I saw this quote from Coach Crean on ITH.
“That’s fine. But don’t be mad at me if we find another guy who has more belief in what we’re going to do, wants to work hard and wants to help us make it back a little faster.” - Crean on his reaction when recruits question last year’s 6-25 record and how long it might take for IU to reach the NCAA Tournament again.
Crean continues vow to restore Hoosier luster
By MIKE HUTSELL
STARLIGHT — Tom Crean’s first goal Wednesday night was purely a selfish one.
“Tonight’s about getting more people on my Twitter page,” joked the Indiana University men’s basketball coach to a group of reporters before speaking at the Indiana University Coaches’ Tailgate Tour stop at Huber’s Orchard and Winery. “I’ve got competition with other coaches about followers. I’ve got some catching up to do.”
As Crean looks for a new legion of fans to follow him in the latest online revolution, he accomplished his second goal with the same enthusiasm and swagger that has become his staple in his tenure as Hoosier head coach.
“I’m here today for Indiana University,” said Crean about his true mission in speaking to hundreds of red-clad supports. “I’m here to let them know that we won’t rest until we make this program great again.”
While some coaches who are fresh off a 6-25 season that included a single-season record for losses at IU would be hiding from the fan base as worries about job security percolated on every .com on the Internet, Crean was warmly embraced by the Hoosier Nation who was there to discuss the few highlights during a season filled with on-court lowlights.
And they were there to hear what the coach was doing to bring back the shine to the tarnished empire in Bloomington.
“There’s three things we have to do with the basketball program and right now we’ve done two of them,” Crean said. “We had to establish a work ethic with a group of kids who were completely new to college basketball — we did that. We had to find a group of kids who want to come to Indiana and be here and make this program great again and we’ve done that.”
The third thing, Crean said, is returning the enthusiasm to the Hoosier program — as evidenced by the army of Hoosier fans who forked over $50 per seat to hear his message on Wednesday night.
“We have to get our enthusiasm back and continue on our way back,” said Crean. “Because it’s still Indiana.”
Crean said that progress can already be seen — even if it was tough to find in the on-court results a year ago.
He talked about inheriting a program littered with 19 Fs on player report cards and today sitting with a roster where eight players carry a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
He talked about seeing players who would have been better served as filling redshirt roles on other Division I rosters, who have transformed into consistent college players who will be the nucleus of his program moving ahead.
“This is exciting, this is fun and this is going to be special,” Crean shouted. “This is exactly why I came here. You guys are already proud to say you’re Hoosiers, but we’re going to make you even prouder.
“And why do I say that? Because it’s Indiana.”
Tom Crean could read the phone book and I'd be fired up.
From a CJ article a couple of days ago.
If you're looking for somebody to provide a scouting report on the Indiana University baseball team that will play the University of Louisville here tomorrow night in the NCAA Tournament, I'll make a suggestion:
Ask Tom Crean, the IU basketball coach, who plans to be in Jim Patterson Stadium tomorrow night.
Eric Arnett, the pitcher who will start against U of L, and Kipp Schutz, the Hoosiers' top hitter, both practiced with Crean's first IU team for most of last season. Crean needed bodies. They wanted the competition and conditioning.
“We had seven major-league baseball scouts at one practice,” Crean said.
“We didn't have that many NBA scouts there all year.”
Crean paused, but wasn't looking for sympathy. He was looking to make sure everybody was ready for his punch-line.
“That will change,” he said. “That's definitely going to change.”
“I don't have any doubt it will change,” Arnett said. “Faster than most people think.”
I don't know about Elston. When I've seen him in high school he played only 4 or 5 and didn't shoot from outside the paint. That's fine for HS, but I'm concerned that at only 6'8" 210 he's not going to be big enough to bang inside in the Big Ten. He's got great touch though and he's pretty athletic. So maybe he's either got the ability to play outside or he's gotten bigger and can play inside.
Here's the blurb I was referring to about Elston.
He loves his six-player recruiting class as well as Jeremiah Rivers, the transfer from Georgetown who will be eligible to play this fall. Most of the national discussion about the Hoosier freshmen begins with guard Maurice Creek or forward Christian Watford.
But here is the name of another player Crean believes the national gurus have overlooked: forward Derek Elston from Tipton, Indiana. The son of former North Carolina player Darrell Elston, Derek missed the AAU circuit last summer with a knee injury.
“He's one guy who I think is really undervalued and underrated,” Crean said. “I have a lot of respect for him because he was already committed (before Crean took over in April 2008) and then he recommitted.
“He's one of those players who'll give us the size we need around the basket, but can also come away from the basket and make something happen with the basketball or make the outside shot.”
A buddy sent me an email with this little tidbit about David Williams. Not sure who actually watched him play and sent the scouting report. I sent that question back and am awaiting the response.
If you were wondering why Indiana recruit David Williams plays for an Atlanta team, it may be because his father Dwight told us in North Carolina this past weekend that he was a long time resident of Atlanta before moving his family to Jacksonville.
Speaking of Williams, you can get a pretty good feel for a player after watching him play for six games and then rewatching the tape of it as you cut for highlights. He moves his feet well defensively and handles the ball very well for a 6-foot-7 player. At the same time we did not see him make an outside shot the whole weekend and he seems to have a shorter wingspan than ideal which made it tough for him to finish inside at times. The latter can't be changed but he may need to improve his jump shot to play a lot at the next level. Liked his court temperament and you could tell he was very well liked by his teammates. Very nice kid who seems to understand he has to be more aggressive offensively but it is very hard to do with the Jordan McRae, Ryan Harrow and Trae Golden trio he plays with on the Celtics. McRae and Harrow are prospects that I can easily see playing in the NBA some day. Other small things to like about Williams include the way he outlets the ball, how he sometimes gets the ball up quickly on the glass before the defense can react and the fact that any time the game was close, especially in the closing minutes, Celtics coach Jammar Stegall always had Williams on the court. That is saying something because while there were quite a few talented Celtic players beyond the trio we just named.