Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks to the Media About Northwestern

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

    Jan. 27, 2009

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Tuesday to discuss Wednesday night's matchup at Northwestern. For full audio of today's press conference, click the link below.

    Crean Audio I Crean Video

    Indiana head coach Tom Crean

    On carrying over the positives from Sunday's game:
    "It will be a totally different game tomorrow night. But the bottom line is that you have to be totally locked in to all five of their players. That's what Minnesota provides, there's really no one that you can look at and say `OK, we can back off him and not guard this guy that way.' You have to guard them because they have three of the better perimeter players in this league. And when you look at (Kevin) Coble, there may not be any body better at being an all-around player right now, as far a scoring from three, scoring from mid-range and scoring at the rim.

    "They are doing a lot of things really well. We played extremely hard (on Sunday). We weren't always efficient and there is a lot of room for improvement. We've had two really good days of trying to get that improvement and that's all we can really focus on right now - is that every day we are better than the day before. As of the last couple weeks we've been that way and hopefully that's going to transfer to a game here pretty quick."

    On what he's looking for from the Indiana offense against Northwestern:
    "What we've got to be able to do is attack it. It's almost like two different defenses. They play so well at the top of the key and above. We have gotten ready for it by going five-on-seven in practice. We didn't go five-on-six until the end of practice and we've never gone five-on-five because we have a lot of respect for their defense right now. So we've got to get through that initial onslaught of pressure and then we've got get it advance and then reversed. We've got our gameplan and we are looking forward to it. We've done a very good job the last two days of executing it (in practice)."



    On his concern for the back-door cuts in Northwestern's offense:
    "It's a huge concern. It's a very special preparation, very special preparation. We've tried to talk and this is where we have followed what we have done with all of our teams, going all the way back to being with Tom Izzo and going against Bill (Carmody) in a (second round NCAA game) when he was with Princeton. And it's the same thing every time we saw it at Marquette, especially against Georgetown. We've tried to build our defense the entire way and do our drill work the entire way and deal with something we have a lot of experience with.

    "But again, it's going to be the first time for these guys to see action like that, and to see it as consistently as they run it. Michigan has versions of it, but (Michigan head coach John Beilein) has his own offense - it's the Beilein offense and it's very good. Well this has been Bill's offense and it's Pete Carill's offense, it's been (Georgetown head coach) John Thompson III's offense and they have had a lot of success with it. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter what offense they run, he's got very talented players executing that offense. And what they do is they do so many good things defensively - they've created 40 more turnovers than they have committed. They are like Illinois' and how they assist on baskets. They do an excellent job of playing both ends of the floor."

    On whether it's more challenging because the team is so young:
    "It's the first time, just like everything else. We've had guys come in this year and not know what a `curl cut' was. It's just part of it. I don't put a lot of stock in it because it's something that you wish you had a week but you don't. We've done variations of it throughout the pre-season but now we are actually going to see it during the season. So we've tried to get them ready. The last thing you want - you want them disciplined - but you don't want them to be over-thinking because those turn into layups. And they are, in our league, as good of a layup-making team as there is."

    On Broderick Lewis and his emergence :
    "I just told him this a little bit ago. Obviously we believe in him or we wouldn't have him on the court. But it's the same thing now, he's worked his way in (to the rotation) and now the other players have all noticed that he's out there to take some of their minutes. So they have turned that up and they not only see him as a teammate but a threat to their playing time and that's good. Because now you are going to find out if he is going to fight a little bit and that's important right now.

    "All of the other coaches and myself have a sign in our offices that says `It's easier to climb than hang on." And right now he's climbed up and he got himself to where he's in the rotation for us. But at the same time he has to bring it that much more each day because people are that much more aware of him.

    "And frankly, he has to get better at the defensive end. He has to work harder in the post because we can't have it where we are giving up that size and strength and people of a bigger nature can just come down and post him up. So those are the things that we will focus on now with him. But I love his attitude and I love having him here and we think he has gotten a lot better, you guys have all seen that, and we think he can continue to get better."

    On the keys to containing the Northwestern offense:
    "This is where having Jeremiah in the program is like having another coach because he knows the intricacies of their offense and their defense so well. It is crucial that we understand that they are as good at getting handoffs as they are getting back-doors. They are going to take exactly what we give them. They are so well-schooled at how to read your body so we have to stay consistent with how we are trying to play."


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