Jan. 23, 2013
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Indiana vs. Penn State
January 23, 2013
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
“The thing that I look at with our team is that they are really trying to put themselves in a place where they can hang their hat on the defensive end, and we’re getting there. The other day, we told them that there are two teams in the country in the top 10 in field goal percentage defense and field goal percentage offense, and we’re one of them. We want to stay in that position. Right now, the biggest thing we can work on is making sure that we are getting better as individual defenders, collective defenders, that our rebounding continues to improve, and that we keep turning defense into offense. Sometimes you can do that in this league, and sometimes you can’t. But the bottom line is that you’ve got to be able to defend. I think that tonight with 64 deflections, holding them to 13 percent from the three, 33 percent from the field. We had three guys with double figure deflections with Cody, Victor, and Jordan, and Will had nine. Those are good things. Those are really good things for us. We’re trying to integrate a lot of different guys into the lineup at different times. It’s easier said than done. That’s why I know that we are going to keep getting better, because eventually some of those things are going to click. Right now, we don’t have tremendous synergy when we go to the bench. But I think over the long hall, we will get it. And that’s what we’re trying to build towards now. (Penn State) is a hard team to play against. They play tough, competitive, control basketball. In the sense that they are playing at their pace. I think (Pat Chambers) is doing an excellent job as a coach. I don’t think there is any doubt about it. I think they are going to have a very good team moving forward. I thought our guys again tonight were really locked in with what we had to do defensively, and what we had to do to win the game. And they did.”
Is that defensive mindset coming from the coaches or players?
“(The coaches) are not guarding anybody. I don’t think I can keep anybody in front of me or keep them off the boards. That’s them. They want to be really good. I think they really understood that was something throughout the off season and early season that they had to get a lot better at and they are. They’re doing an excellent job of continuing to improve. It’s a hard league. You don’t have the best league in the country on one end of the floor. You’ve got to not only be able to score but to guard people in this league. Our guys are doing a much better job of that game to game.”
Can you talk about the three stops in a row at the start of the second half?
“The three stops in a row is a big, big deal to us. The deflections are a big deal to us. The field goal percentages, three-point wise and overall are big deals to us. The defensive rebounds are a big deal to us. Those are things that are really easy to look at and say well they score a lot of points. Sometimes in this league, 72 is a really good night, and it’s way under where we would be. But that’s a pretty good night in the Big Ten. A game last night was in the forties. We’re not trying to play that way, but sometimes you’ve got to deal with what the game brings. I think that these guys are really understanding that they’ll go as far as their defense takes them.”
Talk about the evolution of Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell and Victor Oladipo as shooters?
“Hard work. They spent a lot of time at it. Yogi did an excellent job tonight shooting the ball. You could see it yesterday. We walked through on Monday, and we probably had the shortest practice of the year yesterday. Outside of weightlifting, we were probably on the court for about an hour and five minutes. So we lost a lot of our rhythm. It got us a little tonight. We have a hard stretch coming up. Next week is three games. Its Sunday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Every game is going to be an absolute battle. I knew we might be giving up a little bit in execution to make sure that we had really good energy and build it over the long hall. But at the same time, those guys spent a lot of extra time shooting the ball. I thought Will shot the ball extremely well. We made 11 threes. I think that’s really positive.”
On defense stepping up when offense might not be there:
"Definitely. We weren't hitting all of our shots. We were getting some good shots but at the end of the day we were going to the other end and locking up and playing defense and that's what it's going to take for us to win and not only this game but throughout the season so we've just got to continue to keep making defense create for our offense."
On stepping up when maybe Cody Zeller has an off day defensively:
"Cody did a lot of other things to impact the game and that's why he's such a great player. He might have a slow night today but he played tremendous defense. He still had 10 deflections and rebounded the ball. He might be having a slow night on offense but he's doing what it takes to win. Sure we've got to step it up a little bit but when he plays like that we've just to play together."
On Will Sheehey being able to come off the bench and impact the game:
"It's big for our team. Ever since he came in here with me you know it's been big that we impact winning and him coming off the bench and having games like that and impacting them on both sides of the floor is big for us going along and hopefully he just continues to keep doing that."
On being able to close this game out:
"It's a big emphasis on our team because it seems like everybody in the country thinks we don't have good second halves. That's their opinion and that's fine. That's what they see. At the end of the day we're going to do whatever it takes to finish strong because we're not trying to beat Penn State we're trying to beat everybody in the country. We've got to realize that it's going to help us down the road."
On Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell hitting shots early in both halves and how that helps out the rest of the team:
"He can shoot. It was all in his head at first but he's finally realizing that he can shoot the ball. A lot of the players were just coming off and they were just leaving him. I'm not just going to not kick to him and he knows that. He gets ready to shoot and it's very hard for him to miss when he gets going and the confidence gets going and it all pours in after that."
Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell:
On if he was looking for his shot more tonight or just taking what the defense gave him:
"I was just taking what the defense was really giving me. (Victor) found me and Christian (Watford) in the second half a lot and I was open so I was going to shoot the ball."
On how he's evolved as a shooter since getting here:
"Just getting in the gym, especially with these guys, Vic and Will, they have a tremendous work ethic. They'll pull me along with them just to get extra shots up so that's what we're always doing after practice."
On the team's defensive effort tonight:
"Points doesn't win games, it's your defensive effort. When you talk and are active on defense that's what propels winning. I think we did a fantastic job tonight. We had 63 or 64 deflections which is I think the most we've had in the Big Ten. When you play defense, when you talk, when you have a complete defensive effort you're not going to lose and if you do you've just got to tip your hat and say next game. I don't think in our two losses that we've done that. I think that we're working for it."
On how important it was to get off to a quick start in the second half
"Well if you noticed on the 8-0 run we had three stops in a row on defense. It's basketball science that if you get a stop it's at least easy baskets on the other end so that's about it."
On how much hitting that first three helped in attacking the zone:
"Yeah, I was really just worried about our defensive effort. If I'm open I'm going to shoot it and I think that's all of our mentality. If you don't shoot open shots you're hurting the team. We don't force anything but it's all about the defensive effort."
On if it was execution or effort that made a difference on defense tonight:
"I'm not going to talk about the earlier games but tonight we had a fantastic game plan. Our coach did a fantastic job of making sure that were prepared for the game. Our scouting report was fantastic. Coach (Kenny) Johnson put it together and he always does a phenomenal job and yeah we executed it and we took away things that we wanted to take away."
On Hanner Perea's play defensively:
"Hanner can come up and block some shots but he still needs to dive into the game plan and the film because he's the most athletically gifted player I think I've ever seen besides Vic - so if he keeps bringing that out he's going to be a fantastic player."
On what they feel they took away from tonight's game:
"We really just wanted to take away some guys strengths and what they do well. Some guys like left hand, some guys like the right hand, some guys like to shoot this shot, that shot so really if you watch a lot of film, which is what our team does, you're going to find the tendencies of certain players and try and take them away."
On his mentality when shots aren't falling:
"I never think about that kind of stuff as long as I'm playing hard on the defensive end. If you ever see me not playing hard on the defensive end that's when you know something is wrong and it's never going to happen. The offense will come. The ball finds movement. The ball finds activity so if you just keep moving these guys will find me. I'm not worried about it."
Penn State Head Coach Patrick Chambers
On letting the game get away from them late in the first half:
"It was (Will) Sheehey hitting threes. Usually he is a good middle-range jump shooter. That team has a lot of talent, and you just can't take everything away so you have to pick your poison and Sheehey hit some threes that opened up everything. You play the percentages and try to take certain things away. Our biggest concern was (Christian) Watford and he only had 10 points. I'll take that. My other big concern was (Jordan) Hulls. You know what (Cody) Zeller is going to do to you, you can already put it in the books, but Hulls has been the Nittany Lion killer, and he only got eight tonight. You think Watford 10, Hulls eight, our team really has a chance. I think our kids played so hard. They never gave up and they played right to the very end. Everybody I put in played hard. I'm really proud of my team. It might not show it on the scoreboard but I thought we did everything we could do in our ability."
On holding Cody Zeller scoreless from the field:
"I don't think Zeller played a ton of minutes; usually he gets in a lot more than he did tonight. I saw him tweak his leg and I asked him if he was ok. He told me that he was. But the big thing was that we played zone. Sometimes that means giving up certain things, and they found our weaknesses by making the extra pass. "
On why Penn State played zone:
"I didn't like our match-ups. They are a very talented group and as a coach you have to do everything you can to try to help your team be successful. I felt like we mixed it up a lot, playing a lot of zone, but a little man and disguised the zone. We did a lot of different things and for a while it worked, but then talent takes over and they started making threes. Eleven threes is just too many because we are not a great three point shooting team."
On why Penn State had such a hard time guarding the three:
"It was good ball reversals and lots of ball movement. It wasn't like we weren't in front of them, but we got there a little late. For good shooters like Sheehey and Hulls, they are going to drill it, and then (Kevin "Yogi") Ferrell got some un-contested ones."
On DJ Newbill:
"I played him 39 minutes, and I know he had eight turnovers, but it didn't feel like it the way he played and the way he carried himself. If he can bring that everyday, than we have a special player on our hands. The way he handled himself was very impressive and I'm looking forward to the future with him because this is one of the most difficult places to play. It really is. For a kid from Philly to step up the way that he did, it was a pretty special day for him."