Coppin State vs. Indiana
Dec. 1, 2012
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean Opening Statement:
"Tonight was fun for a lot of reasons: they played extremely hard. Even at the beginning when shots weren't going and we were having some turnovers, they were playing extremely hard. There were no concerns. We needed to challenge a few more shots, so that the first time-out, that was our biggest concern. These guys were ready to go, and if they're not ready to go, then it shows up in effort, it shows up in your running ability, it shows up in lackadaisical travels and things like that, but we didn't have any of that. They were ready to play, so it was just a matter of time since we were getting so many second chance opportunities.
"But the thing that was fun about this was that we had to find a way to get the pace going our way, and they came in with a mindset and a game plan, and that game plan was too be deliberate at times. The biggest thing we were trying to focus on with Coppin State was their ability to create dribble penetration - they were fourth in the country with 3-point attempts (27 a game), and they were in the top 10 in the country at forcing turnovers (22 a game). We wanted to take care of the ball, but at the same time, we wanted to get the pace our way. We did some different things defensively, and even though we brought some fatigue and deflections to the game- I think we had 36 at the half- it still wasn't where we want it to be, but the pressure changed that in the second half. Our guys did a great job with that. It started in the beginning with Vic, who ended up having 20 deflections tonight, which is a high for us at Indiana and an individual high for him, but our guys just never stopped competing.
"I don't think we called a lot of sets in the second half; it was very much a free-flow game, which we've got to learn how to play because it won't be the last time someone tries to play a deliberate style and it won't be the last time that someone wants to get it down in the shot clock. It won't be the last time that the opponent will try to get what they want, which is a one-on-one or that open three. I think we will probably find some mistakes- we didn't challenge shots totally the way that we could have, we missed some block-outs and some fouls, but we were aggressive, we were on the attack, we played extremely hard and competitive, and we had a lot of really good balance because of it. I loved the win, I just loved watching them tonight, I really did. They were on it. They were locked-in, and they were on it."
On the greater pressure and energy shown in the second half:
"We actually walked through that at half time. That was something that we had done in practice from time to time, but that's something that we think we are going to get pretty good at down the road, especially as we get deeper in the front line. We decided to do it tonight so we cleared out the hall way instead of going back to the gym because it would have taken too long, and walked through what we wanted to do. They were very alert and attentive and it was quick. I apologize to those people that were in the store that had to walk-out the other way, but we just wanted to make sure we knew what our shifts were going to be. It was very much a free-flow game and they were very much into the trapping and the rotating. We just wanted to get the pace going our way, that's really what it boiled down to."
On how to teach plays in a hall way:
"We just walked through. It wasn't like it was the first time they had done it. We were just in the corner hall way and that's just what we did. The players that weren't in stood back and we just talked about shifts. It was more a reminder or a focus-center thing. It doesn't make a difference if we practice two hours, if they don't go out and work that hard it wouldn't have made a difference. They like to play very aggressive. Everyone asks me how we are going to play everyone, and that was how. That was a quality of play versus quantity of minutes game tonight. I think we have a lot of tired guys who are tired because they spent it. That's what you want. They truly brought fatigue to the game tonight, especially in the second half."
Victor Oladipo You started out slow but came out well in second half?
"I thought we did a good job at that. I mean, we're human, we're not perfect. We didn't have a great start, but I thought we played well defensively the whole game. We did a good job of turning it up in the second half. The guys off the bench did a great job coming in and playing defense, and if we continue to keep doing that throughout the season, we'll be successful."
How much did the full-court pressure in the first half help pick you guys up?
"I think we did a good job of executing what we wanted them to do in that press. We have been working on that in practice. Hopefully we continue to keep working on that. There are some little things that we've got to fix. Other than that we were active, and that's why we got the big lead, and had the energy and that's where we wanted to be."
When shots are going down, is there a comfort level because you know the defensive is going to be there whether or not shots are going down?
"We put a big emphasis on defense from the beginning of the year and throughout the year. Defense wins games, and we can't always rely on our offense too much. For us, we score in transition and we score in multiple ways. But essentially we score off our defense. We've got to continue to play defense at a high level, continue to helping each other so we can win big."
Jeremy Hollowell Big scoring night for the bench. Are you coming off the bench expecting to score and immediately find an offensive rhythm?
"We just want to come in and continue to push the tempo, and bring energy off the bench. We have a really deep team, a deep bench. When we go to the bench, we want to come in and play hard and bring energy for the team. Play to our abilities and our roles."
Remy Abell How important is it that you guys have learned to play different ways, so that when you were grinding you were still able to play multiple ways?
"I think it's something big. We aren't always going to want to play the style that we play which is up and down. Teams like tonight are going to try to slow us down do different things. It helped that when we played teams like Georgetown, we were able to grind it out in overtime and get a win. Stuff like that is going to happen. We have just got to keep fighting. And when a team brings it, we've got to be prepared and be ready, and make adjustments on the fly."
What did you think of the lift that Victor gave you guys in the second half?
"He started the second half with a dunk. Right there that was a huge lift. That really got us going on the defense. Then we got in a press and everything started clicking. Everybody was moving and being active. Everybody has hands up. Defense fuels offense. Offense isn't always going to come. You can't bring your offense. But you can definitely bring your defense. You can bring the defense. The hustle. The toughness. The boxing out. The rebounding. You can bring that all on the road and at home. Offense isn't always going to be there."
Coppin State Head Coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell On his team's pressure in the first half
"I think the zone slowed them down some. Before we started, we were concerned with their transition and how they get up and down the floor. We had control early, but we're a young team, and it's hard to keep that going and maintain that tempo. And then Coach [Tom] Crean of course put pressure on us and that contributed to changing the tempo."
On Indiana's second half defensive performance:
"We had a lot of turnovers in the second half, and their long and very active. Their press bothered us; it shouldn't have, but it bothered us. They were very aggressive on the defensive end, and we got ourselves into a situation that was very difficult to get out of. I'm glad we got to 51 points, but you need more. It was a situation where they challenged basically all of the shots we took, and that's what you'd expect from this kind of team."
On holding Zeller without a field goal for the first 30 minutes of play:
"You look at the zone as the situation to take that away anyways. We wanted to extend on the shooters, but also make sure we had somebody on top of him, and it worked. It worked for a while, but results said we need to do a better job to make it work."
On playing against the No. 1 team in this type of atmosphere:
"It's a great atmosphere for them to play in. It's not every day that a team can say they got to go up against the No. 1 team in the country. Coach [Tom] Crean has done a tremendous job of rebuilding this program back to where it was. A lot of these kids recognize where they are, and it's a great place to be, and they'll take this back as a memory. Also, we can build on that adversity from here where if we did a few more things right, we may have been able to challenge them."
On how he sees his team to progress and improve throughout this season:
"We have a long ways to go, but the fact is that we have eight new players and we're trying to get them to understand that what I'm looking for is going to take some time, but as long as we get there by March, I think we'll be okay."