Indiana vs. Ohio State - Postgame Quotes
Dec. 31, 2011
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
"First off, I thought Coach Tom Izzo was very profound the other night when he thanked the crowd. He said the crowd was responsible for several of the baskets. I don't think there is any doubt I can say that about our crowd tonight. They were responsible not only for some baskets, but also for some stops. The building was electric. The Hoosier Nation is so incredible. To have that kind of energy in the building without the student here obviously due to break was awesome. I do not know if I have ever heard it louder when Victor (Oladipo) got the steal at the end of the first half and took it in for the dunk. It was incredible. The fans and those who support this program are as much a part of this victory as anybody else.
"As far as the players on the court, they kept giving us confidence. They came to every timeout totally locked in. We could see it at the 7:38 TV timeout mark. They were so locked in to what they knew it would take to win. We knew we were playing against a great team. They made plays and we made plays. We played with a sense of toughness tonight. Our players matched the Ohio State toughness and energy. Even though we were shorthanded without Will Sheehey, I thought we had a lot of great contributions off the bench from Derek (Elston) and Remy (Abell). Remy came in and started to change the momentum by playing tough defense. For Matt Roth to come in and impact the game the way he did by playing 16 minutes without attempting a shot was great, especially considering he hit nine threes his freshman year against Ohio State, was great. There were three or four times when he was on the floor diving for loose balls. The starting lineup was outstanding at had to do a lot tonight. Everyone is being asked to contribute a little more especially defensively and minutes-wise when you have a player like Sheehey out. They did it. They never flinched when we were down throughout the game especially the last five or six minutes. They made plays. They made the defensive plays especially. We had 58 deflections tonight. That is coming off a game where we had 34 deflections, which was our low for the season. I was proud of the way our guys came home and made adjustments. We had an edge and confidence in playing against one of the best teams in the country. They deserved the victory."
On what he walked into as a first year head coach in 2008:
"I would be lying if I said I was not happy for my family and the other coaches and their families because they have gone through so much the last couple of years. The feeling is more for the players. When you are at Indiana and you see the way the fans have supported us, that is always in context for me. The fans are great all the time. We asked the fans to share in this from the beginning. They did not sign up for this and we did not sign up for this. We also did not cause the situation and neither did the fans. We all had to live in the experience together. I am extremely happy we have fans who can share in this. I think the people who support this program, the Hoosier Nation, really share in a kinship with the way this is going. I am proud of that."
On multiple players touching the ball during the transition:
"I think it is all about activity. Verdell is not playing healthy and he played more minutes tonight than he did against Michigan State. He is a grown man and I am proud of him and all of the seniors. They have persevered. I could not be happier for a guy like Verdell in assist and deflection transition situations."
On having Oladipo guard Aaron Craft:
"Buford was hurting us early. We were not in a scramble mode with our matchups. Will Sheehey can guard anybody. We have really missed him the last couple of games. Will is a guy who can guard positions one through five. Our matchups have gotten a little harder. I was happy for Victor because Buford was good early, but he slowed down. Craft was hurting us all over. He is so powerful. His lower body is so strong that he can just go around you. We needed to do a better job of harassing Craft and making it more difficult for him to get into the lane. Victor helped us do that. No question there were a lot of momentum swings in the game, but slowing Craft down was a huge change for us."
On playing multiple defenders on Aaron Craft:
"We thought we would zone more in this game, but the players really wanted to play man to man. We had to buy a couple of minutes with the zone due to all of the foul trouble. I thought everyone who came in including Austin and Remy held their own. I do not think you can give great teams a steady diet of anything. Ohio State has so many trigger points in the way they can play and initiate their offense. You can never let them think they have a read on you because they are too good at it. Craft is the real deal. There is no doubt about. He is one of the elite players in the country. Again, you can say the same thing about William Buford, Deshaun Thomas, and certainly Jared Sullinger which makes it even harder. We had some great individual plays defensively, but a huge part of us winning this game was team defense."
On the game being a learning experience for Cody Zeller:
"He was quick tonight. He never got into a great rhythm due to the foul situations, but he was very assertive. I thought the drive he had against Sullinger late in the game showed improvement. We ran the same play against Michigan State the other night, but Zeller passed it out. Tonight, he just dropped his shoulder and went at it. He is a very quick learner. Cody has watched a lot of game tape because we have no restrictions on watching film due to Christmas break. I think Cody is seeing where he can be better and he is applying it. We can expect this learning from Cody because he wants to be very good and he wants his teammates to be successful too. He knew he had to play at a high level around the basket tonight and use his lower body in order for us to win tonight. I think he performed well."
Ohio State Head Coach Thad Matta
On managing the game:
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