He was just wishing, as college coaches tend to do, that the rules in place are officiated in a more consistent manner.
So if, say, a Hoosier gets pushed in the back when he gets the ball in the post and attacks the basket, a foul is called.
Case in point – a review of IU’s loss at Maryland last week showed several cases where IU players got into the paint, via a drive or a pass, drew contact and nothing was called.
Perhaps it shouldn’t have been. Perhaps play on was the right thing to. In the end, it’s all about perspective. Officials are not robots and even black-and-white rules are prone to gray-shaded interpretations.
Still, as the Hoosiers (11-6 overall, 1-3 in the Big Ten) face a must-win scenario against Rutgers (11-7, 0-5) Sunday at Assembly Hall, Crean hopes more free throw opportunities arise, because the Hoosiers ain’t about to play passive as they try to break out of a four-losses-in-five-games slump.
“We went into the post numerous times, and weren’t rewarded for it,” Crean said about the Maryland loss. “I hope when we do go in the post, and there are two hands on the back, based on the way the rules are written, we’ll be rewarded for that.
“When a there’s a body on the drive, we should be be rewarded for that. Just like we should be penalized if we do it. That’s all you can hope for.”
Maryland was called for 15 fouls, which led to nine IU free throw attempts. The Hoosiers made eight on them.
Indiana was called for 16 fouls. That resulted in 22 Maryland free throw attempts. The Terrapins made 18, and won 75-72.
The Hoosiers will continue to attack the basket by spreading the floor and being aggressive.
“In this game and league,” Crean said, “if you just put your head down and barrel through somebody, you’ll be rewarded. It’s not all the time.
“Maybe we have to have more of that. That’s not the way I want to teach basketball. I don’t want to teach guys to hook guys or grab arms when (opposing players are) coming across on cuts. Sometimes you have to do what’s being rewarded that night. It shouldn’t be like that, but it is.”
For IU on Sunday, what it is involves snapping the slump that has jeopardized its NCAA tourney prospects, although there is still plenty of time for a turnaround. It would help if, in the friendly confines of Assembly Hall, the calls might go more their way.
“We expect to get those things,” Crean said of fouls called and free-throw opportunities created. “It’s not the first time (IU hasn’t gotten the calls). It probably won’t be the last time. It’s not an excuse. We’ve got to keep moving forward.”