Nov. 26, 2010
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Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean Postgame Quotes
Nov. 26, 2010
"I would say tonight the second half we played was exactly one of those things that these guys needed to see what happens when they continue to improve inside of a game. We had six assists on 14 baskets to start the game. We ended up with 17 assists on 21 baskets in the second half. Sixty-seven percent, very good field goal percentage defense, the rebounding, that's the way we need to play.
"Over this period of November, with these six games, and I know it doesn't always match up with what everybody thinks, but that really means very little to me. When you've sat inside of the program, the way we have the last couple years, this team, this group of young men needed to learn how to win and that's exactly what we're trying to make sure that they're getting right now. That they learn how to win and that they also learn how to continue to improve while they're winning.
"I'm really proud of the way they've played over the period of the last 240 minutes in this month and now we get ready to go into December and we continue to make strides. They're continuing to grow and learn, there's a togetherness. I think if there would be one play of the evening that I would like to have be the one that would be the poster for how we want to be at Indiana, it's Maurice Creek, who hasn't gotten into double figures yet, driving the ball down the court in a breakaway and pitching the ball back to Christian Watford. That's the way we're going to play and that's what they're doing.
"I'm proud of the way we're getting better. We went against a team that was leading the country in forcing turnovers. We held them to their season-low in points. They're always going to be able to score. He (Northwestern State Head Coach Mike McConathy) does an excellent job of finding guys that can really put the ball in the basket, but our guys continue to get better in the game defensively. We had 59 deflections and we continue to improve. I'm excited with this month coming to close and the way that they have made each other better, the way they continue to grow inside of each practice and game and now we take this team that has not had a lot of success as individuals here at Indiana, we take them into the month of December and I'm anxious to see how we do."
On being 6-0:
"When this schedule was put together to help these guys learn how to win, you don't want to be 4-2, 3-3, 5-1, you want to be 6-0. It's one thing to schedule the games, it's a whole other thing to go out and win them. I'm happy with where they continue to get to. Now, we've got a lot of room for improvement. It's still a long season. It's a lot of things we need to get better at. There's not one thing I would look at and say, `OK, we've really figured this out', but they're on their way to that and I think that's what's most important.
On confidence after going 6-0 to start and on the tougher teams ahead:
"I think they're maturing. I think they're getting older and better. Every team is different, but the individuals that have been at Indiana in this era with us, we haven't been able to win yet. So, now we're learning how to do that. That's what the schedule was put together with and that's what we want to continue now as we go into December."
On good team rebounding performance:
"We started to pick it up after the first time out in the game and I think that's really important. You have to be a team rebounding team. It's funny with our team: when one or two things start to go right, the rest of it does for them right now. That's what you want. You want everything keyed off your defense and rebounding and I think that's what they're doing. And in the second half, the ball moved so much better than it did in the first. 17 assists on 21 baskets, that's great ball movement and a lot of guys scoring points."
On team energy coming off the bench:
"I think it's really important that we have guys that, when you're building competition, you can go a lot of different with your starting line-up, even though we haven't done that yet. You can play a lot of different combinations which we have, but not necessarily by design, yet, like we will when we get more games under our belt to see who really plays well with each other. But we're not having a big drop off going to the bench - or any drop off. I think that's really important. In the second half tonight, everybody contributed and this team, it really didn't matter who they were playing against in the second half. They were playing at a very high level. That only comes because they're gaining confidence in each other, they're getting more games under their belt. The guys that come off the bench, they're a big part of that."
Northwestern State Head Men's Basketball Mike McConathy Postgame Quotes
Nov. 26, 2010
On falling behind as the game wore on:
"It appeared that way, but I think you have to give Indiana a lot of credit. Coach Crean and his team did a great job of execution. They just kept knocking down shots. We never got a body in front of people and that is something we always talk about. They did a good job and we never took them out of the middle of the floor. They were just doing a fantastic job. My hats are off to them because I thought they did some things to us defensively that hurt us. They took Will Pratt out of the game as he had ten points in the first half and finished with fourteen and he is one of our main offensive guys. I just think you have to give Indiana lot of credit. I believe we got punched in the mouth. I do not mean that physically. They knocked us down and we never got back up from a basketball stand point."
On playing Indiana three years in a row and the differences in the Indiana team this year:
"Well tonight the big issue was they made shots. I thought the difference in the first half was the eleven second chance points. We had them down by six and then they ended up with an eight point lead to start the second half. Second half we came out and didn't really do anything."
On giving up 62 points to Indiana in the second half:
"I have to ride home with that. Like I told my team, I have to go out there and try to find something good to say. There is nothing you can really say except Indiana flat out whooped us. The execution for them was awesome and we never did anything that forced them to adjust. We got caught in a situation where they kept swinging the ball and played very unselfishly. We have been forcing other teams to make adjustments, but tonight we just did not force any."
On Verdell Jones play tonight:
"He played well. He is a tough matchup for us because he is 6'5" and we had a 6'1" player guarding him. He just did a number on us."
On the technical foul called near the end of the game:
"The technical foul was on one of my players. I just want to make sure I didn't get credit for the foul. He was just frustrated. I was trying to get a sub in for him and the referee told him to be quiet. He is a junior college kid who just arrived this year. He was simply frustrated, but you can't do that. You have to turn your head and be quiet. That is easier said than done and I will probably get a technical the next game."
On Devon Baker's play especially during the second half:
"Devon did a good job the second half. We just never responded. Some of our young kids like Robinson and Stewart who have been giving us good minutes just weren't there tonight. We kept hoping O.J. Evans would come around. Mosley only had one offensive rebound, I believe."
On Indiana's 3-point shooting:
"When you catch the ball and are able to walk into a 3-point attempt like they were tonight, those guys are supposed to hit those shots. We did nothing to make them have to move as they simply caught the ball and walked into the attempts. Now, I could even probably make one of those."
On playing Indiana three years in a row:
"It's been good for us. I love Indiana basketball. Some people would say I am just sucking up, but I am a basketball purist even though I play differently. In the South, you take what you have and you try to do the best you can with it. To me, the attitude of the fans and people is what embodies basketball. Why not go somewhere you have the opportunity to experience that? I don't like experiencing 34 point defeats, but at the same time, the people love basketball. I wish some people could say how the people here love basketball. I don't like coming up here to get beat, but that is part of life."