Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks to the Media About Iowa

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

    Feb. 3, 2009


    Indiana head coach Tom Crean met with the media on Tuesday to talk about Wednesday's matchup with the Iowa Hawkeyes in Assembly Hall. Below is a partial transcript of Crean's comments on Tuesday. Click the following link for the full audio from today's media availability.

    Crean Audio I Crean Video

    Head Coach Tom Crean

    Opening Statement:

    “We are looking forward to playing in front of our fans, our fans have brought so much energy and I think tomorrow night more than ever we are going to need it because it is starting to wear on these guys a little bit.  The fact that they are working so hard but they aren’t seeing that success for it.  But they are working hard and that’s what we are going to continue to try and focus on and we keep trying to remember as coaches all the time that it’s not their fault that they don’t have leadership out there that is older and more experienced outside of Kyle and we just have to try and keep making them feel as positive and be as motivated as they can possibly be – with young guys out there that haven’t been through it sometimes that is easier said than done.   And I have been proud of them to this point and so excited about what our fan support has been like and as we continue to get that, I know that it helps us so much when we are in these games.  So I’m looking forward to playing a very good team, a team we had a very good battle with the first time in the first league game at Iowa, and we know that they are going to come in hungry, excited and anxious to play. 

    "I know that we are getting better, but I think that they are getting better as well and we fully expect to see Cyrus Tate tomorrow night, who did an excellent job against us the first time.  Iowa causes a lot of problems because they attack the middle and they utilize the spacing as well as anyone in the league right now.  They play out of the corners and Jeff Peterson is on par with anybody in the league right now as far as penetrating defensive minded, great-presence point guard and we are going to have to match that, and I’m not quite sure how we are going to do that yet.  I know how we have practiced, but we have got to match that point of attack and we haven’t done that all the time.  Right now that point of attack on offense and defense is so crucial and that is what Jeff Peterson is doing so well – he is making and helping all those guys really get open looks and open shots so we are glad to be playing them.  I’m glad we didn’t have to wait a week after a tough game we had Saturday and we will go from there.”

    On how he feels it is wearing on the team:
    “Oh I just think it’s hard for them to do this.  I know how hard it is for us to do as coaches but we have each other, we see the big picture and we have been through it.  We’ve got wins, we’ve got championships, and streaks – good streaks – those kind of things are all in our background at some point or another, and they don’t have that right now.  So you can only bring so much of that to them, so we just have to continue to stay focused on building their fundamentals through repetition, through competition, through all those types of things.  But they are anxious to play, but at the same time they get beaten down a little bit.  There is no question about it and again that’s why I say that the fans have been so phenomenal at helping them stay positive, stay upbeat, and really believe that they are going to win games.”

    On how he can tell the guys are still working hard:
    “Well, I think that there is sense of urgency, but there’s sense of purpose and you have to continue to stay with that.  Again this is not anything that we are going to walk in everyday and say that this is status quo and everything is great lets not make changes.  That’s not what we are here for either.  We are here to get this team better, to improve them and we are also here to see who has the moxie to last through this and be in for the long haul, and that’s part of it, and I think everyone knows that.  I mean we aren’t just trying to put a team on the floor, we are trying to bring back one of the greatest programs of all time and certainly that’s easier said than done.  And when you have fans like this, that’s what gives you real hope that it’s going to get to that point again.  Because I know how hard everyone is working, but at the same time, there is no acceptance in there of poor habits – we want great resolve and you have to teach guys how to do that.  You know they have already played, and when you look at the practices or the games, this is far more than what they are used to obviously.  We are well into hitting the second wall and heading for the third, I mean that happens with young players, and you’ve got a team of young players with no one to pull them out of that. 



    "But that’s what we are working towards and my coaches just receive tremendous credit for the way they come out there and compete, and now that we have Roshown back, so Roshown made a point today – earlier in the day – when a couple guys missed him he said ‘I’m the best player on the floor’ and no one could disagree with him.  And it was good to hear that, he’s out there with one and a half hands right now, but you know that every little bit helps us but at the same time we want to see them get some reward for their hard work.”

    On what he has done to motivate the players this week:
    “Oh I think the same type of things, you know we are at maybe the tipping point of are we going to talk to one another on the floor and come out of these shells that we have or are we just going to let it happen to us.  And I’m disgusted with the lack of communication that we have on the floor, there is no other way to put it.  I am disgusted with it in practice, I’m disgusted with it during the games.  Now I’m not disgusted with them, I love working with these guys and I love how they want to continue to get better, but we’ve got to quit shooting ourselves in the foot on things that we can control – communication.  We don’t need to over-help building that defensive mindset.  Those are all things that we work on, on a daily basis, throughout everything that we do.  And again the things that we are asking, we have to grow into it, we have to grow into it, but we have to grow into it pretty fast.  We aren’t all of a sudden going to become a lot more athletic, we aren’t all of a sudden going to become a lot more overpowering and we know that.  But the things that we can control, we have to continue to work towards that and I want to walk out there and see a group of guys that are more upset than we are because of the lack of defense in the second half.  And it’s my job to be critical of them, it’s my job to protect them in the sense of what I think is a good-call/bad-call things of that nature.  I know that I’m not coaching how I would really like to coach sometimes with that because I am so concerned about being a part of a problem rather than a solution in the sense of it becoming too emotional, but we have to see right now who is really going to lock down and decide that they can be a lot better and we can be a lot better in certain areas. 

    And we have guys that are trying to step up in the way of leadership, but we don’t have that consistently.  And that’s what’s hard, when you don’t have anything to fall back on right now.  We don’t have those wins to fall back on inside of the league and we just keep them going daily.  I’m not saying anything to you that I haven’t said to them.  It’s a little different tone in here than it is in there, but we are working, we are getting better there’s no question about it, but we have got to start taking care of the things we have been working on since day one."

    On the defense in the second half against Ohio State:
    "Well, in the case of Evan Turner, we didn’t do a good job denying the ball.  We don’t have a match up for Evan Turner.  We wanted to be in a certain type of defense when he caught the ball, and even though we were in a different defense, we wanted to have the lane covered more than anything else.  We were playing the box and one out of our zone.  You know we wanted to have the lane covered which would cut those driving lanes down for him, cut his vision off at the rim, and at the same time try and make it tough for Diebler.  But Evan Turner figures things out, and it is hard to cheat off of anyone at Ohio State; you have Buford, you have Jeremie Simmons who is shooting the ball extremely well right now and you always have to pay attention to the big man. 

    "It was a combination of us not reading their screens as properly as we should have.  You know shooting the gap on the second screen, and I said this last night – the screens were moving on the baseline in my mind, there is no doubt about that, but we’ve got to be able to overcome that and go over the top of the screen rather than running into the screen.  So those are the types of things that we just need to continue to understand and they made some very tough shots, there is no doubt about that.  We made some tough shots.  But we need to have more resolve on the defensive end."

    On Iowa's recent play without Cyrus Tate:
    "Well I think their guys have really stepped their game up without him in there.  Jeff Peterson was very good and very much a focal point when we played them in January and he is even that much better a month later and doing an excellent job.  We can not let him create havoc in the lane, which is what he wants to do.  At the same time, he can create that havoc in the lane, get to the rim and drop it off for the big man or find the shooters.  And right now Eric Fuller is playing with great confidence, Matt Gaetens has been and continues to be one of the best freshmen in the league – I mean you don’t even look at him as though he is a freshman right now with the way he is playing.  And Jake Kelly continues to get better – he has been an outstanding go-to guy for them when they need a basket late – or for some of those full court situations that they have had at the end of halves and at the end of games.  So they are very good, and they are just a product of what we are; we are in a very good league. 

    "You may be a better judge than me, but this league is outstanding right now, and everybody continues to get better.  That’s the good news for us, but it is also the bad news.  We are getting better but so is everybody else.  And we just have to be better at the things that we can control, and that’s the communication, and a little more physicality, even though we may not really have the body to do it, we have to have the mind to do it, and it has to be on the defensive end."



      Check back soon
      Indiana Sports Properties