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Yogi Ferrell speaks about Tom Crean’s firing, Indiana University

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Yogi Ferrell was one of the stars of the Tom Crean era. He spoke out today on Crean’s firing.

Indiana v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

There were fewer, if any, players bigger at Indiana in the Tom Crean era than Yogi Ferrell. NBC Sports Radio host Chris Mannix spoke with Ferrell on Thursday afternoon about the firing of Tom Crean.

On Crean’s firing:

“Me personally, I was a little shocked by it. I’ve had a great relationship with Coach Crean and I felt like he developed me as a player, developed so many other guys as players, as human beings. So when I was to learn of the unfortunate news, I was a little bit shocked by it.”

On Crean’s impact on Yogi:

“He had a great impact. He knew the game in and out. He knew the league really well. He knew a lot of successful people. One thing I liked from him is he’d always bring in successful people to come in and talk to his team. And it didn’t even have to be through basketball. It could be through anything else. He just instilled a work ethic in me and just how to go about your daily business as a pro. Just to be an upstanding, genuine person every day. To give back to the community. So he had a big influential impact on my life.”

On what drew Yogi to Crean and Indiana during recruiting:

I mean one thing is that...drew me is just the location. I was from Indiana. I lived about an hour-and-a-half away. I wanted to do that for my family to come see me play. I just felt like he could ultimately get me to my goal to be in the NBA. It took a little while for me, but I felt like he still got me here. (He) talked to some people in the league for me. He was big advocate of me. I felt like his skill development and what he instilled in me made me a great player.”

On whether the administration could have supported Crean more:

“It’s whatever the administration thinks. I know they have a bunch of meetings and talk about a lot. But I feel like they’ve always backed coach Crean though. They always have every single year he was there. I’m not sure why they didn’t this past one, really. Especially when unfortunate circumstances happened on the team and you’re not playing up to your full potential because guys are out. So I think that coach Crean was at a little bit of a disadvantage.”

On the pressure of winning at a school like Indiana

“There’s a lot of pressure. First, it starts off with those fans. The Hoosiers fans are great, though, every single night in and out. Very supportive of us whether we’re winning or losing. But, uhh, if you aren’t winning, they’re a little tough on us. Because they know the rich history of IU and the basketball culture with it. But playing at Indiana, they want winning there. That’s it. A winning culture. And that’s all they want to see, bottom line.”

On the video of a fan telling Tom Crean he ruined the program

“Really? I mean that’s what I don’t understand. Coach Crean came in and, you can’t say anything about his first three years there because of people that were there that he had to take under. But I feel like he rebuilt the program and made it back to it’s winning culture. He’s recruited great guys, outstanding guys. But I felt like he brought Indiana back. He especially did. And Indiana wasn’t being talked about a lot....before he got there. When he got there, Indiana was back on the map. I felt like, especially my four years, all we knew how to do was win. We found a way to win. I won two Big Ten championships, made it to the NCAA Tournament three times, two Sweet 16s. I feel like coach Crean definitely brought winning back to Indiana.”