IU men’s basketball coach Tom Crean spoke to a sell-out crowd at the April 27, 2009,  meeting of the Bloomington Press Club, outlining the strategy to build on and improve from last season’s record of only six wins.

Nearly 80 members and their guests filled the Coronation Room at the IMU to hear Crean talk about his  first year heading the IU team. He was candid, optimistic and realistic during his 40-minute talk.

“What we had built on in the past was gone,” he said of players who left shortly after IU fired coach Kelvin Sampson in last spring. “What we needed was a team on the floor, since we were starting from scratch, and we did that.”

Crean said the program is “in a straight-up rebuilding phase, a long way away from having the culture of the program we want.”

how to win together, and we’re working on that this spring,” he said. “We must have guys who understand that the program has to override all else, and working hard in this off-season is a big part of that.”

Crean outlined phases toward rebuilding. Recruiting is No. 1, he said, adding that this is difficult when competing against schools with teams that had 28, 29 or 30 wins.

“But when players get better, they become your best recruiters,” he said.

He said he knew his new job would be a challenge, but he’s philosophical about the job.

“We’re having a very good spring off-season training, working on strength and athleticism,” he said. “What we say over and over again is we have to maximize the day. There’s no gray area in doing this job at Indiana.”