Men's Basketball

    Postgame Quotes - Indiana at Illinois

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 8, 2013

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    Postgame Quotes - Indiana at Illinois
    Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013

    Tom Crean, Indiana Head Coach
    Opening Statement:
    They were deserving of the win because they never gave in. You could see on film that they were maturing and that they were getting better. This is still the same group of young men that started the season the way they did. They have a high level offensive team. We didn't put them away when we had our opportunities...that's really what the bottom-line is. We broke some coverages. We got concerned...we let some old habits kick in where we over-helped rather than stay committed to the corners, and that's where they hit us.

    When you're going against great talent, which this league is full of, you've got to stay committed to it for 40 minutes. You've got to keep your chest in front of the ball...you've got to keep your communication high...and you've got to have that commitment to what makes you good, which for us is early help, early recovery, and understanding what their strengths are...which are the three-point shooting.

    Jumping around here...the end of the game...it was a broken for them...we were not going to give them a chance to set-up and win the game on a lob. They were out of timeouts and we had two. I wouldn't change that for a second...looking back at calling a timeout there...we just didn't communicate...we didn't communicate well...we didn't communicate a switch there at the end.

    At the end of the game offensively we didn't stay with the movement that we needed to have. We wanted to keep...we wanted to make it a one possession game, and we did not want to have to call a...they are very, very good on side out of bounds...defending that. We wanted to keep the game in movement, and if we didn't get what we wanted then we wanted to get in something coming down the middle of the floor. We went about the right time, but we didn't keep the game in movement enough.

    But...that didn't do it...that didn't do it. When they made some threes and they got momentum because we didn't stay where we needed to defensively, that's what hurt us. But I'm proud of our guys. I'm never going to come in and sit here and roll anybody under the bus. We can get better from this. The whole program can get better from it. We played in a tough environment. Like I said at the very beginning...congratulations to them...they earned it. Their crowd was awesome. We'll watch the film and see what we liked and what we didn't like, and turn around and get ourselves ready to go again...quickly.

    Tom, in the last five week the number one team has lost almost immediately getting to number one. Why do you think it is so difficult to maintain number one status?
    That's a hard question...I'm not sure. I just know that these games are 40 minute games. We played at a high level for most of the game, but the bottom-line...the number that...I can't speak for the other teams Bob, but I know this, when we turn the ball over we're not very good. The biggest difference in this game tonight was 28 points off turnovers to our 16. I mean that's...the last two times that we've been on the road we committed six turnovers at Northwestern and eight turnovers against Purdue. The turnovers we're making...there I no defense for it. So I can't speak for the other teams. Our guys were ready...they were prepared...they respect Illinois...there is no doubt about that. There was overlooking or any of that. We just didn't...we turned the ball over and we didn't stay committed to what we had to do at the end of the game.

    You were up 10 with five minutes to go and obviously D.J. Richardson hit some big shots. Was that a defensive breakdown?
    I said that. We came out of the corners. There is no question we over-helped, and you can't do that. That's what it came down to. We...the out of bounds play that he hit a play on, that should have been a switch. Your team...this is why this team has got to continue to mature, and I think they will. You've got to stay committed to what gets you in that position...your communication, your spacing and movement on offense, your ability to not...there are two things that can't happen...you can't get so locked into your man that you leave somebody on an island, but you can't over-help.

    The strength of their team is their three-point shooting. We knew Tyler Griffey...I mean I have too much respect for him. He had an excellent night. When he made his first shot than all of a sudden that basket looked like Lake Michigan to him. There was no doubt...he's a veteran...he's been down the road...and there is no doubt that's a big, big step for their team. I'm not sure how John (Groce) feels, but outside looking that's a big play for them.

    The guys that are mainstays for them made too many buckets. You can't put it in the hands of the other team, you can't put in the hands of a call or a non-call...you just can't. Unfortunately tonight it came there, but those threes were a product of us not communicating and over-helping.

    It gets overshadowed by the buzzer beater, but can you just talk about Victor's (Oladipo) block at the end?
    Yeah, you know what...not really. I'm not really into any personal play. We didn't win the game. I mean no offense...it's a great play...he makes those plays...but we shouldn't be in that situation.

    Coach, how much better did Illinois play defensively than what you had seen in the last few games?
    Oh, I thought they were really good. I think they are underrated in that. They are very athletic. What they do is they take the lane away from you very well. I don't think...again I'm not coaching his team...I see what he says about his defense...I have a lot of respect for their defense...I really do. I think they're athletic, they're veteran, they're big...(Nnanna) Egwu is going to be a tremendous player. We made a run in the first half when he got into foul trouble. So I thought their defense was good. We still scored a lot of points, and we had a lot of points at half, but our defense didn't hold serve for 40 minutes...so I am a little more concerned about that.

    Coach, you said it was a miscommunication on the last play on the last in-bound...
    I don't know if that was communication, that was just...that was a broken play. Yes, there is some communication and there is some switching on something like that...it's just...it's the pressure of the moment a little bit. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off.

    I was just going to ask...I don't know if you can even say this or not, but who was supposed to go where on that screen?
    In that situation it's just a switch. When they come together you switch. We were in a 55 at the end of games like that. That is really the only way they can beat you is something at the rim. They had a couple things they could go with when they went into the 1-4 and he just made a cut. Did John (Groce) say that was a set play? Did he say?

    He said it was an option play.
    It was an option? To me it looked broken. I mean he knows his offense there. We hadn't seen that. That was just...we just didn't...he made a great read...the kid made a great read. We take a lot of pride in our pressure on the ball, and when I went backed and looked I didn't think our pressure on the ball was great.

    Coach, what has to be emphasized going forward after this considering how daunting the schedule is?
    Well the schedule is daunting for everybody. So you just...it's what it's been all week...improvement. We can get a lot better. We spent a lot of time looking at the Michigan game. We win the game, but we could've played a lot better. My lens is improvement...that's the lens I look at it through. I have to hope that we can get a group of guys on the team...the whole team...will look at it through the same lens. That's what the trick is. The teams that do that the best are the teams that are successful. You have to keep improving. You have to keep having the togetherness. You've got to play through mistakes. When you get a chance to put somebody away you've got to put them away, and we didn't do it the other night with Michigan. We held on, and they made some threes late, but we had numerous opportunities in that game to put them away and we didn't do it...and we didn't do it tonight.

    You mentioned when you have the chance to put somebody away you have to put them away. From a grand scale what are you not doing to put teams away?
    I think it's obvious. We came off...we...you've got to know every team's strengths, and their strength is their three-point shooting. Our strength is not over-helping. There is a fine line that we're trying to get to, and sometimes what happens, and this happened the other night a little bit, you get so consumed with your man that you either face-guard too much and you leave a man on an island with the ball, or you over-help in a situation and you rotate back. Tonight we didn't need to over-help. That is what has got to be better.

    I'll be shocked if I go back and feel any differently on the film of the clips I have already seen. You can't leave their strengths. You can't let them have their strengths. You can't let them have them during the game, and for the most part we didn't, but at the end of the game we let them have their strengths. That's what it really comes down to in my opinion.

     

     


       

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