home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 7, 2015

Tom Crean


COACH CREAN:  I'm proud of our fight.  We fought better in the game.
You have to be‑‑ Michigan State is going to bring the toughness out in you, or it's going to expose what's not there and there was some times on the backboards we don't do a good job there and had to do more subbing than what we like to do.  Our block outs weren't as good as they need to be underneath and they got some kickouts because of that.
But we got tougher inside of the game, and I think the toughness thing for me, and I didn't realize this until Don Fisher said it with 3:50 to go, I knew we were down, we were down 11; and I'm proud of the way they came back, I really am, because that's not easy.  I thought the crowd had some real energy and really helped them pop, too, which was really good because they need that, they really need that, the kids need it.
They were going to win the game and we got right there, at least to tie it and it just didn't happen.  But they played well.  They took advantage, some offensive rebound opportunities and got the kickouts that went for them, and we didn't get as many, and we didn't have‑‑ you know, when you go play Michigan State, you're going to play this time of year, and be successful, you've got to have a lot of guys playing well in the game that are your best players and we didn't have that today.
But I thought we got tougher in the game.  I thought James, the play he made late in the game before he got fouled, getting all the way to the rim‑‑ I think it was, wasn't it ‑‑ he had a couple other ones earlier in the game.  He didn't go up as strong.  I mean, that's the kind of stuff that we have to continue to learn.
End of the game, five seconds to go, no way ear trying to miss that free throw on purpose.  I don't know if anybody would ask that‑‑ three seconds, no question we are trying to miss it on purpose.  But there's enough time right there and it's not about the arrow because you are not going to get enough time to get a trap.
We were in position in case we missed it but we didn't want to miss it there.  We want to try to get another five, steal, go back and still have enough time to get a couple of passes on our play.  So I don't know if that was going to come up but I will put that one to bed right now.  That's not a strategy that I would employ five seconds.
And at the end, we were in position for our free throw play again, obviously trying to make it and we just didn't get it.  And then at the very end of the game, we were coming right back to Yogi off an elevator screen, and obviously he wasn't going to be the only look, but in that situation, he's one of our best baseball passers and we didn't want him to get another look.  We had to take it out‑of‑bounds, but we did.  And they covered it; and Nick and James, Nick got a little higher, but they are going to force you into that.  We wanted to get a little slip action there and we got the catch, just wanted to get a catch.
But I'm proud of the way they fought.  Michigan State is an extremely talented and tough team, and they executed a high level, and they got some guys come off their bench today like Ellis who has really not done a whole lot lately and all of a sudden he's got a great game.  I like the way we responded when we got down and continue to come back, and we're going to get tougher for it.

Q.  Yogi at the line‑‑
COACH CREAN:  Absolutely, absolutely.  I mean, I'm really‑‑ thought we should have ended the half with a couple free throws to be honest with you with him on the line, and have seen nothing that would lead me to believe differently, but absolutely.
I mean, he hurts.  My shirt stretched from holding on to him.  These kids want to win.  They practice so hard and it's not just the last couple days, they are like that all the time.
But he's got to bounce back.  That's why we put him right back in a situation whether he can make a catch or not but Yogi is a winner.  Yogi is one of the greatest winners that I've ever had the personal or the ability to recruit watching him win, okay, and that was before he moved here when he was in high school at Park Tudor in the way then won:  He won two straight championships as a junior and senior, and finished as a runner‑up as a sophomore, and we put him in that position again.  So I love coaching him.  I love coaching him.

Q.  Talk about Michigan State's three‑point shooting.
COACH CREAN:  No, they are one of the best three‑point shooting teams, are they not in they got some kick outs when we were scrambling inside of the glass, but you need length on Troy, twice as much as possible, and we don't have that as much.  So we have got to have some tenaciousness with it, and he made some big plays.  He's really good.  He's really good.  That's a kid that you're going to be watching NBA games, he's going to be on a roster and he's going to be playing, whether he starts as a security guard, third guard, something like that, he's got it.  They have done a great job with him.

Q.  Only one of their last nine rebounds was offensive, machine state, but the ones they had to that point, 14 or whatever, do you feel like that's what gave them a little‑‑
COACH CREAN:  Absolutely, yeah, there's no question, there's no question and that's why we had to sub more.  And James and Yogi had seven boards, so you know you have to do a good job blocking out with your forwards, okay, and I use that term forwards lightly because we don't have the great size.  Looked like we had Collin back, he was in the fight.
But we missed some block outs.  We are going to see that film and know that was not good.  And so you've got to block out the forwards, so your guards can slide in and get it, and when we did that, we did a good job.  But a couple times we didn't hit him.  Sometimes we did, and there are a couple of times that we didn't and they got the ball and it is a very physical game.
And I don't know, I can't remember the last time watching Purdue, Michigan State the other night, that was like‑‑ I didn't recognize that, you know, and how physical that game was.  So you've got to get ready for that, right, and we did at times, but we didn't‑‑ I do know, I did see the rebound numbers, but I know those during the game.  And certainly we've got to get more out of Troy than three boards, especially when he's had 27 the last two games, and he knows that.  He knows that.
But we had to do what we had to do, and we had to sub to be in the fight, and so that's the tough thing.

Q.  What do you see on film‑‑ to stay in the zone.
COACH CREAN:  They are also really good around that basket.  And we mixed our defenses up, we mixed some of the plays.  They execute very well.  We've got to have‑‑ it really, as much as anything, it's for the rebounding, okay, and we gave up some threes in the zone but we also gave up some on the missed block outs and things.
I'll have to watch it closer.  But the biggest reason there, we don't want to get spread out and not be able to board the ball, because you get in too many one‑on‑one situations down there with Matt and Marvin rebounded well, schilling, certainly you're preparing for Dawson; Valentine is an excellent rebounder.  You have got to have guys closer to the rim.  So that's as much as anything.
What did they shoot, 7‑of‑28.  So they shot 25 percent from three.  And Travis made a couple of big ones there.  So that was our reasoning there.

Q.  You mentioned four points, three rebounds, why didn't he kick on today‑‑
COACH CREAN:  I don't know, because he practiced great.  He's practiced great.  You know what I'm proud of him on, is that when he wasn't playing as much and he wasn't as effective, we were putting him back in the game at the end of the game to help win the game.
And he was in there doing that, so that's a sign of maturity for him, so I'm going to bank on that one, and then one thing‑‑ you follow us a lot?  I mean, you work here?  Are you at Indiana?  Okay, so you know that he's had a heck of a year.  I pretty much know he'll bounce back.

Q.  The transition‑‑
COACH CREAN:  I think you just answered your own question, you said a couple of times, and there was probably 65, 70 possessions in the games.
So if we had some bad movement a couple of times that's probably on average.  I'll have to watch the film but again I've talked about what we are trying to do with that zone, and we spend a lot of time on it, and we needed to rebound better.  That's the bottom line.  And they caught us a couple times where we didn't get as much movement with the five man in the middle.  But we'll watch the film and see if we can get better from it.

Q.  What do you think you got out of Collin today?
COACH CREAN:  I didn't think we got that much because it wasn't determined until today fully.  It was looking that way, that we were going to be able to get him to go, but because he's done very little the last couple days, but also, he had to play through it a little bit, and our numbers without him, compared to when we do have him ‑‑ and we are not going to get it yet.  Hopefully we are going to start to get it next week.
It's amazing what the percentages that went down when he's not on the floor, not necessarily his and we are still talking about a guy that didn't make a three last year that is the leading three‑point shooter in the league percentage‑wise.  So we missed that, but we missed his ball movement, his basketball IQ, his hustle, his talk, his tenacity and the way he gets shots for other people from that position.
So we got more out of him than what I would have thought.  Numbers today with him were going to be a bonus, and I had some other things that if he couldn't really move as well that we worked on yesterday when it looked closer and closer like he was going to be able to play; that would have enabled him to not have to move as much, but he moved pretty well during the game.  This gives us a couple days to get him more ready and get ready to do the next thing.

Q.  The aura, is it a burden, does it add to the pressure of ‑‑
COACH CREAN:  That's a hypothetical and I'm really not good with hypotheticals.  So I'm not sure that I could answer that.  I thought our guys played with great‑‑ I thought they played fantastically hard today.  I'll leave you with that one, okay.

Q.  What was‑‑ on Devin dressing out.
COACH CREAN:  That was important to him.  He wanted a chance to do that.  That's good.  He's really gone through a lot and that was something that he wanted to do.

Q.  You go again on Thursday‑‑
COACH CREAN:  That's what I just heard but I don't know when.

Q.  What do you do to bring them back and focus on what's next?
COACH CREAN:  Oh, I think we've been doing that.  I think we've certainly been doing that.  I think if you've seen us practice, you'd look at it and you'd think we're on‑‑ well, I don't know if we practice that hard if we were on a ten‑game wining streak, but their attitudes are great and they are working really hard.
We talk a lot about what we have to do, what we have to ignore, what we have to work through, what we have to process, and at the same time just play hard and go.  And keep their confidence up.  So I don't have any trouble doing that, because I'm very confident in them, and I think they are getting better all the time.
But we did a lot more situational things to help bring confidence to them I thought the last couple days.  I think that's important.  I think having a strategy for everything, but not overdoing it, and really making sure that‑‑ because they have been through so much during the season and make sure that as young as they are they don't get inundated with everything; that they can still play with some freedom and things there but obviously we have to keep getting better.
If I can pinpoint one thing, we have got to get better rebounding the ball, because when we win, we're at plus eight and when we are lose, we are probably at minus five plus right now, and I haven't looked at that‑‑ maybe somewhere right in there.  Plus eight, we out rebounded the team by plus eight when we win in the league, and it's a little over five when we lose, so that's a big number.  That's a big number and we have got to keep building on that.

Q.  Have you paid attention at all about the talk whether you're in or not in the tournament?
COACH CREAN:  No, I really don't.  I really don't.  And I tried to get them to understand‑‑ I don't read anything with my name in it.  I really don't.  I haven't for some time.  Jaime keeps me aware of where I have to be in case there's a blind side somewhere but other than that, it's locked in to‑‑ I read, but I don't read about that stuff.  We just want to get better.

Q.  Inaudible.
COACH CREAN:  I didn't sense that, so maybe that's his view.  I thought they were playing hard from the very beginning.  I think he went to the rim a little stronger as the game went on because I would probably‑‑ we were on him about that, but I don't‑‑ yeah, I don't know.  I thought they played hard.  We have got to rebound the ball.  That's what so much of it comes down to, and they make it hard for you to score, so you have to make the next pass and things of that nature.  That stuff's important.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297