Nov. 28, 2009
Final Stats |
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Press Conference Video
I Players Postgame Video
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean:
"We are as we said to the players, especially yesterday, when you get closer to game time that is when you learn if you have really earned a victory and if you deserved one. We have been saying to this team, you don't get what you want, you get what you deserve. That's what the process is that makes that happen. We have had a very good week of getting better. We have had a very good week of starting to learn our roles, starting to learn what is important. By no stretch of the imagination are we playing great. By no stretch of the imagination are we playing mistake-free. It will be a long time before we get to that point. We are playing hard. We are playing with a real purpose.
"Today was one of those times where the experience of going through some of these loses have come back to help us a little bit, in really understanding it's a possession-by-possession game. It's got to get done with the rebounding. It's got to get done with the defense. We have to continue to be mistake-free as much as possible. I thought there were times we really did that. We finished this game with a defensive and rebounding mindset, not an offensive mindset. I think that's real good growth for us. We thought they were very good. We were not disappointed or shocked. They had more players. The players they had last year are older. They are committed to a style of play, you can see it. It was a great test for us. (Northwestern State head coach Mike McConathy) does an excellent job, he has for a long time, at every level. I thought our guys did a very good job of responding and continuing to read the game.
"In Jeremiah's case with the 10 assists, he was really reading the defense, reading what was there, and communicating that throughout the game. We had a lot of good basketball from different people. There were some really positive things to build on as we get ready to turn over every rock to play Maryland."
On defensive effort and improvement:
"I think we are close on the deflections. Our goal was 52 and I think we are right there. With four minutes to go we had 45. I thought we communicated better. We still have a ways to go on guarding the dribble. We still have a ways to go on our rotations. We still crack with our backs and arms rather than our lower bodies on block outs. I thought there was a real purpose behind it. I think they met us with some resistance. I think our guys played with some force and eventually, as we get stronger and older, that force will be a mainstay for what we are trying to do. We still have to get everything we can get out of our bodies and out of our speed and quickness. Whether it's three freshmen or four freshmen or two freshmen whatever the lineups are, we have to play with more force. I thought today we did that more."
On importance of this win as a confidence booster :
"It's big. We are asking a lot of these guys. We are practicing twice on Thanksgiving. We are having Thanksgiving in here. We are asking a lot. These are young guys. They are just young kids. We are asking so much of them and they have to see why we work this hard. I have no problem with it. My staff has no problem with it. We see it, but they don't always see it. When you have to sacrifice and you have to play a role, you got to really be more concerned about your teammates then your own situation. You got real competition. This is some of the first times in their lives that kids have had to really compete to find out if they are going to get out on the court. It didn't happen last year. It couldn't. It was a competition. You could work as hard as you want, but in the end they knew they were going to play. That's a bad mindset. Its fool's gold. We needed something good today to build on because we are asking so much of them. So demanding and I'm not going to back off of it. I want them to see why that is, it's really important."
On the importance of having a great crowd against Maryland on Tuesday
"We need a packed house. I've seen the Duke film when Duke played Indiana a few years back. I've heard people tell me about that and other memories. We have to start building memories like that with crowd like that and a game like that. With the Big Ten and ESPN putting us in situations like they did last year, with us playing Wake Forest, a team that is picked to finish 11th and playing Maryland with a team that is picked to finish 10th, we have to have the crowd help us in every possible way. Frankly, you know as well as I know that those are stretches for our program right now to be playing teams that good. I'm not shying away from that. That's part of being at Indiana. I get that. I welcome that.
"We have a very young basketball team and we are getting ready to play one of the oldest teams in the country on Tuesday night against one of the most experienced and future hall of famer, Gary Williams, without a doubt. We have to have incredible energy in this building, incredible energy. We will be prepared. We will be ready to play. What that means, I don't know. I know everything we can control, we will control. We need our fans to be at a fever pitch. I know they will be here for Kentucky. I know there are not many seats left for that. I don't want there to be a seat left when noon comes on Tuesday for that game with Maryland. We have got to get this crowd as great as it can possibly be, as nuts as it can possibly be. Tell the fire marshal to stay home that night. We will give him tickets right behind the bench. We will let him come, the police chief too. We need them all in here, everybody in here to make this placenuts."
Northwestern State Head Coach Mike McConathy
"I thought that Indiana came out and did a very good job. I felt like they improved in some areas. They really did some good things. I felt like our kids came out and competed. We tried to do some things differently than we normally do defensively. (Jeremiah) Rivers was taking the ball and dropping it off on the backside. We didn't do a good job of loading up and getting to the middle of the lane like we're supposed to. They shot the ball early on pretty well, but I thought we did a good job of contesting shots a little bit better later in the game.
"In all their runs, they were able to get easy buckets because we didn't contest shots. If we have 23 turnovers we are not going to be able to play with good basketball teams. We had a lot of unforced errors because of guys not cutting like they are supposed to and guys laying off of backdoor passes. We had two or three times where we would rebound the ball and they'd get it right back and score a bucket. Those are things from a basketball perspective that you can't allow to happen when you are playing a Big Ten opponent."
On Indiana's improvement:
"I thought they laid the ball off pretty good. Early on they got clicking with their shooting. It just seemed like they were in their rhythm, and to me, they are rhythm players. I thought they did a good job with that and looked improved from what I've seen. It's also a different opponent and it's not on a neutral court or away. They are at home where they love to play. That's pretty important in the psyche of players. We were at home the other day and we shot 48 percent from the three point line. I thought it was good for them to be able to have this game when they came back to garner some improvement in some areas. I'm sure that coach worked them real hard between Puerto Rico and now."
On the difference between Indiana since last season:
"I think they are more physical and longer, which created problems when I've got a diminutive guard out front. We don't see 6'5, 6'5, 6'6 guards most of the time. It's usually a smaller guard, so I thought the length really created problems. We're pretty long for a team in the Southland Conference, but they were exceptionally long."