Men's Basketball

    Tom Crean Talks About Wisconsin

    Go Hoosiers! Head Coach Tom Crean
    Go Hoosiers!
    Head Coach Tom Crean
    Go Hoosiers!

    Jan. 19, 2011

    Coach Crean Podcast | Press Conference Video

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana men's basketball head coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Wednesday, Jan. 19, to discuss the Hoosiers' game against Wisconsin on Thursday. Here is a transcript of what he had to say.

    On Wisconsin:
    "Their balance is fantastic for a lot of reasons. They have the balance of inside outside, but they have the balance of ages. They never run out of leaders there. They're always grooming somebody for the next position and that was certainly going on when Dick Bennett was there and even Brad Soderberg, and then Bo (Ryan) has taken it to another level with that. They've always had the luxury to be able to redshirt. They've always had the luxury to have the key positions, the inside positions and certainly the point guard position, be able to learn and he never has had to play a guy before he was ready and I think that really pays off for them down the road. They really understand what he wants because they've been there for so long."

    On how Jon Leuer fits the Wisconsin system:
    "He's outstanding, but I think they all become fits or I don't think they make it there. I think that's one thing that he's such a good coach at is he's going to put guys and fit them into his system and he recruits that way. They are a true system, maybe as much of a true system as there is in college basketball and they have very talented guys. Certainly, he's done a great job. He's running more and more ball screens over the last couple of years because he has the ability to space his big men out like Jon (Leuer) and Keaton Nankivil, to be able to shoot the ball from deep range. He really doesn't put anybody out on the court that can't make shots. That's the luxury of being able to build that system over a period of time and allow guys to grow into it."

     

     

    On the balance of Jordan Hulls taking shots and running the offense:
    "There is no balance. It's really whatever happens inside of it is what we want to have happen. The one thing we can continue to try and do is manufacture more opportunities for Jordan and that's what we're going to continue to do, but Jordan's baskets and Jordan's value really comes in the flow of the game. The old adage of we like to have him get lost in the game, well we don't want him to get too lost. A great example the other night, first play there's an offensive rebound and it's kicked out to him, that is a no brainer, take that shot, but what does he do, he passes it to the top to start the offense. That's the kind of stuff that he needs to eliminate in his mind. The only guy that is not thinking about taking that shot is Jordan, in the sense of we need him to do that.

    "He's being more aggressive and I see it in practice. I don't worry about that, but I don't want to have games where he's not taking shots in the first half. I don't think that's good. That's not good for us, it's not good for him, and it's not good for our winning percentage. That's kind of who he is naturally. He wants to get the ball to other people. We could sit out there and run the Steve Alford screens the whole game and I'm not sure he's going to take that many more shots because that's just not what his mindset is. We've got to allow him to be a focal point without really trying to drive that home all the time to him because I just want him to play and be comfortable."

    On the difference in practice after getting the Big Ten win:
    "I don't think there's much of a difference from right now. It's more of a carryover and that's what the demands are. Any ounce of slippage this week has been addressed abruptly and directly. They need to understand that they need to play like that consistently. Our biggest problem has not been about players getting better, it's been about players getting tougher. You can't take the next step until your players are getting tougher constantly and we're trying to make sure that that's happening inside of these practices.

    "The toughness part of it is mental as much as it is the physical part and that's the carrying over into the games and that's what we did. We had a great week of practice. We had a pretty good week of practice before Northwestern and Minnesota. We just didn't carry it over inside of the game as much and whether it's maturity, whether it's mental toughness, confidence, whatever it is, those things, it's there and we just need to bring it forth."

    On if the energy is the difference between the Northwestern and Michigan games:
    "I don't know if it was that as much as they weren't ready for the onslaught that Northwestern brought. We weren't as good in transition defense and they didn't feel us on some of those shots. When you're playing a team like Northwestern, it's almost like you need to have five or six cups of coffee before you go out there. You have to have that kind of anxiety and nervousness. You've got to be constantly moving because that's how fast they're making their cuts.

    "We're really not changing anything. I know sometimes that may sound like it's not true, but there aren't a lot of differences. Last week we were able to really lock in to some weaknesses a little bit more and at the expense of spending time on offense, we spent a lot more time on transition defense and making sure we're getting 50-50 balls. We did the same thing today. We're doing loose ball drills out there. We're not going to change that. The game the other night was a step in the right direction for bringing your practice mentality to the game. Now we've got to do it on the road in front of a hostile crowd. As much as I'd like to be home tomorrow night, this is going to be a great test for those guys to see if they can carry over that mindset that they've been practicing with and what they played Saturday night with to a road venue."

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