An Evening With Tom Crean

Tonight I ventured over to the IU Auditorium to listen to Tom Crean address the public about a variety of issues. Since I’ve written 19 different papers in the last few weeks, I’m sick of the whole writing process. Screw real paragraphs, here’s some bullet points…

  • Firstly, and most noticeably, there was an unexpectedly low turnout. Come on, not only is he the head basketball coach but he's TOM FREAKIN’ CREAN, who I believe is as charismatic a speaker as anyone. Even from a non-basketball standpoint he's still entertaining. Tonight only confirmed my thoughts. Definitely a little disappointed with the number of people there.
  • Unsurprisingly, the gorilla costumed guy was there -- he was actually riding his moped around campus (fully costumed, of course) before coming in.
  • Coach Crean came dressed in jeans and a super cool adidas zip up track jacket with the five banners on the back which he proudly showed off. Crean said his wife told him, "You’re going to talk to the students, not dress like them." His response: "You’re beautiful, but you know nothing about fashion." 
  • Near the beginning he made a point to drop a line about people not asking questions about the current recruiting situation (there was a short Q&A session that followed at the end). Safe to say there likely won’t be any compliance violations ever (knowingly) committed on this campus ever again. 
  • "You and I both know the result last year was poor." Also, he mentioned that there was no handbook on how to deal with the situation the program currently finds itself in but everyone all around has done a great job. In the words of Fred Glass, IU has essentially been given the "death penalty" and needs to dig itself out.
  • Let it be known once and for all – Tom Crean is crazy. And I completely mean it in a good way and it’s clear he’s the guy we want leading this program back to glory. But we all knew that already, right?
  • Among other quips: when referring to his desire to win big right away but having such a young team "I’m not patient but I’m realistic."
  • Crean had a "eureka(!)" moment when he realized what the core issue was – there was no player to show everyone how it’s done. No player that had won at this level and no one to show them how things get done.

He then went into some details about specific players. Some of the general details:

  • Jeremiah Rivers is the best player that everyone forgot about, which echoes what he said at "Traditions & Spirits of IU" back before school started.
  • Tom Pritchard won’t play by default and will be pushed to get better by the younger players. Also, he needs to get better using his right hand – we can all help him accomplish that by making him shake our hands with his right "because he never uses it around me."
  • Bobby Capobianco could be a tight end for Bill Lynch. He’s not as athletic as they’d like but that will be improved with time.
  • Christian Watford is a complete player; he can do it all. One day he works out with the guards, the next day with the swing guys, and the next day with the bigs.
  • "If you see one of our guys at a party, kick them out. And girls, don’t smile at them – they haven’t done anything yet."
  • During the Q&A we learned that Bawa is not yet cleared but Crean isn’t worried.
  • Crean was given a red sport coat as a present from Fuzzy Zoeller – look for it on the sidelines at some point.
  • As part of IU’s contract with adidas, we will be seeing new basketball uniforms next year.
  • On Bobby Knight: he will likely call or send a letter but doesn’t want to force him into doing anything.
  • Power forward (4 spot) is probably most important in IU offense
  • He likes guards who can drive through the lane and really handle the ball.

Lots of info thrown at us tonight but it was great fun to watch him talk. He really has a lot of passion for anything that comes to his mind.

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