IU vs. Bryant
December 28, 2009
Opening statement Coach Tom Crean:
"I'll start with an update on Maurice (Creek), he has a fracture of his left knee and will have surgery tomorrow. I am in the process of getting his parents here so they can be here for the surgery. I don't have many more updates than that. He is a very, very special young man. It's gut-wrenching in so many fronts when you see a young man like that go down, who works as hard as he does. It's a little different for us as the Crean's and for the coaches because he was probably going to be with us where ever we were at, whether it was Marquette or here at Indiana.
"For him to come with us here sight unseen, and commit four months before he ever saw the campus, that's a speial young man from a special family. Obviously our number one concern is that everything goes well throughout that surgery and I have great condifence that it will. I told the players this is one of the reasons that you come to Indiana that you hope you never have to use - the professional care that you get when you come to a school like Indiana. With the resources that we have here, it's tremendous. He is in great hands there.
"Our team certainly feels for him. They had a very good performance tonight. They did a lot of really good things. Obviously we are playing a team that is going through growing pains and doesn't have a great record, but when you hold a team to 25 percent from the field, and 18 percent from the three-point line, it's really about what your team is doing. We needed to have a game like that and we had a game like that. More importantly than that, they really, really feel for their teammate, and as a coach you hate to ever see anyone go through that. But also as a coach and a leader of the program, you know that you have a program on the right path, when they care that way about their teammate. They are going to have to mature.
"I was asked a question from John Laskowski, what the difference going into the Big Ten, and I said, well the biggest fear is the maturity you have to have moving forward and now that maturity is going to get tested even more. Not just because he's the third-leading scoring freshman in the country, but because Maurice Creek on the court brings confidence because of his athleticism, talent, and his ability to score. That's what great players do, they bring confidence to their teammates. Now, we are going to have to find confidence from one another. We will have to continue to find that confidence from our crowd. They are stunned right now, but then they are going to be stung. We said to the team, in football they talk about next man up and it's not a situation here where one individual is going to come in and get 18 points a game, everybody has to do more and that's the bottom line."
On team being able to go on after injury:
"It's hard, I mean it's very hard. I didn't tell them until real late, but I knew real early. It's hard, but that was our focus. I called a time out at one point because we needed to get back to that. Everybody felt it; it was the elephant in the room. We still had a job to do and that's what we needed to get across to them. I think they did a pretty good job with that. We had to do everything we needed to do to keep our focus on the game. This is going to be a real challenge for a bunch of young guys and not just because of his talent because he is a very well-liked young man. Any of you who have spent any time around him know that, but I am biased, I have known him for such a long time. His parents are salt-of-the-earth people. It's going to be a tough deal but we will bounce back. There are a lot of down guys in there right now, and they are not down because 18 points a game is hurt, they are down because their teammate is crushed."
On what went through your head when he went down:
"The players had a bad feeling. I didn't have a good view of it. My initial hope was that it was a dislocation because of the way that it looked. But certainly that was going to be best case scenario at that point. It turned out to be worst case scenario. That's my responsibility, my wife, I wanted her to talk to Maurice's mother, I wanted to make sure Maurice's mother was contacted quickly and that everyone was with him in the proper way, while still trying to coach a team. The coaching is a huge part of it. It overrides everything else."
Bryant Head Coach Tim O'Shea
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to play this game because as we're taking a program into Division I. We have the opportunity to play an Indiana at Assembly Hall. Forget the score. It allows us to identify or brand ourselves as a Division I program. Obviously this is a long process, going from Division II to Division I. From a talent standpoint, we're in no position, right now, to match up with a team like Indiana. From the standpoint of building a program and trying to create a Division I identity, this is a valuable game for us. I'm disappointed the score wasn't closer, but the reality is our leading scorer is injured right now and didn't play. That said, obviously there's still an enormous gap talent-wise between where we are and where a Big Ten program like Indiana is, but again we're grateful for the opportunity to play."
On Indiana's defense:
"Tom (Crean) does a great job defensively and that's probably been our biggest problem playing some of the bigger schools. We've played schools from the ACC and the Big East. The size, the length, the athleticism really can take us out of things right now because we just don't have a talent base that's anywhere near programs that play at that level. When we get back in the conference that we play in, we have more opportunity to be able to do some things. Right now, just physically, it's so hard for us to match up with a team like Indiana."
On the play of Christian Watford:
"I like him and I like (Maurice) Creek. I think they've got very good young talent. Tonight they had a lot of good open looks that they knocked down. He's got this program headed in the right direction. He's always been a great recruiter. I look forward to following this program in future years when they get back to the level that they were at with Coach Knight and I think that's only a matter of time."