Linked below is a really good article from Gregg Doyel on how Indiana coach Tom Crean has gone through a transformation of sorts this season. With his team hampered by injuries in early December, Crean made the decision to scale back the length/intensity of his practices. Time on the court went down as time in the film room went up. Reading this piece, I thought back to a phone conversation I had with a coaching friend of mine in November 2013. My friend (whose experience came mostly at the NBA level) called me shortly after observing IU for 2 days and was astounded by the intensity of the practice. “There’s simply no way you can keep going that hard all year. Your guys will have no legs and they’ll hate you” he said. Interesting to see a coach who has enjoyed the success that Crean has be able to step back and be introspective at the way he does things.
Indiana is getting better by the game, just like its coach, who has relaxed the reigns to the point that he literally spent a timeout on Saturday not coaching his team. He turned the IU huddle over to Yogi Ferrell, letting his senior star take ownership in an expanding way. Crean stood behind him and made like everyone else on the team. He listened.