Opening Statement: "I thought our defense was very good. Obviously the numbers reflect that. That is the second-best defensive effort we have ever had at Indiana. We had 66 deflections in the game. The key tonight was to defend Keegan Bell, and to hold him scoreless was a very big deal. We started Victor guarding Bell. Verdell did a great job with four steals in the game. I think Chattanooga is a good team. They have players who scored 25 points or more in games last year. Again, I think a win like this could really come back to help us down the road because Chattanooga is a team picked to win their division and I did not see anything on film to make me think otherwise. They will be one of the better teams in their league along with Davidson and Wofford. It was a nice win with a lot of good basketball from several players. We played two halves of consistent defense and we got our running game going. We had some nice pick-me-ups from players off of the bench. We keep telling our guys we are only deep if there is no drop-off when we go to our bench. Again, you do not have depth unless you have consistency. We have to continue to build on that as we are playing a lot of guys. For the most part, they are playing well. I like our energy, our maturity, and the quick turnaround. We all know it gets a lot more difficult, which is a vast understatement. It is going to be very difficult on Wednesday night to go down to Evansville and play their team"
On Cody's contribution despite scoring less against Chattanooga: "He had 13 deflections tonight and now 25 deflections in two games. He has to continue to move his feet. The guys who make the adjustments to the speed of the game the quickest are the guys who have the more success as young players. Cody is making that adjustment pretty well, but he has to continue to get low. This was a great game in the sense Chattanooga was very aggressive on the backboards. Some rebounds went their way, while other s they simply got over us. Others, they gave a push and a shove and we were not low enough. That is what happens and that is what are league is all about. If they called every push in the back, the games would be three hours and 15 minutes long at a minimum. You have to stay low and play. We want to improve while we are winning. Cody makes an impact in a lot of different ways. There are so many things he can do. He impacts the game and it in turn impacts winning."
On the players making use of the lanes Chattanooga was providing: "In the first half when we were not cutting, the ball has to move and people have to move. There were times when we were moving the ball well, but people were not moving. Our best offensive at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half was the post double. Cody looks and escapes out of the post. The next step is to get him to cut back into the action so we can get him in front of the rim. He made some great passes and his looks were fantastic. It is about all of us learning to play through him during the course of the game. When the post double comes, there are some basic rules and concepts. It is not like the double team turns into another play. We want to dive and cut in certain places depending on where the ball is. We are just not used to it yet. That is all part of playing and we will teach from that."
On Victor's improvement on offense and defense: "His defensive presence is creating all of his offense. He has worked very hard on his offensive game. There is no question about that. He is one of the most diligent workers in terms of time spent in the gym I have been around as both an assistant and head coach. The greatest thing about that last two days is his defensive presence has created his offense. He tied a career high last game and set a career high today. When you are getting 37 points a game and you are guarding the opposing team's first or second best player every minute you are on the floor, it is impressive. He is getting to the foul line, which is very important. He did ok early on, but he needed to get to the line even more tonight, and he did that. When he takes that first step and dribbles, he is very hard to contain. I do not think he is going to do anything, but get better. It all starts with his defense."
On Daniel Moore's impact when entering the game: "We went with him early because he is dependable. He is a winner and is a player who is going to go in and try and impact the game in the sense he is going to play up tempo. He can defend a variety of players. He will not try to force anything and for me, we are very comfortable with him. He misses a lot of practice time actually because as these kids get older, the classes they take are not offered as much. So he might be here for 45 minutes of practice a few days a week, which might make him that much fresher. We actually had one time where Daniel left practice, went to class, and came back to practice. He has to make some adjustments and that is where being a veteran and doing what he can do is really important. He can do some good things."
On the 66 deflections as a team tonight: "That is the highest number we have had at Indiana. No question about it. Cody led the team with 13 and we had 30 deflections at halftime. That is where the benefits come from in terms of the teams learning. We are putting good halves together defensively. When we do not do that, we will be in for an awakening. We do not need to learn that anytime too soon. Verdell had 10 and Jordan had eight, which are both high for them. Victor had eight, which is where he normally is at. Cody has 25 deflections in two games. He has such short space quickness and anticipation skills."
On Christian Watford's play: "I think we have a lot of guys making plays. A couple shots have not gone down for Christian, but he is playing hard and we are two games in. I am not looking at anyone who is struggling at this point. Basketball is a team game and guys work hard. Christian works very hard. He and Victor were the last two to leave the gym after our meeting last night. I have no concerns about his play."
On Jordan Hulls shooting more aggressively tonight: "We need him to. We wanted him to be more aggressive in looking for his shot. There were numerous times the other night where he passed shots up. He just opens the game so much when he is shooting well. We had a meeting as coaches this morning and when we were deciding part of our game plan, it came down to him being more aggressive. So many times last year he did not get a lot of open shots because there was not as much penetration. There were always guys opponents did not have to guard in our lineup. Now, you have to guard pretty much everyone who is out there. Tonight, Cody was double teamed in the post for the third game in a row, which opens up other things. So Jordan being aggressive is very key for us."
On the team depth this season: "Well our depth has improved, but it is early. Consistency does not come from two games. We have been consistent for two games, but it has to be done over the long haul."
On what Indiana did to adjust to Omar Wattad's play: "We used less help defense. He is a very good shooter with a quick release. That is why he was a player in the Big East. We put Victor on him and Daniel on him in the first half and they both guarded him very well. On Friday night, we thought if we played small and quick we could shut him down, but when we got into the game, we found out our length did it for ourselves. We felt the length was our advantage. Wattad still made some very nice shots, but we adjusted by using less help defense and being more aware. We had a game plan for a certain number of their actions. When you have a team that is maturing, you can make adjustments like we did inside of the game plan. We were then able to put more attention on him after the adjustments."
On being outrebounded tonight: "I will watch the film. We have to do a better job of getting low. Tim Buckley always talks about carving out space, while I always talk about hitting first. Some of the discrepancy is due to awareness, but they were more aggressive tonight. They have several mid-size players who can give teams a lot of problems. Obviously rebounding is an area we have to get better at and we will."
On how much the little things on defense matter: "You want to try and teach during the game, but when Will ran into the shooter, that is not what we do. We have a technique when we are late and the player is in mid-range shooting. If we do not follow that technique, then bad things like running into a player happen. That was a lack of awareness. A lot of the issues are our team is not used to playing with big leads like we had. We certainly want to try and get used to playing with leads, and we do not want to take our foot off of the throttle, but at the same time, it is the lack of awareness on the defensive end, not as much the offensive end that hurts you as a team. That being said, we had a good defensive game. The game was not perfect and there are a lot of things we can learn from the game. We have a short turnaround going into the game Wednesday and then Saturday where we hope our kids can pick up the little things on defense more. Will running into the shooter was a technique mistake."
Chattanooga Head Coach - Postgame Quotes
On if he was disappointed with his teams' play: "No because we just beat them (by) nine on the glass, which is important to me. We just had 20 offensive rebounds, which shows even though we couldn't make a bucket, that our effort was very good. We just gave up 30 points off turnovers, our half-court D was pretty sound, was pretty solid. When you're giving up layups off of turnovers, you can't guard that. So can we correct turnovers? I would think yes. All these are very correctable. We got destroyed at the foul line and we turned the ball over too much. Let's get 13 more shots out of it and let's take away half their points, 15 points, off of that, and let's get 13 more shots and I'll show you a good basketball game. As we leave Bloomington, as Tom Crean looked at me and said `I wouldn't want to play y'all in three weeks', I wouldn't want to play us in three weeks either. I think we have a chance to be a good basketball team, the basketball team that we want to be. We're also changing a little bit. We're also playing a little bit more under control and then things go a little wild and we kind of get out of sorts again. I'm not letting us get out of sorts. I'm not living that again, it wasn't a whole lot of fun. Do we have a shot? I think we have a real shot. Leaving Knoxville in '09 after getting beat 35 by Tennessee I didn't think we had a prayer to be decent. We went to the tournament that year. Leaving here, I think we have a shot to be a pretty good basketball team. "
On struggling at the end of the first half: "You could feel it, we were down one, and you could feel it start leaving us. I didn't think we showed any mental toughness there. We know you're struggling at that moment to get a bucket, so let's clock it out and let's get out of the daggum half and let's go back to the locker room and regroup. But Omar shoots a bad shot at 24 on the shot clock and then the last play of the half typifies the whole deal. We have an opportunity to clock it and Ricky jacks one. That's a senior, you don't do that. He knows that. It's a bad shot whether it goes in or doesn't go in. We did not hold our composure very good. We knew we were struggling scoring so let's clock it a little but more and let's work it a little bit more, maybe we get fouled. We went to the foul line one time in the first half. I didn't think we did a very good job of holding our composure. It's also easier said than done. You go out there in front of 16,000 and they're all wild and crazy. But, you know, that's what you expect from seniors. "
On Jordan Hulls' shooting: "You pick your poison. We could be sitting here talking about `well (Cody) Zeller just destroyed you guys inside.' But you didn't say that, you said Hulls. So you have to pick your poison. I'd rather Hulls shoot one from 20 trying to get a hand up then just give up an uncontested layup or a post move that we can't guard of Zeller. That's why he is so important to the basketball team. Let me just tell you something, that's one skilled human in there. What you do is you play him one-on-one and he's crafty in there and he can really shoot free throws. So now it's a double-edged sword, now your bigs are getting into foul trouble. I thought we did a really good job with our double team, but we did lose Hulls. He's a good player. Looking at their team, I love that kid; I love that kid."