Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
Postgame Press Conference
"First off, I'm truly blown away by our defensive effort. To have a team have 74 deflections - I've never been a part of team as an assistant or a head coach that has had that. We had 32 deflections at halftime, which was a very good feeling because there was so much I think anxiety offensively and we were missing layups. We missed a couple of dunks. It was just a matter of time before the baskets went in we felt because obviously we were being defended well, but we were also missing shots that we make. The biggest adjustment we needed to make was making sure the ball inside more in the second half. But with all that being said - the defensive effort, the offensive intensity, to never lose the lead even when we weren't making shots and to have 32 deflections at half was only surpassed by the fact that we had 74 for the game."
"It was a great atmosphere, an incredible atmosphere, and they are a very, very good team. It was my first time, I've seen them in the tournament a little bit but the first time being on the court with those guys obviously and just to see the toughness, there is no question why they win. They are extremely well-coached and they are battlers and our guys are too and that's why I'm proud of them. To play the way they did defensively, to go 10 minutes or so without a field goal and to never relinquish the lead says a lot about the way that they are playing, the way our guys are continuing to hang in there. There will be some good moments for us to look back on and the maturity moment is the fact that we never lost the lead when we weren't making baskets because that wouldn't have happened maybe for us in the past. But we kept bringing it defensively, we kept getting to the 50-50s, and as I told the team I think you got better in the game but I know you got tougher in the game. That's a big, big deal because when you are going to play against elite teams, which I believe they are and they've certainly earned that over a period of time, you better bring that level of toughness and we did."
"One thing, I don't know if you caught it, it was a big deal to me, certainly hoping that it would work out this way and it did and it might have only been a minute but we closed the game with the five seniors on the court together. They've been through an awful lot here, an awful lot. They didn't sign up for it, I didn't sign up for it, but we've been through it together. To have that one moment, I don't know if we will ever have it again, but to have that moment where they could finish the game and win. We didn't really talk about the championship that much, or winning a championship, we hit it here and there but this was so much more about getting ready for a really good team. When we did have the game in hand, to be able to let those guys finish it off was a great memory for me and hopefully for them and just something I wanted to share because they've done an excellent job. I don't know if we get to where we were at the end of the game without the contributions of Tom Pritchard, without the way Matt Roth played. Matt Roth made a big shot obviously, but he did some really good things defensively and blocking out. Tom Pritchard was just a gazelle. It was hard to hear anything but I could hear him all the way down where we were. Danny Moore came in and did good things certainly. Verdell was under the weather a little bit but he just kept playing, just kept playing, and I was proud of him and it was good to have Kory Barnett in there at the end of it."
On having seven starters:
"Well again, the only thing about being off the bench is when we bring him in. He could easily be in the starting lineup. The thing that was the turning point for our game tonight was when Hopkins got hot. I think he made six straight or eight straight and Victor was not at his best with him and he was feeling it and Will wanted the matchup. That's something we are very comfortable with but he went in there and did something with it. Will really did a great job of reading the game and taking the shots that were there, attacking, moving the ball and he was tremendous defensively. Not just on the ball with Hopkins, but just how he played. He's got some real innate ability to read situations. I always call him our backline captain because if we were a pressing team we'd have him in the back where he could really talk to his teammates. Well he was doing that while he was guarding other really good players tonight. He's a great example, tonight, of your defense getting your offense going at a high rate. I'm really proud of the way he played."
On Sheehey getting to the line, even in transition:
"Absolutely, we wanted to run. We knew they were going to be good in transition defense, they always are. But we didn't want that to take our initiative away from getting to the basket, throwing it ahead and he did a great job with reading that. He didn't force things, which was important tonight. He's had a really good week, he's been locked in, and he's coming off last week where he was good. He had his career twice and now he went over it. I'm proud of the way he is playing. He's a very smart player, he's cerebral but he's very aggressive and he's got an attack mentality and that came alive tonight."
On the difference between this 6-0 team and last year's:
"I don't ever think of it like that. We haven't really spent a lot of time, and we really haven't looked at any of last year's film other than maybe when we start getting ready for opponents that we played a year ago. But I would say just thinking about that it would certainly be the maturity. The team is maturing. Cody makes a huge difference I mean that's obvious. There is such a presence with him. But everybody is better. They are developing. They are developing at a really high rate. I would also say that I've got a coaching staff that I'd put up against any in America. There are a lot of really good coaching staffs out there but this one is something else and they did a great job preparing for this game. They do a great with our players. I think that the fact that we never relinquished the lead and we continued to defend at a high level and we weren't making baskets. An immature team doesn't let that happen. We would have lost it. I didn't even know it. It never even registered to me that we weren't making baskets because I couldn't tell any difference in our team. They're very locked in. These guys are really locked in. I think you've seen it over a period of time. It doesn't mean we've played great all the time but they're very locked in."
Head Coach Brad Stevens
On what Butler can take from this experience:
"I'm not big on losing. It is only a benefit if you change. It is an experience otherwise. There are some things we need to change whether it is personnel, lineups, focus, or attention to detail, we have to change. The season does not get any easier. It is going to be hard every time we take the floor. Bottom line is we have to play better to give ourselves a chance to win."
On Cody Zeller:
"He is a good player. He is a very good player. He is a guy who can score around the rim and shoot. Even though he shot one shot short, he is still a great shooter. I think he is one of the most unselfish guys you can have come in and be a star. If Cody was not unselfish, Indiana would find it difficult to go inside like they do with him."
On the matchup between Cody Zeller and Andrew Smith:
"I thought the matchup was good. I thought Andrew had a couple looks early that he would like to have back, but he is a fighter. Andrew was a guy who was lightly recruited out of high school and he has turned himself into a very good player. He was a sophomore who started in the national championship game last season. We have to continue to give him looks down low and he will get better."
On how Butler can improve from here:
"We all have to do what we do well. We have to put our players in good positions with our play. That is something we simply must get better at. We have some ultra-competitive players on the court. Sometimes those players like Nored do some things to try and change the game. You would rather have an ultra-competitive player than to not have one."
On what kind of team Butler is this season:
"I know what type of team we have. We have to work on our consistency every game. There is no doubt about it. This is a game you hope benefits you down the road because you learn to play in a tough environment and react. We did not react well tonight. We will have to see if we learn. The bottom line is we have to learn."