Crean pushing Hoosiers to keep improving

Associated Press Modified: April 25, 2012 at 5:01 am •  Published: April 25, 2012
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"Outside expectations, they're fun to talk about. Every once in a while, they're fun to read about, but it has nothing to do with what's going on inside the building," Crean said. "If you start jumping ahead and end up getting caught up too much in the destination, you really do your team a disservice and no coach wants to do his team a disservice."

Crean addressed a range of topics during his 45-minute update.

He said it is unlikely the Hoosiers will face Louisville and Rick Pitino this season, though it's possible the two schools that are separated geographically by about a two-hour drive could reach a deal to play in the future. Crean said those talks are "nowhere."

The annual rivalry with Kentucky, though, could soon end if the two schools can't agree on where to play the games.

From 1991-2005, the games had been played at neutral sites in Indianapolis and Louisville. Then the games were moved back to campus. Now the Wildcats, Crean said, don't want to play in Bloomington, where Christian Watford beat them with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in December. It was Kentucky's only regular-season loss.

"The Kentucky game is still being talked about worked on, but it's not set in stone because, as many of you know, Kentucky doesn't want to play on our campus anymore and that's certainly not our first choice," Crean said. "Keeping it on campus is without a doubt our first choice and always has been since I've been here."

A spokesman at Kentucky said the school had no comment and said the Wildcats' schedule was still a work in progress.

Crean also said he hopes to hire a replacement for assistant coach Bennie Seltzer, who took the head coaching job at Samford earlier this month.

One possibility is promoting former Hoosiers star Calbert Cheaney, who was the director of basketball operations. Crean said the two have chatted and that if Cheaney is interested, he might get the job.

A week after reportedly offering a scholarship to Eric Gordon's younger brother, 14-year-old Eron Gordon, Crean acknowledged that recruiting players that young has become part of the college game. He did not speak specifically about the Indianapolis eighth-grader. NCAA rules prohibit commenting on recruits until they have signed a national letter-of-intent.

"We're far from the only school that's offering younger players," he said. "I think it needs to be a long process, and it doesn't mean there aren't going to be mistakes made," he added. "But it needs to be a long process because when it's a short process it doesn't always work out great."

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Associated Press Sports Writer Colin Fly in Lexington, Ky., contributed to this report.