Jan. 25, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head coach Tom Crean, along with seniors Tom Pritchard and Verdell Jones III, and sophomore Victor Oladipo, preview the Hoosiers' game at Wisconsin on Thursday, Jan. 26.
On what makes the "Swing Offense" so difficult to prepare for:
"What I think they do a really good job of is play out of that offense. They read situations and the defense, they don't just run the offense. And then at the end of the offense, they do a great job of is go to the pick-and-roll and they are a very good team scoring late in the shot clock."
On the confidence of this year's team and their ability to defend:
"I think our defensive awareness, communication and alertness will be critical. It's always a grind it out type of game when you play them."
On Indiana dictating the pace of the game and how to do that:
"We have to play to our strengths. We want to run the floor and push the ball. We want to take good shots and we need to make sure we are making the extra pass."
"Defensively, we have to have great communication and be ready to defend every situation. I think they would prefer go later in the shot clock but we have to be alert because they will take the opportunity (to go quick) when it is available."
On Berggren and Brust and the problems they present:
"Berggren provides more athleticism than he gets credit for. He is a terrific shot blocker and rebounder based on his length and his athleticism. He is also a guy that can play outside the 3-point line so you have to defend him out there. He is a very good post-up player that can score over both shoulders and he can shoot the 3-point shot.
"Brust is the instant offense guy off the bench. He can shoot it all the way to the old hashmark and beyond. He is also a guy that if you close out poorly on him, he will drive right past you or break you down and shoot a pull-up.
"Gasser has great experience from starting in the Big Ten in the past, even though he is listed as a sophomore. He is more like a junior in terms of the number of minutes he has played in this conference. When he is open, he is a very good 3-point shooter and a guy that can drive to the rim and is one of the guys they would classify as a defensive stopper for them."
On facing another high level point guard like Jordan Taylor:
"I think you would be hard pressed to find a league that has the level of players at one position that our league does. He does a great job of leading his team and he has confidence in each of his teammates, but if he needs to look for himself to score, he will."
What makes Wisconsin such a tough team at home:
"I think it has been their players and their style and how they play together as a team. They have really embraced the concept of protecting their home court and playing well at home. A lot of people have had difficulty in the Kohl Center. We have to go in there and not let them take us out of our game and how we want to play."
Senior Tom Pritchard
On what the team had to focus on when playing Wisconsin:
"Something coach has been talking to us about is that all of their players go for 50-50 balls and are really aggressive. That is the part of the game that we always want to win - the 50-50 balls - and that is something we need to focus on Thursday."
What makes them so tough:
"They are versatile and can attack in different ways. We have to defend every possession and work together offensively."
Senior Verdell Jones III
On the confidence playing against Wisconsin's offense as a senior:
"I think we are a lot older team and have played them for three seasons now. We are more accustomed to what they like to do and what their players like to do. I think our coaches do a terrific job of preparing us.
On what makes the Kohl Center so difficult to play:
"The fans support they always get is one thing and with it being a hockey arena as well, it is always a little colder in there. And just the aura of going into Wisconsin and their great record there."
Sophomore Victor Oladipo
On the importance of Indiana dictating the pace of the game:
"It is going to be very important. They like to play their base offense and use the shot clock and have it be a slow-paced game. If we play a high-tempo game and score, then hopefully we will have a better chance of being successful."