BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head men's basketball coach Tom Crean, along with freshman Cody Zeller and sophomore Victor Oladipo, preview the Hoosiers' game against Purdue on Sunday, March 4 in Assembly Hall.
Tom Crean On Purdue:
"I think they've opened up on both ends. I think Robbie Hummel's numbers speak for themselves in what he's done in the last three or four weeks. The points, the rebounds, getting to the line - his defense is excellent. They are getting great movement. They're aggressive on the offensive backboards, more than what that they've been and they're shooting the ball with a ton of confidence, and they are playing very fast. To me, their movement without the ball and the way the ball moves, is what really stands out about how they're playing, and they are defending at a high level."
On the atmosphere for Sunday:
"I think the atmosphere will be incredible. It will be one of the best that we've witnessed and deservedly so. Our fans are excited. They've been phenomenal for four years, let alone this year, so I think it will be a tremendous atmosphere. One where we've got to stay really focused on what we're doing - which is the game plan and how hard you have to play and how tough you have to be. That's what our focus is more than anything else."
On the seniors:
"They epitomize what happens when you really stick with it, when you work hard, when you're dedicated, when you don't expect things to be handed to you. I don't know all of the Indiana tradition, but I would think that the one thing that this group has done that stays constant with the Indiana tradition is none of them were ever handed anything. They've had to earn everything. No matter what the tradition was, no matter who was here, no matter what the records were - if you come to Indiana, you have to earn your way in and I think that's exactly what our guys have done. They've just continued to get better and better. They've been excellent citizens. These guys have continued to respond to everything that's been thrown at them and everything that they've been asked to do and they just continue to improve on it."
Freshman Cody Zeller
On facing Purdue for a second time:
"It's going to be a really competitive game. I think both teams have improved since the last time we've played. Both teams are playing well. It's going to be a great game, I think."
On coming into a rivalry game after beating Michigan State:
"We definitely don't want to have a let-down. It will be another big game for us because it's a big rivalry game for us. We want to end the season on a good note and hopefully that will carry us into the tournament."
Sophomore Victor Oladipo
On Robbie Hummel:
"He's moving a lot better. He's just playing at a high level overall. He's playing really well right now and his team is playing really well right now, so we have to come out and play at a high level in order to match their intensity and confidence."
On having a good game for the seniors:
"It's a big game for them. They've been through a lot. They've been here from the beginning of the hard times and it would be great to send them out on a good note. We do talk about it a lot, so we're just going to have to come out and remember that we have to take it one game at a time, but at the same time play at a high level so we can send them off on a good note."