Indiana vs. Illinois
Head Coach Tom Crean
January 9, 2010
"Well, there were two teams fighting tonight and fortunately we were one of them. Believe it or not, that's over half the battle in the stages of competing and trying to get people to understand what it takes to do that. We didn't shoot it as well the second half. It wasn't shot selection as much as it was shots didn't go in. There were times where it was very apparent the fact that they are veterans with interior passing, we had some miscommunication on the pick-and-rolls. They just made some plays and there were times we just weren't strong enough to finish what needed to happen. We didn't drop the shoulder well enough, we didn't finish a layup.
"We have some very disappointed guys in the sense they know they could do more. It's a very hurt locker room. When you fight like that it should be. That's got a lot to do with building your team and your program. We are constantly battling both, how do we get better as a team, how do we build our program?
"I want to thank the fans again for the energy and the enthusiasm from start to finish with us. It felt like a fight out there. There were times in the past year and a half that there was a fight, but we weren't necessarily the ones fighting. But tonight we were.
"Certainly the free-throw discrepancy plays a big role in the game. We have to do a better job as a team playing through holds and grabs, we just have to do a better job. We commit some of them. Our guys have got to learn that even when the foul situation is that way it is and when the bonus situation is the way that it is, we can't go back on our heels. That's so hard for a young team to understand. Tonight I felt the depth crunch a little bit. We did come out and we really competed inside of this game. They deserve credit because they did make plays. They made more in the second half. They made the majority of their free throws."
On being too physical this game:
"Not at all. I don't mean that negatively. This is the game. We just have to learn. We aren't getting manhandled. We just aren't fighting through all that stuff enough. I'm not going to teach grabbing and holding and all that stuff. We use tennis balls when we do a lot of our defensive drills. I'm not going to stop doing that because we don't have a margin for error to commit those fouls. That was obvious tonight. There's a lot of encouraging things for me and I have to keep that in complete perspective and I want them to keep that in complete perspective. We have to be even more physical. It's an unforgiving league. We can't do anything about the foul discrepancy, but rest assured, we will make sure our presence is felt again at the foul line."
On the first half:
"I am very encouraged. I am not pleased, I am not happy. It's not a moral victory, we fought. And every chance that we get that, we have to build on that. It's not natural, but every day that we do that, we have to come back and do it again. I cannot wait until our next practice."
On free throws:
"We didn't earn it, I guess that's the only way I can look at it. I think when there's a situation at the foul line, it's hard for me to fathom a 21-foul shot difference in a game of that nature. But again I am just going got chalk it up to we are not demanding enough. In the sense of how we drop our shoulder. I like to coach fluid basketball. One thing Bob Knight's team has always done was make more foul shots than their opponents attempted. When you drop your head and lower your shoulder and that wins a game, then we have to be good at that too. We are not as good at that yet and some of that is going to come. It's not going to look real pretty all the time, but I'm not interested in pretty ways to win. We didn't hold our position enough. We just have to learn to play through that stuff."
Illinois Head Coach Bruce Weber
"It started how our coaching staff thought it would, in that they were going to come after us. They were embarrassed the other night. They had physical practices and that's how they played. They just took it to us right from the get-go. They play well here. Our guys were a little bit stagnant, deer in the headlights, not responding to the physicality of the game. I guess we kept it close enough to give us a chance, but it didn't look very good. We talked at halftime that sadly we've been in this spot many times before this season. We've been down 23, 21 and other amounts if we could go back in other games. I guess we do keep our poise. It's a little tougher to do on the road.
"I don't know if they used so much energy and emotion early that they maybe lost a little bit of that and they stopped making their threes, that was huge, 1-for-11 in the second half. I don't know if it was us doing a better job or they just maybe lost their legs a little bit, but we kept our poise and just kept chipping away. I told them before that I don't care how much we win by. I'll be happy with a one-point win. Then those timeouts down the stretch, we actually did some that worked and D.J. [Richardson] made a big shot. Then, more than anything, we could have won several other games this year if we would have just made stops and got rebounds down the stretch. We finally got stops. We gave a couple of put-backs or a couple of offensive rebounds to them that gave them some opportunities, but we did make the right stops and executed.
"Demetri [McCamey], the nine assists and one turnover is what I've been hoping for, begging for. The job of a point guard is to help us win and he did that. I thought Jeff Jordan had a key offensive rebound. I thought Billy Cole had some big hustle plays. Then [Mike] Tisdale, obviously, was huge. We went to him and he continued to come through for us. Then D.J.'s shot was also huge. Good win for us, we're 3-0, now we have to go back and see if we can find a way to beat Penn State, who has owned us on our home court the last two years. So it will be a big game for us Tuesday night."
On Demetri McCamey's ability to get inside:
"I think we got stagnant by the whole game, the noise, their physicality, their emotion and we just kind of stood around and dribbled. We didn't attack them and we did talk about attacking them. Once we went to Tisdale, now they had to worry about him so we had him in ball screens and now they're worried about him rolling to the basket and they let Demetri go. Demetri was smart once he got his shoulder by he took advantage and got to the free-throw line or made the next pass that led to a basket. I think maybe they lost their legs a little bit. Maybe they didn't have the energy, the emotion. They're a young team and then we were able to take advantage of it."
On defensive adjustments in the second half:
"They took us to the basket so much. Early in the first half they kept taking us and the coaches are saying, `You have to get after them,' and it's almost backfiring. We had to back off them and then once we backed off we protected the lane. Then they missed some open threes, but they made those in the first half. I think that was big. Even the ball screens, we had trouble with the hand-offs and the ball screens. We just told Tisdale to sit back, zone off, and then make them make a play. We got a couple of blocks, took a charge, jammed it up a little bit. They had some turnovers in the second half that maybe gave us opportunities."