Indiana vs. New Mexico State Postgame Quotes
March 16, 2012
Indiana vs. New Mexico State - Postgame Quotes
But for a team that had not been in this environment, had not been in this type of arena, and I don't mean just the Rose Garden, but the NCAA tournament arena, they handled it very, very well. They came out in an attack mode. They were following the game plan. And we wanted to attack on the break.
We wanted to do a great job, as good as we could, of holding this team under their offensive rebounding average. We did. We held them under half of that. That was important.
But again it's like so many other things, when you haven't done it, the experience of going through it and getting involved and seeing that you can compete in this environment at this level, the guys noticed that, they felt that right away. And it helped carry us throughout the game.
And we got a lot of great basketball from a lot of guys, obviously these guys up here. But I thought everybody that went into the game continued to adjust to what had to be done. And it was an excellent victory for us, it's one that we can build on. Certainly, like I said, there's things we have to get better at in a short period of time as we prepare for VCU. But we're very, very happy to have this.
Q. What happened for you between the first half and the second half shooting the ball where you really got hot in the second half?
Q. You come from a deep, rich basketball background with your dad. Playing out in Indiana, how much does it mean to you, not just to win, but to win in the fashion you did, where you guys just put on an offensive clinic and looked like old school Indiana basketball?
Like coach was talking about, it's not just us three up here that played great, everybody on the team contributed, especially Remy Abell came in and handled the ball as well as we needed him to.
Q. Wendell McKines only had 10 shot attempts, been averaging 15 or 16. How important was it to eliminate his touches tonight?
Q. You guys obviously went into this game knowing you had to keep them off the glass. How important was it to hold them to 23 rebounds and only 7 on the offensive glass?
Q. You had 6 steals tonight, that's a Big Ten NCAA record, most steals in a game since 1976. Talk about that and basically just getting in the passing lanes tonight.
Q. In the first half when you weren't necessarily putting a lot of points on the board, what was your mindset like to set you up for the second half that you had?
Q. What was it like for you, did anything catch you by surprise or just like any other game this season?
Q. The head coach of New Mexico State said he noticed at one point, and I think some people watching noticed, their team splintering, getting a little chippy with each other. Did you guys notice that? And if so, did you get any energy, feed anything off of that seeing that they were starting to turn on themselves a little bit? Will Sheehey: I didn't personally recognize that, no. I don't think any of us do.
But we really had the same mindset throughout the game. We feed off our own energy and our own plays. I personally did not see it, no.
Q. With about five minutes left they had trimmed the lead to about 11 and you started to attack the hole and dribbled in from the perimeter. Did you get in that attack mode later in the game when you weren't doing that earlier on?
Q. You had early in the game noticed that New Mexico State would come down, call the play and immediately the bench was calling the play. Talk about the preparation that you guys get in your assistants.
We started right away on Sunday night. And what we have is a team that they really do respect preparation. They understand that it works, works for them. And we don't try to inundate them. But we try to get their attention. And they absorb it very, very well.
And communication is not just what's said on the court, it's also the bench. Our bench energy. Ever since Jim Harbaugh has been on the bench, our bench energy has gone up that much more. Bottom line is everybody has a role on our team, whether they're playing or not. And I thought our guys did an excellent job of that tonight.
Q. Speaking of that preparation, VCU Rams play a little bit different stylistically, I wonder if the short time to prepare changes anything?
Our guys have been in some quick turnarounds. We played Minnesota on the road and came home and played Michigan State on a Tuesday night. The bottom line is in a situation like this there's some physical to it but it's much more mental and retention, and seeing how it applies to you.
I'm looking forward to being up late. I know our coaches are, too. We won't have our players up too late. They pick it up quick. The biggest thing that we will see that's been different, because we played a lot of different teams, a lot of different styles, VCU's full court pressure is the real deal. That's probably not something we see on a nightly basis in the Big Ten. We've seen it. But that will be the biggest adjustment we'll have to make in a short period of time outside of us learning their sets and their concepts and things like that.
Q. Can you talk about just how good of a shooter Jordan is for you guys?
We had a chance in the first half to maybe put the hammer down a little bit more and we didn't. We gave up some baskets. We were a little quick with a couple of shots. Jordan was a part of that. There was too much dribbling and not enough ball reversal and body movement. And Jordan took the challenge defensively when they were attacking him. And did a better job especially when we went zone. But he continued to absolutely have great confidence on the offensive end. And we're used to that with him. We really are.
We did a 3 point shooting drill the other day that we do numerous times throughout the year. I'll give you an example of how hard this is, Steve Novak I coached in Marquette, he's the best in the NBA, and the most he ever made in this drill was 72. Jordan averages about 74. The other day he made 85 in five minutes. We had four other guys break 70 in the University of Portland gym.
That's when I started feeling good about our team being out here. A lot of times your shot doesn't travel. Your defense and your rebounding do, but when you've got enough good shooters somebody is going to find a way. And tonight was Jordan's night. And I thought Christian did a good job. Christian Watford was excellent tonight, got very little rest. Victor Oladipo did excellent things. And they've mentioned Remy.
When you've got numerous guys that can shoot the ball, that can space the floor, there's going to be times where somebody really takes off. And tonight Jordan did that.
Q. What are the rules for that shooting game?
Q. For how long?
Q. You talk a lot coming into this about their ability to get to the foul line, they only shot 10 free throws. What did you do about defending without fouling? COACH CREAN: It was positioning, it was technique, it was our guys moving their feet. I thought we had great verticality in the post. Our whole thing was attack on offense, have verticality on defense, and block out like crazy. And we did that. To cut them in half on the offensive boards, they shot good percentages and they got too many layoffs, to keep them off the foul line and the second chance board, the way they had been, those were the keys to the game.
Again, positioning, technique and awareness were absolutely crucial for us not putting this team into the bonus and allowing them to live on the foul line. You can see they have very good foul shooters.
Q. You've been there now four years, and this is the first NCAA tournament game you guys have had since you've been there. Can you reflect just a moment about how far you guys have come winning an NCAA tournament game and what it means to you?
We've been through so much to get to this point that it's hard to spend a lot of time reflecting on it. I guess I have the last couple of weeks with some interviews. We've all learned a great deal. Everybody is better. It didn't seem like it at the time, but everybody is better for what we had to endure. I have no question I'm a better coach. The most important thing to me is that I'm a better Christian.
And I think our guys, and I look at Verdell Jones and I look at the selflessness of him, looking at all he's done as a player and all the points he scored to be like a coach for me tonight, for us tonight, and to be talking to Remy and Jordan and to be emphatic with things that he sees. I can reflect on that. Those are the kind of things that really lead you to believe that this program has been through a lot, we're better for it and we're just getting started.
Q. It seemed like the deflections number was high tonight?
We knew we were giving up something in size and quickness. You saw that. The plus/minus of Mullings being in the game, and we could never get it to a point where he wasn't a factor. But they're a different team when he's playing well. And that's why they made such a comeback. He might be a freshman that doesn't shoot a lot of 3 point shots, we don't see guys that get to the rim like that. I told him that after the game.
I thought our activity picked up, even though our deflections weren't as high in the second half, our activity picked up because our ball pressure got better. We were letting the ball in the post too easy. And they've got great size. So they were making too easy of catches and we weren't getting our dig down there fast enough. Our activity was a huge part of us getting our break going and being able to establish we were going to run inside this game early, middle and late.
Q. During the day today did you notice any difference in the way the guys were approaching the game, were they more nervous?
We just talked before the game, I said the most nervous I was all year was what are we going to do when we got to Evansville, how are we going to play? And my body and head and stomach were moving in such directions, we come up and get 51 points. We beat three teams away from home that are in the NCAA tournament. It's a whole different deal. But we've been in deals like this for a long time. We can't do anything about what we don't know, let's do something about what we do know.
They were ready to go. There was nobody in the corner. We had a couple of guys under the weather, but they got over it and they played right through it and I'm really proud of them.
Q. You talked about the deflections before, Cody had six steals tonight, talk about what made him successful?
In our league, and teams we play, we're looking at the numbers, four of the top ten teams in turnovers are in the Big Ten. We've worked hard for our deflections. The teams in our league don't turn it over much.
We've got to make sure we don't get away from having active hands, active feet, active mouths, and great court side defense. And in the short looks I've taken at VCU, they're handling the ball great. They're certainly not going to give it to us. But when you can be active and you can start to wear people down a little bit with that pressure, it just fuels our team. Those deflections are like dunks for us. We drew some big charges tonight. Those are huge. Those are like deflections for us. When we're getting that defensive energy, this team really thrives on that, and that's what we've got to continue to do on Saturday.
New Mexico State
I just want to say, first of all, I want to give Tom and his squad credit. They played phenomenal basketball tonight, shot the lights out, 7 for 13 from the three and 64 percent in the second half. And that was with some good defense. I thought we fought and fought.
His sets are hard to guard after the first 10, 15 seconds. Usually get you on the secondary action. So they did a good job at that.
So I was really proud of the way we played, obviously. I thought that my guys played really, really hard. But we just lost to the better team tonight. They were the better team. They shot it better. We out rebounded them. But at the end of the day you've got to take care of the ball in championship play. And we did a horrible job in that arena. Some unforced, some forced.
When you've got 13 turnovers at halftime and you're only down seven, all was not lost. But they responded and they came out and played very well in the second half.
So I just want to say also I'm going to really miss my three seniors, Hamidu Rahman, Wendell McKines, and Hernst Laroche. They're my family. And I'll miss coaching them.
Q. Talk a little bit with Zeller and how tough he was inside there, especially about midway in the second half they just kept feeding him and he was able to make some tough shots.
Q. You guys usually win games by winning on the glass, by getting to the foul line, you obviously win the rebounding battle, but only got to the line ten times. How did that happen, and how did they keep you from getting to the line and winning more the rebounding battle?
COACH MENZIES: The free throw line, I didn't I mentioned to one of the officials that we led the United States in free throw attempts and he said, Oh, really? Then we got a couple of calls after that.
I don't know, that's one of those things where you have to adjust to the officiating. If you're not getting certain things are called, they're calling the game a certain way, you've still got to keep going. You've got to keep crashing and keep doing what we do.
And I thought we had a little lull there as far as being aggressive in our rebounding. Because they did a good job. They knew we were a very good rebounding team. So they were hitting them. If I go back and look at the film, I guarantee there's maybe one or two possessions where that ball went up and someone didn't put a body on Wendell, because they knew. That's respect. That's game prep. And they did a good job of it. And you have to give them credit.
Q. It seemed like every time tonight you guys were trying to put together a run where you got a couple of baskets back to back and get momentum they would come back and shoot that momentum down. What did that do for your confidence tonight?
COACH MENZIES: Kept them motivated is what it did.
Q. They got that huge lead. Talk about first their offensive patterns. They really looked like old school basketball clinic.
Q. And then the way you guys fought and just kept trying to battle back. You had to be really proud of the way they kept fighting.
We started to splinter there for a moment when I think the reality was they had a pretty sizable lead and our guys were nitpicking at each other. And then they came back together, which is what I wanted to see, and we finished as a team. We started as a team.
And I think as you mentioned, Tom does an excellent job in half court offense and speed game transition, as well. They beat us in the first half early. They got that lead off mostly transition, open 3's. Caught Zeller a couple times in transition, as well. They do what they do and they do a good job of it.
Q. Just like to get your thoughts on how you see IU matching up with Virginia Commonwealth with the unique style that VCU plays?
But I tell you what, if IU shoots the ball the way they did tonight it could go in their favor, as well. They've got some guys that are playing hungry right now. They're like a wounded animal losing Verdell. And they bonded together. It made them stronger, I think. No knock on Verdell. I thought they really played great as a unit, they played to their strengths, they played within their roles. We'll see how that shakes out. It will be a great game.
Q. How was Jordan Hulls able to get as many open looks as he was and how much confidence momentum did that give them?
So they had some really transition 3's. You've got to give the kid credit, we tried to go zone for a couple of possessions. We played two or three possessions and I think he hit two 3's in that stretch or at least one, I know for sure.
You've got to give up something to get something sometimes. And they got that two headed monster working like that, it's tough to battle back.
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