Men's Basketball

    Coach Crean Talks about Northern Iowa

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Dec. 21, 2010

    Complete Audio (courtesy Herald Times)

    Indiana head coach Tom Crean met with members of the media Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas ahead of the Hoosiers first game out there as part of the IBN Las Vegas Classic against Northern Iowa.

    Here is a partial transcript of what Coach Crean had to say:

    On how this kind of event helps the team:
    "I think it has been very good for us to play at home and then get on an airplane and come out here to get ourselves acclimated with the surroundings and get ready to practice and totally be ready to be locked in to basketball. At the same time, I think they have had a good time. But their focus has been phenomenal. This is another opportunity for us to mature and do different things together. But most importantly, give us the opportunity to do some things that will carry us into the Big Ten."

    On what the team has been able to do in Las Vegas:
    "I think they have had a good time. We are staying at a top of the line place and last night we had the bus take them and drop them off at Caesar's Palace - me included with my family - and guys were able to move around for three or three and a half hours and then get picked up at another spot. I think they enjoyed that and that's what it's really about. They know that, but they are very business-like but at the same time I want them to have fun. You certainly wish the weather was a little bit different but that didn't stop most of them from wearing shorts. So they have had fun with that but at the same time we are getting better as a team, based on our preparation."

    On not having classes and spending more time together as a team:
    "I think it is too early for that because we just ended the classes last week as we were getting ready to play and they were locked in to that. Really, you are coming to a different time zone but we don't put a lot of stock into that. They are a group that when it's time to watch film or time to lift - we have lifted the last two days - they do it and they do it with some enthusiasm.



    "I don't think they are a lot different when they are hanging out or when they are together for basketball and I think that's a sign of them growing together and maturing and has respect for one another."

    On Northern Iowa
    "I think they are sound. When you watch them play, you try to figure out `how do they want to score?' One thing that they do is they constantly change, they really do. They play differently depending on the game and when they find something that works they stick with it, there is no doubt about that. They are very, very sound and they get to the foul line.

    "I thoroughly remember Tom Izzo saying that Northern Iowa and Butler were the two most physical teams that they played all year and we have certainly seen some of that on the film.

    "One thing they really attempt to do is draw a lot of charges. We have to be really smart with that and be aggressive and at the same time we have to make sure that we don't drive the ball blindly. And how the game is officiated will have something to do with that because it is going to be very important that we play our game and have a place to come down when we land (after taking shots or driving). So those are things, as a coach, that concern me but we are excited to play. It is fun as a coach to prepare for these games. Obviously we are just on Northern Iowa with the team but as a coaching staff we are farther into it. We have a lot of respect for all the teams that are here that we could potentially face and it starts with Northern Iowa."

    On how Northern Iowa has evolved this year from losing so much from last year's team:
    "Well I think they are a program and that's what Greg McDermott had and Ben (Jacobson) has continued to build. They are not just a team or a one-hit wonder that shows up and all of a sudden they are in the Sweet Sixteen. They have redshirted a lot of guys and they are redshirting guys now so they are almost like a football program with their fifth-year guys when this is all said and done for them.

    "It is a lot of the same offensive things. Ben looks like he is adding something else to the equation every time. They are very sound defensively. They are the best help-defensive team that I have seen on film that we are about to play or have played to this point. With that, it means that we really have to do a great job of making the next pass and getting the ball reversed. We can't settle. They also do a great job of switching - they will switch 1 through 5 and put their five on the point guard. There is a lot of residue from the guys that were there and the guys that are there and have played in that environment and they look like they don't flinch at anything."


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