Last season was a disappointing one for Indiana. The Hoosiers were up and down throughout the year, an they failed to make both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT.
After back-to-back trips to the Sweet Sixteen, Indiana fans expected another trip to the postseason. Fair or not, that's among the most minimal of expectations at Indiana, a school with five national championships. The fans expect you to make the NCAA Tournament.
And as they stumbled last season, the fans booed. It was an odd sight in Assembly Hall. The very man that helped rebuild the program from ashes was being booed for his lineups only years later.
In a moment of self reflection on Tuesday, Crean addressed the booing and said he understands why the fans did it.
"You know what, with some things last year, I would have booed me too," Crean said. "I really would. Because we were trying to get guys in and we were trying to find some type of consistency on the court and we didn't have enough of it.
"I don't know where it's going to be this year but I like the upside of it. It's competitive. We're going to make changes. The biggest change is that we are going to have to be guarded a lot more than what we were last year. Now whether we make the shots or how we rebound, how we defend, those things are up for grabs. But we are going to have to be guarded."
Indiana has brought in another highly-ranked recruiting class, headlined by McDonald's All-American James Blackmon Jr. Robert Johnson, a guard that chose Indiana over North Carolina, also figures to be a major factor for the Hoosiers this season.
Crean spent much of last season trying to find lineups that worked. He sometimes played 13 guys to find that level of consistency, but he rarely did.
"Depth is not numbers. Depth is consistency," Crean said. "We didn't have enough consistency ... The rotation was long last year because we didn't have consistency.
"There were statistics that we were better at the year before when we were No. 1 for 11, 12 weeks. So we never got that consistency on the offensive end where, that shot's going in, there's a pretty good chance that shot is going in, that ball is going to move. Then you end up turning it over because you get guys trying to do too much. Things like that. So we are going to play the players that give us the best chance."