Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks About The Iowa Game

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 27, 2010

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Saturday to talk about tomorrow's game at Iowa. Below is a full transcript.

    Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean

    On preparing for Iowa:
    "Yesterday we spent a lot of time on us and I think that was really important that we went through the film from the other night and really had them grade themselves. There's the coaches grading, which we do, and we do every night right after the game, but it's very important that they see it through those eyes and we do that from time to time with teams and I thought yesterday was a really good way to do that. So they could see that that's not the way we want to play and it's really important that they continue to understand that because you've got to invest so many different things in this game. The worst person is somebody that invests a little and expects a lot. It doesn't matter what business it is, but it really gets you in college basketball. So we've got to keep investing everything that we possibly can.

    "Our practice was excellent today. We spent a ton of time on how we're going to guard them. The bottom line is they were tougher and more physical than us the first time and they felt they could be. We've got to be able to go into the game and I don't want to say they have to match us. We have to match them because they have the upper hand from last time we played. We're very concerned about (Aaron) Fuller. They shoot the ball really well and we've just got to a much better job in all those facets, defending the shot, guarding the pick-and-roll, and making sure that we're doing a really good job of getting into them defensively. Our execution has got to get better on the offensive end and that's something we spent time on today as well."

    On how players grade themselves:
    "The film does not lie. There's the old saying that the statistics accuse, the film convince. When you've got a team that you want to have on the floor, every once in a while and this is hard for me because I haven't had to do it very much, but every once in awhile you've got to give up the floor for the film room for an extended period of time and I thought that was yesterday.



    "I had my father-in-law speak to them, which was very good and was excellent. I think that was great for them to hear. My brother-in-law spoke to them the night before. I've got such a good family. I get home at 4:30 in the morning and my father-in-law's still up. John (Harbaugh) didn't leave here until 1:30 in the morning and he's at the 7:00 a.m. weigh-ins at the combine. I want them around that kind of inspiration because it inspires me and I'm in their family.

    "There's no lie in that. You didn't go to the glass, it shows up. It's one thing to see it on paper, it's another thing to see it yourself and have to call it out in front of your teammates. That's the only way. We don't have a real accountable group to each other. That's part of the maturity process of this team. It's part of the lack of leadership right now that we have. So the only way you can do it is to keep building those skills of leadership and when you have to verbalize what you didn't do well, you know what, it's important, it's not lying and it's up to me to hold them accountable next time we go out."

    On if players are surprised by any of the things they see on film:
    "You'd have to ask them. Most guys don't want to admit that. It's a mirror test. The mirror is a very, very tough place for people to go to because when you're on there in that film, it's loud and clear. When we're in a situation when our quality of depth is more consistent and it's in a situation where you don't understand that's two straight times you didn't go the offensive boards, sit down for awhile. Next year it might be sit down for a week, not sit down for a couple of minutes.

    "I want them to understand that they've got a chance to correct this right now. We told them after the game the other night that this is an incredible opportunity for you to take advantage of because it's not going to deviate. We're going in one motion. It's not there now. I know that, but you're fighting with me or you're behind. You're just not in the game and that's what I we've got to continue to develop. I want to see us do that over these next three games and be able to go into the tournament with that kind of mindset."

    On the team coming out ready to play against Iowa:
    "I told them today that as you grow up to be men, you've got to make yourself do everything you can do to have the best day, which means you give your best. The days of just kind of worrying about yourself, that's why the unemployment rate can get so high, that's why families can break up, that's why things go wrong. You can't just come out and worry about yourself. You've got to come out and have the ability to inspire your teammates. That's who people want to hire down the road, that's who people want to draft down the road, that's who people want to marry their daughters down the road. Seriously, I know it sounds corny, but they have to hear that. It's real. I sure wish I would have been hearing that sometimes at their age.

    "I'll be very disappointed for them, for individuals that don't come out tomorrow understanding that we better have some toughness and fight in this game. I'll be more disappointed because they're not going to play."

    On if the team is looking at a chance to jump Iowa in the standings:
    "I think that's all part of the equation. I don't think it's anything you can put anything too much on. See we were in the race and all of a sudden we lose that Illinois and Purdue game and that just took so much out of us mentally because we were right there. All of a sudden they kind of saw this race kicking away and we really wanted to be in the race. Well, I knew we weren't necessarily ready to do that at the level of some of those other people, but you want to be in it as long as you can. We should have been in it a little bit longer, but we were not able to overcome the feeling.

    "I think that's what really led into that week with Ohio State, and really with Northwestern after they got up, but with Ohio State for sure, which was our poorest excuse of an effort all year and Wisconsin it wasn't very good, but we didn't have a lot of things going right for us at that point either, with the sickness and all that kind of stuff."

    On players overlooking Iowa in the first meeting:
    "Yeah, there's no question. We prepared very well and we prepared hard, but it was on the court. The mind can trick you. I think they embraced success a little bit in those games. We won those two games and you try to have a team never read the press clippings and the magazines and all those things, but I think they got caught up thinking they were a little bit better than themselves. Our margin for error is so small, but it starts with how you fight and what your toughness is like. We got two hands shoved in the back and it wasn't called numerous times. Part of me as coach is okay now that team thinks they can do that to us. I take that personal, but the second part is that's this league. You're falling on deaf ears when you're asking for that. We've got to learn how to combat that. It's all about leverage and hitting first.

    "There are so many confrontations in a game. A confrontation is every time that shot goes up. A confrontation is every time there's a screen to be set. A confrontation is every time you set up for a screen. A confrontation is every time you have a chance to challenge a shot. A confrontation is every time you're around that rim and you go up and you've got to either escape the shot blocker, you've got to escape the hand, escape the body.

    "There are hundreds of confrontations in basketball games. Those are the ones you want to be on the upside of. We haven't done that as much and it's our lack of physicality. We're not like that out there in practice. I say to Tom Pritchard all the time, four days a week you're pretty physical, two days a week you're not so physical. We need to get those days reversed and when he does that he plays so much better. We're going to grow from it. There's no question they're learning. As we build it, if you're faint hearted, if you're not willing to be in those confrontations time and time again. I'm not talking about the verbal exchanges, I'm talking about body on body and that's the bottom line. That's how the program has got to move forward."

    On Iowa being tough to deal with:
    "They've got a really good frontline. Those guys are tough and aggressive. They've got a good team. This is a tough league. You look at Iowa and some of the things some of the other teams are going through. It's a tough league. Then like in our situation, we're rolling pretty good, we stub our toe against them because of the physicality and then we play lights out against two really good teams and lose by five points within about eight seconds. It's tough to overcome.

    "This is why in coaching we can be as positive, we can be as direct, we can be as negative, we can be anything you want to be. You can take it from one extreme to the other, but the players have got to truly believe that they can overcome it. That's why building leadership, that's why giving them as many different ways that they can learn leadership, and that's why absolutely recruiting people that have been through adversity in their life, that have overcome something in their life. Those are the guys you've got to find. You can talk all you want about leadership, but if you don't have that inner-toughness you're not going to be a leader. You won't have the respect. If you've got inner-toughness you've got a chance to lead anybody and that's what we've got to continue to develop in these guys because they ought to have it.

    "We had this conversation the other day that with some it's not in their DNA. I coached Dwyane Wade. It was in his DNA, but it wasn't in his mindset to come out with that combativeness and toughness every day. He had to get his skills up. He had to get kicked out of practice. He had to get the fundamentals up. That brought the confidence and all of a sudden all of that toughness started to come out once that confidence came. Well, you know what, he was surrounded by upperclassmen that could help do that.

    "That's why this has been such a hard thing because they don't have a lot of guys to look to that say yeah I've been through that, here's how you do it, so we're going through it together. At some point, it's like a fly-wheel, it'll kick, but it just hasn't kicked consistently. Obviously in this league, you get down a little bit and there's nowhere to go get your confidence up. Even as tough as the Big East was, there were some games you could point forward to and say well we've got a real good chance here, home or on the road. I haven't seen that in this league. Go ask Penn State if they want to be anybody's homecoming opponent. Nobody wants to deal with them, that's the bottom line."

    On the difficulty for players dealing with adversity after winning consistently in high school:
    "There's no question it's hard because you'd see more people that you could just inspire. The other thing is that we're not making a ton of shots and when you're not making a ton of shots that hurts your confidence level big time. That's why we've just got to bear down and get these streaks stopped. You can go to every game and you can look at it. I mean clearly, 12-9 the other night, all of a sudden 15, 17, 20-9, and we're not getting to the foul line, then Tommy (Pritchard) misses a couple, then Devin (Dumes) goes three of four. Those are the things that are hurting us. We've got to get these little streaks stopped. That's a mentality, it's intelligence, but it's a toughness thing. The ball has got to go here now. You're open, that's great, but we're going to go here. That's what we've got to continue to learn.

    "Our leading scorer went down. You're not just throwing it to one or two people every time and you know that that ball is going in. That's why we've got to continue to find more ways for those guys to get shots, like Verdell (Jones III), Christian (Watford), and I'd like (Jordan) Hulls to get a few more. We need (Derek) Elston to continue to step up the way that he has. There's a lot of room for growth, but is it hard, yeah it probably is. That's why I tell these guys that we're recruiting kids, as much as we can, that were raised on winning and not just individual instruction. We'll let the tennis coach and the golf coach recruit the way they have to recruit. We can't recruit that way. We've got to go recruit guys that have won in team sports and that have understood what it means to succeed and how to come back from failure."

    On the resiliency of this team:
    "They care, there's no doubt about that. We're practicing hard. We were an hour and a half on defense alone today and it's intense. We leave this film room yesterday and the coaches were saying that it was one of the most intense weight workouts that they've had and we haven't had bad weight workouts. They really care. There's resiliency, but what I'm looking for is more resiliency during the game. Anybody can be resilient after the game. We're looking for more resiliency during the game."

    On the team's mentality toward the end of the season:
    "We're fighting onward. You're fighting with me. I have a very clear vision of where it's got to go and there are a lot of times where it gets confused or it gets misguided. Certainly when you're trying to win games and you're trying to do whatever you can do inside of that game to win it, you've got to do what it takes to try to be in it that night. I wouldn't have the least bit of sympathy for somebody that was looking at this as just trying to get through the end of the year and if I sniffed it they wouldn't play, I promise you.

    "We're not looking to up there and play through a lot of mistakes right now. We don't have a complex game plan and it starts with how physical and tough you want to be. If you see a guy not hitting a couple of times on a block-out, you're probably going to watch him come over to the bench.

    "If I took the mentality of that, I'd be playing into the human element, which you can't do. I don't want the season to end. I didn't last year. I want it to keep moving forward. I want to see us continue to get better. I want to know, frankly, who I'm going forward with in the sense of really competing. That's a big deal to me. I'm evaluating in the short term, but I'm evaluating for the long term. This is not any fun for anybody, but it's fun to be out there watching how hard they work right now and building it. Again, you keep preaching you can't invest a little and expect a lot. It does not work that way. That's why our job is to make sure they invest a lot. Now it's up to them how much they invest mentally. We don't have any procedural hook-ups here to get into brain scans so they've got to be able to go through that."


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