Jan. 12, 2013
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Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
"Well the game went two ways, but both teams played extremely hard for 40 minutes. That never went away. We knew they weren't going to go away in the second half. We continued to play extremely hard in the second half after getting off to a great lead. We didn't always play as efficient as we needed to. We weren't always on the attack like we needed to be. But when you outrebound a team like Minnesota and the way that they're rebounding, you continue to go hard, and you continue to answer when they have an answer for what you're doing. It's a big win. The difference now is a year ago, we would have been ecstatic with that victory. I want them to enjoy it, but we have different expectation levels now. It's not the outside expectations. It's the expectation level inside of where we need to be. I think we have a lot of room for improvement. It sounds like to most corny, cliché word you can have when you start talking about process but that's what it is. That's why people use it in business, in school, in coaching. It's a process, and we have to continue to learn from that. When it takes that next step is when the players understand that they can play better. I think they do. I think they know that they can be more efficient. But the one thing that we are doing is that we are playing extremely hard and competitive. Another game in the mid 50's in deflections, and battling on the glass. We can get a lot better, and I know Minnesota will because they are obviously every bit as good as we thought they were, as the nation thought they were, and as their other opponents thought they were. It was a very good victory. One that we appreciate and earned. But at the same time, there is no question that with the long season that it is, we have got to get a lot better."
Can you talk about Yogi's development from the time he stepped onto campus?
"We knew he was extremely well-coached. There was obviously no doubt about that. Just a huge winner. I think the biggest thing is his defense. He played so much zone in high school and they were very good at it. That's why you rarely have to remind him of anything when we play zone. His on ball defense, his ability to attack those things have really transferred to the collegiate level. The speed of the game has never been an issue for him. Now he is getting more and more confidence inside the speed of the game and it makes him that much better. I think he is going to get nothing but better. His jumper is going to get more consistent. He has a great vision. But his biggest steps are like any young player. There has got to be more vocal leadership. He leads, he leads by example and he leads with his defense and he is a great teammate but he has got to get more verbal. That's the next step for him."
Talk about struggles against the press in the second half.
"We didn't attack it correctly. We got caught up a little bit in getting it down the court rather than how we were going to get it down the court. They were aggressive. We knew that. We practiced for that. I just think that we didn't do a great job with our spacing. We didn't do a great job with the inbounds. I'll blame myself for not having enough screening, because they were very physical. A couple times it was hard to get open. We may need to put a few more screening options in our zone like we did later in the game."
Talk about ball movement today and the greater sense of trust within the team now.
"I think there is balance for a reason. Our guys aren't dominating the Big Ten Player of the Week, Big Ten Freshman of the Week mantels because it's rare that it's going to be one guy with major points. We have got a lot of balance scoring. Today was another day like that. I think they are really understanding two things. Everybody is going to score the more points we score. But it doesn't happen if we don't defend and score off our defense and it doesn't happen if we don't rebound. When you're working as hard as you are on defense, you're rarely going to come down and take a bad shot or force something when you've got other teammates working that hard with you defensively. I think we're a good example of that now. Yogi has got a lot to do with how the ball moves. Jordan does. There might be somebody as good as passing the ball from the forward position, but I've never seen anybody pass it better than Cody. He is tremendous at that. A key for us is our reversals. Those guys are buying into the percentages of what happens when we reverse it twice or three times. Those numbers don't lie."
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
"Well I thought our kids put forth a great effort in the second half to get back in the ball game. It was obviously a very physical game so I thought we had opportunities at the rim and we didn't finish around the rim or get fouls so those are one of the things that concerned me. Otherwise, we did some good things. I was disappointed in our first half in the way we played. We weren't aggressive. Obviously Indiana was much more aggressive both offensively and defensively and it showed."
On cutting the lead from 23 to three:
"Well, I was proud of the way we hung in there and didn't give up, didn't give in. I thought we did the things to help us give ourselves of a chance, didn't embarrass ourselves by folding the tent and heading home. We've got a very competitive group of guys and that's what I expected from them in the second half. Obviously we had a chance with 15 seconds left if we get that rebound and it's a three point game and we might make a three the way we were shooting at the end but we didn't do the things during the course of the game. Obviously 17 turnovers doesn't help. We just didn't defend like we had been, especially the three point shot. We did in the second half but in the first half they were 7-for-11 and that really hurt us."
On Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell being able to drive and dish:
"He's just such a tough guy to guard. He's hard to guard. His penetration and kick like that, when you've got a guy like Jordan Hulls who can really stroke it and so that really gives him a lane. I thought we did a poor job of forcing back to help like we should. We had some breakdowns but he's so quick he can make you think he's going that way and get a guy off balance but that was huge for them to be able to penetrate and kick the ball."
On what happened in the first half that broke the game open:
"Well we didn't attack. We played very passively and they were much more aggressive and I thought that was the difference. We were both passive at the offensive end and the defensive end and when you're back on your heels like that teams sense that and they just became very aggressive and made some threes because we didn't do a good job of challenging their outside shots and we started making shots and the momentum shifted. Both teams were shooting well in the first half. We were just giving up too many open looks but a lot of it had to do with the breakdown and penetration and how we got stuck inside and Yogi did a good job of pitching it back out to open people."
On what the second half says about the character of his team:
"It tells me that we are capable but we knew we were capable of it. We've just got to put together two halves. You've got to play every second you're on the court, give it your all. Not that they didn't but we became a little bit passive and we didn't make some calls, I'm talking about calls from the bench when we're trying to make a call and it didn't get translated, a certain play, that type of thing. But it says a lot about our character, about the heart, and about the toughness of this team."
Indiana Player Quotes
On how they hung with a good rebounding team:
"That was a big key for us. Everyone, we had to have five guys rebounding. I was just trying to get [Trevor] Mbakwe out of it, even if I don't get the rebound, just take him out of the play because he's such a good rebounder. Our guards did a pretty good job of rebounding; that was a big key for us."
On whether the team has built more trust with each other, centering around Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell
"Somewhat. We have so many weapons that can do so many things that make us a tough team to guard. Whether it's me and Christian [Watford] working inside or some of our shooters outside, we always try to move the ball around and see what happens."
On his fouls on three-point shooters:
"The first two, we work on that all the time, it was just being undisciplined. As a leader on defense, I cannot make those mistakes. To be honest, I felt like I almost blew the game away. That's nine free throws that I just let them have. On the last one I need to be more disciplined and stay down. I was making dumb, little mistakes towards the end of the game. I shouldn't be doing that. I'm a junior now and I'm a leader, and I can't be making dumb mistakes like that. My teammates look up to me, especially on the defensive end, and when I make mistakes that's not good for our team. I have to go back to the drawing board, see what I did wrong, and correct it. It's going to be big for us. Plays like that, I've lost plays in the past when we were doing the same thing. I need to be way more disciplined than that. Just work on it and I'll be good."
On how he feels coming out of this game:
"I feel good, but at the same time I know there's a lot of stuff we need to work on. There are big games down the road. We have to watch this tape and see what happened in the second half, what we did wrong and correct it. There's really good teams that are coming up and we need to be ready for them."
On the difference between the two halves:
"We just have to do a better job of playing the full game. We played real well in the first half and then they came back, we knew they were going to come back and put up a fight. They're a good basketball team. We just have to do a lot better job communicating on defense, pushing the ball more on offense, do what we did best at the end of the first half."
On what went right in the first half:
"I'd say we did a good job of moving the ball. Our defense is really what got us going. Victor [Oladipo] did a great job on the ball, getting steals, getting fast breaks. Just doing different things on the defensive end that led to our offense and that's what we want to come in and do and that's what we have to do if we want to keep on winning. The second half, we can't accept that, we know we have to play a lot better."
On the struggles at the free throw line:
"We've got to hit free throws. That's going to get us if we don't hit our free throws. A lack of focus I guess.