|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
INDIANA UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 14, 2016
Basketball Arena Dedication
Q. Teri, you addressed this a little bit, can you and Tom talk about the potential impact these renovations will have for your programs?
TERI MOREN: There's no question, even right now, since we've been here in the last two years, like I said, walking down the candy striped hallway on to the floor was moments of, again, jaw-dropping for those, not just recruits but also their families.
And so now it's again, with it being finished now, we were entertaining with the floor still covered. And for folks to walk in there and just be in awe of the place and the current condition was one thing.
But now that it's finished, it's absolutely beautiful as far as a facility. There's no question that it will impact our recruiting, from the fact that we talk about it being one of the finest facilities in the country.
There's not a lot of other teams that like to come into Assembly Hall and play us, the men's or women's team. So there's certainly a home court advantage, and we're just really excited and honored to be able to really show hopefully our future, what Assembly Hall is all about.
TOM CREAN: This is exactly what we said in our meetings the other day. And give Tim Buckley credit for this because when we talk about recruiting, it's recruiting meeting a couple times a day.
And it's very easy sometimes, with recruits, especially that are in this area, where they can get here and they can see this type of thing, or what's wrong with us, right, when we don't get somebody.
No, it's what's wrong with them. When you look at this and you look at the world-class education you're going to get -- okay, if you're looking for the right reasons. If we're looking for what is going to put somebody that they're really looking at school and basketball and athletics for the right reasons: You've got an incredible school, got a beautiful campus, got an incredible location.
We're winning. She's winning. Winning the Big Ten championships two of the last four years. Guys are going into the NBA.
Right now -- with the guys we've coached, that I've coached alone between here and Marquette -- their career starts this year at $372 million.
Guys are graduating, they're graduating early. We play in a premier conference and now we have a building that was already in a class by itself and it just elevated even further with what's been done here.
And if that sounds wrong, so be it. It's really the truth. If you're looking for the right things, there's not really anything that's not here. And that's why we don't want to ever have a player on our team or a player that comes in that takes any of this for granted, because we're living proof in nine years it didn't start this way in the sense of where the program was at.
And getting it back to the level that it's at and continuing to strive to be at that level constantly means a lot of people do a lot of things and they do it together.
And I think you just saw that, the way that this entire building has been put together from the planning, to the money donated, to the people that worked tirelessly seven days a week to get this right, and all the people now that have a chance to partake in it is people that work in it or people that play in it.
Tim Buckley didn't say all that, but he did say -- some of that is my own, but the thing about what's wrong with them, I like that we're going to make a poster of that in the office.
Q. Have you had a chance to practice in the new building?
TERI MOREN: We were in there yesterday afternoon. So it still has the same traditional feel on the floor. Just looking up the natural light that has an opportunity to come in now makes it brighter. Certainly looking up at that video board is pretty incredible thing to see. But still really felt the same as far as for our players and for our staff.
And I think that's one of the things that we wanted to keep and that was the tradition of the floor for sure.
TOM CREAN: We've been in there Wednesday. We're practicing tonight. I'm not sure exactly what our logistics are for tonight but we'll be in there this weekend and Teri will be in there in the morning, correct? So it's back to business for us and then we just gotta get used to the new surroundings a little bit as we get closer to game time.
Q. Fred, when this project first started, you all broke ground -- with construction projects, there's hangups. This seemed to go pretty smoothly. Would you envision that happening and going as quickly as it had gone?
FRED GLASS: We hoped it would. You hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I think if there's a secret to the success, I really believe it was being very disciplined in setting out what our central program was from the beginning.
And we didn't do that in a vacuum. We did it in collaboration with Tom Morrison. We had the coaches involved. President McRobbie involved. And we agreed on these are the essential program elements that we're just not going to compromise on.
We had some other wishes and some other things so forth that we could give on, but we knew the essential pieces that we were going to do. And that sounds very elementary, but I think sometimes, when projects go over budget or over time, it's because there hasn't been enough planning and discipline on the front end.
And so I think that paid off, because there were times when it was hard to stick with some of those elements, because the stuff was more expensive than we thought, or there were infrastructure implications.
But we said, no, this is part of what we're going to do. We'll spend the extra money and we'll set it off somewhere else.
Q. Mr. Morrison, could you elaborate further, please?
TOM MORRISON: Yes, very successful project. We, at Indiana University, across all of our campuses, do over $200 million worth of construction a year.
But I would tell you out of the top ten projects I worry about, this wasn't one of them. That has to do with good communication. It has to do with the goals that Fred talked about and establishing those up front and living within a budget and living within a timeframe.
We had great cooperation from our contractor partners, Shiel Sexton from Indianapolis. Great architect, CSO and Smith Group. Great assistants from the athletic staff, Eric Neuburger, Becky Pany and all of the folks internal to the university.
It was a great team effort and finished on time, on budget. Really not a lot of headaches or hiccups.
Q. Fred, you may have itemized this, but the number of student tickets, has that changed now that we've had this rearrangement of the hall?
FRED GLASS: It has not. Although, we will have 98 new seats in the south bleachers given the relocation to the very nice permanent media seating that we've created in the concourse.
So that might actually be a net add of 98 to the student section, because I guess they won't be displaced from somewhere else.
So hopefully it's about 100 more in what is already of course the biggest student section in college basketball. Probably mention that one of our goals was to hold the capacity where it is. We didn't want to lose seats. And we weren't completely successful in that, but largely successful in that with some of the accessibility components that we added in.
We lost about 250 seats. So the new capacity for Assembly Hall is 17,222. In Michigan's renovation they lost a thousand seats, and Illinois's renovation they lost 1500 seats.
So while I wish we hadn't lost those 250, it's a fairly minimal amount and they were largely seats that weren't our best seats anyway.
Q. Question for all of you: How pleased were you with the timing of it being able to happen on homecoming weekend when so many fans and alumni and former players come back and see all this?
FRED GLASS: Well, that was kind of the plan. We thought let's do it when busy people are in town. IU Foundation was having its meetings this weekend. As you mentioned a lot of this rank and file fans were here for homecoming because we really want to share this building.
It was built to share the window on the court, if you will, was very purposeful. It will be a great in-game experience.
But also we have people from Linton and Greensburg and Fort Wayne and Floyds Knobs show up unannounced and say I want to see that floor. Sometimes if Tom's around, I will take them in and show it to them.
But a lot of times they can't get to it. Now from 9am-5pm every day the south lobby of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall will be staffed and people can come in and they can see the floor and walk around and see the action in the Cuban Center, and they can engage in the interactive screen.
So we think it's a jewel. We think we're custodians for it for the whole state and we're doing our best to make it available.
Q. You mentioned kind of the newer guys not wanting to have them take it for granted, but how much do you think that the juniors and seniors have really appreciated the change?
TERI MOREN: Well, there's no question that that's our job, my job as a leader of our women's basketball program that we never take anything for granted from the amenities of Cook Hall, the 24-hour/seven-day-a-week access that they have to that building, and now the newly renovated Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
So there's no doubt that they know how lucky and how blessed we are to, as I mentioned, not only go to a university that has such a tremendous academic reputation but also have the amenities and the facilities, as Tom mentioned, it's unlike any facility in the country. And we're really just thrilled and honored and humbled to be able to say that this is our home.
And we get to be in here every single day. And our kids don't take that for granted.
TOM CREAN: Here's what I would say to that in the sense of what Teri is trying to do, what we're really trying to do, what everybody at Indiana University is trying to do: You're trying to bring people in that appreciate the values of this university.
Everybody comes from different walks and backgrounds and areas, but the value of this university are really all over the university, but they're really epitomized in this building now. And Fred and Tom and everybody deserves so much credit for a couple of these things.
When new buildings come up and you see a new building -- and I haven't been in all of them when they get built, but sometimes there's some things you just can't identify with around the country.
And it gets so modernized and it gets so much about the bells and the whistles, right, that it's not about what's realistic.
What's realistic about this building is anybody that walks in here, whether they're a 50-year season ticket holder, whether they're five-year season ticket holder whether they're a five-year-old, they're going to be able to identify with what this building is about. Case in point, the floor (on the wall in North Lobby).
I mean, that was Fred's idea and his team. That's an incredible thing. I'm upstairs at the beginning, and Wayne Radford and Steve Ahlfeld are standing there and he says, "Steve, there's the mark you slammed me to the ground my freshman year."
There's going to be like 100,000 stories about that floor as we go because so many people witnessed games. The scoreboard. When you walk up the stairs. When the statues come in.
There's so many memories. Cook Hall gave us a glimpse of that. Now there's just going to be a titanic explosion of where people can go.
And it's going to give all the programs at Indiana, namely our two, but the athletic department, the fans, there's going to be sustainable attraction in this building for our players to not only look at it and feel at home but also respect where they're at and a great deal, but to understand that they're part of something that's really truly bigger than any one of us, any one player or person, and the building gives you that, and I think they mastered it.
I really do. I have not even been all the way through it. There's parts I hadn't been in until today. And I can't even put it into words. And I'm not from here, right?
When people come through here that have been alums of this university, families, that was one of the things that really -- Teri wasn't here yet for this, even Fred wasn't here at this point.
But when we got started here and we were dealing with so many different things in 2008, one of the great inspirations were the families that would come in here. I've seen people cry in that building with their families, because they were getting to see the court for the first time. They were bringing a grandchild to see it. My first week here, a family came from Florida, my third week here a family came that was on a vacation from Italy.
I mean, it like hits you: Like this place is at another level and they just took the building to that in a big way, and I think that sustainable traction will be here for decades now, many decades.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports