Dec. 27, 2008
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean
December 27, 2008
On the team's performance in the classroom in the fall?
"I was really proud of their efforts in the classroom. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. The diligence of our players in understanding of how important it is in taking care of everything every day towards being in class, getting their work done on time, being with our support system and tutors and its also a big part of what our academic support system and our coaches do to help make sure that everyone is on the same page every day. We had a very good team GPA and one that we can continue to build on."
Are you pleased with the team's energy and focus since coming back from Christmas break?
"I think without question we are. There are so many guys here that everyday is the first day they go through certain things for the first time. When you go through exams and when you go through the period of time to go through those and get ready for games it is hard. They have done a lot of things and worked very hard. As Tim Buckley (assistant coach) continues to remind us, we have really only been together since the season started, about nine weeks and it takes a while to get things across and accomplished and that is the mindset that we have. They have come back with energy and are excited. We have had two good days of practice."
What are the things you continue to remind your team and the fans that you are focused on?
What challenges will Lipscomb present to you on Sunday?
"I think we have to remember we have not been together for an inordinate amount of time. We have to keep staying with what we are trying to do and know that it is going to be a process and sort of a long one to get those things to be understood and accomplished. Right now the biggest thing is that we continue to understand that out toughness is going to come through the process of building fundamentals and through competition. The more that we can do that on a daily basis through practice and the more confidence we can gain in practice, will hopefully lead to confidence in games. That's what we have to stay focused on, the daily improvement of each individual player and getting better at the things we feel are necessary and it all starts with the fundamentals of the game."
"They really push the ball up the floor and they seal on the post as well as anyone we have played. On the break and inside of their offense, they do an excellent job of reversing the basketball, playing inside-out and finding the people they want to have the ball and at the same time they do a very good job of isolating and driving the ball so we are going to have to be in tune defensively with one another and our communication is going to have to be high and we are going to have to do an excellent job of keeping the ball out of scoring areas that they want as much as we possibly can which is easier said than done because they are a very good team and they are very well coached."
Will you treat this time, with school being out, any differently than you have previously?
"We have to stay very cognizant of how much is too much with them in any one situation. Once we get into the work week after Sunday, we will look into that as far as what we want to get accomplished in practice and when we have reached the law of diminishing returns and at the same time keep them energized shooting the ball and doing the things that can make them better that we can do with them individually. The biggest thing is that we will spend a lot more time watching film. We have a 20-hour work week and when you are trying to spend the quality of time with them on the court, you are going to lose something and this gives us a lot of time to dive into the film, which we did on Friday."
Junior Devan Dumes
How was the teams first practice back?
"It was a good start, everybody came to play with intensity. There was a lot of competitiveness."
What do you want to accomplish on Sunday
"We want to come out and play great defense. We know that we are going to have to bring our best competitive effort every night."
Freshman Malik Story
How was the intensity of practice?
"I thought it was really good today, which is good coming off a break. It was great to see the energy level."
What do you want to accomplish on Sunday
We need to play hard and talk on defense. We have to keep our focus."