Coach Crean Talks About the Golden Gophers
Feb. 19, 2010
Coach Tom Crean on the Minnesota game:
"They are a different team at home because they play so fast and I think that is the biggest difference. Williams Arena is a unique place and their crowd - they are really into it and they love their team. And that's what is great about this league - when you've got so many great on-campus arenas. But they are going to be hungry, especially after a big win against Wisconsin.
"We have to play hard and compete. That's what it's about. We have a lot of spirit and toughness inside and we have to bring it. When we practice that way, we need to play that way.
"I think it is important to have the mindset that we are going to have to be aggressive on the boards to be successful. We have to defend, especially in transition. Their guards are outstanding shooters who can get on a hot streak and carry a team at any point in the game.
"Our preparation has been good. We took Wednesday off and came back yesterday. Our practice was competitive and our focus has to start with the defensive end. They used a bigger lineup at times on Thursday, so we have to be ready for that. We also have to take care of the basketball. You can not let turnovers be the deciding factor on the road.
"The last five games we are shooting 76.7% from the line and Verdell and Christian are beginning to understand they can draw contact and help us at the free throw line. It is so important for us to try and get in the bonus as quickly as we can because when you are shooting with confidence from the line, the chance of you having an empty possession is much smaller and you can avoid those stretches where a team might put a run on you.
"We need to emerge as better post defenders all the time. We need to do our work early. We are giving up position too easily."
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