Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks to the Media about Northwestern

    Go Hoosiers! Head coach Tom Crean
    Go Hoosiers!
    Head coach Tom Crean
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 24, 2009

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head men's basketball coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Hoosiers game on Wednesday at home against Northwestern. For full audio from today's availability, click the following link:

    Crean Audio

    Press Conference Video

    Here is a partial transcript of Tuesday's media availability:

    Indiana head coach Tom Crean

    Thoughts on Northwestern:
    "I think they are playing well. I don't think the other night (against Minnesota) was any indication of what kind of team they are. Obviously they were sick and they weren't themselves and that happens. I remember when the flu went through us a couple years ago at Marquette and it took us about three weeks to recover. And it came right at a time when we were on a great winning streak and I had it and the whole team had it, so I won't forget what that was like. So we aren't even going to show them the Minnesota game.

    "We expect a team to come in here that is playing to get into the NCAA Tournament and playing at a high level. John Shurna is playing at a much higher level now than when we went there the first time and his numbers indicate that. Over the last five games he is their leading rebounder and they are a strong team. And what we saw in that game, in what was a huge intensity game all the way through, is that when they needed to answer the call they did. They would make a shot or expose our defense with the back-cut and they make you play the entire time. So we have to guard them the entire time all the way through the possession. We've got to make sure we are doing everything that we can do to get to that point. And at the same time, I've got to be concerned that I'm putting out there (on the court) the most competitive guys and the guys that put winning first. And if you are going to put winning first and be competitive then it's going to give you a chance to play. And that's what we have to continue to work towards all the time."

     

     

    On carrying over the competitiveness:
    "We are not a naturally competitive group. It's part of the whole situation that we are in, it just is. There's not a group of guys that carry the torch for us day in and and day out and just make the practices absolute battles. It has to come from the entire group and it has to come from the coaches and my coaching staff is doing an amazing job of driving that home every day. And we have to continue to be honest with ourselves after practice and say who is getting this and who isn't and then go try to win the game."

    On Verdell Jones III improvement over the year:
    "He is trusting his pull-up jump shot. And we have to continue to get that same improvement in the defensive area. Any time you are tall and lanky like that, you are always going to be at a natural disadvantage when guarding smaller people. So what you have to do is work that much harder to be low. As he gets stronger that will improve. He has to work at keeping the basketball in front of him because he is real hard for people to keep in front of them right now because he is shooting a nice pull-up shot. He has to continue to take care of the basketball better and look to make the next pass, just as all of our guards do. The other thing that we want him to continue to focus on is rebounding the baseketball. But without a doubt, he is doing a much better job shooting the pull-up and he has really bought into that and that's something we spend a lot of time on and he is the beneficiary of that right now."

    On the team's progress made so far this season:
    "I think we have progressed, no doubt. I think you look at how guys are shooting the ball better and we competed well the other day. I mean we shot 50 percent from the field against the best field goal defense in the country because we got layups and we got the ball inside where it has to be. There's not really that you hang your hat on daily, right now, with a team this young, that you are going to get for sure, outside of playing hard. I think they have figured out that if that isn't happening then they are even going to remotely see the floor. The other parts of it, we just have to continue to take what the defense is giving us. But I think we have had a lot of improvement.

    "It's hard doing what they are asking them to do. With this record and not having a lot of success and things to fall back on from their past and things of that nature. And frankly, we are asking these guys to do a lot things that other places they wouldn't be asked to do. We have numerous guys out there that would be redshirting in other Division I programs, and I'm not talking about Big Ten level. But we just want to see everyone take advantage of it. We have gone out there and one thing that I know is that we have coached every guy every day. And there's not one guy that hasn't had an opportunity to get better and that's what we want to continue to focus on."


       

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