tutoring, the mentoring, everything that goes on there, what he’s done in his classes.  It’s phenomenal.  He’s on a great track.

Facilitating is pretty simple, and they don’t ever stop being ‑‑ you don’t ever stop telling them the truth.  It doesn’t matter who it is.  Dwyane Wade was here almost two years ago; you don’t ever stop telling them the truth.  Maybe they didn’t even play here.  You always tell them the truth, but you always support them in every way, and I think that’s exactly what we have, and the truth is that he’s got tremendous potential to go and do what he wants to do, no question about it.


Q.  Coach Crean talked about obviously the things he saw this season.  What do you feel like you have proved and what do you feel like you need to improve on as you go through this process?

NOAH VONLEH:  I think I proved that I’ve got a pretty good skill set.  I can step out, shoot threes.  My post game has gotten a lot better, still a work in progress.  I can still improve on it.  I can still improve on a lot of things in my shot, getting my release quicker, being able to push the dribble out and do different things like that, just to make myself an overall better player.


Q.  What’s the biggest memory you’ll take away from here?

NOAH VONLEH:  I’m going to miss being in the gym with the team, guys like Troy, Stan, Yogi, Hanner, always being in the gym with those guys, just getting better working on different things to help our team be better.  I’m going to miss that a lot.  I’m going to miss playing in Assembly Hall in front of all those fans, just being coached by Coach Crean.  He pushed me hard every day, and I’m going to miss being in the weight room with Coach Jackson and things like that.


Q.  At what point do you feel like you realized this was something that could happen this fast?

NOAH VONLEH:  I really started to realize it towards the end of the season.  A lot of people were like, he could possibly leave after this year,

but I tried not to pay too much attention to that, and then when the season was over, I talked to a few people and saw where they could see me going, and I thought it was the right time to go.


Q.  What’s next?  Obviously finishing up the semester, but from the draft side, what’s next for you and how much is Indiana involved?

NOAH VONLEH:  I’ve been working out a lot this week ‑‑

TOM CREAN:  He’s trying to let his foot heal up a little bit and get that recovery in.

NOAH VONLEH:  Yeah, I’ve been getting treatment trying to get my foot right.  It’s feeling a lot better.  I’ve been resting it.  So I’m back on the court, doing some stationary shooting, some ball handling drills and things like that and keeping my conditioning up with riding the bike and doing the StairMaster and things like that, and I’m going to start doing individuals with the team and just doing some conditioning and stuff when my foot feels 100 percent.  I’m going to probably sign an agent in the next couple weeks.  That’s about it.  One of the managers (Seth Cooper), he’s real good, I like working with him, and work out with some of the guys here like Troy, Stan, Devin, Yogi, Hanner, just keep getting better.

TOM CREAN:  The process will be we’ll continue to work hard so he continues to finish what he started academically, leaves nothing on the table there, and he’s got all the benefits of whatever he needs in the sense of continuing to get his foot where it’s 100 percent, and there’s really not much he can do right now in the line of the next level as far as doing things with that process because it’s much too early for that process to totally start with the teams.  But he’ll be well prepared for it, and all he’s got to do is keep doing what he’s done since he got here:  Keep getting better every day.

He literally came in the first day that he was here and started in the gym, came back to the gym that night and has never stopped.  It’s amazing how that works.  Victor Oladipo did the same thing.  It’s amazing how it works.  The guys that come in, Cody Zeller grew to absolutely love doing extra things, was such a talented player and realized that he could get so much better because of that talent, and now he’s on the way to being in the Playoffs.

Our team is working at a great rate right now.  We’ve had six individuals, we’ll have our seventh

TOM CREAN:  The process will be we’ll continue to work hard so he continues to finish what he started academically, leaves nothing on the table there, and he’s got all the benefits of whatever he needs in the sense of continuing to get his foot where it’s 100 percent, and there’s really not much he can do right now in the line of the next level as far as doing things with that process because it’s much too early for that process to totally start with the teams.  But he’ll be well prepared for it, and all he’s got to do is keep doing what he’s done since he got here:  Keep getting better every day.

He literally came in the first day that he was here and started in the gym, came back to the gym that night and has never stopped.  It’s amazing how that works.  Victor Oladipo did the same thing.  It’s amazing how it works.  The guys that come in, Cody Zeller grew to absolutely love doing extra things, was such a talented player and realized that he could get so much better because of that talent, and now he’s on the way to being in the Playoffs.

Our team is working at a great rate right now.  We’ve had six individuals, we’ll have our seventh tomorrow.  I think we’ve had eight weight workouts, and we’re well underway in our off‑season program.  The spirits are excellent.  The work ethic is excellent.  And now Noah gets to participate in that as we go and get ready for his next step, too, just like the team is.


Q.  Tom, obviously with Noah’s departure, how concerned are you about the gap that you have in your team?

TOM CREAN:  Not concerned at all, not concerned one bit.  You’re always going to miss Noah because he’s such a ‑‑ just like you work at your job to be the best you can be, that’s exactly what we’re doing here.  There’s a lot of things that go on that you’re building towards and that you’re working at in recruiting.  It’s not always public, and that’s the way that it is.  But we have great confidence in what ‑‑ we have great confidence in the guys that are here.  We’ll miss our seniors.  We’ll miss him.  I mean, come on.

But you know what, this is a place where dreams can be fulfilled, and I know that sounds kind of trite, but it’s true, and that’s exactly what we’re doing, and anybody that would look at it any differently is selfish, and certainly from a selfish standpoint, we’d love to have him back.  But selfish is not how you get to this point.  Being truthful, helping him get better and being there every step of the way with him is how you get to this point, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do in recruiting.  We’re excited about the guys that are coming in, and we’re excited about the prospects of what could potentially happen for us in recruiting and absolutely love the way the guys are working here.  There’s no long faces anywhere, and that’s no offense to anybody.  There’s no long faces.  We’re good.  We’re working at a very good rate.


  1. “This day is completely centered on Noah Vonleh, and he’s earned it. ”

    Really Coach? Then why is there so much of your continuous blabber in this PC? Do the math on this one but your words outnumber his 4:1.

    I’d say the kid developed quite well after only getting 7.2 shots per game…just looked it up. 7.2 shots per game from our next lottery pick, the 3rd in 2 years, with 2 tournament victories to show for it.

  2. Any excuse to bash Crean. Yawn! Well, you Crean-haters will have plenty more opportunities to continue your diatribe over the next two years, cause Crean’s not going anywhere any time soon.

    Interestingly enough, Noah did not sound like a person who was disgruntled or disillusioned with his head coach or with the University, as some on this site have insisted he was. He’s not leaving IU early for the NBA for any negative reason, he’s leaving because feedback from NBA “decision makers” (i.e., General Managers) came back suggesting that they covet his talent and are willing to pay him millions a year to play in their league. He’s leaving to pursue his life-long dream. That’s a good thing. Good for him.

    It’s clear that Noah is leaving IU for the right reasons and that he has no animosity toward Crean or any of his other coaches.

    Good luck, Noah. Thanks for the year. I hope you’re a huge success in the NBA and that you complete the work for your degree.

    I wonder how many of Kentucky’s fabulous freshmen basketball stars are 43% of the way to getting their degree?

  3. There’s also a thing called “staying” for the right reasons. We’ve witnessed many top NBA players(e.g.Blake Griffin)that have come back from very serious injuries.

    The injury excuse is old and tired. The millions would be there for most of these young men in two years no different than tomorrow. Play the game for something beyond what money, in itself, will never provide. Play for teammates..Play for that coach you speak so admirably. You know that he’s just saying what you want to hear. Deep down, he’s a scorned as finding out a lover wanted the love of another.

    Give the poor fella his banner trip. The world is full of prima donnas…Be something unique. Be Ralph Sampson telling the Celtics they’re going to have to wait 3 more years because you want to honor a mission and honor your brothers donning the same colors with no prima offers aiming for the same mission.

  4. AWinAZ, right on, Crean couldn’t keep his mouth shut! He says it’s Noah’s day and all he does is talk about the program and how great a job the coaches did in making Noah a better player. He rails on and on about how players get better at IU. It is mentioned in almost every statement he makes. Even though it was supposed to be Noah’s day, coach Cream kept trying to sell the program every time he opened his mouth.

    While being a Crean backer, the more I read this, the more upset I got about Crean trying to sell the program again and again instead of letting Noah have his day. It seemed to me that Crean was defending all of the criticism he has been receiving lately? H4H, you know kids now a days are going to take the money and run. While I don’t agree on Noah leaving, I certainly don’t know what his mother’s financial situation is? What child wouldn’t want to help his mother out if he could? If Noah is 43% towards his degree, it stands to reason with one more year of summer school and his sophomore year, he could almost have his degree? What a great accomplishment that would have been!

  5. Say what you want Podunker and you’ll have the last seat left on the Creantanic.

    7.2 shots per game are facts and so is the meaningless ‘we develop players and good men’ banter.

    This kid is 43% of the way through his degree because he took college credit courses in high school. That’s a credit to him. And it is very easy to see very early on that this kid was a class act with the way he handled interviews on TV. “Yes sir” and “Thank you sir” were heard repeatedly. I’m sure Tommy Pom-Pom takes credit for that too.

  6. Even though it was supposed to be Noah’s day, coach Cream kept trying to sell the program every time he opened his mouth.

    Nothing new…It’s always been his pattern to steal success. When the Hoosiers went up to Michigan and won the Big 10 title outright, Crean could let it just be a feel good moment for the players. He had to steal the headlines by chasing Jeff Meyer around, scream in front of national cameras, and tell the world that he saved Indiana from the evil witches that had wrecked his mommy’s house seven years ago. He whines as much as Dorothy trying to find her way back to Kansas. I think McClain is filling in for Toto.

  7. Congrats to Noah Vonleh. I’ll sure miss him in Cream and Crimson, but he has a very bright future ahead of him.

  8. No kid that is getting ready to become a millionare is going to go into a press conference and bash his coach..teamates..and team.He is leaving because he knew when he signed he was one and done.Blackmos will also be one and done.Noah also knew that next year’s team will be no better and maybe even worse so a kid that could be a lottery pick and his team did not even make it to any post season play…better take it and run.Crean is selling the fact that IU has had 2 lottery picks last year and one possible this year to save his job.Funny thing is with 3 lottery picks in 2 seasons and can’t get past the Sweet 16 and not even in the dance this year…sound’s alot like bad coaching to me.What do you think Podunker?

  9. But you know what, this is a place where dreams can be fulfilled, and I know that sounds kind of trite, but it’s true, and that’s exactly what we’re doing,…Crean says as 4 seniors graduate and 5 ( counting Fischer) walk out the exit door I wonder who will sholw the recruiting targets around campus from the team since upper classmen are few and far between.Podunker, i do not hate Tom Crean, I have no confidence in his ability to coach.That opinion is based on performance stats from last year;the quizzical substitution routines,the turnover rate that NEVER changed.He has had 2 lottery POST Players,Cody last year and Noah this year, and he NEVER ran offense thru the post players.While i throw out stats and observations, the MOST dangerous situation that worries me is Perception. AAU coaches are NOT stupid( and I dont think the fans here are either). Sending Crean to Chicago to talk up the program and future after all the transfers,Glass talking support of Crean to the “money people” at the Rotary,and now staging nan interview session with Noah to once again talk up the program.AAU coaches will see through the facade of “all’s well” and know that admit or not Crean is on hot seat because the “activity” suggests something other than “all’s well”Now with summer approaching with the AAU circuit,the MOST influential activity will occur and CTC cant control…..The Grapevine. Word of mouth ,tweets,phone calls,consultations with AAU coaches.The more his behavior appears like that of a coach trying to save his ass (wether true or not) perception becomes reality;and if the grapevine says he is in trouble then this program is in trouble

  10. I agree with most of the comments. I felt this was a dog and pony show. I am glad
    Noah is following his dreams but I feel IU is part of the developmental league for the NBA.
    I hope Coach Crean realizes he is being paid to win games, the Big Ten and play in the NCAA.
    There aren’t banners hanging for lottery picks in Assembly Hall. I am most disappointed because I am beginning to doubt anything Coach Crean says. To me that is sad.

  11. Wake up people. It’s all marketing. Noah’s got a job to do, and Crean has a job to do. Noah needs to present a positive light for those leaving early, Crean needs to show recruits IU can get you to the pro’s. That’s what some of the kids want. And if they don’t want that, it’s still pretty aspirational to play with that caliber of athlete. It’s not the 70’s or 80’s anymore. In a time where athletes want to unionize, tradition, and lettering, and the ability to study and compete, are taking a back seat to ego and economics, this is what we can expect.

  12. Hoosier1987; here’s what I think. Crean is not as good a coach as some people hoped he would be, but he’s not as bad as others say he is. But during his venue at IU, his positives have outweighed his negatives. Furthermore, whether you love him, hate him, or like me are somewhere in between, he’s going to be IU’s coach for at least the next two seasons.

    It’s fun to read as Crean’s detractors descend further into inanity in their desperate need to criticize him and express their disdain. But for what purpose? Do they actually think their comments, spoken to like-minded friends, or posted on this site are going to get him fired? Do they think Crean will read their comments and become more introspective about the need to change his coaching style or tactics? This is not like the Mallory situation with the football team, where IU could fire an assistant coach (that had never produced any success while at IU) with relatively little disruption to recruiting and at a relatively small financial cost. Firing Crean will cost IU millions in cash and would probably wipe out a critical recruiting class, thereby damaging IU basketball for years to come and making it more difficult to hire a “better” coach.

    Like him or hate him, Crean is IU’s coach for two or three more seasons. As Hoosier fans, our energy would be better spent supporting him and hoping he produces teams that have much greater success over the next two or three seasons. Then, the powers that be can either determine that he has established himself as the coach they want to keep, or terminate him with the knowledge that his successor will inherit a much stronger program that simply needs a different coach who can lead them to the level of success we all expect of IU basketball.

  13. Crean’s bashers never seem to let up. As obsessed as they are about blaming him for everything under the sun, at every opportunity they get, it makes me wonder why they continuously keep projecting their weaknesses on Crean. It would be far healthier for them to deal with their own personal issues. At least they would be more happy. Life would be far better for them too. And not just them. But also all those around them whether spouses, children, friends, and folks at work too. After all, who wants to surround themselves with people who always see the problems and flaws in others, but never their own? Who wants to be around people who can never recognize the positive qualities in others, or never ever value their accomplishments? I don’t. And I doubt many people do. For that’s hell.

  14. Crean is smiling because he is making 3 million a year with no expectations from his boss. If he gets fired he walks away an ever richer man. He has one of the greatest gigs on earth. I would clap all the time too if I was him.

  15. Podunker- why are you spending time doing the exact thing you say ppl need to stop doing? You are just bashing the bashers. No one is on here saying Crean is going anywhere, and how is saying “at least 2 more yrs” helping anyone? Certainly doesn’t make your case. If you are offended by the 5% loonies then that’s on you and you’re focused on the wrong things. 65% of fans are concerned and bothered because he’s not a good coach, the program isn’t in a good place. There are also a lot of people who did not jump on the Crean bandwagon just because of his 1 good year. So they are feeling justified for staying cautious last year when others were out chest bumping about WE’RE BACK! If you are a fan of IU I can see you blindly showing positive support. However if you are a fan of the game of basketball (which is what many Indiana residents are) you can’t possibly watch this man coach and believe that he is the best fit. Pointing out his flaws doesn’t hurt anyone any more than over done positivity helps. Neither changes the facts. Crean’s squads from the very get go have shown major deficiencies, he and his style are a major reason as to why. IU has never struggled to get talent, and never will, the games/fans/Assembly/adidas/marketing will always attract talent. A coach who can coach, or even better yet be an intelligent human being, will always be loved by IU faithful. Crean’s biggest problem, more so than his lack of coaching ability, is his unlikableness- who he is, just as a person, rubs many fans the wrong way. Ask Calbert Cheaney why he left.

  16. I thought Calbert left because he got a promotion from Director of Basketball Operations to Assistant Coach. Additionally, he got to coach under Crews. Fab, what information do you have contrary to that?

  17. Fab,

    The biggest problem here is that middle ground don’t exist. I’m right, you’re wrong, and shut up attitude is prevalent on many, if not all blogs. I guess all you can do is say your piece, and let it be. Let the haters keep making hay.

  18. This is how I see Crean and McClain discussing/pursuing a hot prospect/recruit…Please understand, this is only one perspective. I do think the dialogue and the “sell” is very representative of the methodology in luring in one-and-done’s/higher talent with upper bunk potential(Crean = Lemmon, McClain = Curtis).

  19. Simply because you believe someone to be a complete put-on, an excuse maker, and a charlatan doesn’t mean you “hate” the person. I believe at least 50% of the country thinks George Bush covered many the same bases as a guy like Crean. He wasn’t so much “hated”…I could never hate Sarah Palin for the damage done to her party and, in some respect, our country, for her Katie Couric interview. I simply think many of us are saddened at how we sell out our principles and intellect for the empty John Wayne appeal of sensationalism over substance.

    We sold out Indiana Basketball much the same. We took the easy “sell” to the public by way of fear and villain chasing. We flex our might with words and continue to see ourselves as an “elite” and flawless country. It’s all about the sell. We use cheap slogans to replace true change and advancement of solutions requiring relinquishing individual power and some rare humility.

    Crean can afford one ounce humility. He’s backed himself into a corner of piousness and perfection. At Indiana, I always thought we were first and foremost humble to the game above the importance of our own image. I don’t think we respect the nature of basketball, nor do we care to instill those values into talent that is living more and more by a self-serving purpose that disregards the community aspect of the game.

  20. Harv- your “glory days” nostalgia coupled with present-bashing is very selectively ignorant. Use some of your common sense and realize that “the good old days” were likely not as good as you once believed, and the “self serving” present day is not as negative and sold out as you think. Cracks me up when intelligent people make the hilarious age old argument that their prime just had to have been the human races prime also. Please, save us the drivel.

  21. And so to not start too much of a heated political debate, I see Obama as full of empty blow much the same.

    The possible difference with Obama is that he may be more secure with himself to place very qualified people around his leadership post.

    My fear with Crean is that he is too insecure to hire those with basketball expertise in areas he is lacking. All podium and no personnel to offer challenging ideas and alternatives.

    And when you have a stubborn/autocratic personality type that also lacks the full array of experience and unique ideas, it’s a recipe for disaster. You can’t copy Bob Knight’s domineering style if you don’t have the necessary knowledge of the true intricacies of the game to reel in the confidence from your assistants and students/players.

    He has his positional authority and a couple home run recruits/upper draft selections in the NBA that have validated his eye for talent. But once that buzz quickly fades, you are left with the substantive knowledge of the game to command the respect of your team and your peers.
    Are you secure enough in your authority to seek personnel that can challenge and compliment your need for growth within the profession?

  22. i don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, Fab5.

    It seems you’re just in constant attack mode with regard to anything I write. I don’t seek the “glory days.” I was supportive of both Davis and Sampson. I enjoyed the style of basketball under Sampson. It was a change that was necessary and I honestly believe he instilled a faster pace without sacrificing tenacity and some of the defensive “work ethic” we’ve always attributed to Indiana basketball.

    I don’t crave one style of basketball over another. Knight brought in great talent(in relation to the day). Talent has evolved.. Bo Ryan isn’t stagnant though his teams certainly bring a high level of discipline and respect for each possession. He recruits tremendous talent that still admires a selfless pursuit to victory.

    I certainly don’t believe that all Hoosiers that succeeded during whatever the hell you define as a “glory day” era of college basketball could necessarily shake a stick at the level of overall athleticism that exists in the game today.

    Though I do believe Oscar Robertson could probably hold his own.

    But I also don’t believe we have to abandoned the fundamental aspects of the game(boxing out, crisp passing/cutting, screening, free throw shooting, etc) to satisfy a faster pace or to appeal to higher caliber talent.

    I admire the way Calipari has taken a group of stupendously talented young men and molded them into a team. They believe in their coach and they are playing a brand of fundamentally strong basketball. They defend…box out..protect the ball…shoot for high percentage…help on defense…crash the boards…don’t bitch and whine at each other when a teammate makes a mistake. They are glued together by mission and they have decided to put team ahead of their own ability to easily play a game selfishly. If what Kentucky is bring is “glory days,” then I guess I’m glory days. It’s really not that far from what Knight was instilling in his teams. Trust in coaching and teammates. Execute a plan and your collective talent will be maximized.

  23. I would argue that someone like Forde is “glory days” backward. He saw Calipari as a weak coach building a weak system. He predicted that too many prima donnas would disintegrate into an ugly splash of disjointed and selfish hoops. He underestimated how a solid coach can instill old values and adherence to a team approach even in the most gifted of rosters. I believe that attitude was very demeaning to the intellect of those young men.

    Simply because you’re extremeness talented has noting to do with selfishness or receptiveness to leadership/direction/change.

    Those young men are giving it all as a team. I have way more respect for players bolting to the NBA that have at least demonstrated a reluctance to glorify their own abilities in pursuit of a bigger purpose for all. It’s for glory of the game and nothing of a “glory day.”

  24. Harv- wasn’t talking about anything you posted in #23. You’ve just been pushing the “everyone’s a sell out nowadays” narrative so much it’s played out.

  25. Also use at least some bit of moderation with your praise wagon. If Shockers last shot had dropped would all these things you just blabbered about for UK be false? I understand being excited, and I agree that UK is legit but the way you are able to go all in or all out (on a program, a coach or player)just because of the bounce of a ball makes it tough to give your elaborations much regard.

  26. I simply see a ton of hypocrisy here…We relentless defend our own for bolting to the NBA. Yet, we refuse to admire a bunch of one-and-done’s at UK that are playing a brand of disciplined, confident, and unselfish,team basketball. And though everyone knew they had the most talent in the nation, let’s quit acting like many thought that talent was capable of playing together. We refused to think their coach could find those qualities in the UK “brand” or cared to extract and pursue those qualities and witness the gelling of a team.

    We want to paint the kid at UK as having less respect for himself or the game than someone on the Hoosiers that bolts for the NBA. I feel bad that Noah couldn’t experience something of an environment where individual talent could never merge and intersect with fundamentals and competence to coach talent into a collective and purposeful team. They don’t have to exist in separate worlds and end at Sweet 16’s. And I don’t believe you need a full roster Damon Bailey choir boys to experience the and humility in the glory of the game found in a solid teacher and collective effort. It’s no less beautiful to see kids pegged as selfish Calipari misfits to embrace how to play together when given the proper direction, knowledge, and models for leadership. They will be more respected in the NBA for demonstrating such humility for the game. They have put the individual dream on the back-burner for a higher purpose of achievement. Not an easy thing to instill into young men with such unbelievable talent.

  27. And if Smart’s shot doesn’t drop, Knight is only a 2-banner coach and Boeheim is our hoops master.

    Please don’t act like I’m anymore removed from the reality of one shot changing perceptions of history.

    But one shot is often the difference to measure winner vs loser. We’ve used it no differently to claim our superiority and thrust our chests forward.

    Shockers choked. Harrison on UK has not choked. He has delivered big shot after big shot. Doesn’t guarantee anything today, but thus far he has delivered. And Forde looks the fool for demeaning and shortchanging some very talented kids that enjoy playing for each other.

    Isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t fun to watch kids play the game with joy along with a love and respect for their teammates? I don’t believe you necessarily need one brand of basketball or one type of leadership personality to instill such values.

    Whether it be Bo Ryan’s brand, or Calipari’s NBA act, it’s just a delight to see a game played without the disjointedness I’ve been witnessing in Tom Crean basketball.

  28. Harv- I’ve rooted for this Kentucky group ever since I saw most of them play in HS Allstar games and I started telling ppl immediately “UK will be legit again in ’14”, I took that stance and argued against the ppl who just assume the one and dones don’t play together (which is true of last yrs UK but not of Kidd-Gilchrists’ or this yrs). I respect when talent plays hard and together. Especially since they attract so many haters. 2 of the top 3 games I’ve seen in recent tourneys involved UK. When they beat IU 102-90 in the Sweet 16 and the UK/MI game last wkend. Have no problem seeing them win when they play the best, they deserve to.

  29. Harvard, it is hypocritical to call Oladipo, Zeller and Vonleh selfish kids, while praising a program that by design is built around kids going into the NBA after one year.

    Your reading comprehension is staggeringly bad. I haven’t ever called a single player from Kentucky or anywhere else selfish for leaving for the NBA. My issue is with Calipari, who has twice led programs that saw their entire season wiped from the NCAA record books for major violations.

    The guy can coach, no doubt about it (although, he had a similarly disastrous season last year). Building his teams the way that he does are completely within the rules. However, I don’t have to like it. That isn’t hypocrisy, they oppose my values as to what I view as right and wrong. Until the NBA gets their heads out of their butts, he will continue running his program this way and I’ll continue to find it detrimental to the players, the schools and the fans of both games.

    Also, stylistically, he’s also one of the biggest whiners and sore winners/losers around. And don’t turn this around and make this about Crean’s mannerisms. I don’t care much for his sideline demeanor either.

  30. Your reading comprehension must be staggeringly worse. I don’t believe I’ve labeled your opinions with regard to UK’s players. I don’t believe I’ve mentioned your name on this thread.

    My discussion here is with Fab5…Unless you’re claiming to be Fab5 and simply using Double Down as an alternative name…?

    We’ve certainly learned one thing while watching UK in recent years. We’ve seen what Calipari can do with talent. We’re witnessing firsthand why Crean has taken them off the schedule. With a coach that maximizes talent as a collective force, UK would simply destroy us. We wouldn’t have any match-up advantage(raw talent or coaching).

  31. DD is not me and I didn’t make any other comment after post #31.

    Also Harv- with regards to your post #23 about me just looking to find fault with anything you post- I actually agree with a lot of the things you say, and when I do I try to say so, when I don’t I usually argue or post an alternative view pt. I enjoy discussions and disagreements, it gets things done. I also respect agreeable items as well.

  32. That’s horse excrement, Harvard. Do you even read your own posts?

    You said in #29:

    I simply see a ton of hypocrisy here…We relentless defend our own for bolting to the NBA. Yet, we refuse to admire a bunch of one-and-done’s at UK that are playing a brand of disciplined, confident, and unselfish,team basketball. And though everyone knew they had the most talent in the nation, let’s quit acting like many thought that talent was capable of playing together. We refused to think their coach could find those qualities in the UK “brand” or cared to extract and pursue those qualities and witness the gelling of a team.”

    There you are speaking collectively to “everyone” not to Fab5. Then you referenced Pat Forde in which we had about 20 posts going back and forth discussing that article. It’s fairly obvious.

  33. You’re just a hater that can’t see through the fog. I don’t see anything but the obvious.

    When you act like success of your program is reflected by the fact that NBA level talent wants to attend your program, I don’t see how that makes you anymore the saint and UK the villain. We are simply a smaller NBA farm…The values of the NBA five at UK or the Fab Five at Michigan are no less honorable collectively than one Eric Gordon or one Noah Vonleh.

    It’s no different a dream to play in the NBA for larger group of UK McDonald’s All-Americans than the one pea on the plate we can land in a Hoosier uniform.

    I simply don’t see what we do in glorifying a player’s answering the call of his lifetime purpose in getting to the highest level as anything more special than a kid at UK. The only difference I’m witnessing is that UK has proven that such personal dreams are not standing in the way of gelling as a team.

    We heard the youth excuse all year…Is it really youth that’s the issue? Maybe it’s a combination of not the right mix of talent and the absence of coaching to get individuals to play with collective purpose.

    You choose to center on Calipari’s past recruiting missteps rather than recognize that his players rally around his leadership. Those so-called selfish prima donnas made the ‘know-it-all’ sensationalists(e.g. Forde), attempting to sell their washed up dribble about failed systems, wrong. Bang Bang…UK and Calipari are in the Final Four…Bang Bang they shot you down. Now you’re simply crying over the spilled milk of their success. Grow up.

    Crean is nothing special. He’s no saint. He’s thrown kids like Roth and Patterson under the bus because he thinks something better is coming down the pike. His methods are no less ethical than Calipari. Crean is the biggest crony in the game. He will never command respect. Respect does not come from chasing ghosts of the past(whether Sampson villains or hunting down Bobby for a handshake) and crapping on the failures of others while gloating of your personal achievements the giant banner in your own name for putting a couple players in the NBA.

    Meanwhile, Crean apologists and his loyal bandwagon brigade blabber endlessly to glorify their one-and-done and their villain chaser as everything pure and angelic for the game.

  34. And the real cowards are those that fear to play UK and prove that his system is beatable.

    Cowards never acknowledge the success of a rival. They’d rather stand from afar and never get in the ring.

    There’s a lot of “bait and tackle shops” in college basketball. Calhoun was not flawless…I don’t see anyone refusing to play Georgetown. UNC has been uncovered for ugly mirages built around academics where they were pushing kids through their programs(basketball and football)that couldn’t read above grade school levels. I don’t see anyone refusing to play UNC. How about USC basketball? Is anyone refusing to play USC …O.J. Mayo ring a bell?

    Wasn’t there evidence found that Steve Fisher’s Fab Five were in deep with a booster? Wasn’t their evidence of cars and loads of cash….? Does anyone refuse to play San Diego State?

    Wake up. Yes, only at Indiana and New Orleans do saints truly exist. If you want to expel every coach/program with a past(or past recruits) not so pure as the flawless golden pebbles dropped along the route of a Tom Crean career, you’d have quite the empty wall of names to sling your mud.

    The reason we don’t play Kentucky is because we’re now chicken sh__ts with a hired preacher that would rather slather his choir boys than teach them the game.

  35. Harvard, you’re reading comprehension is only matched by your delusional fantasies (which I think probably includes a tub of peanut butter and a few barrels of Wild Turkey).

    The Harvard Recipe:

    – Remove ability to think or discuss anything rationally.
    – Cook up arguments that literally no one is saying
    – Write 20 more paragraphs reasserting your moral superiority over made up arguments
    – Declare victory
    – End with a Tom Crean-nickname flourish. Joyce and Jeff Meyer marinate the best.

  36. Once again I’ve reduced you to your favorite pantry item references, tubs, and Turkey.

    Peanut butter and whiskey…? I would make a nice rub/marinade for grilling Icelandic salmon.

    Do you have any fresh ginger and garlic in the fridge? Soy Sauce? honey(not essential)?

    Here’s the recipe:

    1 tablespoon Wild Turkey
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/2 teaspoon of honey or apricot jam
    1 minced or smashed clove of garlic
    1 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon of peanut butter
    1 teaspoon of chili powder

    Mix the above ingredients or simply spread/drizzle each ingredient onto the salmon(flesh side). Finish with a generous amount of fresh ground pepper. I like to just let the salmon rest with the rub/marinade for about 15 minutes in the fridge while the grill is getting hot and I’m preparing other side items for the meal. I then just throw the salmon(skin side down first)on the grill(probably 10 minutes grilling time for a substantial fillet. I like to go a little longer on the skin side in order to blacken and crisp it. Dont’ mess with it..Just trust your good cooking skills and judgment. After flipping to the flesh side, I usually give it another quarter turn in a couple minutes to get those pretty crisscross grill marks….Makes for a nice presentation on the plate.

    You could also mix or drizzle on a bit of good quality olive oil. I just sorta wing it…depending on what’s in the fridge.

  37. Dijon mustard could also be a good substitute for the peanut butter. But don’t use a tablespoon of mustard..I’d go with something closer to a heaping teaspoon.

    Could also crisp up some large slices of Ciabatta and make a delicious salmon sandwich…Get inventive…make a little dipping sauce for the sandwich. Add some baby arugula and a gentle vinaigrette. Maybe a couple thin strips of crunchy bacon…?

  38. I don’t mean to come off as superior…But I’m a hell of a cook. Much like basketball..It’s so much more than just having the ingredients on hand.

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