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


November 3, 2015

Tom Crean

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 82 Ottawa - 54

COACH CREAN: The highlights of the night for me are the way we came back. There's so many things that happen in a game when momentum is up for grabs. We got up 12 in the first half, we didn't close it, we didn't close the door on them. We had some turnovers, some home run-type plays rather than coming down. At the same time it was simultaneous with wanting to get in the bonus. We didn't do it as quick as we would have liked. We adjusted in the second half.

The second half wasn't as much about the bonus being a factor as much as it was playing through fatigue, trying to bring fatigue to the game. Then the last 10 minutes of the game to score 25 points basically I think we were 2.5 points a possession in the last nine and a half minutes, whatever it was, and basically I think we stopped it on 13 or 14 possessions.

To me that's the sign of things that we've got to learn. Like I said to them after the game, the quicker you form an identity that you can carry with you, home, road, no matter who you're playing, the better off you're going to be.

It's hard to do. But the bottom line is creating an identity with the defense, with the pressure, not only bringing fatigue to the game but playing through it on our end and then getting good quality shots, playing with tremendous energy.

I thought that we did that. We managed minutes with guys in a good way. It was the most minutes Collin Hartman has played since he got injured. His first day of any type of contact was the last two days. So he did a nice job.

We can talk about individual players if you want to. Bottom line for us, we took a team that is outstanding, number one in their country, just like we're going to see next week with Bellarmine, number one in Division II, by design, to give ourselves a chance to go against those types of teams.

We'll learn from this. We'll learn from them. A lot of adjustments inside of the game. Guys had to guard different matchups constantly because of their ability to shoot the ball and because the way they were looking for their matchups.

Couldn't have asked for more. Tremendously well-coached team. Very good players. Obviously well-tested because they're playing so many games.

Probably the way our guys played, improvement-wise in the game, especially the last 10 minutes.


Q. Is your team more physical around the glass this year?
COACH CREAN: I don't know yet. We got young guys. It may look like it tonight. I'm not sure if is going to look like that when we match up with other teams in the non-conference. I'm not sure it's going to look like that when we play against Maryland, Purdue, Michigan State, Iowa and people like that. Bottom line is we have to be. We have to play with aggressiveness, we have to play with tremendous energy. We have to have more guys to the glass. There were a couple times it looked really impressive with the effort we were showing on the offensive board, with Thomas, with Max, certainly with Troy, but we have to get more from others. That's going to have to be a huge part of it for us.

We're going to take threes. We didn't shoot great tonight by any stretch of the imagination, but most importantly neither did they. They were averaging 14 threes coming into the game.

There's going to be long rebounds, but there's also going to be rebounds at the rim and we have to be able to be a factor on both sides. That's definitely something that I hope we're seeing improvement in that throughout the year, but this is a good start.

Q. In some ways was this a little bit more instructive than an exhibition? Seemed sharper than maybe an American opponent.
COACH CREAN: Yeah. They're well-coached. They came out in the second half and they read the matchups. They have Plunkett, who going into the game, of his 66 shots, 59 of them had been threes. We didn't want Thomas in the post because it's so much of a four-on-one team. They did an excellent job of looking for the matchups. He gets it. I mean, it's fun to watch him. It's fun to watch his films.

But to me Thomas happened to make those adjustments inside of the game and then not overhelp, then at certain times overhelp and recover. That's invaluable for him because he's going to have to guard numerous people for us. Sometimes it will be a post man. In this league and in this non-conference schedule, you're going to see a lot of multi-dimensional forwards you'll face. He's one of them.

That to me was good. They knew exactly what they wanted. They passed the ball. I wasn't exaggerating with the way they passed. We wanted to pressure the passes. No question we got spread out a little bit, had too much help. But I liked our recovery.

The fact they missed some open shots, I'm not sure how he feels. They missed some open shots in the second half. I think fatigue might have had something to do with that.

At the same time we challenged shots. We didn't give a lot of open shots in a game like that. Really, really happy that we chose to play them. We would play them again. We would like to play Carleton again. For those of you that went over last summer, you know exactly what I'm saying.

I was reading a stat where Carleton and Ottawa played last year, they played in front of 12 and a half thousand people where the Ottawa Senators play NHL hockey. They're used to doing some things. It was great to have a team like that to face tonight.

Q. Max making it to the starting lineup, do you envision that moving forward?
COACH CREAN: I told the team before the game, it's the truth, we don't have a starting lineup. Nobody's unseeded Yogi for that position. But we don't really have a starting lineup right now. We have tremendous competition in the guard spots. We're going to have it in the forwards. All the forwards are going to have to play. There's going to be nights it's going to be very matchup oriented. Predictions on lineups will be just that, predictions.

So we'll do different things. I wasn't displeased with that lineup at all. The starting lineup was our number one plus-minus lineup of the night. We'll see down the road. If that's the starting lineup next week, would it be a shock to me? I'm not saying it wouldn't, I'm not saying it would. It's really irrelevant. Combinations are relevant. Who plays well with who is relevant. Who finishes is extremely relevant. That to me is going to be key.

Q. (Question regarding positionless basketball.)
COACH CREAN: Well, if Thomas can get out and guard the way that he did. There can be a lot of improvement there. Plunkett really was behind him. He was behind the three-point line most of the night. We gave up too much ground there. That will be something for him to learn.

We moved it around. I was really proud of Thomas when we came out of timeouts and we moved him around on purpose. So he was literally playing spots on the court that he's not played in practice. It's a great time to do that to see how he adjusts to that.

Last year we weren't a great after timeout team on new things. We were a pretty good after timeout team on stuff we did. We weren't as good of a team of coming out on things we saw inside of the game. We wanted to do some of that tonight. He adjusted to that well.

That's all part of playing positionless basketball to me. That part of it, they can all shoot, they're getting better with their handle, though at times it didn't look like that tonight. We still misread traps, we misread when it was time to split, when it was time to take on the forward. We missed some simple passes. But I get that.

If we can get to a point where we can guard different positions, then that really leads you to another place offensively, and I hope we can get there.

Q. How do you feel guys adjusted to having the size inside? James felt like he said rebounding was easier because of the size. Pros and cons of guys adjusting to suddenly playing with more of that size inside?
COACH CREAN: I'll have to watch the film. I don't think we graded out high in the backcourt guys of getting to the offensive glass. We're trying to do things like that this year to utilize our athleticism. When you play a smaller lineup, Troy has no choice. I mean, he's got to be on the glass. It's one of his strengths.

We've got to get more rebounds, not just long rebounds, but we've got to get more tough rebounds, inside the paint, inside the arc from our guards based on where they're at at the time.

When it comes to positionless, once the ball gets down the court, we don't really have what you would call a point guard. The point guard to me is the one that throws the ball ahead the best on the break after made baskets. Other than that, it's really moving, it's free flowing with the exception when we want a matchup.

But there was an aggressiveness from Thomas, from Troy, from Max to a degree, from Yogi, Collin to a degree, but he was a little rusty. That was one of the biggest things he did to get on the court last year, was his offensive rebounding.

We get ourselves to a point where we get very aggressive no matter who is on the floor of getting to the offensive glass, staying back, staying in no man's land, we'll get better.

Q. What changed for you going into the second half?
COACH CREAN: I think we were very conscious of it. Very, very conscious after our first half of getting up 12 and not taking advantage of the situation. That's really big for us right now because we want our foundation to be really strong. Being able to play with a lead, just like being able to come from behind, there's an art to both, right? It all comes in the sense of, all right, how well are we taking care of the ball? We don't want to play slow, but we don't want to make home run-type plays, we don't want to make plays that aren't there, we want to make simple plays.

At the same time we want to get the ball inside to the post so we can play inside-out. I think we did a better job at that, but it was frankly better defense. Better defense longer periods of time led to easier baskets for us.

Q. (Question regarding Max and Thomas playing together.)
COACH CREAN: I'll have to watch the film. I think the plus-minus showed good. They spent some time in practice together, but a lot of times they're battling each other. That will play out over a period of time.

But the numbers look good. Now we'll see if the film backs it up. I thought they were comfortable with each other.

It's going to be really, really important for Max to be a true quarterback. He doesn't have to be the baby-sitter or the big brother of the young guys, right? But he does have to be the quarterback. Because he's very smart, he's changing his role, he can do things.

He had 14 deflections tonight. He might tell you he's done that before, but I'd like to see visual proof of that. 14 deflections, pretty impressive for him. Those kind of things, you get that kind of activity from Max and from Thomas, that's going to be good for us.

Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
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