Dennis Krause Part 2 - Crean on Dominic James

Time Warner Cable now features local sports on Ch 32. The signature program is "The Dennis Krause Show", hosted by longtime Milw sportscaster Dennis Krause. Marquette coach Tom Crean was his guest recently and Dennis gave exclusive permission to provide a transcript from the in-depth Crean interview. Part II focuses in on Dominic James' dreams of playing in the NBA.

Dennis Krause: Back with the Head Coach of the Marquette Golden Eagles Tom Crean. Tom, as we tape this, Dominic James is gathering information as to whether he should stay in the NBA Draft or not. What's your role in all of that?

Tom Crean: I've been facilitating it completely and not just now. I've been facilitating it throughout the year. In August, I flew into Richmond and had a meeting with his family, the same kind of meeting I had with Dwayne before his last year with us, and went and had that with them to just kind of lay out the whole plan. They have stayed very true to it. Dominic has stayed extremely true to it and it's hard because people want to complicate the plan. The agents who have inquired have stayed true to it.

The whole key right now is for him to keep getting better. I love the way the rules have changed in that now he can talk to an NBA team. He can visit with an NBA team. Actually, he could go see an NBA team which I don't think is feasible right now financially, but we need to do those kind of things, or he doesn't need to do those kind of things, but he can't work out until he goes to the pre-Draft camp in Orlando at the end of May. I think that's perfect, so all you have to do is stay here right now and keep getting better and that's exactly what he's done.

As we tape this, we can't work out with our guys until their exams are over, which will be, some guys will be done by the 9th, everybody will be done by the 11th, so we'll get our last two-hour workout with them and then they are on their own. And hopefully we prepared them enough to know what they need to do in the off-season on their own to be in the gym, but we talk all the time, and I'm on the phone all the time, and what I try to do is keep records of everything that is said and then I will rarely tell him who said it directly because I don't want to betray the confidence of the general manager or director of player personnel, but I will tell them what's being said. It's almost like you're getting a straw poll all the time.

Dennis Krause: How do you fight the human temptation I would assume to look out for yourself and say, "Dominic, we need you next year" versus what's best for him at this particular time?

Tom Crean: I think you've got to wear three hats. I really do. As a coach, you've got to tell him the honest truth. And I think that's where the trust comes in and then him understanding that I have a knowledge of that league and having players in it now and going through this. This is not the first time we've gone through that, so you need him to respect that you have to say that way.

Number two, you have to look at it from a parental view. Their coming to college to chase a career. And when you're a college basketball player, there's not one that walks in without, now they may think in the back of their mind or in the front of their mind, that they can't make it, but there's not one who doesn't come in without the dream of making it. So, when you get an opportunity to chase that, you've got to allow them to do that too. I think, again, it's just being honest. It's being able to assess what's theirs. It's being able to take it all in. But you've got to allow them to chase their dreams and you've got to have the same kind of passion that they have. And it's going to happen with Wesley Matthews. It's going to happen with Jerel McNeal. It could happen with Lazar Hayward. Those things are going to happen.

I think the third part is when you look at it from a recruiting point of view, if we hold them back, then that becomes something that's out there and that's not going to help us in recruiting. I really believe the success of a Dwyane Wade helped us land us a Wesley Matthews. It helped us land a Jerel McNeal. It helped us land a Dominic James. So you have to be honest all the way across the board. Now Dwyane's case is so different because when we were doing the straw polls and things of that nature and getting the undergraduate advisory committee feedback, it was a no brainer. It was a lottery situation. So let's get the agent. It's time to go. But you know what? You can also look back at it and say, come May 20, we're going to be 20 of 20 of people who used their eligibility graduating at Marquette. And when Jamil Lott graduates next December, we'll be 21 of 21.

So that is there for them as well, and I think that's what is crucial, but anybody who thinks that they are coming for four years without their mind on that next level is living under a rock and I'm not going to live under that rock. And at the same time, you have to be able to tell them the truth and you want them to accept it. If they don't, that's part of it. But you want them to accept the truth and that's our job to find the truth.

**This segment was printed with permission by Dennis Krause of Time Warner Sports. Krause is a two time winner of the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the year and is the Programming Manager for Time Warner Sports. Time Warner Sports can be found on Time Warner channel 32. You can also reach their website at: Time Warner Sports 32

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