Tom Crean Talks About His Team
Nov. 11, 2010
Coach Crean Talking about Players Impact on Recruiting
"As I said to the players, one of the highlights of this job is when one of the greats come in and I never want to miss the opportunity for them to talk to the team. (Former assistant coach and grandfather of Jordan Hulls) Jim Crews had an opportunity to do that today for the first time and that was special.
"When these players came, especially a couple years ago, they didn't have it like John (Laskowski) or Jim Crews did or Eric Gordon did or all the players did before. They didn't have anybody in here to look up to. They didn't have anybody in here to teach them the way. They literally, when you look at Verdell (Jones) and Tom (Pritchard) and Matt (Roth), they didn't have anyone here to recruit them. They were recruited riding around on a golf cart or going to spring football practice or driving around the campus. They didn't have all of that. Along the way, these players have become the face of the program. That's why it's so important to me and to all of us that they are successful. What they mean to the present day Indiana family and what they mean to the future family is really, really important. These guys have done a phenomenal job of helping build this program. They have recruited some of the guys that are here now, like Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey, but most importantly what they did in the class we signed yesterday and today.
"Without a doubt, one of the greatest selling points we have at Indiana University are our players and these guys have backed that up. That's why I want to see these guys be successful here and successful for so many years down the road because it is so different for them. They are the ones that are bridging the gap here and we have to make sure that we are working to the fact that they leave a legacy on the court as well as what they are doing to make this program better.
"We would not be recruiting at the level that we are without our players. I cannot make that any more definitive. Players that spearhead parts of this and prior relationships, certainly those are very valuable. But it is the way the team has come together. There are a lot of different ways to form leadership, but this group is forming leadership.
"You may not get to see a lot of Kory Barnett on the court, but there is not a much more valuable guy to this program, in the sense of bonding his teammates and making it better. I single him out because he doesn't get singled out on the court just yet. But that is the kind of stuff that makes this program the way it is. I hope you are able to find places in your video and in your stories to make sure that the headline that we would not be doing this without our players. They did not have anyone in here to teach them the ropes. Frankly, we did not want anyone in here to teach them the ropes. They are the ones that are doing this job, and for that I publicly say (to the team) thank you for what you continue to do and let's keep it rolling."
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