It’s summer, and Crean is loving his job

18 comments by   |   Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 5:46 pm EDT

Just walked back into the office from an informal (or as much as it could be with Crean on the podium and around 10 reporters sitting in those old school seats with the attached desk) sit-down with Tom Crean.

I think the overall message is that Crean, three months into his new position as IU men’s basketball coach, is absolutely, 100 percent positive about the Hoosiers. So positive I wondered if he listened to a Polyphonic Spree album while running through a field of jelly beans this morning.

Why is he so positive? Because, Indiana is still Indiana. The home games are still being played in Assembly Hall. National media is going to care, and televise games. And, oh yeah, it’s Indiana.

“We have a program that really has not lost its luster,” Crean said.

So, what else do you guys want to know about?

RECRUITING: Unless a big man who can score suddenly becomes available, IU is done with the incoming freshmen class.

“I’d rather hold the scholarship,” Crean said, explaining the player available now would probably be a reach.

Everyone on next year’s team, sans Jeremiah Rivers (was with dad for the NBA Finals, and now is at the elite camps) and Malik Story (committed too late to come in for summer sessions) is on campus. Crean compared them to a pack of wolves, running together.

They’re looking hard at the class of 2009, and even the class of 2010 and 2011. And yes, a rising freshman or two. Just dont’ expect Crean to pull a Tim Floyd and announce a committment from a 15-year-old anytime soon.

MALIK STORY: Speaking of Story, IU officially announced his commitment late Monday. No one doubts his talent, but he did leave Oak Hill Academy and Southern California was willing to let him walk from his verbal commitment.

Crean said he felt comfortable with Story.

THIRD ASSISTANT COACH: It’s a priority, but not the top one. Mainly, because only two assistants could recruit right now, anyways.

 RICK GREENSPAN: I wrote that Crean appeared sullen at last Thursday’s press conference to announce Greenspan’s resignation as athletics director, and it seems I was right on target.

“I was devastated for a while,” Crean said.

BRINGING OLD PLAYERS BACK: As he has said before, this is a top priority for Crean. Said he had a long phone conversation with Isiah Thomas on Monday, and Thomas volunteered to come down and speak to Crean’s basketball camp (there were oodles and oodles of little boys in IU practice gear running around Assembly Hall). Crean politely declined for this week, but expect to see ol’ Isiah around campus this upcoming season. It’s not like he has a job or anything (Hmmm, assistant coach opening + Isiah’s availability = purely subjective, laughable rumor only suit for print in US Weekly).

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18 comments:
#1
Mike R
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 5:52 PM EDT

Ten points for the Polyphonic Spree reference.

 
#2
Bakeman
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 7:34 PM EDT

Zero points for the I. Thomas reference.

 
#3
JL
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 7:50 PM EDT

It is good to see a man so positive and upbeat. I would feel a little scared if Crean was depressed. Just have to get through the NCAA stuff and we will be fine.

 
#4
Dynasty
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 9:01 PM EDT

Crean is seriously a little boy, everytime I see him at Assembly he’s always jumping around and has a bunch of energy!.., and I LOVE IT!

 
#5
GG
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 10:36 PM EDT

I love Crean’s energy and I can’t wait for the first game.

 
#6
Chet
Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 10:41 PM EDT

He’s great.

 
#7
johnnycee
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 7:40 AM EDT

tom crean and iu appears to be one of those marriages made in heaven. everything seems to be clicking and upbeat.

let’s hope the ncaa doesn’t wallop iu too harshly and crean has a chance to rebuild the team and not be too far behind the eight ball for too long to dig iu back out of the hole kelvin sampson, rick greenspan and adam herbert put it in.

 
#8
Will
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 9:32 AM EDT

Makes me feel good reading stuff like this that IU absolutely made the right hire. I guy with Crean’s optimism was ESSENTIAL for rebuilding this program.

 
#9
Eric
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 10:39 AM EDT

I’m particularly pleased to hear that he’s serious about bringing back former players. It hurt the program when the Knight players were boycotting for one reason or another. And I still say that Calbert Cheaney would be a great hire as assistant. If we’ve got 2 experienced assistants, I don’t see how it could hurt to give Calbert a chance as the third assistant, and it would definitely have benefits.

Let’s keep supporting Crean and his efforts to do things the right way, and we’ll be fine.

 
#10 Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 1:09 PM EDT

Love the attitude.

 
#11
Steve O
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 1:16 PM EDT

Calbert Cheaney would be awesome as an assistant. He’s been around basketball for a long time. He definately knows a thing or two. Plus I’s love to be around to see a huge standing “O” for Calbert, when the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer is introduced. Come on Crean, make the right choice!

 
#12
MARK82
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 1:37 PM EDT

Cheaney would also be valuable to the recruits that aspire to the NBA. He can tell them what it is like and explain the value of staying in college and developing for four years. Also, he can tell them about the honor of being named college player of the year and show them the hardware that goes with it.

 
#13
Eric
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 3:27 PM EDT

Steve O and Mark82,

I totally agree. Players like a young assistant who was a player, particularly one who played pro as well. And he’d be a great help in recruiting. He’s a very pleasant, engaging, unassuming guy. I’ve met him a number of times, going all the way back to when I was a year ahead of him in high school in E’ville. Nothing negative about him and he would be such a help in uniting the long-fractured fan base. Surely it’s worth a shot for Crean and IU at this point.

SteveO, I was at the game against Nwestern when Calbert broke the Big Ten scoring record. It was perhaps the best moment I’ve ever experienced at any sporting event. Your point about the fan support he’d produce is a very, very good one. I see no negative side to having him on staff, and so many positives.

 
#14
Steve O
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 4:53 PM EDT

Yea, my question is why hasn’t the staff made this happen yet? Calbert deserves this spot for all the reasons you listed, Eric.

I like the comment about Calbert being able to kind of show these young guys the ropes, and tell them about the importance of a college degree. He also has a to of NBA experience he can share… Perfect fit.

 
#15
Eric
Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 5:16 PM EDT

Maybe we should start a ‘Hire Calbert’ petition. That moron ‘Fire Crean Now’ or whatever he calls himself says he’s got 1000-and-some names on his ‘Fire Crean’ petition. We could offset that nonsense with something that makes perfect sense.

Of course, I guess it would be advisable to check with Calbert to see if he actually wants to coach. I’ve heard he does but don’t know anything for sure.

 
#16 Wednesday, July 2, 2008 - 7:14 PM EDT

Doesn’t this assisant,at least for now, have some restriction as to recruiting? Anyone know?

 
#17
Eric
Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 1:24 PM EDT

Boombaby,

Yes, under some restriction resulting from SampsonGate, if I understand correctly, the third assistant can’t go out recruiting. But he could mentor players once they got to IU, and the recruiting restrictions won’t last forever (knock on wood).

Anyone with a fuller understanding of this, please chime in.

 
#18 Thursday, July 3, 2008 - 2:04 PM EDT

Eric,

Thank you, I hope your right about it not lasting forever.

 


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