Coach Crean Talks to the Media About Minnesota
Jan. 23, 2009
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head coach Tom Crean met with the media on Friday afternoon to discuss the Hoosiers upcoming game with Minnesota at Assembly Hall on Sunday. Crean discussed what the Golden Gophers will bring to the game on Sunday as well as some of the other efforts that are taking place off the court. He was joined by Jeremiah Rivers and Kyle Taber.
Here is a partial transcript of what coach Crean had to say along with Rivers and Taber.
For full audio of coach Crean click HERE
Indiana head coach Tom Crean
On Practice today:
On what points have been addressed in practice this week:
On Minnesota's defense and pressure:
"We have to have a game plan. Movement is what the key is. We see that half-court pressure; they do a great job of stopping you right around the half-court line, so we have to do an excellent job of making sure we're not too far on the sideline where it becomes a three-man trap. I don't want us to do a lot of thinking in this situation, I want us to do a lot of playing, moving the basketball, spacing the floor and we just have to attack whatever we're doing. We've got to attack. That might mean at the beginning of the clock that might mean at the end of the clock. But either way we've got to play with a little more force and a little more speed.
On the problems that Minnesota presents:
Junior guard Jeremiah Rivers
On what his focus has been: "Getting better, getting my teammates better and trying to provide a role in practice for them. I just try to prepare them and get them better.
On what he can say to the team:
"I tell them to be optimistic and to go into every game with a positive attitude. I really try to enforce their will to win. I know they get down and an eight-game losing streak is really tough. I am trying to deal with it myself. Even though I am not playing I don't exactly feel it as they feel it. I really try to help them cope, and if they need someone to come talk to I am there."
On the difficulty of watching from the sideline:
"It is pretty difficult. I always say game days are the toughest days because that is when you really realize you are not playing. Practice has been good and my teammates keep me up, and I keep them going, so we have a really good atmosphere out there."
On his game day duties:
"I am charting stops on defense, how many shots in a row we have, sometimes I take notes down about players on the other team I will be guarding next year. Sometimes coach wants me to give him ideas on who is feeling good in the game, who is not feeling good in the game. We just try to keep a good attitude on the bench. I try to give my input the best I can to coach."
On the opportunity to see the game from a different angle while sitting out:
"It is a completely different view than from a player's perspective. I am seeing the game from a coach's perspective. I think it has helped me out being able to learn the game more from a different side. You see things that you wouldn't necessarily see in the game. Anything I can do to give the guys an edge has really benefitted me."
On improvements in guarding the outside shot:
"I think part of it is an adjustment with them. They need to understand this is college basketball and (players) don't really miss too much. The transition from high school to college is a huge transition. You have a lot of young guys where in high school you could back off and let them shoot it, and the would probably miss it. I think we have been trying to break that habit, and we will."
On the team improving its ability to finish from close range:
"I think part of it is repetition. This week we spent hours on layups. It was really good for us. I think a lot of it is mental. You have to go out with a real aggressive approach. You can't be passive with your layups. You have to go in there and use the glass. "
Senior forward Kyle Taber
On the team's struggle with layups:
"A little of it is mental, but a lot of it is having the mindset to go up there, take the contact and score. And that is what we have been working on, exploding through the contact and getting used to playing against big, physical (players).
On remembering last year's loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament:
"That was a pretty crazy game. I hadn't really thought about it until coach brought it up (today). We are going to do everything we can not to let (Blake) Hoffarber shoot it because he can make some crazy ones."
On what to expect from Minnesota:
"(Blake) Hoffarber can shoot, I know (Al) Nolen is a good point guard and can get in the lane. (Lawrence) Westbrook is shooting really well and their big guys inside finish and rebound really well. It is going to be a tough matchup."
On preparing to play a team with great size:
"We just have to play harder than them. We can't get any bigger right before the game. You have to play harder for longer periods of time than they do. If you do that, you can make up for your lack of size."
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