Tom Crean Talks About Penn State Game
Feb. 27, 2009
Q: "Lets talk about Penn State and the challenges they bring to any team that they play in the Big Ten."
A: "Well Penn State all season long has played with great intensity, great force, great energy and certainly the three people that have done the bulk of the scoring for them would do it for probably just about any program in America. In the case of Talor Battle, Stanley Pringle, and Jamelle Cornley they feed off each others so well and they allow the game to be that much easier for everyone on their team. So we know we are going in to face a very, very tough challenge. With trying not only to defend those three but with the rest of the team, a team that can play stifling defense when they lock in and we are going to have to really make sure that we are moving the ball, getting the ball reversed, and getting great shots.
Q: What are you specifically looking for in your team at this time of year as you head into the last week of the regular season and go into to the post season? Is there anything you are maybe working differently and trying to get them focused on? What is really the philosophy of how you take these last couple weeks of the season in terms of preparation, and going over opponents that you've seen already?
A: The biggest thing is your mindset's got to be right and that's where the winning efforts come in. And winning efforts can lead to winning, ok, just as losing efforts can lead to losing but you have no chance to win unless the effort is there the right way. And that is exactly what we want right now and we don't feel that that has been there as good as it's needed to be. Over a few games in the last couple of weeks we need to make a better effort especially defensively and which will allow ourselves to get more stops and get us out and get the ball in our hands when we can get on the break. To come down and try and put ourselves in a situation where we can get the shot that we want. We are looking for the mindset to be as strong as it can be, continue to build fundamentals, and really just have the bulk of our time be spent on getting better defensively.
Q: With young players and the opportunity to travel to so many different cities for the first time, is that a place where you program and your guys can really learn how to bond and develop together? Is that what happened maybe with your programs at Marquette in previous years?
A: I don't think there is any question that that's a huge part of the experience process. Its amazing that any time we have had former players come back, especially those that have played in the NBA, they come back and they don't talk about the games, they don't talk about the awards, they talk about the time spent together on a road trip, in practice, in the locker room, on a bus, in the dorm rooms. Those are things they remember and miss the most. So I think the players greatest experiences are being formed right now and they don't even know it. Certainly, road trips are a part of that. You have no chance to be successful unless you do bond together in a very strong way when you are away from home and that's what we want to continue to have these guys learn and understand.
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