Men's Basketball

    Previewing Bryant at No. 1 Indiana

    Go Hoosiers! Christian Watford
    Go Hoosiers!
    Christian Watford
    Go Hoosiers!

    Nov. 8, 2012

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head coach Tom Crean, Associate Head Coach Tim Buckley, Cody Zeller and Christian Watford met with the media to discuss Friday's season opener against Bryant.

    Head Coach Tom Crean
    On how the rotations might work out in the short term give the situation:
    "If we play conventional, our backup is Jeff Howard. There will be some conventional and there will be some unconventional.

    "You learn a lot over over your period of time at Indiana, from 2008 on. And the one thing that you learn is you don't sit there and worry about what you don't have. You just try to figure out how to do the best you can and that's where we are at with positions and matchups and all that. We will just let it roll and see where it goes."

    On Jeff Howard and his improvement:
    "He has gotten better. I would like him to believe that he has gotten better like I think I do and some other think. I still think that he is not quite bought into the fact that we want him to play, but he will. He will be out there. He does some really good things. He had a couple of plays in the pick-and-roll defensively in the exhibition game that were really good. He battles every day in here and we will just see where it goes. I am not ready to call him a `rotation guy', I don't know what that is. I couldn't believe at the end of the day last Thursday (against Indiana Wesleyan), we had 11 guys play 11 or more minutes in the game. I would like to take credit for that but it just kind of work out that way. I don't know what is going to happen with it. We are just going to go play."



    On his feelings after getting the news from the NCAA regarding Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin's suspensions:
    "After April 2, 2008 (the day he started at Indiana), I don't think I will ever get surprised again. There is a high level of disappointment because I know what we do and I know how we have done it.

    "I was out there working on some things with (Hanner and Peter) while the team was watching film. My greatest concern is for them. It has been and it will remain that way. They don't deserve this. At the end of the day, that is really what should matter the most - the welfare of the student-athlete. They don't deserve it. Nobody deserves it but those two certainly don't deserve it."

    On getting more involved in the rules aspect of things:
    "No. I don't think coaches have anything to do with it. I think coaches get some lip-service paid to them...and there are probably a couple that could change things over a period of time. But it is few and far between and it pretty much begins and ends with what Mike (Krzyzewski) has been able to do at Duke, and he deserves that ability to do that. I don't think that would have anything to do with it. I am in the business and I watch it close. I think decisions are made and legislative processes are put out. It's nice and easy to say coaches have a say in it, but I'm not sure they really do."

    On how Hanner Mosquera-Perea and Peter Jurkin are dealing with it:
    "They are great kids. And unfortunately, that probably masks what they really think inside. I will say what I said the other night on the radio with Jeff Goodman and Bruce Pearl: It's not like this just came about. They have answered every question. They have dealt with every situation. They have dealt with every hypothetical and they have been great. They have been great. They have been brought into more question-and-answer type situations, really more than they should have had to be in. But again, they handled it. They are consistent. They are who they are. I just wish it would be viewed that way."

    Associate Head Coach Tim Buckley
    On preparing for Bryant:
    "We are real excited to get the season started here tomorrow night. We have a Bryant team coming in here that is a lot different than the team they were last year. They have two players that they added as transfers - Dyami Starks and Joe O'Shea - and they really add a different scoring dimension for them. We have seen them play and they play with a lot of energy and intensity and I think it is going to be a really good test for us. We are going to have to be prepared just like we will for the rest of our games this year.

    "With that, I'll open it up for questions."

    On Bryant's style of play and how that will help the team moving forward:
    "They are a very good transition offense team. They really look to push the pace off made baskets or missed baskets. They will run some sets but they will flow into a motion. What they will do out of motion is try to isolate in the post or they will set a lot of random ball screens. So we have to do a terrific job of communicating, shrinking the floor, talking to each other and really executing our coverages in that regard. And it's going to force us to spring back and get our defense set.

    "Defensively, they play man-to-man primarily but they have also played some 2-3 zone in the past and they like to play some 1-2-2 three-quarter court back into man-to-man."

    On what the team has been doing to try to avoid a slow start similar to the exhibition game against Indiana Wesleyan:
    "I would say the type of energy that we come out and play with - that `attack' mentality, especially on the offensive end where we get it and go and change ends of the floor quickly. We are looking to be a little bit more aggressive in our approach in that regard. And then defensively, getting our hands more active and deflecting the ball, rotating quicker to challenge shots, playing the defense we need to play in order to get our transition game going."

    On improving the rebounding as a point of emphasis:
    "I would say that we are, but I would also say that is an area that we want to get better and better at. I think when you become an effective rebounder, you are a guy that can go get the ball outside of your area. We have tried to work more and more to try to see guys do that. We have tried to be more physical with our blockouts and we have tried to do a better job of getting all five guys to the defensive board so that we have three guys blocking out so the other two guys are free to go get it - usually the guards. So that way they can get it and push the ball faster.

    "On the offensive end, it is a matter of recognition and knowing who is supposed to go in and get the ball and who needs to get back in transition defense. We have spent a lot of time on that leading up to the exhibition game and after that because we know that is an area that we have to be good at the entire season."

    Cody Zeller
    On being named to the Preseason Top-50 for the Wooden Award:
    "It's definitely a great honor. Obviously, not many people in the country make the list so it's definitely a great honor."

    On staying out of foul trouble with limited depth in the post:
    "You don't want to get into foul trouble, but you have to stay aggressive and get after it, but you do have to be a little bit more careful."

    On being excited about opening the regular season:
    "We're definitely excited for it. It will be a different kind of test for us. We haven't played a game in so long, it seems like. It's exciting for us to just get the season going after conditioning and practice, doing summer workouts and weight lifting - we're finally to the day where we can kind of see where we're at and get the season going."

    Christian Watford
    On being named to the Preseason Top-50 for the Wooden Award:
    "It's a great honor to be up for an award like that and it speaks a lot to what we have done in the program so far."

    On Friday's game:
    "Tomorrow will be a big test for us. We've been working on our transition defense and stopping the ball and we'll get a good test tomorrow to see where we're really at. I feel like we're playing pretty good right now."

    On wearing No. 32 for Derek Elston on Friday:
    "He's a senior and we've been playing together for a long time, and I just want to go out there for him since he can't come out there and play on the court. I wanted to do that for him."


      Check back soon
      Indiana Sports Properties