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January 31, 2014

Coach Crean verbatim

Read the entire transcript of what Indiana head coach Tom Crean had to say to reporters last night following his team's 60-55 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Lincoln.


Opening Statement:

We came out with great defensive energy, pretty good ball movement and very good awareness," said Crean. "Bottom line is in the second half our awareness wasn't where it needed to be defensively. There's a certain way that they want to play and in the first half we did a pretty good job of defending that, taking that away. In the second half we allowed them to be too comfortable on the perimeter with the three-point shooting. Took the bait a little bit on when the ball went into the middle.

We worked hard for a couple of days and reviewed it again at halftime that we didn't want to get off their shooters. We wanted to extend a little bit more than usual. The bottom line is when you have shooters like they have and you play the middle, whether you're in man or zone and then allow them to throw it back out, and they made some big shots, but we just weren't as aware.

It's unfortunate because it is a game that we were right there…in the whole way. They did a good job of bottling up the lane. We got the ball inside enough, we just didn't get enough done with it. So we got it in, but we just didn't get enough production from it. But bottom-line our lack of awareness defensively combined with too many points off the turnovers was the difference. And they made big shots.



You talked about the defense in the second half…how frustrating is it to put together three halves of solid defense between Illinois and first half tonight and then struggle the way you did tonight in the second half?

I'd have to really think about that. I'm not really thinking about how that works into the Illinois game. I think this one more…I'm not sure…we just needed to continue to drive the ball more…when we got to the basket at times…I'll have to watch the film on the offense. We know it was more about our lack of awareness defensively. We were in control of the game in the first half, and obviously it is a 40 minute game and we knew that, but we had a pretty good idea of what they were going to go to, and like I said we kind of took the bait a little bit…that's what we've got to outgrow. But we lost this game on the defensive end more so than what we didn't get offensively. I may feel different after we watch the film, but when you shoot the way that they did in the second half from the three and from the field versus what they did in the first half that's a big difference.


Did you sense any kind of a let-up from your guys after getting that big lead in the first half?

No…did you…I didn't think there was a let-up…no…it was just lack of awareness again to what was working for us. No, we played hard. We got a little quiet and we didn't have as much being ready to be on the attack…and again, you have to stay really disciplined. It doesn't matter what sport it is…it doesn't matter if it is football…it doesn't matter if it is hockey…when you get out of your lane a little bit defensively and you're playing against a team that has as many shooters as they have they can make you pay and that's exactly what they did. They didn't in the first half because we did a good job with that…we challenged shots well…but when we are in long closeout situations that's what hurt us. And then it allowed the crowd to get back into it and we played nip and tuck but we should've never been in that hole or got into that hole based on our defense, but I don't think it was from a lack of playing hard.


Obviously the teams are different but what did you see from them that made this a tighter game than it was last year?

There's two different teams…I think you could've stopped right there…its two different teams. We lost a couple guys to the lottery and are out there with three freshmen starters so we are entirely different team. Tim (Miles) has done a great job. I've said that to whoever would listen. He has done a fantastic job. He's got a great staff. They play very hard and it is just a matter of time. This building is spectacular. They've got a lot of things to be excited about and be proud of. But they've got a very good team, and they cause match-up issues. For the most part he puts people out there that you have to guard past the three-point line. When you have people like (Walter) Pitchford that can do that, and (Shavon) Shields with the inside-outside abilities that he has, not to mention (Terran) Petteway and all the other guys and (Ray) Gallegos…Gallegos has done a great job. In reference to your question I think a year ago when we played them he was averaging 17 shots in the league and 10 threes, and you talk about a guy that still continues to understand how to help his team…that is a pretty impressive young man…I don't know him but he's impressive…he hurt us at some really tough times.


Tom, during the non-conference part of the season most of the games you played in were at an up-tempo pace. Since conference season has started you guys have slowed it down a lot more. Do you want to play this way?

Do you think we've slowed it down or do you think the defense has got something to do with that? What do you think? I think the defense has a lot to do with that. We're in the Big Ten. We're not trying to slow it down. We're trying to…I think what you have to do is you have to depend on your early offense a little bit more. Teams get back and everybody works on transition defense. So I'm not sure we're cognizant of slowing it down, but I think when you're in a possession by possession game and you have the turnovers that we have the capabilities of having you better make sure you are understanding time and score as good as you can. But we're not trying to walk it up or do anything like that. We're just trying to take what the defense gives us.


What kind of made Noah (Vonleh) struggle tonight…seven points five turnovers?

I think it was just a tough night. He's a freshman and he had a tough night. He was out there and he worked hard. He wasn't as emphatic and decisive with the ball as he needed to be. He got the ball but it was just one of those nights. He's 18 so he's going to be fine.


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