Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks About the Badgers

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 12, 2010

    Press Conference Video

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Friday to talk about his team's upcoming game at Wisconsin on Saturday.

    Opening statement:
    "First thing we are dealing with some sickness and I don't think we will have Devan Dumes on this trip. He has the flu. Steven Gambles is getting over an issue back at home with a sick grandfather. He is with his family right now.

    "I like our mindset. We took yesterday off, which I thought was incredibly important. Some guys were in the gym, but it certainly wasn't required. It was a day to free their minds. Today it's load our minds back up, and that is what we have done with our individual workouts this morning, with our practice. They will finish some shooting and lifting and then we will get on the plane and go.

    "I think they know and I know we know as coaches how tough a task it is to play someone like Wisconsin. Not just because they are at home, but because of how they play. They are a very efficient team. Bo [Ryan] doesn't put anybody out on the floor, like some of the other teams, that can't make shots, that can't make threes. Their big guys shoot the three extremely well, in the sense of Keaton Nankivil and Tim Jarmusz. He has the ability to go deep into his bench, though as of late he really hasn't. They are just very efficient and as good a team as we have seen, at A, wanting to be in the shot clock, but B, executing in the shot clock. Shot clock defense in this game is imperative, because they get into it quite a bit. It's their style, a style that they like and they are very good at that style.

    "We know that we got to go up there and play not only hard, not only competitively, not only smart, but with great energy. I'm very encouraged with our guys. Their mindset is regrouping in a good way. They have put a lot of work into this, without the results to show for it, and that's what makes it hard sometimes. Like I said the other night, they haven't had enough successes to fall back on to really see sometimes, why they have to keep playing that hard. At the same time they don't have enough in their experience tank as of late against some of these really good teams that we are playing, to understand that we can get it done. There is no other way to look at it than every game is another experience to build for the short term and to build for the long term."



    On playing teams like Ohio State and Wisconsin being an opportunity for the team to grow:
    "I think it's huge. When you are this young, every experience is overly magnified. It's not the first time necessarily, but its all part of this era of learning to play college basketball as a freshman, and the sophomores. The hard part again, and I think this is where the mental part of it, and I saw Jim Caldwell make a point before the superbowl about the mental to physical ratio is 10-to-1. I think Bob Knight was famous for saying it's 4-to-1. They are right, and the more you coach, the more you see that. I just think that it's a whole gambit of things they go through. They have had success, they have been very close to success, and sometimes when you come that close the taste, it takes that much more out of you. We have had some very bad locker rooms after games, sadness and dejected and all those things that come into it. We just have to deal with it. It comes down to are you more determined every time you come back out to be better, can you get more focused. Every once in a while you have to get away from that and it was good for them to do that. We will have to continue to do that. I need to keep remembering a lot of times, I don't want to give them any excuses, but they are very young guys. When you don't have the heart and years to fall back on, sometimes it's important that they can break away. That being said, we also have some sicknesses we have to deal with."

    On the confidence of the team:
    "You can't dwell on it. If we look at everything Wisconsin does really well, and we looked at their whole record and all those thing, why would we even get on the plane? You can't do that. You just have to look at who they are, look at what you can try to do against them and that's what our focus is. We have played them enough in the past as a coaching staff to know some of those pluses and minuses, but then you have to be able to fit it, according to what your team can do at that given time. We didn't take the day off yesterday. We all went recruiting last night, we didn't take the night off. I think everyone is really looking forward to going and seeing where we are at."

    On a short turn around to prepare for Wisconsin:
    "We could have a week. We used to have a week at Marquette sometimes. We might play on a Saturday, have exams, and not play until the following Saturday. We could work on it every day, with the exception of the day off. It doesn't matter how much time you spend on it. They are so good at executing. He knows exactly what he wants to get, and he has the versatility of knowing where to get it. We have to be able to counter that. Cramming in everything is what you have to be really careful of with a team like this that is going through this kind of stretch. We turn around and we come right back home again for another really good team that runs a lot of stuff. You try to make it as much concept oriented as you can and it's not that as much as with Wisconsin because they have a really strong system. Its like Northwestern, you can't get so caught up with the system that you loose sight of the fact that they have very good players. Like Northwestern, Bo (Ryan) never puts a guy out there that can't make shots and that's a really strong suit for them.

    On what the team needs to focus on
    "You can't relax. They are the best open jump shot shooting team around. You can't relax. You have to be very locked in on the shot clock, and more so than any other game thus far and even last year. They have range, so you can't back off. If we short arm shooters, if we are not locked into what they really want to get in the shot clock, and we don't have our hands, because they do so much back cutting. The swing offense has so many screens. If you get away, if you relax, they make you pay. I think those are the biggest things we need to focus on defensively. Offensively we can't expect that those driving lanes that we usually get are going to be there. They do a very good job of taking that away.

    On not having Dumes on Saturday:
    "It's going to be one of those games where we line it up and see who is healthy and ready to go. Their mindset is excellent, and that was what I was most concerned about. Like I said, I'm not sitting up here making predictions, but that's the bottom line, we have to learn how to play through the adversity and until we continue to go through it, I trust the process. I trust the way we are trying to get them through it, but it's really a mental thing. We got beat off the dribble so bad the other night. When you start thinking so much and getting down, getting frustrated, it's the worst kind of fatigue you can have. I don't think it was physical. There is some physical fatigue obviously, and it's a long season, but far more mental fatigue. That's why they got so many easy baskets, and our communication was so poor."

    "I loved our game plan on Evan Turner, but we didn't do enough things to give us a real chance, and they got too many easy hoops."

    On who can step up as a perimeter scorer:
    "We went through this last year. There's nothing you can do about sickness and injuries. When things come up, things come up. I can't dwell on that. We don't have a lot of margin for error anyways. You just have to keep creating opportunities for other people. That's what people committed to winning do - they see an opportunity, take advantage of that opportunity, and that's what you hope you get. And if you don't get it, you hope you are that much closer to having it the next time."


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