Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks About The Wisconsin Game

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 24, 2010

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Wednesday to talk about tomorrow's game against Wisconsin at Assembly Hall. Below is video and a full transcript.


    Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean 2-24-10

    Opening statement:
    "Looking at Wisconsin, there's no question the first time we played them we had two guys that had the flu, but we played like everybody had the flu. Obviously you can't do that because they are very, very good. They're not going to beat themselves. They never do and neither do the best teams in this league and I think that's what we have to continue to learn is the mistakes that we make, sometimes out of effort, not as much out of effort. We had that week span where it did, but we're just flat out in a situation where we don't have enough developed depth for me to do the kinds of things that I need to do sometimes in minutes, sitting guys down, or guys playing through things. We've just got to keep developing our depth so that there's a time when we can do those kinds of things and lessons can be learned, rather than just on the court and playing through it.

    "That's where the injuries have gotten us a little bit and frankly we haven't had a lot of the young big kids, and I include Tom (Pritchard) in this, separate themselves. We've got four freshmen and a sophomore playing the bulk of the minutes, other than Tijan (Jobe), up front. There are times where guys play above and beyond, but we haven't had that separation and that's what we're going to have to get over a period of time to be better. That's what the other teams have and we've got to continue to do the best that we can do right now to play through it.

    "We've got to do a great job tomorrow of identifying their energy source, which I think is (Jason) Bohannon. They never put a player on the court that can't make shots and they are tough and physical. We've really got to be up on guys tomorrow and not allow that cushion for them.



    "Then offensively, we've got to come down and we've got to execute. We've got to look to score early, but if it's not there, that's exactly what Wisconsin wants. They want the time of possession to be in their favor as much as possible on that offensive end. If this was a football game, the difference would be astronomical and we don't want to allow that to happen.

    "Our guys continue to bounce back. There are a lot of learning lessons for them to learn inside of games and practices and film sessions. The energy is high, the spirit is high, the coaches desire to make guys better is high, and I think they get a great example of toughness and leadership every time they look at our assistant coaches. Every time they see Bennie Seltzer scrimmaging with them, I look out there and I say `man I've got to find a Bennie Seltzer somewhere'. That's what we continue to do."

    On Wisconsin with Jon Leuer in the lineup:
    "I don't think they're much different. They can shoot when he was out and they can shoot when he's in. (Keaton) Nankivil is still capable at any point in time. It seems like he's made more threes lately, even on the road, than he has at home. They just know exactly what they want and they wait until they get it and they wait for you to make a mistake if you're not disciplined and if you're not into that regimen of defense and really staying alive with it.

    "It's a different style Princeton offense. His offense is his own and he's done a great job with it. The Princeton offense, the Georgetown offense we called it back at Marquette, they wait for you to make a mistake. I think Bo's offense, the swing, is much the same way and he's got players that really understand that. He's been able to build that over a long period of time and if guys don't get it, they sit down. It's a heck of a luxury. I'm looking forward to the day when that comes. I don't think they're a lot different. I still think they're really, really good and I think he adds to it because he's a legitimate post-up threat too."

    On Wisconsin's dribble penetration:
    "They all dribble. They all can drive the ball. You've got to get up on top of them. They want you to help. Bohannon gets a lot of threes off his man's help, which means you've got to be able to guard the dribble. We're continuing to implore to these guys that to be able to move forward in this program, you're going to have to be able to defend and you're going to have to be able to defend the dribble, defend the drive. That's part of the evaluation scheme of what we do moving forward, but right now, we've got to get better at that continually. Some of it is because obviously we're not as athletic as some of these guys that we're playing, but then again it's more about discipline and it's more about angles. The athleticism we can't do a lot about in February. The discipline and the angles we've got to continue to build upon."

    On limiting Wisconsin's time of possession:
    "They got too many offensive rebounds. I think (Mike) Bruesewitz had half of his offensive rebounds against us, in the league. I say that not knowing exactly, but I haven't seen him rebound like that since. They got offensive boards and they scored off our turnovers. I think that's what it was more than anything else."

    On how this team learns from past games against an opponent:
    "Not very good and a lot of that's toughness and maturity. We have a long way to go there, but there are signs of it coming. Again, when you're all in the same boat, the way many of these guys are, roughly in the same age category, but I'd be lying to say that I'm not disappointed with our evolvement of leadership. What they have to understand is there's not one guy on the offensive end or defensive end that can do one thing to carry us. It better be together.

    "The same thing goes with our preparation. When you make adjustments and when you come back and when you get ready for a team the second time, you have to have that. Jason Bohannon got all those points on us because his teammates found him. They play a very strong team game. There's no secret why the teams play best in this league right now. They have a toughness about them defensively, for the most part they control the defensive board, and they really move the basketball. I've never been in a league that puts more guys on the floor that you cannot cheat off of and it's amazing. Always part of our theories, defensively, where there were certain places that we can double with this guy, we can back off a little bit here, we can cheat in the lane here, we can put this guy in the box, we can put this guy at the foul line and all these different defensive schemes. You can't do that in this league right now, not with the teams we're playing against. I hope it happens. They can do it to us, but we can't do it to them right now. That puts a damper on your defense. What it really does is it makes your individual defense be so much more important and you're ability to communicate.

    "We need to just continue to learn, and it's getting late (in the season), but continue to learn how to cover for one another. That's where I'm struggling. I'm losing perspective and patience in that, but again, I'll come back tomorrow and we'll be ready to go. We come back tonight and it's a walkthrough and a film session. You just keep trying to drive it in. I promise they might get tired of hearing all those different buzzwords and all those different phrases and things, but they're not close to as tired of hearing it as I am saying it. We've just got to continue to get it inside their heads that this is how we're going to play moving forward."

    On the usefulness of the bench:
    "There's nothing that gets their attention more, there's nothing. You can play psychologist, you can play psychiatrist, and you can sometimes playt optometrist. That's in a sense what happens. I don't think you really understand that until you're a head coach, but I've understood that, really, since my third year. There were times we sat Dwyane Wade down. There was one time, his first year playing, we were playing Saint Louis and they were guarding him very well. They were tough and physical with him. Brad Soderberg, I think, was the head coach at that time, who had been at Wisconsin. There were six minutes left in the game and I said `Well you know what my man, we're going to find out if we can win without you.' He said, `What do you mean?' I said, `You're not going back in. We're going to win without you or we're going to lose without you, but either way you're not going back in.' We didn't and Travis Diener ends up hitting a three and we end up winning the game by four. If you can make that lesson known with a guy that's turned out to be one of the best players in the world, well then you can do it. But I had a guy like Travis Diener who I knew could go in and make threes.

    "I'm not mad at anybody. I want guys to get better. If I become patient with them, that won't serve them very well for now or for the future. I know I've been asked this other times and I give the stock line about being patient and I don't have it in me. I don't have patience in me. I've got more than I thought I had, but I don't like it. I don't like the patience. I want guys to get better. I want street fighters and the more that we can help them develop that, the better we're going to be. If it can't be developed then obviously we've got to move in another direction. You cannot win in this league, you cannot win in any power conference without guys that are absolutely willing to lay it out there every night in the games and play through adversity.

    "I want to recruit guys that even though they haven't been through it, they've been through something in their life that helps them understand that life is not easy. There again goes the psychology part of it again. We're having so many lessons to go through here. I want some guys that will come in with some lessons. Life is not about swimming pools and country clubs and all those kinds of things. There's a place for that. We have an excellent tennis coach and an excellent golf coach, I'm not that person and I can't coach individual players that way. We've got to get guys to be tougher and come along collectively better. We'll get there. We've made a ton of progress. We are making progress and I expect to see more."


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