Men's Basketball

    No. 1 Seed Indiana Talks About Sunday's Matchup With No. 9 Seed Temple

    Go Hoosiers! Cody Zeller
    Go Hoosiers!
    Cody Zeller
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 23, 2013

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    DAYTON, Ohio - Head coach Tom Crean along with Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford and Jordan Hulls met with the media on Saturday in Dayton to talk about Sunday's game against Temple in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament.

    The complete transcript of what each had to say is below:

    Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
    COACH CREAN: We know we're playing against a team that can compete with anybody in the country because they have, when you look at the people that they have played this year. It's like a who's who of people that are in the NCAA Tournament, when you start to look at Duke, Kansas, Syracuse, and certainly the people that are in their league.

    So Temple, for six straight years in the tournament and Fran Dunphy having the great track record that he has as a coach and the track record in this tournament, is extremely strong.

    We've just kept trying to look for any similarities that we can bring to our team from our league, and it starts real quick when you get with Wyatt, and you can start making comparisons to Trey Burke and how he plays and how much the ball is in his hands, and not only the way that he shoots it but the way that he delivers it. And we're used to that. Khalif Wyatt takes a backseat to no one in the country right now when it comes to being a complete guard.

    So we're going to have to do an outstanding job there, but much like any other great team, if you spend too much time on one part of the team or one part of the game, then you're going to shortchange it in other places. They are really, really good.

    We saw firsthand when we were in Puerto Rico, when Christian and Jordan and Derek and Maurice were freshmen, just how good Jake O'Brien was when we played against Boston University, when he was there playing for Pat Chambers, and we're very familiar now with what Jefferson means to their team, what Randall means to their team, DiLeo, Cummings.

    They're just an all around tough team, and they epitomize toughness to me because they extend possessions, they get back, they make it tough for you to score, they move the ball, they can drive it.

    There's not a ton of things that you would say you're getting ready for in all the different offensive things they do when it comes to all the different plays, but you certainly have to get ready for how good their players are, and it's a tall task, there's no doubt about it.

    Steve McClain has been on top of this since Sunday night. We feel like we're all pretty well versed in it right now. Our team is well versed with more time to get ready. Just like anything else this time of year, you've got to bring your best. You've got to bring your A game and your A attitude to get ready to play. It sounds corny, but it's true. That's exactly how we're approaching this.

    Q. Coach, this team, did you feel a sense these guys understand the clock's ticking each time the ball goes up for them, playing together? Christian said he just wants to play as long as possible with these guys. Do you feel that sense with them?
    COACH CREAN: Maybe. I'm not locked into that. I'm more locked into just are we treating every part of what we're doing as the most important thing.

    I'm sure that plays into it, absolutely. I want to be around them. So it factors in for me. The reason they're in the position that they're in, the reason that they won the league the way that they did is because they really do they bring their preparation. They bring their focus. They bring a togetherness. They bring it all the time. I think that just continues to compound.

    Certainly, you want it to be at its peak this time of year. So if that helps put it at its peak, then I think that's really good.

    Q. Hi, Coach. Good start for the Big Ten, 6 1 in the first game. Is that kind of what you would expect? Is it nice to not be beating up each other right now?
    COACH CREAN: I think the Big Ten is outstanding. I don't think there's any question about that. Nobody could argue it. To just watch just the little bit that I've watched and I didn't see a lot of the Michigan game, but I saw enough to see that they were out flying around and attacking.

    I think, again, I think the league prepares you for everything. Everything and anything, like I tell our team all the time, and I'm sure the other coaches have their own statements of how they view it, but it really all comes back to that.

    So no surprise whatsoever with how the Big Ten is playing.

    Q. Tom, I know that you know senior night was an emotional night and just about what can you just talk about what that senior class has meant for the program and how they'll always be able to come back and know that they had a huge impact on the revival of the program.
    COACH CREAN: They've established a legacy, there's no question about that, because they were the ones that came back, and still in a short recruiting period at that point with them, even though we knew some of them a little bit longer.

    But they were the ones that came back that had other opportunities to go other places, and they came because it was a great tradition, because they felt they'd have an opportunity, and even at that point, they had no true idea what they were getting into.

    To have all of them be the ones that had to go through it without the upperclassmen, without the leaders in front of them, showing them the way, teaching them the way, helping them. I mean, I always knew that that was a big deal, but now when you look at the last couple years, the way our juniors and seniors have helped the young guys, then you really realize how much they missed.

    It's like a part of their childhood they'll never get back. When you come into a program at that age and you are expected to go into this great, bona fide, excellent league from top to bottom and compete in it night in and night out and be held responsible and accountable for those results without ever going through it before with anybody to show you how, that's a really big thing, really big thing.

    So I think it shaped them. I think it's helped them. I don't think there's any question that they've all grown. I think there's an uncommon bond with those guys, and it's fun to see. I've been around that uncommon bond before, and years later you see how it still manifests itself. Especially with being an assistant at Michigan State or being the head coach at Marquette, you see that come to life. And I don't think it's going to be any different with this group.

    Q. Could you share a story or maybe some insight into how ultracompetitive Will Sheehey is. He was in the locker room, and it was locked up tighter than Fort Knox, and everybody asked him about scouting reports.
    COACH CREAN: I'm not that's probably not a good area for me. I just love Will's competitiveness, and I love his attitude. He's a force of energy. He's one of the best athletes, combined with smarts and competitiveness, that I've ever been around, that I've ever had the privilege to coach.

    He gets better. He's been a huge, huge part of how our work ethic in the program, along with Victor and Jordan Hulls, was established, where if you weren't in the gym and doing extra you felt guilty because those guys were. But they're also a great example of what happens when you do spend that kind of time. Will takes a backseat to no one when it comes to extra work.

    What he has is really unique. He's got an incredible future. I think he's going to be an NBA player, but when basketball is all said and done way down the line, he'll be one of the finest coaches that I could imagine. If he wants to do that. I mean, if he ends up wanting to do that down the road.

    He's got such an attitude and ability to see things and talk his teammates through it, that when he does that, it's like having an extra player on the floor. It's like having an extra coach on the floor in practice, for one thing. But he's got a real, real sense of what it takes to be successful. So that's why I appreciate him so much.

    Q. Coach, you mentioned Khalif Wyatt and his offensive capabilities. He's not the biggest or strongest guy, but what type of elements of his game make him so hard to defend?
    COACH CREAN: Well, he knows he's really good. I don't know the young man, but he knows he's really good. You can tell that there's no moment that's too big for him. The bigger the stage, it doesn't make any difference, I would think, just to have the success that he's had.

    And he can do he can get it to the rim, he can score on a pull up, he can make 3s from range, and he can find his teammates. So when you have somebody like that that can hurt you and beat you from so many different aspects of his game, that makes him that much more of a dangerous opponent.

    They've got an excellent team. They get great spacing. You can't become so locked into him that you forget about everybody else, and that's going to be the real key.

    Q. Your senior starters played sparingly, Coach, up to 10, 20 minutes for most of them, and Temple starters played up to 35 to 40. How much does that affect them in terms of fatigue and how much you want to run the court?
    COACH CREAN: I don't think it changes as much this time of year. I think time outs play into it and the 20 minute halftime. I think all that adds into it.

    We've tried to pace our season for times like this, plus you want to develop the quality of your bench. There's been some days it's been good. There's been some days it hasn't been as good. But you want to develop that. You don't want to wear out your starters because you want to play at a certain pace. But I don't know how relevant that is this time of year personally.

    Q. Coach, I know he's affected the team in other areas throughout the season, but how important has it been to have Remy shooting the ball the way he has the last few games off the bench?
    COACH CREAN: Remy has been fantastic, and he just continues to work on his game with great diligence throughout the season. He's had some real good moments and stretches for us, but certainly in the last few weeks his confidence has continued to soar again.

    It's important because then it's like we've got when he's playing the way he's capable of, it's like having seven starters.

    Q. Tom, can you elaborate on coaching against Fran Dunphy. Not sure if you ever did when you were in Marquette, but what does that element add to this game?
    COACH CREAN: No, I haven't ever had the chance, but I have a lot of respect for him. He's always treated me really well. I don't know him great, but we have some mutual friends, and he's just an excellent basketball coach.

    You watch his teams, and now especially watching them but I've watched them since Penn. Watching his teams now, you just see there's no they're not going to get surprised. They're not going to beat themselves. They're going to have an answer for everything. You can just see that in the quality of their play.

    And there's a poise under pressure. Again, I think that all stems from him and from what I observe.

    But this time of year, you're going to be going against great coaches all the time, and there's certainly no question that he is and has been one for a very long time.

    Q. Can you reminisce a little bit about your early encounters with Victor. What do you remember? What were your first encounters like with him, his family, DeMatha?
    COACH CREAN: I'll give you the things that stood out. The humbleness stood out to me. Certainly when you see him on the court, the burst, the athleticism, his act to play at the rim.

    I've got my three or four favorite baseline out of bounds or sideline out of bounds dunks I've seen him get, whether it was with DeMatha or with Team Takeover. And really it all stemmed from the humbleness. Very inquisitive. I think that's why he's so respected by so many people, not only his peers back there, but his coaches.

    Some of the people that he's closest to were not only his head coaches but his assistant coaches and people that were parts of the staff. Victor has always epitomized one of those people. He treats everybody with great respect that he comes in contact with. I don't think a title you'd be hard pressed to find a manager that wouldn't have the greatest things to say about him and the way that he treats them. That's just the way he is.

    Now, that comes from how he was raised, there's no doubt about that. When I as I've gotten to know his mother and through the recruiting process and certainly more now and I see his sisters and I see the bond that they have.

    And I was sitting with him last night having something to eat. Cody had come in after everything was done to grab something, and Cody and Victor were sitting there, so I wanted to get permission to sit with the two All Americans, because I never had two All Americans at once, so I got to sit at their table when Victor's mom called. Just to be a fly on the wall and listening to them having a conversation and him asking about his sisters. That was one time for me and that probably happens twice a day, maybe three times. That's just who he is. What you see is what you get, but what you get is a guy that's got an incredible desire to be successful, never at the expense of anybody else, but always knowing that his work ethic is going to be the thing that drives him.

    He wants to see others be successful. He wants to be successful, and he never stops working to make that happen. I mean never stops working. And everybody sees the rise of the player, and we've always had the student. He's always done a great job in school. What I've seen is the rise of the student of the game and the way that he really, really studies the film and absorbs and tries to take things away.

    And he's never in there just watching tape. He's in there studying the game. And it's the same thing when the film session is over and there's an NCAA Tournament game on. He's the same way. He's not just watching it as a fan.

    I think all those things are going to really serve him well down the road.

    Q. Tom, I have kind of an offbeat question. One of my colleagues is doing a story on Dwyane Wade. He's had an outstanding season this year, but LeBron has kind of overshadowed him. Wondering your thoughts on his season this year and also being part of the Heat's streak that they're going through.
    COACH CREAN: I think the last guy that would look at being overshadowed by one of his teammates would be Dwyane because of the comfort he has in his own person. Dove's got the new commercial with him, but he should have done the one "I'm definitely comfortable in my own skin" one. Though I love the one with his two kids.

    But he is. He loves to win. He's always been like that. He was the best player on our team at Marquette, but he had a drive that endeared him to his teammates. It didn't infuriate or scare his teammates, it brought them together. It moved them up. He could take coaching and needling from his teammates. I have no doubt that at the age of 31 he's doing that probably better than ever.

    He sees the big picture. He always has. He always has. Especially his first year when he was sitting out. Because if you don't see the big picture, there's no way, if you've had basketball taken away from you the way that it was, that you really can endure that the way it did. He could see the big picture. He could see the future. I think that's why he made the honor roll that year, first semester, because he knew there was something out there for him.

    I think he's like that, whether it's business, whether it's the basketball part of it, whatever it is, he sees it. But he's very detail oriented, and he knows the best thing I can say about him too is he wants to be successful, but he wants others around him to be successful because he knows if they are, he will be too. I think he's had that for a long, long time.

    Q. Any thoughts on the streak?
    COACH CREAN: On the streak? I think the way they win, I think you can see they've got all the parts put together, and, again, when it's somebody's turn in the game to be hot, whether it's Shane Battier, whether it's Chris Bosh, whether it's Dwyane, whether it's LeBron, they let that happen. But as soon as it's time for somebody else to make a play, that team lets that happen.

    What you see, to me, is three things: incredible unselfishness, a great toughness, and a team that fuels so much off of their defense. I think when you have those three things, then you have the confidence that they're winning with.

    Q. Tom, I asked Jordan Hulls about this, and he wasn't aware that he's tied the record for most games played at Indiana. Can you talk about how important it's been to have that kind of consistency out of Jordan and just the fact that he doesn't take into consideration his individual accomplishments.
    COACH CREAN: That's funny you say that, because we knew he was close a couple of weeks ago, and Christian was close to the most starts, I believe, at Indiana. I don't know how I would epitomize that. He has been everything we could have asked for from the beginning because, if you had a chance to see Senior Night, that's exactly what it is.

    We have such family oriented guys that that helps them become it doesn't make a difference if they have the traditional family or the nontraditional family, but they're very family oriented, and certainly he's got a very traditional family.

    What happens is he comes in, and from the very beginning, he's made his family part of our players' families, especially when we had some distance kids at the beginning.

    For him to have had the career that he's had and having at Indiana, for him to do the things that he's done, for him to continue to grow and get better, for him to continue to be the teammate that he has, when he's had issues this year, it's because he's pressed too hard, because he wants it too much because almost sometimes he's trying too hard, that's because he wants to win so bad, and that's because he wants his teammates to be successful.

    I think when you have somebody like that, he's already established his place, like Christian has, the older guys in the history of Indiana basketball, and deservedly so.

    Jordan is one of those people you could always point to and say this person always came in here and gave his very best, and at the same time wanted his teammates it's really a common theme with our group. There's an unselfishness to them, and he's a huge part of that.

    Q. Coach, you have never faced Temple in your career. How much respect do you have for that school as a university and an institution? Both Temple and Indiana have amazing basketball histories behind them.
    COACH CREAN: When I was at Michigan State, I had chances to play Temple. Been there at the new center when Coach Chaney was there and Pepe Sanchez and people like that.

    If you love basketball, you love Temple. How do you not? It's a great basketball program. Steve Addazio is a friend of mine. So I follow Temple football and appreciate what he did there and was following Al Golden before that. Being on the East Coast enough and being able to recruit and being by it, I love it.

    It reminded me a lot of Marquette, and I love those kinds of schools in a sense where the basketball program is so big and it's such a big deal to so many people and it's such a big deal to the city.

    I think what Fran has done is he's gone in there and he's made Temple continue to be the biggest thing. It's not about any one individual or about any one part of it. It's Temple basketball.

    I read something where he was showing his reverence again to Don Chaney. That's a coach's coach right there. They've got great tradition. If you're going to characterize the program, you've got to characterize it with durability, you've got to characterize it with toughness, and you've got to characterize it with fearlessness, whether how they play or how they've scheduled all these years.

    Q. Coach, you've rebuilt the Indiana program from the ground up, but you had the Indiana name and the tradition behind it to do it. Florida Gulf Coast hasn't had any of that, and they knock off a team that you guys beat. Just your thoughts on their win yesterday.
    COACH CREAN: I didn't get to see any of it. I just heard the score. Florida Gulf Coast have you ever been there? I don't think it's hard to recruit to that campus. It's pretty nice.

    They've done a great job there. Dave did a great job before Andy came in there and building that up, and taking a program and getting it to come up and getting players and getting a few transfers here and there and scheduling big and getting some money in the program. Now it's going to get harder for those guarantee games.

    But they've just built up the profile. And, again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It's real easy to sell a place like Indiana, but you can only sell it so much. The people who are around you have to be able to see that too, and they have to be able to sell it, and your fans have to do it.

    I think it's going to be exciting for Florida Gulf Coast now. They've had some big wins over the last couple of years. It's been building.

    We played them in some of their earlier days, especially at Marquette too with the Division I, so you got to see them kind of coming up.

    It's a great situation right now that, if you really believe in your program, if you've got a great staff, if you get some people around you that believe in it too, you're going to attract other great players because people want a chance to come in and win, then you've got games like that. I think it's great for the game, even though I love what Georgetown does too.

    When we played Georgetown, you just knew they were going to get nothing but better. I didn't watch the game enough to have a comment on how it played out, but I just saw the score.

    Q. Just as a point guard, what does Yogi Ferrell see that other guys don't see? Just in terms of his quick vision, his ability to find guys. What does he see that other guys don't see?
    COACH CREAN: I like that he's always learning. I think it's real easy, when you've had a lot of success at the age that he's had it, is to really become locked into this is how it is, and he's not like that. I love I saw somebody wrote where somebody must have asked him about his high school coach, who I just think is brilliant. And his high school coach, he talked about some of the things he learned from him.

    That's how he is. It's not just us looking out at his coaches saying this guy is really well coached. It's them remembering it. So I think it makes it easier for you when you're adding things to it.

    I think he's got great vision. I think, when he lets the game come in the sense of giving it up early, whether he's got a drive, throwing it in early, he's learned more and more that it's going to come back to him in a very advantageous situation.

    And the more that you try to make something happen, the harder it is. The more you let it happen because the ball has moved and you're creating these one on ones all over the court, then you see that great burst of speed that he has.

    He works really hard on his shot. There's nobody in the last month of the program that's spent more time than him there's some that's spent as much time but nobody has worked harder than him on his shot, being there at night, being there on off days. A very, very hungry player.

    Still, to me, he's going to continue to be a great player. I don't know if you were at that game when they played North Central at North Central. And watching him pick apart a defense and find people in all corners and just deliver the basketball the way that he does, he's just got a great, great gift of he can see it and then he'll trigger it right away.

    Even today when we were going through the film, there were a couple of plays that could have been made better. He sees that, and he responds to it, and he usually carries it right out the next day. So the short memory thing is the biggest thing to me. He gets over success, and he gets over failure real quick, and he moves right on.

    Q. Coach, you started at the beginning talking about comparisons of Temple and the Big Ten, and I look at just statistically there are three teams that probably Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois that shoot 3s as often as Temple does. Is one of those three a close comparison?

    COACH CREAN: Well, no. We've just tried to compare more with the individual players and the way they play. I think Temple can beat you a lot of different ways, and I think that's why they're so dangerous. They can go inside. They can rebound misses. Big, big thing is going to be not allowing them to extend possessions the way that they do with the rebounding. They do an excellent job of that.

    I don't know if I'd compare them per se to one team. I think there's lots of bits and pieces you can take, but you just try to give your guys a baseline. As we're studying the film, hey, this is similar to what he did. This is similar to what he did, those types of things.

    But I think they also watch enough basketball to know. They know about Temple, and they know about Wyatt, and the older guys know about O'Brien from BU, and now they're all real familiar with the rest of them in a short period of time.

    Victor Oladipo, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, Cody Zeller
    Q. Victor, I know you faced a lot of good offensive players over the course of the years, a defensive stopper. Can you just talk about Khalif Wyatt's game and what presents a unique challenge in slowing him down, a guy who likes to get to the line a lot.
    Victor Oladipo: He's a really good player. I've been watching him throughout the year. He's the best player in the league. That's why he won Player of the Year in that league.

    He does a lot of good things well, a lot of different things in order to score the ball. If I get drawn to him in an assignment, I'm going to have to do a good job of slowing him down in order for us to win.

    Q. Victor, we talked to you at Selection Sunday about just being in this region and the opportunity to play in D.C., if you guys made it to the Sweet 16. You're one game closer now. Does that put even more, for you personally, into this game?
    Victor Oladipo: No, I don't really think so. I know me and my teammates are just focused on tomorrow's game and the task at hand. If we're fortunate enough to get to the next round, then you know it's going to be an exciting experience, but there is no next round if we don't get the job done tomorrow.

    Q. Is defensive stopper a job that you've been drafted for, you volunteered for? How did it all develop?
    Victor Oladipo: It was just that way all my life. It's kind of hard to explain. Growing up, I didn't really have any skill set or ability to shoot the ball or dribbling ability or anything of that nature. All I could really do is play defense. That's what I had to do in order to get on the floor.

    I've just taken it with me wherever I go. I've been fortunate enough to grow, when I got to Indiana, grow as a basketball player. But at the same time, I realize that defense is what I pride myself on.

    Q. Victor, one more. If I get that assignment, you really think there's any chance you don't get that assignment?
    Victor Oladipo: I mean, it's up to the coaching staff. I can't really tell you, so that's why I said if.

    Q. Cody, what have you seen from Temple inside and what you can do to stop them tomorrow, or what do you guys want to take care of tomorrow?
    Cody Zeller: They definitely have a skill base, especially with O'Brien, that can step out and shoot it so well. They put five guys on the court at all times that can score. That presents a lot of problems for trying to stop them. We're definitely going to have our work cut out for us in that area.

    Q. Cody, this is the first time Indiana's been seeded as a 1 in 20 years. I was curious if there's a different level of expectation different level of pressure, I should say, for you. I was curious if you talked to your brother Tyler about being a 1 seed and what it's like, if that prepares you at all any better.
    Cody Zeller: I didn't talk to him about being a 1 seed. We've been dealing with expectations all year. So ever since even last year at the end of the NCAA Tournament, we were I think the day after the National Championship game we were named the No. 1 team for this season, so we've been dealing with expectations all summer, throughout this year. So it's a mature group that has dealt with it pretty well, and nothing has changed much. We don't worry about it.

    Q. Victor, when you see or hear about the tournament upsets and being in a position of being a No. 1 seed yourself, it's a given that you want to win, but does it go through your mind that you don't want to be one of those teams that's on the wrong end of an upset at this stage of the game?
    Victor Oladipo: Yeah, definitely. We want to go in this tournament and be successful. That's the beauty of this tournament, is there's so many good teams. If you're in this tournament and playing at this time, you've got to be good, which is why you've got to be ready to play every night. That's why the Big Ten prepares you for it. It's so great. You've got to be ready to play every night, or you can lose at Penn State or Michigan State. It doesn't really matter. So we're just going to go into Sunday's game and be well prepared and focused.

    Q. Jordan, what kind of defensive challenges is Temple going to bring to you guys, and maybe do they compare to anybody that you guys have played this year?
    Jordan Hulls: If I had to compare them to anybody, I guess I would say Michigan, but then Vic was saying the Big Ten prepares us for a lot of different things. Cody was mentioning how they're basically going to step out and shoot the ball, so we've got to be locked into our defensive schemes and try to do our best to keep them from doing what they want to do.

    Q. Jordan, I know you're not a big individual accomplishment person, but obviously tomorrow you'll get the chance to be to set the record for most games played at Indiana. Just talk about what that accomplishment does mean to you.
    Jordan Hulls: I didn't even know about that, but I mean, that's pretty cool to be able to say that. Growing up in Bloomington and being able to play for my hometown university has been pretty special for me. I couldn't have done it without all these guys up here with me and in the locker room back there. It's pretty cool, but I'm more focused on getting the win and what we can do in order to do that.

    Q. Cody, yesterday you guys played pretty sparingly in terms of playing time, only 10 to 20 minutes for your starters. Temple starters played upwards of 35. How is that going to impact the game tomorrow?
    Cody Zeller: I mean, I don't think it's going to matter too much. I think both teams are in great shape. We played a lot of guys yesterday, but this time of year, you get a lot of adrenaline. I don't feel like I get too tired in games like this just because they're such big games. I don't think it should be that big of a deal.

    Q. Christian, could you comment on scoring 1,700 hitting 1,700 points for your career? Also, now that you're in the tournament, do you think about each game being not only the last game of the season but your last game in Indiana?
    Christian Watford: It definitely goes through my mind. I want to play with these guys as long as possible, but as long as we win, I'm not really concerned about how many points I score or anything of that nature. I just want to continue to play with these guys for as long as possible.

    Q. Christian, you guys going into the James Madison game talked about how many seniors they have, and Temple has a lot of veterans as well. What makes veteran teams so dangerous this time of year?
    Christian Watford: Just the experience. We know Temple's been in this tournament for the last six years, so we know they've got a lot of experience, a lot of tournament experience. But any team playing around this time of year is a great tough team, so you really can't take them lightly or anything like that.

    Q. The last three games, Remy has started scoring more than he had been. Have you guys worked with him confidence wise, or has he just been more aggressive, or what's been going on with him?
    Christian Watford: I think he's kind of taking his time a little bit. The game is kind of slowing down a little bit for him. He was kind of pressing a little bit early on, but he kind of settled down, and he's playing within our system, and he's taking great shots. Hats off to Remy. He's definitely worked hard at it, and he's been with us working hard all year.

    Q. This is for Jordan. What do you remember about Jake O'Brien from Boston University when you played him in Puerto Rico?
    Jordan Hulls: Scored a lot of points against us in Puerto Rico. So we definitely know he's fully capable of being a great scorer. It's a different team obviously. Our team is totally different. But as far as we're concerned with him, we know that he's very capable, especially after watching more and more film on him. So we've just got to do a good job of being locked in.

    Q. Also for Jordan. You guys like five different guys that hit 3s in the first half yesterday. Does it open up more for each other when you're getting it from multiple positions?
    Jordan Hulls: Yeah, definitely. Especially when we get penetration in the lane and driving and kicking and getting layups. That's just going to eventually open up the 3 point shots for us. It's something that we work on, and we're a good 3 point shooting team. So it's always good to see them go in.

    Temple Head Coach Fran Dunphy
    COACH DUNPHY: We're excited to be in the Sunday game. It's a great win for us yesterday, knowing full well what the challenge is as we play Indiana tomorrow.

    There's a reason why they are a first seed, because they're a terrific basketball program and team. And I think Coach Crean has done a terrific job of putting them in that position.

    Q. Fran, when Tom Crean was talking yesterday about the matchup, he was saying he wasn't sure if this was right, but he thought he read somewhere that you guys were so are such an intense program, such a detail oriented program, that you didn't even watch most of the Selection Show because you were in a meeting rehashing something from the previous game. He wasn't sure if that was right, but I was curious if that's actually accurate.
    COACH DUNPHY: We were a little wounded from our first round loss to UMass. As most of us coaches do, we put some ideas in our players' minds. I really didn't know where we would be. I didn't want our players to be distraught if we weren't in the tournament, and all the prognosticators were saying we're okay, but you just never know.

    I just sat in my office. I was doing some things and saw where we were, and then we all got together and walked into a room where all of our fans and alums and band and cheerleaders were.

    We just weren't sure. And the reality is you have no control over where you're going, who you're playing, or any of those things. And when I saw it was NC State, we got our staff together and just started to prepare for that game.

    I'm not sure I don't think we're any more intense or any more loose than any other program. Everybody does it differently, and in this tournament, everybody's done it pretty well.

    Q. For the second straight game, you're going up against a high scoring opponent. Is the approach the same as it was last time, try to keep it below a certain point level, total?
    COACH DUNPHY: I don't think you have that option, to be honest with you. I think every game takes on a different personality. It may be a low scoring game; it may be a high scoring game.

    Like for us yesterday, we played very well defensively in the first half, knowing full well that NC State was going to make a run at us. So there are stretches of game where you've got to manage the game. There might be possessions where we get our best look at ten seconds on the shot clock. We may have to wait 30 to 35 seconds to get a decent look at it. There may be some possessions where we don't get any shot at all. So it depends on that.

    I also think that how we run our offense will dictate how we play our defense. If we shoot good shots, then we'll be in pretty good floor bounce because one of the concerns about Indiana is that they push the basketball on makes and misses and they have great transition game and they find each other very, very well.

    So we have to be prepared for any style of game tomorrow.

    Q. Do you anticipate any Khalif having any limitations as it relates to his thumb? How important is having him play well in this game?
    COACH DUNPHY: I think, as he goes, we go many times. He's such a not only a great scorer but he's such a terrific play maker. He'll be a little tender probably on that thumb, but as we went through our workout today, he rested when he needed to and caught the ball pretty well. I think always the big concern is how you catch the basketball when you have any kind of injury like that.

    I don't think it's real severe. The doctor looked at it today and taped it up, and he did pretty well. So I don't think it's a huge concern. Even if it were, he's not going to let me take him out of the game. He wants to play.

    Q. Fran, I wonder about the matchup potentially tomorrow with Khalif and Oladipo, what your thoughts are there. Also, when you did see where you're playing, in UD Arena, and you've been here, the familiarity, did that do anything for you?
    COACH DUNPHY: As far as the arena is concerned, it is a familiar place for us. We had a very good victory here this year, probably one that was disappointing for the Dayton crew. It was just one of those crazy games at the end, but we were pleased to have it.

    So we know the area a little bit. We know the facility. Those things, if they matter, there's many, many stories out there that the teams just arrive on the scene, don't really do much practicing, and make every shot they take.

    I thought we shot it really well yesterday the first half, struggled a little bit in the second half, and vice versa for the NC State guys.

    That part of it is kids, they take on the role of whether they want the moment or not, and we'll see who does.

    As far as Oladipo is concerned, he's a terrific basketball player, and his defense and length and speed and athleticism will be difficult to handle for us, but hopefully we'll get our share of looks if he's on Khalif, and hopefully Khalif will be able to make some plays for his teammates as well. But he's a really good player.

    Q. Jake O'Brien's played pretty well for you guys over the last month. What's he meant to you lately for this run? Also, what was it about him that made you consider him as a transfer?
    COACH DUNPHY: First of all, he's such a high quality individual. He's obviously a very good basketball player. He has some unique abilities as a big guy because he can step away from the basket and make shots. That's not necessarily what we had going for us at the power forward and center position, so we needed that kind of attribute in our program. And we needed a power forward of sorts, and I think he's really gotten better defensively.

    One of the things that happens is he before you can make a shot, you've got to know how to get a shot, and he's been getting his share of shots recently, much better than he did early on, whether that was him getting used to us or vice versa.

    But he's really added a great dimension to our game, and he's done a terrific job.

    Q. Khalif, I believe, was a two star recruit, only had a few offers, and now he's the A 10 Player of the Year. Oladipo was ranked 144 in his class, and now they're the two better players in the country. Is that him being overlooked? Is it player development? How do you explain that?
    COACH DUNPHY: I'd like to tell you it's all player development and me and my staff are killing it with player development. I think it's just a little bit of luck.

    I think you see things when you watch Khalif play as a high school kid, he had a unique, unique game, and now you just needed to talk to him all the time and harness this thing and let him go sometimes and bring him in other times.

    He's just developed over the years. I think it's just a natural maturity that kids go through. What he did have is a fearlessness as a high school player. That might be as important as anything out there because of the competitive nature of what it is we do. Respect everybody but fear nobody, and that's what he does as a basketball player.

    And to get back to the ranking, we'd all like to get the top, top guys, but it's not always going to happen. So when you do get somebody that has that little piece of something that you can work with, then you take advantage of it.

    Q. Fran, the A 10 is having a nice run in the tournament. Can you just talk about the varying styles in the league and how that might get you ready for the tournament?
    COACH DUNPHY: I don't know we're any different than any other league. Everybody is the same. Each league is really competitive. I think ours this year was absolutely superb.

    You had St. Louis, who won the league and just a great defensive basketball team, but also had the ability to make shots when they needed to. They had great balance and great depth. VCU had a terrific season as well. When they turn that pressure up, it's really difficult to play against. So that's another style of play.

    There's 16 unique styles. There are some similarities, but they're certainly unique styles. But I don't think it's any different than most leagues. We're playing against a Big Ten team, and it's a great, great league, top to bottom.

    So is it good that our league was so competitive? Yes. In terms of the style of play, I think we all have to go through ranges of style of play.

    Q. You mentioned Khalif's unique game in high school. Could you describe that a bit more. Did any part of you feel you were taking a risk on somebody given maybe his unorthodox talents?
    COACH DUNPHY: No, I don't think so. We needed a good player, and we needed somebody who could score points. He didn't play a lot as a freshman. He was just getting used to me and me him. We didn't hit it off all that great when he was a freshman, but he hung in there and stuck with it. And his sophomore year he was the Sixth Man of the Year in our league because he was a dynamic scorer and he could just he could make plays.

    Again, not only can he score, but he can make plays. He makes it easier for you to run your offense. And when it breaks down, which it oftentimes does, especially against a really good defensive team, you need individual talent, and he had that. Despite the fact he's not the fastest guy, he has a degree of quickness, but his IQ is off the charts.

    Q. Across college basketball last year, we saw a huge rise in the number of transfers, a record number. A lot of them are playing prominent roles in the tournament this year, including Jake O'Brien. What are your thoughts on the trend? Has it been beneficial to college basketball? Do things need to be changed at all?
    COACH DUNPHY: I think it's equal parts troublesome that so many kids are looking at different schools to go to, and when the immediate gratification of playing doesn't hit, everybody wants to take off. So it's a lot of work for a college basketball program to work with kids and make sure that they understand that their time is going to come.

    Jake's a unique situation where he had Boston U was leaving their conference, so they weren't going to be eligible to go to the NCAA Tournament, and he looked around for some opportunities. I talked to his coaches, and they were great about it.

    We had him down for a visit. It clicked, and we made it work. Again, there was some getting used to, though. It wasn't like it was instantly something that was going to be easy to work with. He's a great guy. It's just us getting used to each other.

    But it's troublesome, and yet it's what's happening today. You've got to get there's so many changes in our sport, whether it's the conference issues or the transfer issues. You've got to get ready for change.

    Q. Fran, two questions that are completely unrelated to one another. You mentioned the Dayton game. You guys were trailing late in that game, and with about three, four minutes to go, you pulled Khalif out. The majority of the comeback in that game was with him on the bench. I wonder if that about a week later, you guys started winning. I wonder if you think that might have had some kind of impact on the team as a whole. My second question is, if the dynamic is any different for the team being here, basically the entire administration is back in Philly running the weekend there, so it's almost is it more like a road game than a tournament game, in that sense, for the team?
    COACH DUNPHY: No, I think it's a tournament game, and everybody's not at their home site. So it's not that big of a deal, I think. Our administration is doing a great job of running the tournament in Philly. We have other administrators who are here. Our president will be here tomorrow, who was at Indiana before he was at Temple University. So that will be fun to see.

    As far as the Khalif issue, I think any time your best player sits down for a little bit and the other guys pull together and do a great job and really influence the game, I think it helps in many ways. I think it helps both groups. I think it helped Khalif, and I think it helped the rest of our guys to know that they can do it without him in stretches.

    Although they're smart enough to know that over the long haul they need him. And he needs us too. I think we all need each other. We're family, and we need to take care of one another.

    Did it help us? Yeah, I think it did in many, many ways, and I think it helped Khalif.

    Q. Fran, I just wanted to go back to what you said about maybe you and Khalif not clicking at the beginning. Why was that, and how would you describe the relationship now?
    COACH DUNPHY: I think it's of great respect right now. But I think in the beginning he had his way of doing things and I had mine. We were trying to get together on it, but he was a pain in the butt sometimes, you know, and he'll be the first to tell you.

    But he's grown, and that's what happens. When you sign on for these guys, it's not perfection. And you sign on for the good and for the bad. It's kind of like for richer or for poorer, for better, for worse. That's what it is.

    He's been great down the stretch of his career, and I had to sit him out he didn't start three games for us last year, including the Atlantic 10 Tournament game. So it's just it's what we do as coaches and players. We get along, but it's not without its highs and lows and peaks and valleys and fits and starts of maintenance, high maintenance and low maintenance.

    Now he's a very low maintenance guy. Early in his career he was killing me with high maintenance. But I'm glad it all worked out. I'm glad it all worked out, and he's going to be graduating from Temple University in May, and I couldn't be more proud of him, how he's turned out as a man.

    Q. Yesterday you used a very short bench, only Lee and T.J. got minutes off the bench. Is the same thing happening again tomorrow?
    COACH DUNPHY: Again, I would answer that the same way I would answer the how the scores are going to be, fast pace, slow pace. It just we didn't get in any foul trouble yesterday, which that allowed us to kind of shorten the bench.

    And also, these time outs are you could take a nap during some of these time outs. They're long. And for me, I don't have that much to say. I'm not that interesting a guy. I'm done in 20 seconds. That's why we practice every single day. Okay, here's the situation. We're going to run this play. Don't go there on the defensive end. Don't leave Wood, tomorrow don't leave Hulls. Whatever it happens to be. Doesn't take that long to do.

    You've got to sit there. I drink a little bit more water and think about it, maybe consult with our assistants who say to me let's do this or that, but it's a long time out there, so you get a lot of rest. So that's the nature of the NCAA Tournament.

    Q. Coach, Indiana is a team that likes to run down their teams, like to bring fatigue to the game. Are you at all concerned about the possible fatigue factor that might face your team in this short turnaround?
    COACH DUNPHY: Yeah, I am. I'm always concerned by that. But I think the big thing is how talented they are, how big they are, how well coached they are. That's the biggest concern.

    We're going to have to do a really good job of resting on offense sometimes because we're not going to be able to rest on defense because they're at you the whole game.

    Very impressive team. Am I concerned about the conditioning piece? Yeah, sure. But not as much as I am about how talented they are.

    Q. Question about Oladipo. He played at DeMatha, an East Coast kid. Was he a guy that you considered at all recruiting?
    COACH DUNPHY: We did not. He had a guy at his position, so it's one of those things you're trying not to load up at any one position. But he's a great story. I think Khalif Wyatt and Oladipo are great stories out there, where you don't need to be this highly, highly rated player, that you can make yourself a terrific player.

    Again, going back to our player development, I'd like to think that it's pretty good, but I think you have to sit there and give these kids the bulk of the credit for where they are today because they watch and they see and they read. They want to be the best that they can be. When you are a great competitor like those two guys are, you're typically going to be a pretty good player.

    Q. Fran, you haven't faced Indiana in your career yet. How much respect do you have for that school? Temple and Indiana both have rich histories as far as basketball is concerned.
    COACH DUNPHY: Yeah, Indiana obviously, Coach Knight was an unbelievable coach there, and now Coach Crean has them to the highest level you can be in the country right now. So I can't have more respect for a university and a basketball program than I have for Indiana.

    Q. Fran, would it be correct to maybe guess that Rahlir tomorrow at times could be defending Zeller, could be defending Hulls, could be defending Ferrell, and how important is he going to be on that side of the floor?
    COACH DUNPHY: I agree with your assessment. He's such a versatile defensive player. He can guard quick guys out on the perimeter, he can guard post players who are bigger, stronger, longer than he. That's probably more difficult for him than the perimeter guys, but he has done everything you could possibly ask a player to do, especially on the defensive end for us, over his career.

    Spectacular guy, a very good basketball player, and somebody that I'm going to miss greatly as he leaves our basketball program.

    Q. I think Indiana had five guys that made 3 pointers in the first half yesterday. Everybody but Zeller in the starting lineup could shoot them. What's the challenge defensively when you're trying to figure out how to stop that?
    COACH DUNPHY: I think the problem is there's not a weakness they have. I think, if all they did is shoot 3s, you can control that a little bit, but each one of those guys that can make a 3 can also drive off the dribble and help and drive and kick for their teammates. That's a huge concern for us.

    And then transition is a huge concern because they can run it at the rim each and every time as well. We're concerned.

    Q. Yogi Ferrell got off to a really quick start in the game yesterday for IU. Is that something that surprised you, and how much did that change, if at all, how you guys are going to prepare for him?
    COACH DUNPHY: No, it didn't surprise me because he's the Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten. Am I right?

    Q. Gary Harris, I believe, from Michigan State.
    COACH DUNPHY: Oh, was he? He was on the First Team All Rookie Team? Is that what I read? But whatever. He can really play.

    He's just fast, can shoot, makes plays, makes his team better, looks like he's a tough competitor. So I'm concerned.

    T.J. DiLeo, Khalif Wyatt, and Rahlir Hollis Jefferson
    Q. Khalif, first of all, how's the thumb?
    KHALIF WYATT: It's good. It's a little sore right now, but it will be fine. It will be fine by tomorrow.

    Q. Did you get any X rays?
    KHALIF WYATT: Yesterday, but everything was fine.

    Q. You didn't hesitate after the game to say you wanted to play Indiana. Why is that?
    KHALIF WYATT: I think it will be a good challenge for us. That's why you play basketball. You want to play against the best. It's a good challenge for us, a great opportunity for us, and we'll be ready for it.

    Q. Can you just talk a little bit about the inside game. When you look at Indiana, they're plus 7 on the boards. I know you guys did a good job of kind of neutralizing the inside presence of NC State. What's going to be the key matching up with those big guys?
    RAHLIR HOLLIS JEFFERSON: I think we're going to have an even bigger challenge tomorrow because Zeller is a big guy. He gets a lot of rebounds, and everyone on their team crashes the boards as well. We have to just battle again and try to stay physical with these guys.

    Q. T.J., before Jake transferred, what did you know about him, and what was it like when he came in?
    T.J. DILEO: When we started looking at him, I started to do some research on him. I knew he could stretch the ball, stretch the defense, and he has good most moves.

    He kind of gives us a new dimension a little bit. We get a lot out of that when we have someone that can pick and pop and stretch the defense, really open stuff up for everybody.

    Q. Khalif, can you just talk about how important it will be for you guys to keep them under 80 points?
    KHALIF WYATT: They're a good offensive team, and they play a good pace, and they've got some good players. We've just got to be solid on defense and try to limit them to one shot as many times as we can. And just know their personnel. They've got some guys that can shoot the ball. They've got some good inside players. Just got to know who to guard and try to limit them to one shot.

    Q. What do you see from Oladipo, either watching him on TV or watching him on tape? What do you see, and how are you going to stop him?
    T.J. DILEO: The first thing I noticed about him, he plays really hard. He's obviously really athletic. He's a versatile player. He can jump out of the gym. He's got a good change of direction. He's really a tough matchup.

    As long as we can contain him, make him take tough shots, I think that's the key to guarding him. I think he's a really good player, and it's going to be a tough matchup, but I think we've got people who are going to step up to it.

    Q. Khalif, on the other hand, Oladipo defensively, how much in a short turnaround time can you kind of study how he approaches guards? He usually draws Indiana's toughest back court matchup.
    KHALIF WYATT: I know he's Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. I know he's a great athlete, and he plays really hard.

    I know, if he's guarding me, I know he's going to be up for the challenge, and he's going to play hard. I've just got to let the game come to me and just go out there and play my game, let my teammates get me shots, set screens, just work without the ball and stuff like that.

    He's a good defender, but, I mean, not the first good defender.

    Q. Khalif, you know, I look back over the course of the season, and you pretty much had two games, Duke and Xavier, where you didn't shoot well, you didn't get to the line, you didn't create a lot for your teammates. What do you recollect of those two games, and why you know, January, February, you really didn't have a game like that where you really didn't contribute in one way or another.
    KHALIF WYATT: I really don't remember much about the Xavier game or the Duke game, but I know I couldn't I was getting good shots, just they weren't going in. So I don't really know I don't really know what they were doing or if they were doing anything different than anybody else has been doing.

    I think, as the season's gone on, I've just been getting in a better rhythm and just trying to let the game come to me and just trying to make the right play.

    Q. Looking back when you were in high school, like you were a two star recruit and Oladipo was a three star recruit, why are guys like you and him overlooked when you were in high school? Is this the kind of stage you've been waiting for since you've been in school? I know you're the A 10 Player of the Year.
    KHALIF WYATT: I'm not sure about Oladipo's case. I know I went to a small high school. I know I played with some really good players in the summertime. I don't know. Just got to take advantage of the opportunity when you get it. I'm just happy that Coach Dunphy recruited me and gave me a chance to play at Temple and gave me a chance to showcase what I can do.

    Q. T.J., we saw you guys get huge contributions off your bench yesterday. Can you just talk a little bit about Indiana's depth and how important it will be for guys to come off the bench and play well?
    T.J. DILEO: Definitely. The way they run their offense, there's a lot of movement, a lot of screening, a lot of cutting. People are going to get tired, and we've got to bring people off the bench who are ready to step up.

    They do the same. They bring people off the bench. They have people that are fresh. So we've just got to kind of match their intensity and not take any possessions off, especially on the defensive end. They run a lot of sets, and just we've got to be ready for everything. We've got to communicate and just stay overall focused.

    Q. T.J., what kind of challenges come mentally with playing the No. 1 seed?
    T.J. DILEO: This is what you look forward to. You're excited. You want to step up to the challenge. This is what the NCAA Tournament is all about. It's a team that's been ranked No. 1 in the country for a good portion of the year, most of the year almost. It's great playing teams like this. It's what you always dream of.

    Q. Khalif, have you seen what La Salle did yesterday? Do you have any friends on the team? Did you trade any texts or any exchanges with any of the guys on La Salle?
    KHALIF WYATT: Yeah, I'm good friends with Ramon Galloway and Tyrone Garland and Tyreek Duren. I just congratulated them. I didn't get to see much of the game. I think they were playing around the same time we were playing. I was definitely happy to hear the news they won. I texted them and told them congratulations and hope that we can both keep it going.

    Q. Just to continue on that thought, T.J., for the A 10, it's been a pretty nice run here. Is it pretty impressive to watch with you guys and then La Salle and the rest of them? You guys are 6 0 so far as a conference.
    T.J. DILEO: Yeah, it's something we've known all year. The A 10 is a tough league. Every night you've got to come out and play. I think it's prepared us well for the tournament. I think a lot of different styles of play within the A 10, different teams have different styles.

    So that's good. That's good to prepare yourself for postseason. And that's something I can be proud of, saying I played in the A 10 this year. It was a tough league and something I'm going to remember.

     

     

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