Tom Crean Talks About Northwestern
Jan. 8, 2011
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana men's basketball head coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Saturday, Jan. 8, to discuss the Hoosiers' game at Northwestern on Sunday. Here is a transcript of what he had to say. For complete audio and video, click on the links above.
On the challenges the team will face against Northwestern:
On the team having to focus on defense:
On facing another excellent shooter in John Shurna:
"Again, you can't go up there and focus on one individual player. That's the strength of this league, it really is. I think that's why it's the best league in the country. No matter who you play, it's never like you're just getting ready for two or three guys. Everybody's got a leading scorer and everybody's got a second leading scorer, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's their only two or three guys. We've got to be locked into their team and judging from last year we've got to know what's coming off the bench. They have five men that can shoot 3's. They have point guards that can post up. It's a very unique team and you've got to be locked into that."
On how the practices have gone this week:
On the team needing discipline on defense against Northwestern:
"There's an individual personality to each player and he knows how to get to that, in the sense of what they try to do. So you've got to be disciplined, but you have to have energy, you have to have some emotion. You don't have to be emotional, but you have to have some emotion going through this. You've got to be willing to defend every cut. Most importantly, you've got understand that this team, as strong as the cutting is, they shot 38 3's the other night at Illinois. They live on ball movement. It doesn't matter if it's the back-cut or the 3-point shot, you've got to be alert and aware."
On if the team approaches road games better this year than in the past:
On what the team will take away from the game at Minnesota:
"As we keep telling these guys right now, when you first start you learn to pass, you learn to shoot, you learn to dribble. Then you go down the line and you start learn that rebounding really matters and that certainly playing defense really matters. Well you better understand that one of the greatest fundamentals that you can have is the ability to make adjustments and we've got to be able to make better adjustments during the game. Adjustments are communication, it's knowledge of the game, it's energy. There's all those different things that fit into adjustments and the game never plays it's way out the way you would expect it to for either team and a lot of times the old saying that the team that makes the fewest mistakes wins, well the teams that makes the best adjustments on players during the game during the course of action. We're trying to get them to really understand that.
"You've got to make adjustments on the fly and it can't just be when the coach calls time-out and it can't just be from a coach, it's got to be from the players inside of the game. That's why having conversations, those hundreds of conversations that you need to have in the course of a game, that's what communication is. It's not just watch the pick or ball-screen left, it's the conversations you need to have and we need to do a better job of that."
On if it's been tougher to develop that in the past with lack of upperclassmen:
"Oh without a doubt because you're not talking to people that have any idea what you're talking about and it doesn't get reinforced when they go into the locker room. It's not because they don't want to, they just don't necessarily know how to because they didn't have it handed down to them. So that was part of it, but we're starting to grow through that.
"The guys that we are asking to do that, again, they didn't have that come to them so they've got to understand that this is the only way it can be done. That's why you point out what other teams do. You point out what other successful sports do. You show them those things as much as possible. It's never just one thing."
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