Crean: players took ownership after Maui losses #iubb

Indiana’s two losses in Maui were disappointing, if not totally unacceptable. But it’s what happened after the last one that gave IU coach Tom Crean a degree of encouragement.

Following a 72-69 loss to UNLV last Wednesday in their Maui Invitational finale, the Hoosiers held a players-only film session to dive into the problems and deficiencies that broke their trip to Hawaii.

Seniors Yogi Ferrell, Max Bielfeldt and Nick Zeisloft each played a part in arranging the impromptu review, gathering the team on their own to address the issues they didn’t want following them to the mainland.

Indiana had two different traveling parties on the way home from Maui and Crean was part of the first group to leave. The IU coach left with his family so that his son, Riley, could get back to practice with the varsity team at Bloomington North.

So it wasn’t until Crean was already back in Bloomington that he learned of his team’s players-only meeting. On Monday’s pregame radio show, Crean said the meeting was a sign that his players “realize this is for real.”

“I know they got a lot out of it,” Crean said. “… That’s good ownership.”

Indiana was already due for a lengthy film review upon the team’s full arrival back on campus, but the Wednesday session couldn’t wait. Instead of deferring only to the film cuts delivered from the coaching staff, the players keyed on areas they felt were lacking.

It was, according to sophomore guard James Blackmon Jr., time well spent.

“We felt like (we had) to get it in as soon as possible,” Blackmon said. “So it was everyone willing to do it, and we just watched the last 10 minutes of our game and just pointed out things that we can get better at. … We were already going to watch it by ourselves, but once we had the chance we were like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it right now.'”

Indiana rolled Alcorn State last night in a 112-70 win, and leaves town this afternoon to prepare for Wednesday’s ACC/Big Ten showdown at No. 7 Duke.


  1. Pretty bad that the players have to coach themselves. BK would have packed them up after that crappy game and had them practicing all night.

    We need a coach not an escort for his son. Could his Mom not have gotten him home on time?

    Hope this is his last year. I am getting old and worrying I will not see another banner hung in my lifetime.

  2. Good to see these young men be accountable to themselves, the team and yes the coach. I’m sure the coaching staff is taking responsibility themselves as well.

  3. The win does not count for nothing other than negatives for IU bb program. Just shut up and do not say nothing. You beat Alcorn State 112 to 70. If you beat Duke then you are allowed to say you are working hard to get it. Currently, they have not showed they have gotten anything. Players along with coaching staff are just tricking themselves because IU bb players, team, coaches are not good. They make really good looking individual plays sometimes….but the players themselves are not good nor are they a good major league team. They are good compared to Alcorn State. They still will not be good if they make a decent or good showing against Duke. So just shut up and do not say anything. Play ball!!!!

  4. Old Sports Dude, if one of the things you worry about in life is whether IU will hang another banner or not is a sign that you worry about pretty trivial stuff. I enjoy IU sports and sometimes get frustrated as can be seen on previous posts, but my life is not hanging in the balance because of the failures or successes of IU sports. I think some on here that post regularly do think that their life is either better or worse depending on the outcomes of IU sporting events. If you do, then I feel sorry for you. After all, it is just a bunch of kids playing a kids game trying first and foremost to get an education and be successful in life.

  5. Old Sports Dude, the players coaching themselves may be a good thing, the way its been going.

    t – geez man. Talk about a buzz-kill. Good showing against Duke and they still will not be good? Man, hope they don’t feel that way. Why would they even try. And why would you even follow them? They are what we got and I hope like hell they get better. But geez. Guess negative reinforcement is better than none…?

  6. This team would be so much more legit with the heart of Devin Davis and the wonderful basketball instincts of Emmitt Holt.

    I notice Thomas Bryant getting far too frustrated….That attitude needs to be addressed very quickly. Troubled a bit when I see him using his presence to intimidate a senior guard wearing the same uniform.

  7. OSD, Just a possibility when the young whippersnappers become more seasoned they very well might perceive what you were saying is exactly what I think. Even when in my 50’s I still thought I had half of forever left.

  8. That’s great the kids are trying hard to rectify the situation but I still would like to see CTC take some ownership as well. He is still the leader of this group. He should shoulder some blame when they do poorly and he should get some credit when they do well. It’s that simple.

    And his wife is fully capable of getting Riley back to Bloomington. The coach should be with the team.

  9. iuHoosier 1992

    My life doesn’t revolve around IU basketball or banners. I recently fell and broke my hip. Believe you me I know what is important in life. But….I would like to see IU play well and yes win another NCAA title. Lighten up and do not look so hard at statements here.

  10. Who exposes Riley then? Crean clearly says he had to leave his team (which is his actual job and he’s paid a lot of money for that) to take Riley to his HS basketball practice. All I can say is I hope Wednesday night Riley needs Crean in Bloomington for something, anything. The players without the last self-imposed sanction at IU on the sidelines pacing furiously and aimlessly will surely make us proud in Durham, NC, one way or another. That’s the only chance we have. But if Crean goes with the team — it’s another Maul. So, Riley, we count on you, man!

  11. I’ve seen very little leadership from Yogi in his previous years. He strikes me as not being respected by his teammates. Seldom have I seen a quote from them about how Yogi makes everyone better. I think this is why his NBA prospects are so low. He’s just not that interested in assists or defense, and he’s not a complete player. His stats are good in PPG and APG & FT%, but his TOs and defense at a minimum washout his assists.

    My point here is that I’m surprised that Yogi was even part of this team leadership action. I think it’s equally important to note that it took 2 eligibility transfers to step-in and lead on their new team. This points to the issues within the team. Perhaps accountability will come from self governance, because clearly Crean doesn’t hold players accountable. Oh sure, he’ll not start guys for poor play the prior game, but before the first TV timeout he’s sub’d them again in anyway. I’m looking for 2 – 3 games of hard lessons aka accountability.

    I think we could beat Duke, but to do so we’ll need to hit 15 3s, turn the ball over < 10 times, stay even on the boards, allow < 5 offensive rebounds and run them to death. I just don't see that happening. This one could be ugly, as in 15+ pts.

  12. And I will add that I think it is a good man that took time out after disappointment to be with his son. I applaud that because every dad should do that. It is the right thing to do in life. Any intelligent human would also know that his flight was already booked to go home with his family so changing flights may not have even been possible. And he was certainly hoping for a better Maui outcome when the flight rez was made.

    Cream is a good man, no doubt. He means well. But he simply is not a top tier talented coach. Not even in the Big 10. As I’ve written, I think he’s the 8th, or worse, coach in the league. He’s a snake oil salesman, and out of his league. He’s at best, a mid-major coach that can recruit athletes and make the big dance. But that isn’t good enough at IU. Not for me.

  13. OLD SPORTS DUDE …. We see team meetings without the coach even in the NBA … So doing so is not a step out of the ordinary, If anything, maybe it will help to form some team leadership. I hope and pray you recover quickly and fully from your hip injury ….. IUHOOSIER1992 … I like your post #5. I also, as a IU fan from the early 70’s, want to see IU win, dominate, and hang another banner. But there are so many other things happening in this world today to worry about and fret over, that seeing them do so is far from being at the top of my list. AWINAZ …. As to your post # 15, I agree with you. We live in a day of so many absent-tee dads, it is refreshing to me to see a dad who is willing to show his son that he is important to him by taking time to spend with him. “Taking Time” is the key phrase, because coaching as well as many other jobs are so time demanding, that you have to take the time rather than find the time. I also have a time demanding job, but I tried and continue to try hard to spend time with my wife, my daughters, and now my six grandchildren as well, to show them that I love them, they are special to me, and that they are important to me. THOSE ON THIS BLOG … You may want to criticize Tom Creans ability to coach, But you shouldn’t criticize his actions as a father and you certainly should not pull his son or his son’s name into your comments. If we had more father’s today who took time to be with their families, then many of our homes today would be stronger, happier, and a greater place of refuge instead of being the dysfunctional war zones that many are today …. WITH THAT SAID … I would enjoy nothing more tonight than to see IU beat Duke. That would be a great win for the IU program and living in eastern NC, give me some bragging rights for a while. GO IU AND BEAT THOSE DUKIES

  14. This unfortunately rings very hollow… I mean it’s one single step in the right direction, but I fear that it’s a little late, at least for this year’s team to do anything about it…

    First of all, Crean doesn’t have any quotes in here taking responsibility – he gladly, and proudly, allows the players to take ownership. I get it, he’s on the glaring hot seat, and he probably thinks any admission of guilt will doom him, but a great coach wouldn’t allow others to accept the fault.

    But more importantly… IT TOOK THIS LONG FOR THE PLAYERS TO FIGURE IT OUT!!! It took this long for Yogi to step up and care? It presumably took role players, who started in other programs, to recognize the issue and lead the way?! I’m glad they are taking responsibility… but I don’t hear disgust… I fear that they will get false hope from Alcorn St… I fear that they will get discouraged that their WHOLE 5 DAYS OF COMMITMENT to defense and ball movement isn’t enough to beat Duke, and then possibly revert…

    Maybe a beat down at Duke on ESPN in prime time is what this team needs. Maybe then they will be disgusted… which is the only thing that will actually affect change. Lord knows that Crean’s coaching can’t.

  15. I don’t know if anyone else watched Purdue last night, but that looks like a TEAM led by a Coach. And it was really fun to watch Defense being played. And the ball passed into the big man with regularity. And last year’s Mr. Basketball and Runner-up (from Indiana, playing on Purdue.) and kids playing basketball with joy like they are on a TEAM and enjoying the experience. I don’t see that when I watch the Hoosiers. I see dysfunction and a primping Coach.

    Moving to the other game last night: The talent level of North Carolina/Maryland is way beyond anything IU has. If Duke comes to play tonight it could be ugly.

  16. I agree about TC and the business of being a good Father, I find no fault with his returning with his family.

    On another matter, Duke. I think IU performs admirably in front of the Crazies in Cameron after all the turmoil of Maui, players only meeting and I’m betting a renewed energy in practices focusing on glaring deficiencies as we all want and should expect from a talented Hoosier team. I don’t think the venue will bother IU much if at all. I just don’t know about TC and whether he can rise to the challenge.

  17. CTC as usual is trying to spin the blame away from himself . He has never has been capable of admitting fault in any of the issues over the last seven years. He has little or no communication or relationships with the team . if you watch timeouts you will see they do not listen to him usually a assistant if at all . The team is adrift on it’s own . There is no structure at all and that is a coaching issue as well as not playing inside out and you will see Bryant leave like Vonleah and Zeller . The team starts with the coach and will not happen here. CTC is a good person who cannot coach plain and simple ! He is as out of control on the sidelines as the team is on the floor a true extension of his ability to win at this level. He thinks he is good! Any other program Blackmon and Williams would have to play defense and take care of ball or sit . Yogi is not focused ,cannot make free throws anymore and has played beside Blackmon so long he no longer plays defense as well . Captian turnover continues to give up more points than he scores and he never knows whats going on and yells at his teammates and blames them for his mistakes. Sound familiar ? I could have scored against Alcorn State and I am old ! They let the fourth worst team in the country score 70 points against them what does that say ! Blackmon has his own agenda and that is to score a ton of point no matter what . What he doesn’t understand is that they play defense in the NBA as well. Ziesloft ,Johnson,and Bielfeldt need to start , not only do they play defense but they all are shooting over 50 percent from the arch. In one the losses Ziesloft was 4 for 5 first half and while Crean paced and clapped like a idiot at a high school game clueless, Ziesloft finally got in when the game was no longer in doubt and hit his first 2 shots both 3’s . DUKE HASN,T LOST AT HOME SINCE 2000 I DONT SEE THAT CHANGING TONIGHT!

  18. Not to defend Crean, but you’re in Hawaii…Jesus H._____ !!! How many of us ever get an opportunity to visit that paradise? It would only be natural to “get up” for the damn trip more than the early season contests.. Life is too short to not have some fun….I hope our young Hoosiers had as much a chance to have a bit of fun in Maui as the Crean family. I hope we were accountable enough in the sense of never making it all so heavy to destroy seeing the sights and world around them. it’s difficult to get “down to business” where you’re in a place that almost seems defined as the sights and enjoyment of the surroundings as the “business.” Serious hoops in Hawaii? That’s like asking me to play intense backgammon on a topless beach. It ain’t happening.

    But if you can’t “get up” for Duke in that god-awful place the dweebs jump around like pogo sticks….? If you can’t get up for your coach accused of basketball incompetence taking on the most successful prodigy of Bobby Knight…? If you can’t get up for sea of blue hating on you while you’re representing the state that provided most of the post players that enabled those effing Blue Devils their rafter adornments….? ….then all you care about is yourself and playing at the next level. These are the contests that will forever define the memories. These are the games(win or lose) that you’ll take to the grave. Every analyst from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo believes the Hoosiers will fold like a card table .. You are the trivialized…You are now Steve Downing taking on Bill Walton. You have been measured by those that believe Indiana is dead of any “elite” designation. The ransacked your house..They built their own from the teachings your basketball god…They stole the son of Scott May …The stole Eric Montross…They stole every Zeller but the one that left us with “everything hinges’ still percieved as not very stellar…. And now they want to piss some more…and turn you from a team once feared into the eternal clown. They want to act as if North Carolina could ever turn a garbage truck driver into a Larry Bird….They want to steal your legacy, …

    They come to run you out of the house and send they intend to send that “Mop Lady” to an off-campus party to strip for their lacrosse team. Yeah…you best get up for this game. If i don’t see Hoosier blood gushing out the passion in your veins, then you can stay on that topless beach as you treat your pride in those candy stripes as if they were on Donald Trump’s speedo.

  19. Did Duke morph into UNC somewhere in that thread? With a hint of Notre Dame?

    In fairness to Coach K, attributing his success to Coach Knight is the same as attributing Coach Knight’s success to Fred Taylor. Neither would be accurate.

    Coach K has put himself at the pinnacle of the coaching profession. RMK was an important mentor.

    That’s it.

    As big an ego as he has, I’m sure RMK would say the same.

  20. yup…I just brain farted….I interchange NC and Duke like vomit and diarrhea. I was going to offer up the correction as soon as the blood pressure came down, but you’re just too quick, Chet. Do you have it “fact check Harvard” alert….? Damn, you nearly trail my breadcrumbs as close as Jeremy. Main point being: Carolina got no hoops mojo with Hoosier….Same as UCLA with Wooden. All these so-called basketball schools trace much of their basketball heritage straight back to the Hoosier state. And by all means, Knight benefited from the passion and the knowledge all Hoosiers that worked within the knowledge base and passion our wonderful h.s. coaches and tournament uniqueness that epitomized team above individual.

    Important mentor, my ass. K is lowercase without Bobby. But you just keep taking that tiny pin to any fun bubble, Chet. You lived in NC. I know you’re a closet Duke/NC lover. Wear your blue tonight.

  21. Knight never coached alongside Fred Taylor. There are other coaches Knight gives credit to like Coach K does with Coach Knight. So you’re wrong again. Back to the present Alcorn scored 70 in Assembly Hall. Their average coming into the game was 66. The only time they scored more (71) was when they played a team ranked as bad as them (Florida A&M, #350, Alcorn is currently 348). Ready for Duke. (We can still beat them, though!) Are you now able to distinguish between Northwestern and Northeastern?

  22. It’s o.k. I’m the stupid guy that lumps NC schools together. My bad. I just see the blue and the Establishment arrogance.

    And a school that creates make-believe classes for their athletes(I believe it was the one attended by MJ) is no less a “bait and tackle” shop than the one in Lexington that Chet has so fondly given sole designation as such.

  23. And I think I may have accidentally mixed Plumlees and Zellers into the same Petri dishes……And one did get away and swam up to South Bend. And let’s not forget Greg Oden….What’s NC State without Oden? Yup, they’re Ohio. What’s Thad Mata without the Butler doing it? What’s Michigan taking a March Madness by storm without Mitch, Glenn Robinson, Zack Novak…Zac Irvin, and Zack Randolph(fact check…MSU)..? What’s Izzo without Tom Crean…? Answer: Relieved and thankful.

  24. My expectations for tonight are probably going to be more accurate than my expectations for this team at season’s start. I expected improvement in DEFENSE because for past 2 YEARS. .defense has been a liability. For 2 years + ;Crean and Company has known that defense was terrible. He talked about LAST YEAR with HMP in middle. Defense is what sent him scurrying for ” charity scholarships” to April and Priller (because they were big. Not only does the defense remain the same ; “the sheet music” in CTC’s hands doesn’t change either. I wanna know WHT CTC thinks its important to have a BIG MAN in the post when the BALL never see the light of day in a post players hands. I don’t believe a “post player” at Indiana exists. Ive never seen a pass go into the center . Its just “Weave the Ball” outside hoping THAT hypnotizes the opponents to sleep…and lets not EVEN discuss out of bounds plays with less than 10 seconds on clock..My prediction for tonight …IU Loses by same score they beat Alcorn State 112-70.

  25. Tijan Jobeari Parker….? Is he still at Duke? or am I thinking of Luke Harangody’s cousin, Luke Fischer?

    Geoff- Five Keys to Victory? What’s your game plan? Are you secretly cheering for Duke because they have a “Grayson.”

  26. Am I the only one that finds it sort of ironic that Chet said Alford would forever live as a perfect fit for the Mountain West….and now Chet is in the Mountain West? Doesn’t Kevin Durango play for the Nuggets…?

  27. TJ,
    Crean will get a chance to sell us another used car much like he did in the presser after the Alcorn State game AFTER the Morehead State game.

  28. I don’t understand #27 and how it relates to anything I said.

    Anyway, here’s some trivia/ammo for you. Everett Case is known throughout the ACC as the ‘Father of ACC Basketball’. He coached at NC State. He is originally from Anderson, IN.

    I don’t think you would have any luck finding anyone to back your claim that I am a UNC or a Duke fan, although I am technically still a faculty member in the UNC system. It was a job. I rarely taught at Chapel Hill. I never understood the ravings about the UNC campus. It’s OK, that’s about it. Lots of motor vehicle traffic. It isn’t nearly as nice as the average Big Ten campus.

  29. 5 Keys to victory – seem pretty simple and obvious…

    1. Keep Jefferson, Ingram, Jeter, and the “special” Plumlee off the offensive boards. This was difficult for even Kentucky to do, so we’ll see how it goes. Has to be 12 or fewer ORebs.

    2. Stop penetration from Thornton and Allen. This will be especially important with Allen, who can kill you from outside too, but if he goes by can electrify the crowd with highlight finishes.

    3. Close out on Allen, Jones, and Kennard under control. Those 3 guys can really stroke it. Only Allen is a real threat to attack off the dribble, but you don’t want to fly by or close out on their weak hands and end up playing a man down for a couple passes.

    4. Post touches for Bryant. This team needs to play inside out. TB shoots a very high percentage, has decent composure with the ball in his hands, and is a pretty good passer. They also need to get one of the Duke bigs into foul trouble and get to the bonus early…. TB is the best bet to make those things happen.

    5. Value the ball. There needs to be composure under the immense pressure that Duke puts on perimeter players at Cameron. No need to be in a hurry… we have good shooters all around… a good post presence… a couple guys that can break down the defense off ball-reversal… The Hoosiers need to take care of the ball, not allow easy transition baskets off turnovers… That’s what killed Maryland last night. Fewer than 15 for the game.

    And yes, I secretly root for Grayson Allen, although I do not route for Duke.

  30. Boards…fundamentals…..react to long rebounds. Get your man boxed out on the short stuff.

    Respect the triple, but don’t go crazy and take yourself out of position. Know who’s dangerous.

    Resistance on penetration…Take a damn charge. Don’t give easy angles….TB needs to provide some of that resistance. Teammates need to come from weakside if TB drifts away from main post assignment to help defend on penetrations.

    Inside-outside game. Get TB involved.

    Thanks, Geoff.

    Here’s my 6 keys to victory.

    1. Troy…Troy…Troy…and more troy. Troy everywhere. Havoc is his game..Tasmanian Troy is his name.

    2. More Hartman…I agree with Bill Walton. Hartman is just sick nasty sick. He is the core of a calming confidence. He must stay out of foul trouble.

    3. Sell, sell, sell. the foul…Get to the charity stripe and convert. Must make over 75.44% of our free throws.

    4. Don’t drive it into no man’s land….Pull of for 10-footer’s rather…Kick it our earlier instead of getting caught where you can’t finish. You’re not going to get those easy calls at Duke.

    5. (MOST VITAL). Find that unlikely hero. i don’t think we beat Duke unless our least percieved threat to impact the game does impact the game. But do we have that guy? I think the closest thing is Bielfeldt …Max needs to put up a double-double and truly play like a man possessed.

    6. Don’t think Bryant’s inside play is the difference-maker to pull out a victory in this one. The key will Mr. Havoc meets Mr. Precision. We have to drain the deep open looks(a good bundle of which must come in transition). Keep the pace of the game erratic. Win ugly while shooting deadly. Anything shy of 45% from the perimeter will not be enough firepower.

    I think this game will be much tighter than many are anticipating. Minds are already getting in holiday break mode. It’s a good time for an upset. But, as we both know, it’s often officiating that tips the scales. Crean is terrible at working officials. Legendary coaches, and those highly respected for their X;s and O’s expertise, tend to have much heavier influence in that department. Would love to see Crean get his butt ejected if some really crap calls go the way of Blue Devils….

  31. Chet-

    You’re a great sport….and you have a stupendous mind/memory. You have an obvious great pride in Indiana. I’m sure that you know I’m pretty harmless underneath the obnoxious. Thanks for being always gentle of heart and respectful of intent. You are a true Hoosier.

  32. …TW must morph from athlete to BB player that the BD’s don’t expect and must make game altering adjustments for…the # of boards he collects not only in the 1st half but his aggression during the 1st 4 minutes of the 2nd will be telling…his D, his D, his D, his D,…

  33. Any recommendations for surviving Dick Vitale calling the game from the floor of Dook tonight?

    I’m thinking about hiring 13 witches to run their nails over a chalkboard while cackling. That might drown him out.

  34. Crean getting ejected Harvard? I’d love to see it too but saying “doggone it Mr. Valentine” is not grounds for dismissal. Has he ever been ejected? Heck, at least Mike Davis ran onto the floor vs. UK once. I suppose if he say’s something like “Dan” or “Luck” it will get confused with a colorful 4 letter word.

  35. well I guess Troy is definitely a key to victory… I mean, he’s going to get minutes, so he might as well make them count. If it were up to me he’d sit way down at the end of the bench. I’m being dead serious when I say he couldn’t play for my men’s league teams. He is a terrible basketball player.

  36. I’ve said from the beginning…Crean is too much of a nice Guy. The players don’t fear reprisals from Crean, or the coaching staff. When he should legitimately be ripping a player’s a$$, he’s patting it instead.

    Crean is out of his league. Way out. He doesn’t have the fire in him to be coaching at this level. Other teams used to fear playing Indiana. Not any more. That isn’t going to change until we get a Coach who knows how to motivate. Loudly, if necessary.

  37. I just looked at the stats to date.

    Blackmon 15 assists, 22 TOs, 11 Steals. Net -11 on possessions v. taken.
    Troy 19 assists, 18 TOs, 13 Steals. Net -5 on possessions given v. taken.
    Johnson 25 assists, 12 TOs, 4 Steals. Net -8 on possessions given v. taken, but 2:1 A/TO ratio.
    Yogi 47 assists, 16 TOs, 9 steals. Net -7 on possessions given v. taken, but 3:1 A/TO ratio.

    Given the cupcake schedule, there is ample stats to run the bus over JBJ and Troy. With the minutes they’ve played to have such a terrible A/TO ratio and negative possession stat is just incompetence.

    On the other hand, Yogi and Robert Johnson appear to be pulling their weight, particularly when the A/TO is taken into account.

    In reality, there is likely not a player in the nation with a + possession ratio, but it is pretty telling and I would argue far more so than deflections. Deflections to me just means you are happy being out of position vs. being able to actually steal the ball. (not totally true, but you get my point)

  38. Geoff, Not hard to digest your reasoning. I thought I saw a flash of what i was looking for in TW but then he again turned the ball over when IU had made a surge. The big picture is problems with FT’s, TO’s, boards and D are probably to much for this team to overcome to be Top 20. Although I do believe 3 of their 4 deficiencies are created by 1 thing, lazy feet.

  39. Really? Do you want to go down the Bruce Pearl road? That’s like saying, in 1990, “Jerry Tarkanian might be the answer.”

    Or, in 2006, “Kelvin Sampson might be the answer.”

    Or, “Rick Pitino might be the answer.”

    Do we really want to be ‘those people’?

  40. No we don’t want Bruce Pearl. We want a coach who knows what Indiana Basketball is supposed to be. We want a coach who can teach fundamentals. We want a coach who can teach team defense and get the players to buy in. Just to throw a name out there…. Randy Wittman

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