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BRYANT INDIANA BASKETBALL

Joani Crean, the wife of Indiana coach Tom Crean, talked to Chris Korman about the challenges of balancing raising a family with big-time college coaching. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

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Crean: Ohio State good with or without Turner

Tom Crean said Monday that he was preparing Indiana to be ready for Ohio State to have Evan Turner available despite the fact that the most optimistic reports had the star guard out for another two weeks.

On Tuesday, that was proven to be a pretty smart idea. The Columbus Dispatch is returning that Turner could return for Wednesday night’s game, though Ohio State coach Thad Matta said it will be a game-time decision.

“We’re preparing for him certainly,” Crean said Tuesday. “We’ve been since we really started our preparations in earnest. Our opinion of their program and their team is that without him, they have an excellent team. With him they’re national title contender. They put very good players on the floor.”

Examples are guards David Lighty, Jon Diebler and William Buford as well as shot-blocking center Dallas Lauderdale. It’s a tough challenge regardless of whether Turner is there or not, especially because it’s Indiana’s first true road game.

“It’s the first time these guys have been in a totally hostile environment with the exception of maybe the couple hundred people that are there cheering for us in it,” Crean said. “It’s a big deal, it’s Ohio State’s home opener, I believe, when it comes to the league. We just have to understand that we pack our shoes, we pack our uniforms, it doesn’t necessarily mean our jump shot’s getting packed, it doesn’t necessarily mean our free throw shooting’s getting packed. It’s corny, but they have to make sure that their ability to guard, their ability to get on the glass, their ability to share the ball. Those things have gotta come with us.”

Audio follows, thanks in large part to Hoosier Nation’s John Decker, who saved me from some technical issues.

Tom Crean discusses Turner, going on the road, and coming off the win over Michigan

Christian Watford talks about the differences of OSU with and without Turner

Tom Pritchard talks about going home to Ohio


Columbus Dispatch: Turner could play

Bob Baptist of the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Ohio State star guard Evan Turner’s status for the Indiana game is a game-time decision.

This, of course, would change absolutely everything. Indiana coach Tom Crean said he has prepared his charges to face Turner, even though the guard was initially supposed to be out another four weeks with broken vertebra in his back. But just because the Hoosiers are prepared for him doesn’t mean they’ll be able to stop him.

The 6-foot-7 Turner is leading the team with 18.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game. The offensive production of several of his teammates has dropped significantly since he’s been out of the lineup, and the Buckeyes opened the Big Ten season with losses to Wisconsin and Michigan after claiming non-conference wins over California and Florida State with Turner in action.


Hoosier Morning

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Indiana athletics director Fred Glass said he will not meddle in the football program. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

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Crean tweaking plays, practice

The first week of the New Year always brings a sense of normalcy, of rhythm and of familiarity to the college basketball season. November and December are random to the extreme with season opening and holiday tournaments bringing NBA-like schedules one week, then scheduling holes, finals week and holidays providing extended breaks.

But January brings conference play, which typically means two games — and only two games — per week. Thursday’s game against Michigan was sort of an outlier, as it was followed by a six-day break. But from this point until the Big Ten Tournament, the Hoosiers will never go more than five days without a game.

That becomes a grind, so IU coach Tom Crean said he has to remain cognizant of wearing his players out. This week, the Hoosiers still don’t have class, so he can take advantage of that. But going forward, he’s taking steps not to overdo it.

“I think you have to start with the end in mind,” Crean said Monday on his weekly radio show. “That’s what the beginning of the week is like. What our situation has been like is we played Thursday. Obviously it was an early game. We came back Friday. Like I said, we gave them a break. Instead of getting up at 11:30 to practice, we started at noon. Gave everybody a nice little break. We went strong We went long. We got a lot done. Then we really backed off of it on Saturday. We had individual workouts in the morning. And in the afternoon we had a very crisp practice but without a lot of contact. Then we took Sunday off other than lifting weights and watching a lot of film. And today, there was just a ton of time spent defensively, but we really didn’t go up and down. We’re really trying to make sure that we’re good with our conditioning. That we’re not in an over-scrimmage situation. We’re not trying to, with this young team, over do it with a Wednesday and Saturday.”

Preparation at this time of year also goes through something of a metamorphosis. In conference play, teams know each other very well through years of experience. It’s a bit different in this case, because the conference hasn’t seen much of Indiana as it’s constituted, but at this point, there’s still enough film available for opponents to figure the Hoosiers out.

So Crean and his staff are making some tweaks to make sure they’re not predictable.

“That’s why we like to keep adding things as we go,” Crean said. “We’ve put some things on the shelf for a while. Today we dusted off a few old friends offensively and brought those back out into the equation. I think that’s really important. We’re really into what we’re doing in a sense of, ‘OK, what are they seeing from us when they watch this tape? What do our numbers look like in the last three games? The last five games? What do our play sets look like? Then it’s always good to make sure that we’re refining those, making those better, tweaking them here and there. Then taking one or two things out, and also adding things as we go.”


Matta: Turner could be back soon, but not yet

The talk around the Ohio State basketball program says that star guard Evan Turner could be back a lot sooner than the eight weeks he was expected to be out with broken bones in his back. He’s been out since Dec. 5, but reports from Columbus say he could be back within two weeks.

Ohio State coach Thad Matta said he isn’t certain when Turner will return, but that his activity is increasing.

“He’s going to get another MRI here, I think today or tomorrow,” Matta said. “He’s doing a little bit more every day shooting wise. He’s running treadmill, up and down the court a little bit. I just don’t know exactly when it’s going to feel right for him. Once the x-rays come back, hopefully they’re positive. From that point, we’ll start working him in a little bit more and hopefully get him ready to go as quickly as possible.”

Matta said he doesn’t think it’s possible for Turner to be ready on Wednesday. IU coach Tom Crean, however, said he’s making sure the Hoosiers are prepared for him anyway.

“We’ll prepare like Evan Turner is going to be out there so that we’re not caught by surprise if he is,” Crean said.


Crean: Michigan win, Big Ten experience should help

Indiana plays its first true road game of the season on Wednesday night at Ohio State, but IU coach Tom Crean said he expects Thursday’s home win over Michigan and a year’s worth of Big Ten experience for the elders on the team’s squad to make the transition easier.

“I think it’s gonna help a great deal, but I think the fact that we have more experience and the fact that these guys have been through the league helps,” Crean said. “Again, that being said, we haven’t been on the road for a true road game yet, and that starts on Wednesday night, so we have to go through that part of it. But when you have basketball players on the court that can make decisions that you can limit your unforced errors, and you can back and get stops and rebounds, that’s the greatest form of learning that you can do. You have to be able to do that numerous times whether you’re at home or on the road. Wherever it’s at. We’ve just gotta continue to go through that process as much as possible. I’m hopeful that we’ll see some of those experiences that we had a chance to go through last year that will help these guys in their own personal confidence of having to experience games.” (more…)



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