Tom Crean Meets With Media On Friday
April 23, 2010
"It has been an amazing thing when you walk through that building and go through all the different parts. It is much like being in Assembly Hall, I don't know if it will ever get old being in something like that. It is such a positive for so many people. Whether you have been a fan for a long time or whether you are a new fan and certainly for recruits. We are looking forward to all of that and I hope you enjoy it today.
"We wanted to do this because of the hiring process this week, so you can meet (assistant coach) Steve McClain and re-acquaint yourselves with Drew Adams (Director of Operations/Video Coordinator) since he has been in the back room of Assembly Hall and couldn't really see the work that he was doing."
"I want to have the best staff in America, flat out. I know every coach says that, but I really want to try to have that. And I think the way that you do that is you get people that are complete and have a lot of different abilities. But at the same time, it is all towards the number one goal, which is to support one another and help these young guys grow and get better and to put yourself at a championship level."
"Steve is someone that I have had tremendous respect for a very long time. I respected him as a coach before I got to know him as a friend and then it became much easier to really see what kind of coach he was and what kind of person he is. It has been amazing watching what he has done. And the reason I like him so much is because he is fearless. He goes into the Mountain West Conference and he can win that league and compete year after year. The closest airport to Laramie, Wyo., was two and a half hours away and they still recruited around the country to get people into that program. He has developed toughness into his players perseverance. I would stay up many a night to watch on Big Monday, whether they were playing Utah or New Mexico, they were tough. To have him be a part of our staff and continue this restoration project is going to mean a lot. I am really excited about it. When you look at the whole package - being able to recruit, being able to handle all the administrative parts of the job and represent the program in so many different areas. He is a great coach and a great man and I am really excited to have his family because you want to have a family atmosphere among your coaching staff. He is somebody that I have known for a long time and when he had an interest it made it very easy. At the same time, I was as hopeful as I could possibly be that he wouldn't be here because he would be the head coach at Colorado. I didn't have a vote in that process. If I was voting, I would have said he deserves that job. Their loss is certainly going to be our gain.
"Just as I view Tim (Buckley) and just as Bennie (Seltzer), who's first coaching interview resulted in him being one of three finalists for the head coaching job at Central Florida. So it is just matter of time before he becomes a head coach. And certainly the fact that Steve has been a head coach helps all of us. I am looking forward to that."
"Drew is someone that, for years, (assistant coach) Tim Buckley would talk about him. And I knew the name, but I really didn't know as much about him. It has been a real blessing to Indiana Basketball to have him here in this program. He wants to coach, he wants to learn and he wants to get better. At the same time, he has been preparing for jobs like this for a long, long time. Drew has earned the opportunity to move up with Brian (Barone) moving on to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay as a full-time coach with one of my former players and his teammates, Brian Wardle. I don't think we are going to miss a beat. Brian did a great job but he was also a great teacher to guys like Drew and Mason Revelette (Graduate Manager) from Louisville. These guys are going to help make our staff a lot better and I am proud to have them."
On hiring someone to fit the position and not fitting the position around them:
"If I didn't have a friendship with Steve and we didn't have a relationship in basketball, when I watch his teams play I would be into that. You know who the guys are out there that can really coach. You also know the guys out there that are cons and the guys that are publicity hounds and you know the guys that are there and maybe haven't had their shot yet. Steve has done a tremendous job and the part I like about him is that he has never walked into a sugar-coated, silver-spoon situation, whether it was winning a national championship at Hutchinson Junior College.
"The parameters for the job outside of that were a discipline about himself and had the ability to recruit in many different areas, but at the same time build lasting relationships. If you look at his teams at Wyoming, his point guards for eight years were from Chicago. So he has always gone all over the country to recruit.
"And I like someone who know that "No" sometimes means "No" and sometimes it doesn't mean "No" and you have to find another way to get to yes. This is a very tough business and you have to have serious-minded, mature individuals to do it, and I don't have a doubt that Steve fits that."
McClain: On why he came to Indiana after not getting the head coaching position at Colorado:
"There are so many head coaches out there that are afraid to let their coaches coach. I said this the other day, that I think we will have the best staff in the country. There can be people debate that, but I know there won't be a harder working group of people. What you want to do everyday when you go to work as a coach, is go to work with people that are loyal and stand up for each other. I can tell you this, that I would do anything for Tom Crean. And that is the kind of people that you want to have, ones that have your back, so when you stand up, you know they are standing with you. Not standing behind you, standing with you. I think that is what this program stands for. To work at a university where what is on the front of the jersey is more important than what is on the back is what college basketball is.
"When I walked into that arena for the first time and you see five national championship banners hanging there, you understand what this program means. So there was never a hesitation when coach called me."
On the impact of Cook Hall:
"When we talk about the best staff in the country, I am not talking about who a magazine ranks as the three best recruiters.
"Bob Knight's staff's here and Tom Izzo's staff, the one I worked on there, all had guys who were head coaches. We have to make sure that we are recruiting the kind of people that want to be coached that way. I am not looking for the "flash and dash" staff and I don't think Bob Knight was and I know Tom Izzo wasn't and I would like to think that when I worked for Ralph Willard at Western Kentucky and Pitt that he wasn't. I want guys that have a lot of substance. That is the kind of staff we are going to have. I don't want a staff of male models. I want them all dressed nice, but I'm not looking for that. I'm look for guys that, when we go do workouts, they are as intense as I am going to be. Because that's how we are going to win at Indiana and that's how Indiana won with Bob Knight and his staff and that's how we are going to win. That's how I won at Marquette and that's how Tom Izzo won at Michigan State and Ralph Willard won at Western Kentucky. That's what I want to build.
"With that being said, we want recruits to come in here - they are going to be impressed with the gym and two courts and the offices and the graphics - but I want them studying the history of Indiana basketball, that Kit (Klingelhoffer) and Bob (Hammel) did such an amazing job of putting together. For a historian, it is unreal and for a true fan they are going to be blown away. But I want the casual observer to come in and say "Wow, I have to see that again." So that's what I hope people will take from the building. Do I hope that 15, 16-year old, and as was the case the other day, a 14-year old, I want all of them to love it too. But I want them to know that they can get better and they are walking through some hallowed halls here. That is what I want them to feel here."
On how much of Cook Hall he has seen recently:
On how it will help with the day-to-day job:
"If a kid comes in and doesn't want to walk through the academic center and just wants to see the gym, that is probably a red flag. I want them to understand that this a complete process. I want complete coaches and I want to build complete players."
On what Steve McClain brings to the staff and what you want from him:
"Philosophy-wise, we haven't really spent a lot of time talking about it because I have watched it. I wouldn't hire him if I didn't think he was an excellent basketball coach.
"I had my chances to hire some guys that would bring some players with them, but that brings another whole set of problems. I have watched Steve on all of those Big Monday's and at Hutchinson going to the national championship and watching him win, knowing those things to me, he is going to fit in great."
"I think he is going to have a great mind for defense and is going to be phenomenal with our big men. I think he is going to be excellent at getting them tougher and bringing a rebounding mindset. I think he is going to be hoarse a lot of times and I think that is important. But I like that he has been touched and been involved in so many different ways to score offensively, whether offensive rebounds or fastbreak or different types of offenses. I am really anxious to learn some of the different types of things they did offensively at Colorado and what he did at Wyoming.
"It is going to be fun. Our meetings are not "I have eight points and let's handle these points and be done and the rest of you are on your way." We are going to talk basketball. Steve and I have talked basketball for so long. I have very few people that I talk basketball with when it is dark out. My wife doesn't miss the 11:00pm or 11:30pm phone calls from Tom Izzo that we haven't had the past couple years, but I miss them once in a while."
Adams: On how his role changes in his new positon:
On what the team has focused on since the season ended:
"And I know that is not for everybody. Twenty-five percent of the kids that might read that might say "I don't want to go do that." Good, let's weed out those that don't' want to, because you have to have a serious mindset to win at this level.
"Maurice Creek is ahead of schedule, healing wise. He has to continue to be diligent. The thing that I love is that (athletic trainer) Tim Garl is on him every single day. I am sure that he has a picture of Tim Garl in his room with darts and a fake mustache on, and you know what, he needs a few more. Another great thing is that we have the support of mom and dad back home, making sure that is happening because he has never been through anything like this before. He has done some individual workouts with us. He was done some shooting from time-to-time. We use his pain level as a guide and Tim has continued to push him. If you ask Tim, he would say that Maurice could be doing a lot more and that's what you want."
McCLAIN: On his recruiting ties to the state of Indiana:
"At the end of the day, it is about relationships in recruiting and do people trust you? Have you done right by the kids you have recruited? I think that is the one thing that I know I can fall back on, is that if a guy wants to check me out I can give him five other coaches to call. I think it is going to be so much fun to do this in this state, because basketball is the best and the high school coaches are great coaches. So you have such a dynamic that it makes the process of recruiting that much more fun. It's not like no one is walking into the state trying to recruit them, that's the fun part.
"As coach said, I'm not real good at taking "No" and sometimes I won't take "No" and we will stay until the end. That is the competitive part of it that I enjoy in recruiting that a lot of guys don't. That is as fun as the game to me."
CREAN: "He will go with me up to this coaching clinic tonight and spend a little time up there. We have a visit and we will get back for that. That is the stuff that you want. He has coached more pro's than I have. If you look at our staff, with the people that Bennie Seltzer and Tim Buckley and Steve and myself, this staff knows how to get guys better.
"One of the things that I am the most proud of with our pro guys at Marquette, is that they were the second round, which is not a guarantee roster spot and they are still in the NBA. Wesley Matthews, who I coached for three years and Buzz did a great job with last year, is starting in the NBA Playoffs as an undrafted player. There is a lot to be said for that.
"I want to swing a stick that is realistic around here. And realistic is that we can get you better, one of the great traditions of all time. There is a fan base that is second to none. What happens after you leave this program? The only program that can rival it is North Carolina, when you look at what players have done in their careers after they are done in college including the business aspects of what they have done."
On the NCAA Tournament expanding to 68 teams:
"If we are looking at adding a couple teams to the 65 teams that are there, it should be the teams that were next. Not because they had some incredible record at their level, if there are three or four bubble teams or whatever it was, let them go play."
Check back soon