Dec. 9, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -
Indiana head coach Tom Crean met with members of the media on Monday to talk about tomorrow's game against Oakland University. The game will be televised on ESPN2 starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Below is a partial transcript of what Coach Crean had to say.
"First and foremost, we are trying to build on the progress we made Saturday night. The most important thing was that we had great energy. We need to continue to understand that every game is its own mission, with the way teams want to play, with the way they want to attack us. The most important thing for us is to keep gaining confidence and keep gaining an understanding of what it takes for us to be successful. I thought we made some good strides the other night with the ball movement that led to baskets. I think our ball movement has been pretty solid, but the ones that led to baskets are important. We need to make sure that we are not only getting that ball movement, but also body movement. We need to do a great job of cutting and moving without the ball."
"I think tomorrow night we will see different defenses. The defense they run, the zone they run is out of a 1-1-3, it can look like a 2-3, it can look like a 1-3-1, the bottom line is they are active and aggressive. They create a lot of steals and turnovers. When you have a couple of national leaders, like they do with Duke Mondy in the steals department and Travis Bader in the three-point department, you have to be very cognizant of that. This is going to be a great challenge for us on the defensive end to stop a guy that is getting 11 three-point shots a game and not only what Bader gets, what they get created from their offense and Mitch Baenzinger is great too. He has Matt Roth numbers at 54 percent from three."
"They are playing with confidence. They were on the road for their first seven games. They came back home and have won their last two games. They beat Ohio University, and Ohio is an excellent team and they beat them pretty soundly the other night, so they are going to come in with confidence. We have to have confidence and we have to be extremely locked in to what we are trying to get done on the defensive end. Our communication is not up for grabs, it's not 'I'll talk on the next play', the communication and locating Bader and what they want to get inside and knowing how we are going to attack this team, when we have the ball on offense is very important.
"The greatest thing that can happen for us is to have tremendous confidence, continue to expand as we go through these experiences. How they are moving the ball, the way we are getting to the foul line, how we are getting out on the break, we just have to continue to build on that and if a team tries to take something away we have to understand there is enough other things guys can do, individually and collectively. We don't have to get our head down, like we did last week against Syracuse. We can just keep going and go to something else."
On how young team is developing with attacking defenses from opponents:
"When we do what we are supposed to do, last week at Syracuse we did an excellent job of, when we attacked with the gameplan we did a good job. We had their front line in foul trouble. We aren't a stealth three-point shooting team yet, but you still have to have ball movement and body movement and make the next pass, but you also have to go to your strengths. For us right now, it's being around the rim and getting to the foul line. At the same time we have to be able to drive it and space it and those kinds of things. When you understand that's what you want that is important, but every defense is giving you some place where you really want to attack it and you have to be able to get second shots and being able to get open looks and layups and dunks if you can. You have to be able to have certain attack points, and every defense gives you that. Being able to carry that out is important. We are learning that, we don't get that yet, but we are learning it and because we are learning it, we are seeing a lot of different defenses. We won't go against a much better defense than Syracuse, so we learned some hard lessons there. We learned when we do the right stuff, good things happen. When we get away from it bad things happen. The more we can learn from that and move forward, the better we will be."
On the ability to play fast and still limit turnovers:
"It is all part of it. You have to be able to bite your tongue sometimes as a coach. We want to push the pace, there is no doubt about that. We want to take open shots. When you have a team and the way the rules are, you are making a big mistake if you are just settling for jump shots. It doesn't matter how good your team is. You want to be able to get your defense set. If you get to the glass and get layups and get everybody back that is the key. Jeremy Hollowell opened the game with two assists and got to the rim on the third possession. We don't have everyone understanding it yet. Some of it is understanding and some of it is confidence in shooting. Everyone can impact the game with ball and body movement. Everyone can impact the game with rebounding."
On what makes Travis Bader such a good player and shooter:
"He never stops moving. I think he is the top returning three-point shooter in the country, let alone the top one right now. He has the traits of some of the Michigan guys in the past. He does a great job of using his body to get open. He pushes off to get open. He shot fakes, he definitely knows how to set you up. He can change speeds. He can shoot off either foot, which is a real strong trait for a great shooter. He doesn't have to be squared up to make a shot. He is only a threat every time he has it."