Feb. 20, 2009
Indiana men's basketball head coach Tom Crean took time on Friday to talk with the media about the team's upcoming game at Purdue. To hear what Coach Crean had to say click here.
"In watching them play, the greatest compliment I can give to Purdue and how it relates to us (IU coaching staff), is that they remind me of our best Marquette teams. Relentless pressure on offense and defense. They score so much off of their defense, a lot more than they get credit for. They share the ball. They rebound the ball. You can see constant improvement in their players and they are just in attack mode. In Mackey Arena, they take it up another notch. That's been in obvious in the games they've had there. There are not a lot of weak spots in the lineup, in fact, we aren't finding any as we continue to look."
Talking about IU-Purdue rivalry:
"I am looking forward to this. It's been a great rivalry for many, many years. It is one of the greatest national landscape rivalries in all of college sports. I'm looking forward to years of it, no question about it."
Commenting on Verdell Jones III's recent play:
"He's making progress. We have to get the same level on defense right now with guarding the dribble at the point of attack and all those types of things, but he is improving. He is showing very, very strong improvement. He's getting better, and he did some very good things last night (vs. Wisconsin)."
Talking about the quick turnaround after a Thursday night game at home before Saturday's game on the road:
Speaking about only playing Purdue once this year and the idea of `rival scheduling," allowing IU to play Purdue twice every season:
"We've always banked on our ability to prepare in a short period of time. We will do some walkthroughs and things of that nature. But this is more about our demeanor and how we come out; what our mental framework is like and how we compete and attack."
"I'm not too disappointed about it this, but yes, going forward absolutely. With Purdue and us, certainly Michigan and Michigan State, I just think those rivals are great for college basketball. Hopefully that will happen over a period of time."
"I do think we are playing them twice next year, so we won't have to have that conversation for awhile."
Could the Knight-Keady Era of the IU-Purdue rivalry carry over to the Crean-Painter Era?
"I don't know, those things usually come about because of what happens on the court, it really does. Then you had such strong personalities and I was a fan of watching that as well. Matt's (Painter) done a fantastic job, he's built that program the right way."
"We'll see. I hope in time the games turn out to be absolute battles like they have been in the past."