Feb. 18, 2011
Video:Tom Crean Press Conference | Tom Crean Podcast
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head men's basketball coach Tom Crean met with the media on Friday to talk about the Hoosiers' game against Northwestern on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, in Assembly Hall.
"I think they played well last night. They had their energy last night, they were making threes, they were aggressive, they had their inside-out game going in the sense of the back cutting, the post-ups and three-point shooting. We think they are a very good team. They have done an excellent job against us. When they get their points where they want them, when they get 70 or above they are really good. They put a lot of points on us last time and we are going to have to play excellent defense while at the same time come down and not let their switching defenses, their combination defense, 1-3-1, disrupt us from being on the attack."
On having a week to prepare:
"It has been very good. We have had very good practices. There has been a lot of mixing up of guys and a chance to really work. I don't know if we have found a rhythm offensively but to continue to shore up what we need to do defensively, it's been a good, solid week to enhance some of the things we weren't doing well."
On the timing of the bye week:
"We have been able to get them some time. The word that comes to mind constantly is a combative mindset with these guys and they just have to have that. It has been competitive this week at times, combative. They just need to continue to understand that they can be a good team when they play that way. Their edge is in their toughness on defense, their ability to rebound, transition defense and getting the ball moved from side to side. Those are the things that have to be our edge and the things that we constantly have to coach and hope to bring throughout the entire game."
On keeping players in check:
On John Shurna:
"When you have injuries to key people, it's hard to get that balance. Your voice can be strong, your ideas, your game plans can be strong. But sometimes the most important strength a coach has is that chair. And that is part of it. It's also a learning process. It's not like they're not trying to. They aren't struggling with playing hard. They are struggling with understanding just where they have to be constantly. And then you also get guys thinking too much. We had a good week and so I'm anxious to see where it takes us."
"He is such a well-rounded player and his ability to get to the basket. He posts, reads how he is being played and certainly his three point shooting. He is like Jordan Taylor in that when the end of the clock winds down, Shurna and Thompson are phenomenal. They find a way to get the ball to those guys. He is a well-rounded player and a tough matchup because he is a so tall. He gets up on his jump shot. It seems like a different release but he gets up on it so it is very much a challenge to alter his shot. We have to do a great job of staying to plan and making his catches as tough as possible."
On defending the three point shot:
"It's a lot like Michigan. You can't be helping off of guys. You have to be so sound with what you're trying to do. You can't leave corners, you can't leave shooters. You have to play screens the right way because they're a great screening team. Those are all big factors inside of the game."
On the team adjusting to Christian Watford returning:
"I didn't think of it that way. I think that plays into it. That's part of it. As coaches, media members and fans, it's one thing for us to look at it and a whole other thing for those guys to have to adjust to it and play with it. Again because we don't have what you would call these seven or eight who are going to play and the rest are going to sit there and see if their name gets called. That's not how we've been.
"We have been very definitive this week and seen who the best defenders are and what gives us the best lineup. And the message to them constantly, unspoken is the more you're included on these things, the better the player you are. We are a team that is constantly looking at this. The more you can overlap and be a part of these teams, then you're the better players. We don't always have that. That's one of the reasons we have a long way to go still to get this program where your best players do it at both ends at the highest level. Not at a good level, but at the highest level. That's what they're trying to shoot for."
On defending Northwestern:
"You know if that's the way it looks tomorrow, we'll play small like we have in other games. We have to find a way to win the game. No matter what the defense is, no matter what the matchups are. It's up to our players to come out and take their belief that they can do what they want. Not the other way around. Northwestern will come in here with a heavy dose of confidence, and not just because they won last night, but because we did not make it tough enough for them to score there.
"We need our crowd support, the sellout crowd and all those kinds of things but our guys need to realize they need to do a better job defensively. As we go down the line, that's what we have done all week. We have practiced that way and we have been efficient that way. But now we have to come out and carry it that way."
On Christian Watford:
"I just want to see him continue to get better and be competitive like he was. I don't think he is thinking about his hand a whole lot. The two things he didn't get in the Michigan game were rebounds and free throws. Those are two things that he has to get. When he is clicking like that with some other guys and they are clicking on those kinds of cylinders where they are doing their best and playing to their strengths, we are a lot better team. At the same time, Will (Sheehey), Victor (Oladipo) and people like that have gotten better and hopefully that helps him on the court with more activity on the court but at the same time we can go with other guys."