Nov. 12, 2012
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Indiana vs. North Dakota State
November 12, 2012
Head Coach Tom Crean
"First off, I think there's just a couple of things that really stick out to me is that it doesn't matter your fundamentals, your technique, your experiences, all those things are really, really important but there's nothing bigger than energy and toughness and it's got to be there constantly. I thought once we got that figured out tonight, and we had some guys that figured it out from the beginning but we didn't have a team of guys that figured it out from the beginning, and once they did I thought we played pretty well.
"And there's always going to be things that don't go right, I'll give you a great example. Yogi (Ferrell) didn't have a great offensive night by any stretch but you'd have never told it, you could have never been able to tell it, and I may feel a little different when we watch the film, but you'd have never been able to tell it by the way that he defended. That's a mature young man. Those are the kind of steps you've got to have with your team and I mean he just kept guarding and guarding and guarding and that's what's got to be there. It doesn't matter what your age is, it doesn't matter what your experience is, it's about understanding what wins, what works and energy and toughness always does because we were playing against a team with a lot of energy and toughness. We were playing against an extremely well coached team and as we kept stressing to our team, especially yesterday, this is not a team. This is a program.
"Tim Miles got it going and Saul Phillips has gone in there and just continued to just build on it and build on it. And we've got a lot of respect I know first-hand because we lost to them when we were at Marquette and we were ranked fairly high. To me, when you're getting measured like that you've got to bring it every night no matter who you're playing. The second thing is, and I know JD (Campbell) made this point with the bench scoring, that's cool and I like that. I think that makes a lot of sense but I don't look at very many of these guys like they're bench players. I look at it right now like we've got at least seven guys that could start and with room to grow in that area. Without a doubt I'd put Hanner (Mosquera-Perea) in that group and I would put Jeremy (Hollowell) knocking on that door and if we're going to be successful we've got to have a group of guys that there's very little drop-off when you go to the bench because tonight there's conventional, there's unconventional and then there's what we did tonight.
"We just played, we played. It didn't become about match-ups as much as it just came about putting guys out there and saying let's go because you know we may need to the same thing next Monday and Tuesday. We may need to do the same thing against Ball State and North Carolina. It doesn't make a difference because we're not dealing with a stacked deck right now when you look at our front line so we've just got to go play and I thought they did a pretty good job with that."
On Remy Abell's improvement:
"Considerable. Considerable especially I would say the spring was good. When he went home and worked with his old high school coach, Joe Rogers and came back in June, he was tremendous and he's just been continuing to strive. He had a very good freshman year. I mean we had an older team. There weren't as many opportunities for him. He did a pretty good job with the opportunities that he had and certainly you could point to some really good places that he played last year but he's earned the right and there's a lot of room for improvement and I keep saying that and tonight was he perfect? Yeah, it's because his defense was going and I think that's the hardest thing to get any player in basketball to understand and that's the energy and toughness part. That's what defense is, tenacity and just continuing to be that way and he got some tough assignments tonight and that just carried over to his offense."
On what changed over the spring:
"I think he was good in the spring, I just think he stayed in the gym all the time. Here it's in the spring it's two hours and they play some pick-up games but you go home and you have the right coaching there's no limits and I thought he went home and got his body in even better shape and came here and kept building on that. It wasn't like he had a bad spring but when he came back there was a little different resolve to him and it's been ongoing."
On what Zeller brought to the game tonight:
"Well you know what he did, he was sick tonight. There are probably other times where he doesn't feel well and I don't hear about it but when he mentions that he's not feeling well to the doctors and trainers he probably should have stayed home in bed. He's just got that kind of toughness level. And he didn't have a great defensive game and he knows that but he was hard to deal with on the offensive end. There's another team that learns that he's pretty tough when you tangle up with him and you go into his body and he just keeps getting tougher and tougher with that. I'd say he did an outstanding job with a lot of room for growth improvement. That's the great thing about Cody, he understands it and he spends a lot of time at things that he wants to get better at any time he feels there's a little bit of weakness in this or that he's spending that extra time and that's why he'll continue to work towards being as good as he can possibly be."
On North Dakota State handling the pressure playing in Assembly Hall:
"I think they handled it very well because they have a strong program. We want to bring fatigue to the game. We didn't think we were going to come in and get them rattled and they didn't. They worked hard and they moved and they've got a good team. Our biggest thing was that we didn't want to leave our post men, our post defenders down there by themselves, but they started making shots and (Lawrence Alexander) did a good job and (Mike Felt) did a good job and we knew (Felt) would, we knew Felt would be light, I mean he's just a tremendous shooter. It put a lot of pressure on us with the way that they moved the ball out of the post. They handled the pressure and we kept it on but they're good. I mean they're a really good team and they'll be really hard to deal with whoever they play against."
On the importance of Jeremy Hollowell stepping up:
"Oh I think it's very important for a lot of reasons, very important for him and he made some strides tonight defensively. We can do a lot of things with him. He's got to continue to bring that emotional level to the game. He will get neutralized. He's very, very smart. There's not one play, for a freshman this is unique. Yogi and Jeremy really have the stuff where trying to run down. We don't have as much in but today we put five new things in, it's just the way it is. We put a lot of late game stuff in today because we just hadn't done it yet. Our practices, and even on game days are like that right now. Jeremy will peak if his emotional level doesn't continue to rise like it needs to but we knew that when we recruited him, he knew we knew that when we recruited him and he knows that we're going to keep pulling it out of him until it's there and as that grows he'll grow as a player without a doubt because he can stuff that stat sheet can't he? He's always been able to do that but he's got to be able to impact winning on both sides of the floor and tonight and last Friday night he did that."
On having the ceremony for Bill Garrett tonight:
"I think it was excellent and we talked about it with our team today and then I had Tim Buckley talk to about it because he had worked with Bill Garrett Jr. at Iowa. You don't want to lose when you're honoring greatness. You don't want to lose ever. But I mean I think having the Garrett family here is like having the '87 championship team here last year. You don't want to do anything to spoil the night because you know the fans are going to respond in a great way. You know it's a big deal and that's so important. Well you want your team to play well too. I was well aware of Bill Garrett long before I ever got to Indiana plus I had known Bill Garrett Jr. for some time when he was a high school coach and a college coach so bottom line is it's a really big deal and it sounds like it went well."
Player Postgame Quotes
Freshman F Jeremy Hollowell:
On whether he was more comfortable a couple games in:
"Yeah, I'm getting a feel for the game, getting more comfortable. I just want to play within myself. Come in off the bench and provide a spark for the team and bring energy."
On whether going to the basket is part of his game he wants to continue to improve:
"It definitely is, I don't want to settle too much on the outside. I want to use my body and drive the ball to the basket and get fouled."
On playing with less size and more speed when he plays the center:
"It allows us to get out and run. Everybody crashes the boards and whoever gets the rebound get it out. We have a lot of guys who can play multiple positions so we can switch on defense and just get after it."
Sophomore G Remy Abell:
On what has changed this season, what's working for him:
"Hard work, a lot of work in the offseason. My teammates pushing me, my coaches pushing me. Like I said before, I've been saying it since I got here, I'm just here to play my role, do my job. When my name is called off the bench, I need to step in and be ready to play, make an impact on the offensive and defensive end."
On if his outside shot was an emphasis in the offseason:
"That was definitely something big for me. I know I can get to the rim but my teammates and coaches have really helped me work on my jump shot. Getting the extra shots and just trying to shoot with confidence, stay with my shot. "
On whether he has an idea of when he's getting in and what he watches on the bench:
"I don't have any idea. I'm just sitting there basically playing the game with my man off the bench. Instead of being in the game, you can still play the game with your man off the bench by looking so when you get in the game you know what to expect. Like I said, just coming in and getting ready."
North Dakota State Head Coach Saul Phillips
On how the game changed when their big got in foul trouble:
"We had found something we could go to a little bit, he picked up his third, and I thought about keeping him in there. What the heck, you got to roll the dice a little bit. But I think more importantly we had something that was going okay, that occurs, and then we get a couple players that are really good for us, and will continue to be really good for us, who are trying to do a lot. I can't fault them; I think they worked very hard. But I think we need a better understanding on how we impact the game and pick our spots. To be honest with you, they probably both have gotten away with that in our league consistently. When you're playing a team like Indiana that isn't going to fly because we aren't going to beat them one on one."
On how he felt his team played tonight over all:
"I didn't think we played all that well between the miss-finishes, and then in the second half we had so many turnovers. We have to go back and figure out how much of that was Indiana doing it to us because they are really, really good."
On Cody Zeller:
"He's unbelievable. We won't see anybody like him hopefully ever again. Like I said before the game, he doesn't remind me of anybody because I haven't seen a big run the floor like him ever. He's a special, special kid. I love the way he carries himself out there; I love the way he competes. That being said, I thought our guy hit him pretty good too. But he's worthy of the hype. If you're going to have a kid be the face of college basketball, I think for our sport it's good to have a kid that A. is so talented, and B. carries himself like he does."
On how he thinks his team handled the atmosphere:
"Not well enough, obviously. We had some fight in us, but not enough. It's amazing to me: they just kept coming at us in waves. Oladipo especially just kept bringing energy at us. Eventually they leaned on us and a leg went out. That being said, it was a really rough night for two of our players that are special players and I have all the faith in the world in, and I will continue to lean on them next game just like I did this game. You know you're having a bad night when they both cramped up within five minutes of each other. I haven't had a player cramp up on me since I've been here, and two of my best players go down in five minutes. I guess we have to eat more bananas or something, but we'll figure it out. I thought we came out defensively with good energy, couldn't find looks early, and I thought we settled for some shots early. Then we settled down and started getting to the rim a little bit, but ultimately, we are not where we need to be as a unit offensively yet. I thought really our only constant threat offensively was felt off screens in the post."
On Brown's debut:
"He's good man. He's going to be a player for us. Listen, we made some athletic plays out there: we made some blocks, we made some steals. It got away from us a little bit in trying to do a little too much individual stuff, and we'll work on that. I know where it comes from and I know these guys well enough to know that it's not a greed thing, they were just trying to do so much. They wanted to beat number one so bad. You just can't do it the way we played."
On what they can learn from this game:
"We should be better against transition, that's for sure. I look at that whole squad and we're not going to see anything close to that again. But again, so we get better close-outs against these guys, then we are much better at them against teams in our league. This is just part of the learning process. As a coach you have to separate the bad feelings about losing by as much as I've lost by in my career, and take the learning out of it."
On Indiana's bench players:
"They're deep and they're good and they can do a lot of things. Like I said, they just kept leaning on us. And Oladipo in particular just keeps coming at you. He's always there waiting for you to slip up just a little bit. He didn't have the greatest statistical night in the world, but he caused havoc out there and really made us work. You have to be able to play 40 minutes against these guys, and if they keep leaning on you, we are not the only team that's going to give in to it I can promise you that. The pressure that they keep putting on you both offensively and defensively can get to you."
On what he gets from the experience:
"Unfortunately, a loss. But there will be a lot. We are not going to go into anything more hostile than this. We are not going to go up against any team more athletic than this. We may see some pretty good teams, but if we do play a team this good it's going to probably be at a neutral site. Dream big. Looking back, last year at Colorado State lost to Duke by a large margin and they ended up rebounding and having a pretty good year. It's been done before. I don't think we've had a true measure of where we are going to be at this year. I don't think anyone we've played has really measured us as far as what we are going to do in the Summit."