BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Indiana head coach Tom Crean talked to the media on Friday about Saturday's game in Assembly Hall against Savannah State. Read a partial transcript of what he had to say below:
"Well it's a short week of preparation for us because we are coming off a day where we needed to take it off. We hadn't had (a day off) since early last week and we want to make sure we are clicking on all cylinders in the sense of where our energy is, where our edge is, where our mindset is, and at the same time improve our fundamentals and get ready for a game. It's another quick turn around with a game Saturday and a game Monday and practice on Sunday will be short as well. But the bottom line this time of year is are we refining our edge? That's what we have to do and we have to refine it individually and we have to refine it as a team and the key is that we just continue to improve. That is what we are completely focused on and improving ourselves, improving our mentality and preparation for games and making sure we that we can leave the practice better than what we started it at and it's the same thing with games. It's a big jump again for us to play quick like this but I love it and know they will be excited about playing. We are really excited to be back here tomorrow night, and it should be a great crowd.
"We know Savannah State, they are coming off of a win. They are an extremely athletic team. They can score inside and outside. Their penetration is excellent. They have forwards that can score and they have some guys that are shooting pretty high level from the 3-point line. So we really want to improve our defense; we want to improve our ball movement and at the same time string some successes together if we can."
On the team's practice:
"We have had great practices. Today it's always tougher after a day off but it was very physical, it was very combative. You try to get a lot done in a relatively short period of time though it is very hard to go short when you've had a day off and you've have a game the next day but we knew that when we decided to take yesterday off after going the way did last week. So they have been very good with those."
On the success of the first three games and what that has taught him about his team:
"I haven't really thought of it like that. I just look at it more of where we are individually and aspects that we can improve upon but we don't spend a lot of time on (looking at what it has taught us). We study all the games and know what we want to improve on. It really is just about making corrections from the game, building on the things we did well and I don't really sit back and look at if I'm really learning something from it. There will be time for that maybe when we have more breaks but I like to break the season up into different segments and certainly with the numbers and with the film but we are not there yet."
On the improvement/maturity of the defense:
"Well I think the maturity is a big part of it. I think they are getting stronger and I think every little bit helps whether it is a little quicker or a little stronger. I think the reaction time is good but I think it is just having better awareness and that probably comes from maturity. It comes from a lot of repetition and today's start of practice was like a training camp type of practice, one the first practices where there was just a ton of going back to some of the most basic things that we do and think that's part of refining our edge making sure that we don't get away from all of those fundamental aspects of defense the way that they need to be. We went back and did some things that we did back in the preseason even. So again it is that constant awareness, it is that repetition and there is togetherness that comes from defense. The moment you think it is there, it's probably not. You have to make sure you are building on it every day."
On Savannah State:
"think one of the keys to Savannah State is they get a lot of easy baskets. If you step up on penetration, if you are out there chasing a guard in (Preston) Blackmon and he gets into the lane and you have to step up cause he is fast and quick and he dishes it off. That is how they won the other night. You can't give up easy baskets, but at the same time you want to try to get as many as you can. It sounds simple but it's a lot harder and we have three years to show it is a lot harder. The more that you are aggressive, that's why those deflection numbers are so crucial. I don't know what the numbers are to the point of those deflections turn in baskets would be a good stat for us to probably look at keeping, but I know the more you get the better you are going to play."