Coach Crean Talks About The Exhibition Game Against Indianapolis
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:
"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:
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:
"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:
"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:
"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:
"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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