Indiana plays its first of five games in six days tonight in Montreal. Read what Indiana coach Tom Crean had to say about the trip below, courtesy of IU Athletics.
On what he wants to find out about his team on this trip
"I think it's a lot more than what we're trying to find. When you have the summer the way we have it, you're trying to build everyday. You do not get ahead of the day that you're in. As a coach and as a coaching staff, you've got to make plans for the future, you've got to have a strong vision, there's no question about that. But you've really got to have a progression and the good thing about this summer is the progression includes a trip like this to Montreal where we can really see where we're at, get a very strong evaluation of what our skills are, what our skills need to be better at to start the season, what our strengths are and what we're going to have to overcome."
"Right now our guys are excited to play and we're excited to coach them. The big thing for us, like I said to the team today at the end of practice, there's some programs that are really good at telling you the truth about where your game's at and not doing anything to make it better, there's some programs that will sugarcoat where you're at and give you a little lip service and you're still not getting a lot better, and there's some that will really tell you the truth and at the same time try to coach to your potential in practice, I think that's where we're at. What we need to do a better job of this year is play to the performance of the games. This is the one time of the year where there will be a little more playing to the potential in these games because they are exhibition, but at the same time, the greatest strength these young players can learn is how they impact winning. How they impact it on both ends of the floor, how their body language impacts it. When I say young team, I mean the entire team because we don't have any seniors. The oldest guy on our team has been here the fewest days in Nick Zeisloft. So the bottom line for us is "how do you impact winning?" There are so many things we can do to learn about that, to figure that out, to grow from that and that's what I'm expecting more than anything else out of this trip."
On the team experiencing a road trip:
"It's very important that we're young men and young professionals. As I said to the team, we're not on a family vacation. This is an Indiana excursion. We're not on a summer trip. Most of these guys are not used to traveling very far with their high school teams, but they're certainly used to traveling with their AAU teams. I love AAU basketball, but this is not an AAU trip. This is a trip where they are on a business trip for Indiana University. Now we want to have a lot of fun with that, but we also want to be very professional with that. It comes down to making sure we understand when we're at the restaurant, that there's a tip expectation - is the tip included in the bill? The customs, the mannerisms that you have to have, how we treat people in the hotel, how we treat people on the street. A big, big thing is how we treat our fans and the engagement you have to have in the sense of taking pictures, signing autographs and just absolutely getting an opportunity to have people have a really good experience around you, even if it's for a couple seconds - even if it's a handshake and a nod or a 5-10 minute conversation or anything in between, or a two hour meeting, whatever it is - did we have a positive experience?"
"We've got some things planned, we're staying in a great area and Montreal is a world-class city. It's the largest city in North America in terms of most restaurants per capita, so they're going to have plenty of things to do. We're staying in a hotel where we're going to have some of the best ladies tennis players in the world staying because there's a tournament here. So who knows who you're going to run into in the hotel and they're will be a lot of people around. So we're just excited about the trip. We want it to be basketball, but we want it to be the bonding that is allowed because we go to Indiana University."
On how the players represent Indiana on the court
"You're constantly starting at square one with your team and we've started at square one with the fundamentals. You watch practice today, at least 20 minutes was pivoting, passing, catching and layups in a short practice, some days it's much longer. You start at square one. The bottom line for our program is improvement and the fundamentals are the core of improvement. So with everyone, it's reminders. It's Steve McClain taking 15 minutes to go over our game procedures and how we come on and off the bench, it's me telling them what we're looking for in the sense of what impacts winning and helping them get their mindset to where it needs to be. I'm a big believer in the Carol Dweck mindset theory and we're trying to help people have a growth mindset, not a fixed mindset. The fixed mindset's very, very hard to change but it is changeable. The growth mindset is ever changing. As a teammate, as a team and as a program, you're constantly evolving and we want them to understand all the different things that go into that and certainly the standards of this program. We don't rest on our shorts when we're tired, we grab our hips. When a teammate goes to the ground, we sprint over to pick him up. When we come off the bench, we sprint off that bench. We huddle - we rush into a huddle. We talk on defense. There are so many little things; there are so many little things. Those are the details of life that really become big details in the game for us, as much as sometimes dropping your right shoulder when you're going up with your left hand. The details and the fundamentals are constant and ongoing, that's where success comes from."