Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks to the Media Heading Into Ohio State

    Go Hoosiers! Head coach Tom Crean
    Go Hoosiers!
    Head coach Tom Crean
    Go Hoosiers!

    Jan. 12, 2009

    Press Conference Video

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head men's basketball coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Monday to discuss the Hoosiers' match-up with Ohio State on Tuesday. Freshman Tom Pritchard was also made available to the media members as well and here's what they had to say.

    Head Coach Tom Crean

    On practice heading into tomorrow's game at Ohio State:
    "I think we've had two good days. Our whole thing is that we don't want to look at what we saw on film and we don't want to react to what we did in that game. That's not anything close to what we want Indiana basketball to resemble and the players have responded pretty well to that.

    "But again, we are going on the road and we are going to play against a very good team. Like I said, when you are bringing a kid like B.J. Mullins in off the bench, you have a pretty good team. I know they miss David Lighty, but they are playing extremely well. Their athleticism and length is tremendous. We can't mirror that in practice, but we have done a lot of six-on-five and seven-on-five so we'll see what happens with that.

    "Our attitude is good and I know we are excited to get that bad feeling out of our stomachs after the way we played the other day."

    On Ohio State:
    "They are getting better. I think the first game or two they just had to feel their way and find their way through it. But when they put (Dallas) Lauderdale and Mullins in together, they are a very dangerous team; there is no question about it. William Buford is playing excellent and Evan Turner is one of the leading scorers in the conference and probably as good of one-on-one player as we've seen to this point because of his athleticism and ability to create his own shot. And Jon Diebler is shooting in the high 40s from behind the arc so there are not a lot of weaknesses that I've seen. They are doing an excellent job, not to mention they are extremely well coached.

     

     

    On how much focus Indiana will put on guarding Diebler after Illinois Trent Meacham made seven three-pointers:
    "When you have a team like Ohio State, the reason that teams like that are good is because they are not one-or-two-man teams. They are very good and very sound in so many different ways. But Trent Meacham didn't earn many baskets against us. With that being said, he made shots but we didn't make him earn them and that's what you have to do in a game like this (against Ohio State). We've got to be very attached to Jon Diebler no matter what defense we are in. But at the same time, we've got to know where Buford is and we've got to absolutely have our help defense set for Evan Turner and the way he drives the ball and shoots it. And you say all that and they've got two big guys (Lauderdale and Mullens) that can dominate a game if your not there. Diebler poses a lot of problems because he doesn't need hardly any time to get his shot off and he's a very tall young man."

    On Ohio State's match-up zone and the problems it can create:
    "Well, you have to make it move. I think if we stand there and don't reverse the basketball or we stand there and don't penetrate against it then you allow it to be outstanding because they have so much length. I mean they are really long and I think we are going to get into the game and the tape won't even have done it justice. We've got to make them move. We can't allow their two "bigs" to sit (in the lane) and control the zone. Because that allows the guards tremendous freedom with putting pressure on the ball and reaching in and creating steals and trying to cause deflections. So no matter how we are attacking it, there has to be ball movement and there's got to be dribble penetration and it's got from side to side.

    On the effect of the new three-point line this year:
    "I think it depends on your team. I think that's why Ohio State is such a good team because both of the big guys command that you come down there (and double team), because of their strength and length, Lauderdale especially with his strength. You have to be down in there with another guy, and we are not quite in the situation where we can guard that one-on-one. So when they make that pass out or they make that next pass and they are hitting shots it makes them very dangerous. That's one reason why they've been a ranked club this year and had that great start and one reason they are so formidable. And not just at home, look at some of the places they have won in their non-conference because they know how to play with one another and they know how to reverse the basketball. So in this case, especially in this league, the teams that we have played have had numerous guys that can make three's, whether it was Iowa or Illinois or Michigan and Ohio State is much the same."

    On Devan Dumes Injury:
    "He did not practice today. He was in good spirits but he did not practice. He will probably be a game-time decision. We will have to continue to go through the rehabilitation process and I'm sure he'll have his own bucket of ice on this trip. And I know that (athletic trainer (Tim Garl) will make it an intensive situation and we'll have to see how it goes tomorrow. If he doesn't look pretty good in our walk-thru I would think it would be pretty hard for him to contribute for us. But his spirits are great, he's just not in any position where he can put any substantial weight on it."

    On the quick turnaround from Saturday to Tuesday games:
    "It is a quick turnaround, no question. But this was one of those things where we needed to get back on the court right away. We had a lot of energy last night and as they keep seeing, it's not like they are fatigued. Fatigue kicks in, mentally, when you are not making shots and the other team is and things are going wrong and then all of a sudden you are running around like you are carrying tree trunks in your body and that's not our case. We've got to be able to play through those things. A couple guys have got to grow into being the ones who help us get through that. Someone that the players can look at and when we walk out of that huddle, that it all doesn't evaporate in the sense of having some confidence coming out of the huddle. And they say "hey, we are going to be all right." We are trying to develop that and we are conscious of that every day, but at the same time you can't force-feed that. Believe me, if there is one thing I've learned this year it's that. The more you try to force-feed leadership, it's not the way it works. It has to be something that they are willing to do and have confidence with it and then more people join in and it takes off from there. And that's what we're in the midst of right now.

    On the two players from Ohio on the Hoosiers' roster (Tom Pritchard and Eric Arnett):
    "First let's start with Eric. There is a guy, we are going to miss him. We are going to miss him and this is going to be his last trip with us and then he's going to go back to baseball. (Head Baseball coach) Tracy Smith is actually letting him be with us a couple extra days because this gives him the chance to go home. I'll give you an example of why he has been such a special guy for us. We couldn't move him up because we had moved Kipp up. We had a situation the other day in practice where Eric was playing scout team and he was out for probably 30 or 40 minutes and he came back in because one of the other guys wasn't going the way we needed him to. And Eric came back in and went as hard as he possibly could and he made a difference inside the last 20 minutes of practice. And like (assistant coach) Tim Buckley said, that's why he's a major college athlete. He's gotten better. I told Tracy this last night, I don't know if it helps him throw his fastball any better but he `s gotten better as a basketball player. And I know he was already a competitor when he got here, but this has raised his competition level that much more for our baseball team.

    "And again, that's the beauty of Indiana, you have coaches working together. You have Tracy giving up a guy like (Eric) and a guy like Kipp for us to have them and help us out. And Columbus is his home so it's good that he gets to go home, even though he isn't going to get to play.

    "And Tom, it's like anything else, he made his mark in Ohio. He made his mark especially when (high school teammate and current Michigan State standout Delvon Roe) went down (with an injury during their senior year). They had an outstanding team and were very well coached, but Delvon Roe goes down and Tom Pritchard leads his way to being player of the year in that area. He's going to have a lot of opportunities for a lot more success here. So you always hope when a guy goes home like that, back to his home state, that he does well. But at the same time, no matter where we are playing, whether it's Ohio or Alaska, he's got to be a big figure for us. We are pleased with his development, there's no doubt about it."

    Freshman forward Tom Pritchard

    On going back to his home state of Ohio:
    "It's going to be great. I'm really excited about it. I've played in that gym a couple of times in high school, and I've played against a couple of guys on Ohio State's team too. It is going to be a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to going back."

    On when he played at the Value City Arena:
    "We played a McDonald's game on ESPN down there one time against Toledo Libby with Wayne Buford, who is on Ohio State. And then, we played a couple of tournament games. We played in the Final Four my junior and senior year, and I played in the state championship game my senior year, so I've got about four or five games down there."

    On which of the Ohio State players he played in high school are the toughest:
    "Wayne Buford. He really drove the ball against my high school team, and our guards were kind of struggling against him. He went off, and they ended up winning the game."

    On how important it is to play another game after a tough loss to Illinois:
    "It is really important, but I like how we practiced and we worked. We figured out what we did wrong, and we know what we did wrong. It is all about ourselves, not about our opponents. We're going to take that mentality, and we're going to be tougher. We're looking forward to doing that."

    On leaders stepping up on the team after the Illinois game:
    "There were two separate buses, but I think Nick (Williams) said he talked to a couple of guys, and guys have been talking to each other. I think leaders are starting to emerge. We need guys to step up, like Nick who I definitely see some improvement from in practice. He has been getting on some guys, so it has been really good."

    On B.J. Mullens:
    "I never played against him, but I've played with him in an AAU tournament. He is a pretty good player, and his length really helps him on defense."

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