Offseason Storylines: Time to grow up

Indiana dealt with off-the-court problems last season and into the spring. If the Hoosiers want to compete at the highest level this season, they must grow up, Tom Crean says.

On the court, they were young and inexperienced. They turned the ball over far too often, and they never learned from their mistakes.

Off the court, they put having a good time before the team, and it cost them in multiple different situations.

The overwhelming theme from the season, though -- both on the court and off it -- was the Hoosiers' immaturity as a team.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea was arrested in February for driving under the influence of alcohol. Yogi Ferrell and Stanford Robinson were arrested in April for attempting to get into a bar underage, and for underage drinking.

It was things like that -- and things like Indiana's inability to correct its turnover problems -- that Tom Crean says must change, and change now.

"It was finally at a point that day where things really had to come to a head on, ‘are we going to grow up or not,'" Crean said on The Dan Dakich Show Friday afternoon. "It's all experiences that you go through. There's buddies, but buddies in the military, they'll take a bullet for each other. Those guys fight for each other. I wouldn't characterize that as buddies. I'd characterize that as blood brothers that are comrades.

"Guys that think they're friends and think they're teammates and think they're buddies, they won't pull guys out of situations they shouldn't be in. They're afraid of the confrontation. They're afraid of upsetting somebody's feelings. Well, you don't get to a great place as a team if you don't have some people that aren't afraid to get in some conflicts. We didn't have enough of that last year. We had too much immaturity and we allowed too much immaturity away from here."

Crean said he has already seen improvements in the maturity area, but it has to continue throughout the offseason and into the season. Ferrell must step up and be a leader. Robinson must step up and lead. Mosquera-Perea and Troy Williams, too.

According to Crean, the signs are already there.

"Stanford Robinson has taken over the camp like Victor Oladipo would have done," Crean said. "That wouldn't have happened three months ago."

The Hoosiers will also need leadership and early maturity out of their incoming freshmen, especially McDonald's All-American James Blackmon Jr. and Robert Johnson.

Blackmon Jr. and Johnson arrived on campus last week and began working out with the team and taking classes. They are already making an impact.

"Robert Johnson bench pressed 185 [pounds] 13 times," Crean said. "We've had nobody do that."


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