Postgame Quotes - Indiana at Illinois
Jan. 10, 2009
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
"First off they played a great game from the start and we never matched their toughness on either end of the court or their intensity or physical play especially on the defensive side.. They are a great ball moving team as judged by the assists they get again today. They pass the ball so well and they know where their people want to be. I think their motion is one of the better offenses in the country. Therefore with our team and our inexperience we really didn't want to be guarding them man-to-man as much in this game, but at the same time we did not follow our principles of where we needed to be defensively. We were late moving on the catch and we just don't have guys who can help pull you through when things are not going right and it just snowballed much like the Kentucky game. So we have to keep trying to learn from it. We have to keep understanding that these are the type of things we do try to prepare for in the sense of making your catches on the wing, We weren't right from the beginning. We never set the first screen we needed to set when Chester picked up Verdell in the full court and we didn't screen well enough to get in the offense, they shot the gap in there. But we did have some guys play real hard inside of that and after a point and time of the game that becomes part of the equation for me personally as much as trying to be in the basketball game. So they were excellent today and we never matched that toughness or mentality."
Did their early three's take the wind out of you?
"I think it would have been the same thing had it been in the post. We just weren't where we needed to be. We didn't want to come out and overpressure this team, because they have so many guys again. They have McCamey, Meacham and Frazier going into this game with 34 assists and two turnovers inside the first two Big Ten games. It was not going to be in our best interests to chase them around and give them open paths to the basket. With that being said, we weren't aggressive enough getting up to the three point line quick enough they got looks, had confidence and some good shooters shot even better than that."
Talk about your rebounding.
"We have to. We have no choice. For us to compete in these games we have got to be in the rebounding mode. Our big thing, and it proved it today, our three guys who have the ball in their hands the most had a one to one assist to turnover ratio the first two games and they have a 34-2 assist to turnover ratio. It wasn't like we were going to magically turn them into a lot of turnovers today. We had to make sure we didn't and unfortunately we did, we turned the ball over The rebounding is something that we have to continue to build upon in practice and work towards getting to the offensive glass and frankly in the first half we missed so many layups, in situations where we should have been going up and dunking the ball and going up to create contact and contact was hard to come by today. That is no excuse for us not being able to go to the basket and being able to score more. It just seemed like for a while that everything that could go possibly wrong , whether we were missing puppies or zero footers or tips, it did. Again, it all starts in the post. But we have to continue to learn and the only thing we can do is the guys that are going through this now there is nobody else for them to look to and turn to. Everyone is going through it so there the ones that have to help dig us out."
How is Devan Dumes
"I don't know. I know he couldn't come back. He couldn't put any weight on it and I saw Dr. Rink at halftime, but I don't have anything more on that. As far as him not starting, it was an honest mistake, but he was late for the bus. I think we established on April 2nd that rules are rules and that is the way it is."
You talked bout going deeper in your bench the other night.
"I don't know if I wanted to go that deep, but we did. I think where we are at and today proved it, we have got to continue to look at any point and time that we can at anyone who can give us a spark or somebody who can give us momentum, but frankly fir somebody that will take absolute pride on the defensive end and that's where we are at. We lost a very winnable game on Wednesday night because we didn't guard well enough in the second half and we lost a game today because we never got that established and frankly we allowed them to be the aggressor. They are a very good basketball team and their record is indicative of that. You know they have gone through hard times together. They have some older guys. Trent Meacham has been one of my favorites for a long time. I know it was a blow to Brian Gregory's program when he lost him. That kid is good, a Travis Deiner type of guard who I enjoyed coaching so much at Marquette. He is an excellent basketball player and them have a team full of that."
How do you keep your team up
"You know we are rebuilding in a lot of ways and the one thing that I am going to stay true to is that I plan to be here a very long time. Our staff plans to get this program back to where it has to be, where this is a meaningful game, and we are doing the things to bring Indiana back. I am absolutely looking every day to helping build these guys into being the kind of guys that deserve to be in that, deserve to play that way. Will that happen, I have no idea. But I know that every day we are not going to change what we are trying to do and there is time to look at improvement and there is time to call it what it is. As I said in the locker room, we never guarded well enough or we were never tough enough today to earn a shot at this win and that is going to get corrected and the only way to do this is through hard and tough practices and continue to get ourselves tested as we can be through this schedule and we will see what happens."
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