That’s a wrap on the press conference. We’ll be doing interviews now and get back to you with more updates this afternoon.
Marquette had only 600 student season ticket holders when he started there, Crean said. The first meeting he held with students, “Crean and Coffee,” he had only 17 students showed up. But that grew tremendously. Crean said he will be active in meeting students and letting them know how much he appreciates them.
Crean said the in talking with Devin Ebanks and Terrell Holloway, his plan will be to tell them about why he’s at Indiana and what it will take in terms of commitment and work ethic to succeed. He plans to visit with them quickly and to get to know IU’s current players. Those are priorities right away.
Crean said everything has happened too fast to know what he’s going to do with assistant coaches, whether they’ll be from Marquette, from the current IU staff or include people with an Indiana background. He said he needs coaches who will be incredibly loyal, passionnate, skilled and will work incredibly hard. “I don’t care if they wear a watch, but I don’t want them looking at it all the time.”
IU’s recruiting will be inside-out, Crean said, starting with Indiana, building through the Midwest and then the nation. He said players in the state need to know that Indiana has been the university and the team that’s been the focus of his state for so many years.
Crean said Izzo is one of his best friends and he talks to him regularly, including through this hiring process. He said Izzo is a big fan of IU and the Big Ten and was very high on Crean coming to Bloomington.
A reporter asked what to expect offensively and defensively. Crean started by saying conditioning and physical strength – as well as mental strength – are the starting point to the style IU has.
He wants to have an outstanding fast break like Michigan State. “We’re not a motion team per se. We’re a team that drives up and down the floor. We want to get the ball into the paint and score.”
The offensive will be based on drive and kick and matchups, he said. On defense, defending the 3 and having a strong half-court defense are emphases and there’s room to mix defenses. Rebounding is an emphasis. He said he’ll need to get to know the team to know how it will all come together.
Crean said they’ll start to study the four recruits who’ve signed letters of intent. He said he’s going to build this program the right way and take a long-term approach to that, and they recruits need to understand that. He said he needs fans to keep supporting the program through the challenges ahead as they work on doing things the right way at Indiana.
Media are now asking questions. Crean was just asked about whether he’ll allow Bassett and Ellis back on the team and what challenges he’ll face in recruiting.
Crean responded that he’s not going to be overwhelmed by the challenges, but said he has great challenges ahead. He said the recruiting sanctions on the program are significant. He said he’ll tackle the challenges full-bore and he doesn’t know what he’ll do with the players who’ve been kicked off the team.
“This university for as long as I can remember has been bigger than any one person. It stood for class, for integrity, for doing things the right way. It stood for respect.”
This is quite a presentation. Crean just called the Indiana coaching job the pinnacle of college basketball. He said he’s humbled to have the job.
“We can’t wait to get started,” he said.
Crean said he met with IU’s players this morning. Last night, he talked with his players in what was one of the most painful discussions of his life. He said he and his players had and knew each other’s hearts at Marquette and that’s what he’s going to build at Indiana.
“I’m going to look for people who understand what it means to wear the candy stripe pants,” he said. “I’m going to be looking for people who understand what it means to wear that jersey that says Indiana.”
Crean said he had a great job at Marquette, but Indiana is not a job he could pass up.
“I’m going to have no trouble whatsoever embracing the tradition of Indiana basketball,” Crean said. “Because I have been a fan for a long, long time.”
Crean said he hopes people understand that IU basketball has a major challenge ahead, but he has no questions about tackling that challenge.
“I know what the values of Indiana are,” Crean said. “I know the fabric of this state.”
Crean has just introduced his family and is talking about the importance of family to him. His family includes former Colts QB Jim Harbaugh he noted.
He then reminisced about his memories of IU’s ’76 championship team. He told a story about getting his picture taken with Kent Benson when Crean was a student at Central Michigan. He said he kept that picture on his wall for years.
“There was never a bigger celebrity in my mind than Kent Benson,” Crean said.
After loud applause upon his introduction, the first thing Crean just did was go into the audience and shake the hand of Bill Lynch, saying he hasnâ€™t had a chance to work with a football coach in a long time (Marquette doesnâ€™t have a football program).
He then held up a â€œCrean and Crimsonâ€ t-shirt someone gave him before the press conference.
Greenspan said the search process is about hiring the best individual to lead IU’s famed basketball program to athletic and academic success that will meet the standards of IU’s fans, not about gamesmanship or coaches trying to get more money at their current institutions.
Harry Gonso just said the search committee made an offer to only one coach, regardless of what any media reports said. He said there will be no discussion of anyone considered except Crean.
Crean, Greenspan and others have just entered. We’re underway. McRobbie has other commitments and is not here.
Greenspan just poked his head in the room. Hopefully that means they’re about ready to start.
Eli Holman and Jordan Crawford just came into the Hoosier Room. First two players I’ve seen at the press conference.
They’re a bit late getting started. We just received a copy of what appears to be the search committee’s criteria for a new coach. Here they are:
Have a good understanding of IU basketball traditions and its ethos, and a good understanding and appreciation of the universityâ€™s values.
IUâ€™s new basketball coach should be a person who will be widely acceptable to and attract the enthusiastic support of the whole â€œHoosier Nation,â€ and be of the stature appropriate for the IU basketball program.
The coach should:
This large room is now packed with media and IU VIPs and various athletic department staff. We haven’t seen coach Crean yet, but it looks like we will soon. I think they’re almost ready to start.
Members of the media are gathering in the Hoosier Room under Memorial Stadium for a press conference scheduled to start in about half an hour. As the press conference to announce new coach Tom Crean gets underway, we’ll be back with live updates.
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