Decision time for Indiana's Blackmon, Ferrell

Yogi Ferrell's NBA decision is looming. But so is James Blackmon's, Tom Crean said Wednesday. Read the full story from Crean's meeting with the media here.

Tom Crean spoke for nearly 40 minutes during a surprise press conference on Wednesday afternoon, addressing a wide range of topics ranging from signing big man Thomas Bryant to Devin Davis' recovery.

Among the most timely topics was the looming stay or go decisions for guards Yogi Ferrell and James Blackmon Jr. Ferrell will announce his decision on Saturday night at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Indianapolis, and Crean said Wednesday Blackmon's decision will be announced soon as well.

Few expected Blackmon to even consider leaving school after his freshman season, but that remains a possibility, Crean said Wednesday.

"We're well down the road on where we stand on that. A decision forthcoming soon on that," Crean said of Blackmon.

Crean was asked about his role in his players exploring their options during the offseason. What is he telling guys like Ferrell and Blackmon?

"What does the research say? What do the decision makers say? We have all that, and it's thorough," Crean said. "We try and go get real feedback that we can add to the projection. Then it becomes a matter of trusting the research. Are you going to trust the research and say, 'This is what it is' or are you going to believe something that's not there? That's the most important thing, but I don't bother those guys with that. I really don't.

"If somebody leaves, you congratulate them, and you better have a Plan B and a Plan C."

Neither Ferrell nor Blackmon is projected to be drafted by most experts.

Davis back next year?

Crean is hopeful that Devin Davis will be back next season, but Davis' basketball future remains unclear after a car accident left him with a traumatic brain injury on Nov. 1. Davis has three years of eligibility remaining, and he is currently practicing and going through drills with the team.

"It's very easy to say he could have been a starter last year the way he was going," Crean said. "I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but I'm certainly hopeful that he will be. He's doing everything everybody else is doing, except he does not play, he doesn't get any contact. We'll know a lot better in the summer. But we may not totally know until the school year. Am I projecting him to be here? Certainly, in my own mind I am. But does that mean he is completely? Not yet. Medically speaking, not yet. But as his coach, I certainly hope that he is and I'm certainly planning for it."

Managing expectations for next season

Last season, there weren't many expectations for the Hoosiers. Indiana was picked to finish ninth in the Big Ten, and that was before the accident that left them without Davis for the season.

That won't be the case next season. If Ferrell returns, Indiana should be a preseason top 15 team. And even if he doesn't, the Hoosiers are likely to be ranked when the season begins.

Crean has dealt with both high and low expectations many times during his career, and he said the most important team is shutting out the external noise.

"If you are driven by external expectations, you're not going to go very far," Crean said. "It really comes down to what your internal expectations are. You have to teach your guys, and they have to grow into, what those internal expectations are. If there's motivation based on what people don't think you can do, well that will take you to a certain point. Just like motivation of what people do think you can do will take you to a certain point. But it won't take you past that. There's gotta be something so much deeper for them than draft status, than expectations of fans or families or media.

"We don't need anyone getting full of themselves in here. Nobody's earned that. We weren't very good defensively. Anyone that thinks I don't lay awake at night or that I'm happy with outcomes, I'm not." Top Stories