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November 28, 2014

Tom Crean


COACH CREAN:  Bottom line is our team has got to learn that it's one thing to want to play defense, it's another thing to be in the spot.  We've got to learn how to take things away.  We're not doing a really good job of understanding scouting reports, strengths and weaknesses of teams.  We've got to get that figured out in a real hurry.  We're asking a lot of these guys in the sense of intensity.  Awareness is an ongoing issue.  We're building that awareness but it's got to be built to the level where we can really take things away from people.
If the scouting report says he goes over his right shoulder 95% of the time, then he's probably going to go over his right shoulder 95% of the time.  We got to take the right shoulder away, or we have to take the left hand away or switch out when we're supposed to switch out.
I have high expectations for what these guys can do because they're really working hard.  We've had a good week after losing the game the other night of coming back on Tuesday and really, really working to get better, being together Wednesday, even though it was an off‑practice day, having a really good day yesterday, sharp today.
Their hearts and minds...  Hearts are in the right place, minds got to get in a clearer place when it comes to scouting report defense.
Offensively, we had 50 points at half.  I thought we could have had 70.  It wasn't that we weren't moving the ball.  We were doing a good job of that.  We weren't doing a near good enough job on the defensive end to turn those into fast‑break baskets.
I hate the term 'work in progress,' but I really don't have a better one for where we're at six games in.  It's still a team that is 60% new to college basketball with the exception of Nick's not new to the game but he's new to us, and we've got to keep understanding that all the nuances of the game, when it comes to the scouting reports, when it comes to what our game plan is defensively, whether we're switching, whether we're in zone, and so much of that stems from communication.  So outside of Yogi and for the most part Collin, and at times Robert, we got to get a lot better defensively.
Offensively we can get shots.  Our ball is moving.  They were doing a great job of taking away the middle of the floor on the break.  So we got the ball into the corners.  We were getting what we wanted in that sense.  We've got to do a better job of demanding the ball in the post‑up, when we post, in the middle when we flash.  We will.
I thought we played a more downhill game even though they did a better job of taking away the elbows.  But they want to get better.  There's talent there to get better.  But when you're moving and playing as many games as we are in this duration, we've got to get the defensive scouting reports down quickly and not let these games be as close as they were.

Q.  (Question regarding Indiana giving up so many three‑pointers.)
COACH CREAN:  Tonight we got caught up in screens.  Our awareness of guys was not as good.  We knew 70% of the threes were coming from two people, probably 80 to 85 when you start to throw in 33 who was one for four a year ago and up to 47%.  We likened him to Noah with the sudden surprise threes, where people would be off and he would knock down a three.  And he wasn't as much of a factor in the game, but certainly 30 and 31 were.
So it became we weren't as attached as we needed to be defensively.  Then when we were needed, we got caught or hung up in some screens.  Then it became we needed to switch.  So it's really you just got to continue to make the adjustments.  Sometimes we did a good job with that, other times we didn't.
I'll give them credit.  They run really good offense.  Tonight that was the best they've screened that I've seen.  He's a really good coach.  They've got a really good staff.  I don't know where they're picked, but I wouldn't want to play them in that league.  They can go inside, outside, they have at Tevon Saddler who can do so many things.
But we were just a step late on the threes, then we didn't have communication the way we need to have it.  I've got to get that fixed.  Every time I think that we're better at it, then I find out that we're not.
I got to take full responsibility.  It's not on the assistants, on nobody else but me to get our communication right.  And whatever that's going to take we're going to have to get that right because all it is is calling out who you have and calling out when you switch and calling out when we switch a defense.
We have a term here, we call it an 'echo'.  Everything has to be an echo.  When somebody calls it, everybody else has to echo it.  Nobody is doing a good job of that.  Yogi should be way ahead on that.  We have nobody that's defending with the intent that he's defending, at the level he defends.  He can defend anybody.  That's why I think he's one of the better guards in the country on both sides of the ball.  But our echo and communication is not good enough.  We have to get it fixed quickly.

Q.  (Question regarding players being concerned with dribble‑drives.)
COACH CREAN:  No, I got to watch the film closer, but this was just poor technique coming through the screens.  What we didn't want to do is start the game switching everything because we felt the best way to trace shooters was to get on that outside hip and really run them up, blast the gap if it was a single screen, but if it was a double screen, rather than switch out with our five man, we wanted to stay attached.  We didn't do a good job of that.  We decided in the game we got to switch it because they're getting too many open looks.  We didn't adjust to that.
We weren't as focused in the second half defensively as we needed to be.  I said to Hanner, You can't get one point, one rebound.  Be progressive, play the way we need to play.  That's why it's a process with Hanner.  Everything is about building up, becoming more consistent.  The moment Hanner thinks he's arrived at some point, he hasn't.  He has to keep building it up.  He's got to have a hunger.
We should be able to switch with Hanner, switch out with him and his length because he's been here and we shouldn't have any issues.  We should be able to switch at the end of the game when we're in a straight out 55, switch out defense, and Troy is guarding the middle pick'n roll and Stan's man drives it.  Switch onto him, we just covered it four times in the timeout.
I don't think it was us being wrapped up in the ball as it was being aware and attentive as we needed to be.  They were playing fast.  We played against some very fast teams the last couple games which is only going to make us better.  But we've got to react as fast as they're playing defensively because we're not trying to complicate it, we're trying to simplify it, especially with the switching or staying attached.
We're not a team and say, We're going to play this defense all game long.  If we do, well, great.  We don't have a shot‑blocker back there that's going to clean it up.  We don't have tremendous length on the perimeter that's going to make up the difference.  We had 51 deflections which was a shock to me because I didn't think we were nearly active enough with our ball pressure.  We're definitely capable of more.
We spent a lot of time in the last couple days at really trying to go downhill and defend downhill and at the same time we work constantly to take away shooters and we just didn't do as good a job tonight.  They deserve credit for that, but we also deserve blame for not being as attentive to where people were.  We just got to keep building awareness, especially with the freshmen.

Q.  (Question regarding the play of Emmitt Holt.)
COACH CREAN:  Sure, absolutely.  I said I think the other day, we got to get Emmitt in there.  Emmitt missed valuable game experience.  That was a real plus.  There's going to be times we're going to have to be bigger.  That's why I went with Troy tonight in the lineup.  What we're going to see on Tuesday night is we're going to see some just absolute nastiness on that glass.  I mean, they are relentless.
They're coming off 2‑1 in Maui.  Whether it's Randall or Michael Young, all their guards, Artis, they get after it.  We've got to be much more attentive, much more physical.  We just have to.
Emmitt brings that.  Emmitt will bring that, especially as he gets used to the pace of this game, the speed of this game, the speed of the college game.  He's reacting very well.  His quickness has improved.  He's improved athletically.  I thought he played pretty comfortable out there.

Q.  (Question regarding the difference between the first and second halves.)
COACH CREAN:  I don't think they're changing things schematically as we're losing a little bit of our attentiveness defensively.  The other night it was not being in the proper position on the switching.  Bottom line, we won this game.  We lost the other one by two.  I'm not sure it's where it's falling apart, as you say.
But we can be a lot better.  I don't think there's any question about it.  We can be better offensively.  I don't even know what we scored, but it wasn't enough.  We won the game, but it wasn't even close to what we can get if we get our defense a little bit better.  We have to get the ball in the lane better.  We will.
So it's just a matter of us really continuing to learn from the films, get into practice and really, really be competitive.
I think that's one thing that we lost a little bit with playing so many games, so many days, is having those really good, spirited, competitive scrimmage‑type practices, whether it be four‑on‑four, five‑on‑five.  We'll get that going again Sunday.  Get ourselves ready for Pitt.

Q.  (Question regarding guard rebounding.)
COACH CREAN:  Absolutely.  Defensive rebounding, guard rebounding is huge.  Rebounding in general.  I mean, there's no question about it, we got to build our rebound margin and get it up, and it's got to come from everybody.  That's the kind of team we have.  We're going to play fast, spread the court, be hard to guard on the offensive end.  We have to make up for it on the defensive end, get boards so we can get out and play out on our break.
At the same time if they score a basket, we have to get it out‑of‑bounds much quicker than what we have.  You guys see it.  We're dealing with the youth of this to a degree.  It's a young team, guys are being asked to do a lot.  I've to keep that in perspective.  I'm more concerned, we got to get the scouting report down.
When we're drilling on No.13 going over that right shoulder, we got to take away that right shoulder.  The bottom line is our best post defender can't be whatever Yogi is.  It can't be just him.  It's got to be others.  We've got to take more ‑ what's my word ‑ we've got to take more preventive measures early before they get the ball, do our work early a little bit, pick up our ball pressure, things like that.  That's not the question you asked.  But when you asked about guard rebounding, everybody has to do a little bit of everything.  That will make us better.
Thank you.

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