Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks About The Exhibition Game Against Indianapolis

    Go Hoosiers! Tom Crean is entering his fourth season as the head coach at Indiana
    Go Hoosiers!
    Tom Crean is entering his fourth season as the head coach at Indiana
    Go Hoosiers!

    Nov. 3, 2011

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head men's basketball coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Thursday to talk about Saturday's exhibition game against the University of Indianapolis. Below is a partial transcript of what he had to say along with the complete video.

    Indiana head coach Tom Crean

    On being ready to get the season started:
    "I think today was the day we could really sense it - we're ready to play. The guys are anxious to get out in front of the crowd and get going. We've had some long weeks and some long days but they've been very productive and I think our team is improving. I think they're learning a lot of different things.

    "As a coach, there's no question I feel like we're behind in different areas and you never feel like you're ready to play a game. But the players have probably felt like they're ready to play a game since the third practice. It will be really good to see them in a live atmosphere and a great atmosphere against a very good team. A team that plays in as good a league as there is in all of Division II. I don't know if there's anyone even as close to the league that they're in. They are extremely well coached, there's no doubt that, and they compete at a high level in their league. Even if we didn't know any of that, you get your guys' attention right off the bat knowing that they went into Tennessee last year and beat them. And beat them handily, not at the buzzer, but beat them. So we know that it'll be a very good atmosphere, it's one of the many Indiana teams that we play this year. I think our guys are excited to play."

    On how this game was scheduled:
    "It didn't come about until very recently. We just weren't exactly sure what we wanted to do as far as who to play, but we had it down to a couple teams. We knew we were going to have only one exhibition game. But Stan (Gouard) has wanted to play (us) and he's been very good about it, I like him. I like their program and I respect their program. I think it provides, first and foremost, a very good opponent, but it also provides some identity for our fans. The date worked out for us, so that was it more than anything else. I know we're going to get a great game from them."

     

     

    On the advantage of only playing one exhibition game as opposed to two as in seasons past:
    "Well, only playing one exhibition game this year was really because we have so many home games. So that's not anything that is going to become a habit. We did different things at Marquette. I think we would probably be back to two exhibition games next year."

    On how the style of play that UIndy plays and how that will impact the team:
    "Well, I haven't spent a lot of time on Indianapolis. I've been more involved in our team and really getting ready for Stony Brook. I'll start hot and heavy tonight with Indianapolis. Our coaches have been well into it and they feel like they're a very good spread team. They run good pick-and-rolls, they mix their defenses and they are very good inside. I think they'll have a lot of guys so I think we'll see different things. We know that we could certainly be zoned in this game. We know that there's going to be some full-court pressure, especially after dead balls. So I think we'll get a mix. I'm not one that asks "will you play this?" or "will you do that?" I think it's up to us to read whatever they play and to study a team enough to know that they can do different things. I think that's what we'll get.

    "It's going to be one of those deals like it is with every other game. We've got to adjust to that other team but we've got to make sure that they adjust to us as well. We have to play the way that we want to play, and we're still trying to figure that out. I would very much like to say ok this is our identity. These are the five or six things I know we can count on, but personally, I'm not there yet to be able to say that. We're going to have to continue to work towards that and this game will be a good vehicle to see that."

    On the progress the team has made on the defensive end:
    "We're making progress but, as a coach, it's always good to get perspective from others. People that you respect, that come in and see your team from the NBA level or another coach, somebody that can really look at it and keep it in perspective. I have a hard time with perspective and there's a lot of demands on them. There's a lot of, we need to do this better, we need to do that better, we need to do this at a higher level. So that's pretty much where I'm at, but I don't plan on changing that.

    "For me to look at it and say we're here, we're really doing this well, I can't do that. I choose not to because I don't view it that way. I think we've got a long way to go in a lot of areas. There's no question that this is by far the least amount of offensive development that I've been a part of as a head coach when it comes to how we really want to play on offense, the sets, those types of things, we're really still trying to continue to work on spacing and movement. The biggest hurdle for us lately is integrating guys that have been injured back into a flow, and that's been hard. We don't have that flow on the offense, but we certainly need to have that on the defensive end. I'm as concerned about that as anything else."

    On the struggles on offense and where they come from:
    "It's everything. We're really working on learning how to play and how to score off of our defense and how to move and space and make the next pass and play with a legitimate inside threat like Cody Zeller. There's a lot of that. It's not as much, go here, go there, let's run this, this is option one, this is option two, this is option three. We'll get to that, but we have not spent a lot of time on that. Our offensive execution is not even close to being ready to play a game. I'm not giving you coach speak, it's just not.

    "That doesn't mean that we won't do some good things. If the ball is moving at a crisp pace, inside-out, then that's got to be part of our identity, it really does. If we can get that, we're going to make progress. If the ball isn't moving, then we have to make a lot of adjustments. When you're integrating people back in and then you're trying to get flow and rhythm - it's hard to have that this time of year. I know other coaches have injuries too, it's part of it, but I'm just looking at from my perspective. It's hard to get excited about our execution right now. It better be on the backboards, it better be in transition defense, it better be in guarding the ball, it better be in help defense. The communication needs to go up. We need to start getting guys' attention that those are the things that really, really matter. Taking good shots, moving the ball, making the next pass, those things really matter too. Then we'll get the execution cleaned up as we go."

    On when to install plays:
    "We have some in. I think it's like, we practice and then the practice will end and I'll be like, well what did we get done? It's like that. We're going hard, we're going very hard, I know that. We're pretty competitive. We're not as physical as we need to be, so you're spending time on that. We don't block out and offensive rebound the way that we need to. So there's a laundry list of things that aren't where they need to be so you're spending that kind of time and something has to give.

    "For right now, it may be offensive sets. As we get better as a program, it's going to be less about the plays and more about the players anyways. We're kind of at the crossroads with that right now. You still have to have a certain amount of different things to get the ball to different people in different spots. You would like to look at it and say, "ok, we can really be good defensively, let's get out and get some easy buckets, let's get on the offensive glass". We haven't been consistent in those areas yet. I'm anxious to see where that is so that we know what we've really got to work on moving forward. Then all of the sudden it's Friday-Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday. Yeah that's tough, with a road game in there.

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