IU vs. Loyola Greyhounds
December 22, 2009
Head Coach Tom Crean
"There are so many lessons that we are going through, and this one, this is a hard one in a lot of respects. We just spent a lot of time talking about what we need to learn from it. It was a tale of two games more than any game I have ever seen. The first half we got in a hole. I think our preparation was really great. We worked very hard, I wouldn't change anything. I had no read that I didn't think we weren't going to come out and play well. We had an excellent walk-through, all of those different things, but we got into a hole. We started trying to make plays individually. I said we aren't going to win this game by ourselves. That was going in one ear and out the other. That's part of youth. When you get under pressure, a lot of times you revert back to who you are and how you play. For a lot of these guys, young, second year, whatever it is, it's `hey I can go get this back myself.' It doesn't work that way.
"It's a good basketball team, but any basketball team would have been in the same situation. In the second half, it was a very collective effort to understand we aren't winning it individually; we're not winning it in a couple of minutes. We are going to have to play together no matter what. I think you saw that. It was indicative of the defense, it was indicative of the way we didn't turn the ball over, it was indicative of the way their communication was together. What it re-emphasizes for me is that we have a tremendous amount of learning to do.
"When I come in here and tell you we don't have that leadership hand-me-down quality, that's what I'm talking about. Everyone wants it back as soon as possible. I know I do, but there is no secret formula, there is no magic wand. We are in a restoration project and we learned a hard lesson tonight and that is part of it. It re-affirms it for me. As much as my title is coach, and leader of the program, you can never get away from making sure these guys are learning incredibly valuable lessons.
"We showed our capabilities at times tonight and glimpses of the future of what we are cable of. But also showed exactly what our inexperience and lack of understanding and youthfulness is in reality. We almost pulled it off. There was not a doubt in my mind that we were not going to come back and win this. It was not the halftime you would have thought it was either. There was no talk about anything other than coming back and winning this game. We made a couple changes in the lineup, simplified a couple of things, we didn't want to have to go to the press that quick because we felt it was still a long game. But when they started sitting on the ball in the flex, and started taking 32 seconds, we just couldn't let them have it. We had to change the tempo of the game immediately. We tried to do a couple of things on our own rather than use each other. They played together in a very big way. In the end we made a couple of costly mistakes. We didn't make our foul shots, and they had some shots go down tonight, that you just had to shake your head at. A very uncomfortable, hard lesson learned for this team."
On Loyola's aggressiveness at the beginning:
"They probably aren't used to being in that situation either. I respect (Loyola Maryland head coach Jim Patsos), I respect t his program and he has good players. I am fully familiar with a lot of those guys from the recruiting scene. Before I was at Indiana, they were taking balls from us. We did not come out aggressive enough and they had us back on our heels in a big way. In our huddles, you could have heard a pin drop, but in the second half, I had to yell and scream to get their attention, they were so excited. It's all part of what we are dealing with."
On what was said to Jeremiah Rivers:
"We covered the bounce pass more than anything else, that was a mistake, but we don't make the comeback without him either. I think you can't look at conventional wisdom on these things. I heard someone yell at me when I was walking in there on what to say to them, and it doesn't always work that way. These are fragile guys, and when you haven't had success, you have to pick your spots a little bit on those guys. They made a serious comeback. They are going through a lot of things for the first time. Would we like to have him make his free throws, absolutely, all we did are going to keep working on it. We had some missed free throw rebounds tonight. There are a lot of things to think about and reflect upon and study in the films. I'm going to be recruiting at 8:20 in the morning. There are a lot of things to get done in this program right now, but we have some things to really build on and that kid's attitude and the way he attacks, he is pretty hard to stop."
On plans for next couple of days:
"They are going to get a break. We had 10 guys just get over a 3.0 GPA. I think the bottom line is when you look at what happened here over a period of time. When you walk in and you have the worst GPA in the history of the program, an absolute embarrassment for anyone who's ever gone to Indiana, and then you get a group of guys who get a GPA over 3.0, that's pretty strong. They are going home, and we aren't going to change anything, and I am leaving to go recruit."
Loyola University Maryland Head Coach Jimmy Patsos
"I thought their press in the second half was tremendous. It takes a lot of energy to come back. We were very fortunate. We made a million lucky shots in the first half. We got a young team to play against and we were very fortunate. We were fortunate to have a good first half, that's when we were lucky to pull the game out.
"I'm very grateful to them for having us out here because this is really a special place. It's a place that our kids will never forget, win or lose. We were lucky to win that game. We're here partly because I'm friends with John Harbaugh, the Ravens coach, who's probably not going to let me go to anymore games because that's his brother-in-law that I just coached against. When you take all that energy to come back, sometimes you let down just a second. He's got a young team and the future's very bright here. Once again, I'd like to thank everybody. It's a first class operation."
On their first half play:
"Our kids were excited. We're from the MAAC. We're a decent conference. Siena beat Ohio State last year, they beat Louisville, and Niagara's a good team. We've had a lot of good coaches in our league. We're a good league, we're a fast-paced league. Our guys had this game circled. We were tied with West Virginia at halftime. If we played like we did tonight against West Virginia we'd be undefeated, but I have 18-22 year olds that I have to coach too. I don't have all the answers because we're 6-5. You've got to get kids ready to play every night and they don't always listen. Our kids were as excited as they could be. We're a mid-major. We play in front of 2,000 people. This is a big deal for us and we were fired up to go."
On Brett Harvey:
"He's been a tremendous player for us. He was on the gold medal team this summer that was coached by Bruce Pearl. That changed a lot for him, I thought, in terms of growing up. He just kept his composure. He's a good player. He can make shots. The guy was the leading free-throw shooter in the country last year so that's not anything I coach. He's just a good shooter."
On how they were able to come back after losing a large lead:
"We got a little composure. Sometimes you've got to get guys fired up. I thought Brett took over, and Brian Rudolph came back. It takes a lot of energy to come out from down 24 and come all the way back. I don't know what they did. Maybe they relaxed, maybe they didn't. We also made two four-point plays. I thought they missed a couple free throws at the end that were very fortunate for us. I wouldn't count on that again. G.G. Smith, my assistant, just told me that this Indiana team is really good. His father is Tubby Smith. This is a good team. You just use a lot of energy to come back and then all of a sudden they've got a couple of free throws to maybe put us away and they didn't make them. We got lucky, we were very fortunate."
On what the win does for the Loyola program:
"It's amazing, but you know, Tom Izzo's a great guy. He played us four years ago. Kansas played us three years ago. Duke played us. I go where there's a national championship banner. There are five here. This is a special place to play. We came here, and it didn't have anything to do with the Big Ten. We do it every year. Next year we're going to North Carolina. These guys will remember that. It's special to play against a Big Ten team too, because they're kind of physical. That press in the second half, I can't replicate that in practice or in game or in a MAAC situation, whether it's Siena or the best team in our league. So that was good practice for us. This place is really loud, and we were lucky. We made a million lucky shots in the first half. There were about eight of them that I was screaming to get back on defense but they went in. So sometimes you get lucky."
On Tom Crean:
"Please understand what a special person and a great coach you have. He left a good situation to come to a great situation. He's young and he's doing it the right way. That's going to pay off in the long run. We were very lucky to be here and very lucky to win."