Coach Crean Talks About The Iowa Game
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:
"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:
"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:
"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'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 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:
"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:
"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:
"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:
On the team's mentality toward the end of the season:
"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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