Oct. 22, 2010
Tom Crean Podcast
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
On being able to do more now that guys have experience:
"You saw a lot of offense today but the biggest thing for us right now is everyday are we getting smarter, tougher, more physical and more fundamental? And at the same time are we creating a sense of urgency of what it takes to win. And I would do that with a team that was coming off a big-time winning season. But when you don't have one, you have to continue to understand the value of winning. You have to understand the value of game-point. You have to understand how to come back. You have to understand how to put someone away. We don't have enough fire-breathing, I'm-going-to-get-this-done mentalities out there just yet so we have to try to cultivate that. I know it is very early, but a sense of urgency is something that we are attacking everyday."
On the emphasis on rebounding:
"You want it to be everyday, but when we go back and watch the films and say "OK, we can't have any slippage in our screening." That was yesterday. Today we have to get our guards to the glass more. We have to make sure that we have everybody in the paint. We have to be a gang-rebounding team, there is no doubt about it. When you have guys like Victor (Oladipo) and Will (Sheehey) and Jeremiah (Rivers) is going to have to rebound to be on the floor. Those guys have to understand that has to be constant. Verdell (Jones III) has to defensive rebound. Jordan (Hulls), depending on what position he is as, is he back or is he at the rim. We just have to keep developing that mentality. That has to be constant and it has to be reiterated to them verbally and sometimes consequencially."
On the freshmen getting adjusted to college practice:
"Yeah, they are learning a lot. I'm sure they think their heads are swimming but it's not like either one has come out here and put together back-to-back bad days. They are going to play. They have a real opportunity to play because they are athletic, they have some toughness and they are trying to excel. A lot of the things that we are trying to do offensively are a lot of things that we have not run in the past so it is a bit new for everybody. We are trying to understand that they are freshmen, but we don't want to treat them like they are.
"We just have to keep getting better rebounding the ball. It is obviously one of the biggest things in our recruiting for now and the future. You have to continue to get people that can rebound the basketball, that can make plays and all those kinds of things. Right now we need it from our guards constantly and those two freshmen have to have that mindset as well."
On how the mentality is coming along:
"I think it is coming. My perspective is always going to be different because I have high expectations for them. We are trying to get to a point where we understand that there is a vulnerable spot in every practice and game and the teams with the sense of urgency and most competitive mindset, they are the ones that win. You can't lower your expectations just because a few people are not as competitive as they need to be. You have to keep raising the level. We have not been able to do that in here very well in the past but we have to be able to now. It is a process, there is no doubt about it, and every time we get away from understanding it is a process we get frustrated and I don't want to be frustrated, I want to keep moving forward with it."
On the challenge of getting last year's freshmen to think like veterans:
"I think so but I don't look at it like we have five sophomores or five returning starters or two freshmen. You breakdown your teaching like they are all brand new. Everything we do, it is like you are re-teaching or re-training so to speak. You are treating it like ground-zero and I don't think you can do it differently. It depends on how quick people pick it up. We want it to be competitive and we are not out here talking a lot about "well, you have done it in the past so you should be able to do it" or "you haven't done it so wait your turn." There is none of that. I hope there never is at Indiana. It has always been the best players play in this program and I want ours to be the same way, no matter what the age are."
On keeping everyone competitive:
"I think if you look at the glass half-empty and say `we aren't getting as much from this guy because he is being guarded by a walk-on' then you change it. Today we didn't want Christian Watford to relax and fall back into a trap of relaxing so we put him on the point guard. You change matchups because you are constantly looking for ways to bring out the competition. And that's where having a great coaching staff and me being able to look at those things from that light and be able to stand back and watch it all unfold is really a great feeling. When you have the experience of this coaching staff, you have 67 years of experience between those three assistants alone, and to me that helps. You can look for those little psychological moves you can make to create a matchup or make a little more out of something."
On the process of moving Watford to small forward from power forward:
"This is our seventh practice and it is process and it is a mindset change. The one thing that he can't get away from is that he can score at the rim and that he can rebound. And he has to be able to guard smaller people constantly. We want to get to the point where we can guard all kinds of different people whether we are in man-to-man or zone. So he constantly has to be challenged in those areas to bring out that athleticism and that mindset. It is a good process and I have no disappointment in that whatsoever."
On Guy-Marc Michel's performance through seven practices:
"His head is swimming a little bit. He is getting tired and the aches and pains of it are kicking in a little bit. We are starting to go up and down a lot more and today was the first day with officials. It is a process for him as well in the sense that we need to get him to be more intense for longer periods of time. But it's not like he is trying to take himself out. He has a real strong stick-to-it-iveness and a real strong want-to. He just needs to get the conditioning aspect of that and the confidence to go with it. When he gets tired he stands straight up and dribbles the ball above his knee or sometimes travels. But you put him in a couple weeks down the road and those things are going to be gone and he's going to be playing pretty well."