Men's Basketball

    Hoosiers Begin Practice This Evening

    Go Hoosiers! Maurice Creek vs.
    Go Hoosiers!
    Maurice Creek vs.
    Go Hoosiers!

    Oct. 15, 2010

    Tom Crean Talks To The Media

    "We're going to play Ferris State on November 8. That is going to be our other exhibition game. I know they've got a preseason All-American. That will be a good test for us, a very good test for us. Probably a little bit too big of a test for us at that point. We have Franklin, I always want to play someone in state. And then, I wanted to get someone else. We had an agreement with Alma College. Had an agreement with the coach there that we would play if he was the coach. Well, he took another coaching job. We'll get to know the new coaching staff, and maybe we'll play them some other time."

    On Hoosier Hysteria starting earlier:
    "I think less is more. I think the earlier start time is good. We're going to practice before Hoosier Hysteria because you're allowed to start after five o'clock, so we'll do that. I'm usually gone this time of year on a little vacation right before practice starts, but it has been all recruiting every day other than today. So, it pushed us back. We have an hour today, then an hour tomorrow, and then we'll have our five o'clock time on Friday. Then we'll come up for Hoosier Hysteria. I think, being earlier, it will give people more opportunities to bring their families. It will allow people to come from distance. It will allow the students to get out that night. I think that is important. Plus there is an early start the next day for the football game."

    On when Hoosier Hysteria will finish:
    "I'm not going to have the mic very much, so I think that will help shorten it up a little bit. Less ad-libbing this year. Hopefully, the contests will carry themselves. It is a big jump. The first year we had a lay-up contest. This year is an all-on dunk contest like last year."

    On the importance of the event in recruiting:
    "I think it is very important. I think it is important for everyone. I think it is good time for people to come in and see how the bodies have changed. The product of what these guys have done in the offseason. The product of what they have done in the sense of what Ja'Nay has put them through. In the sense of what we're trying to accomplish with the conditioning aspect and the lifting aspect. I think they'll see that. It is a great chance for the players we recruited, the players that were injured, like Maurice (Creek) and Matt (Roth), to be welcomed back.



    "For all of the players, who have really worked extremely hard from last season. But without a doubt, recruiting is a huge part of this. You can't have Indiana basketball without great crowds. It just doesn't make any sense. That is what has always been about, and that is what it needs to continue to be. I think that is what we expect. I think that is what the fans have always done, and I know that is what recruits want to see."

    On having more returning players than previous seasons: "I think creating a mindset is more important than anything about experience. For example, a year ago I would already have had eight to 10 plays in, and we haven't done five on five yet. That is not even a thought right now. It will be Friday. Friday afternoon before we go out on the court, I'm going to have some offense in.

    "It is all about competition. It is all about score and not consequence right now. It is all about a defensive mindset. It is all about finding out who we are defensively, who they are individually defensively, getting some of our main rules in defensively but really creating a competition and having it go from verbalizing how competitive it is going to be this year to actually them feel it. I think we're getting to that point for this point in the year.

    "Even when we have the small group workouts, it has been a lot about decision making. There has been pressure on every pass. It used to be where the managers and coaches would pass the ball. We do that maybe 10 percent of the time now. There is no open pass for a player. Everything is with a pad, being knocked around, somebody getting up into them, creating space, pivoting. All of those things you wouldn't normally do until you got to practice, we've been doing in the Fall.

    "I'm excited about the direction we're taking right now because it is totally about mindset. There is no slippage, in the sense of like backing off or we're going to allow this bad decision to go or we're going to guard this way."

    On the team's mindset:
    "I think everybody's mindset needs to be great. As much as we tried to build one, there was not a good enough defensive mindset in this program. The first year it was a little bit more understandable. Last year, none of it was understandable. Your best players are not the best players if they are not the hardest workers and if they're not in that top three defensively.

    "Again, more than anything it is about the competition right now. It is about creating depth. It is about creating the fear of the unknown. `If I don't bring it every day, somebody right there could take my spot.' I made it a clear point to the guys the other day that these three new guys, they're not here just to hang out and wait their turn. They're here to play. They're here to get minutes. They're formidable foes.

    "There is a real balancing act because you want the competition. It is like I tell the guys, the baseline of everything that we do has got to be support for one another. Because you're trying build the internal competition, but you are also trying to get them to support and encourage, and that takes time for a young team because it gets territorial. It will continue to get that way, and that is not a bad thing. It is only a bad thing if they don't understand that the battle lines are inside the lines of the court, they're not everywhere else.

    "I don't know any great program that doesn't have real internal competition on the practice floor to make it better. That is what we've got to have. We have not had that. I've said it many times, we were on our way to that and then the injuries kicked in to key guys, and that was pretty much not there. There can't be a `well I can get by and I'll be okay.'

    "I told these guys this last week too. The easiest thing about an Indiana basketball player the past two years has been playing time. Practices are hard, going to school is not easy. There is not a guy under a 2.9. We're getting over three points in GPA. The games are certainly hard, the demands are hard. The easiest thing was you're going to get playing time. Well, that is going to become the hardest if we're doing the right stuff. I told them to think about that. I told them to think about that. We didn't have bad practices, but we could have lackluster play and they still had to play because we didn't have good depth.

    "We have a gentleman from the Miami Heat here watching our workout and the first thing he said was, `You have so many more pieces.' Yes, we do. The key is there is that competition every day to bring it out. That is what I am excited about. I've talked about it every year. The first year there was no way to get it. The second year, like I said, it was well on its way and it just didn't happen because of the injuries and some guys didn't develop. The summer came back to collect on a couple of them."


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