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INDIANA UNIVERSITY BASKETBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
December 9, 2015
Indiana - 90
IPFW - 65
THE MODERATOR: First question for Harrison.
Q. (Question regarding extended minutes.)
HARRISON NIEGO: You know what, when you have foul trouble, you have to jump in and it's the next man up. That's kind of how we do things around here. Someone gets in foul trouble, gets hurt, I have to be ready no matter what. That's kind of the mindset I came in with today.
Q. What do you think you were doing well?
HARRISON NIEGO: You know, probably just defending, running the floor, defending, just playing solid basketball, letting our play-makers make plays. Really just being solid on the defensive end. Moving the ball and kind of doing whatever coach needs me to do.
Q. (Question regarding the dive into the IPFW bench.)
HARRISON NIEGO: You know what, that's kind of just the passion I play with. It kind of comes naturally to me. I didn't second guess myself. That's just how I played. I didn't hesitate. Play hard, that's what I need to do day in, day out. That's how I will impact the game and help impact this team.
Q. Did you realize you broke the chair?
HARRISON NIEGO: I did. We were just talking about that. So I apologized. That's going to you, J.D.
Thank you, everybody.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Troy Williams, Robert Johnson, Yogi Ferrell.
Q. (Question regarding career-high scoring.)
YOGI FERRELL: I mean, basically I was surprised myself some shots went in. Some of the times I couldn't even see the rim because they had a hand in my face.
My mindset was to go out there and basically just attack the rim. If they scored or if they missed a shot, rebound. That was my mindset, just to attack.
Q. Troy, what did coach tell you when you came off?
TROY WILLIAMS: One more rebound. That was it. He said, Great job on the boards. Old self again. Good job for the team. Really, Just one more rebound.
Q. (Question regarding rebounding.)
TROY WILLIAMS: In the right place at the right time.
Q. (Question regarding his shooting tonight.)
ROBERT JOHNSON: It was just a good effort by my teammates to find me when I was open. A lot of the shots I got were wide open. You can't miss a lot of those.
Q. (Question regarding Troy's rebounding.)
ROBERT JOHNSON: Yeah, it was fun to watch. You know, and Yogi, too. That's just what they're capable of, so... Hopefully we can keep it going and see that more often.
Q. (Question regarding the defense in the last two games.)
YOGI FERRELL: I think we're doing a better job on defense, ball screen coverages. Tonight we took another step with Thomas playing ball screen defense. Max has been there, he's a five-year guy. I think Thomas took a great step into learning how to guard defensively.
When you got guys like Troy, Thomas, Collin, who can go in there and block shots for us, that's definitely going to impact us. We're going to want to continue to get stops.
Q. (Question regarding Harrison's big game.)
TROY WILLIAMS: He played great tonight actually. Coach told him to keep ready. As you could see, he stayed ready. He came off the bench and played great minutes for us.
Q. (Question regarding practice habits.)
TROY WILLIAMS: Actually, it is. Coach always says, Play like you practice. He did today.
Q. (Question on big scoring night.)
YOGI FERRELL: Man, I wish I could have got that (laughter). It would have been fun to get just to break a record.
But, you know, I'm not going to force shots. I just basically took what the defense gave me. I'm going to keep that in mind next time.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
COACH CREAN: This is the kind of game where you got to make so many adjustments inside of the game and your level of experience doubles because you have to learn how to play inside of the way the game's being called.
I thought both teams had to do that tonight. I thought our team, now in the last two games, we've held two teams to 34% shooting, which is really indicative of how much better they want to get.
But the fact of the matter is we transferred it to the other end tonight, too, with the speed of our break, the ball movement. We had a few more turnovers than normal. The bottom line is we had to make a lot of adjustments in the game.
We had some great personal numbers. But some of the things that really stand out to me were Rob Johnson not only making every three but 13 deflections. The way Thomas had to make adjustments inside of the game with the ball screen defense and be able to make that adjustment and handle it. The way Max continues to impact our team on both ends of the court. The fact that James, a week ago, he's on fire tonight because of the foul situation, never got in the flow, but you couldn't see it. That's maturity. He kept playing. It wasn't a great game. He'll have many better ones. But you couldn't tell it. That's really, really important stuff.
So the way Troy played, that's the Swiss Army knife, the guy that can do all those different things and do them at a pretty high level. I thought Yogi controlled the pace of the game times two, all right, because he played at a very fast pace, at the same time he put a lot of pressure on the ball.
We have great respect for them. I think they're going to win a lot of games. Like I said to him at the end, they find cutters the way we did a few years ago when we were really, really good. There's things to be learned from that. I think they're going to be really hard to deal with as a team.
I think this win, again, will end up being good for us, like Morehead State. Keep taking strides, take the experience, show improvement, keep learning from practice and keep learning from the films.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. What is the impact that Harrison had?
COACH CREAN: He played more minutes in one night than he's played the whole time. He had to leave pregame meal early because he had to take a final. It's hard to remember sometimes these guys are student-athletes. He had to take a final because it was given tonight. The teacher allowed him to take it early, which I surely appreciate.
He's got a lot to give. I think when he was on the court, they were 5 for 20. That's really good. So if we can keep building on both ends, offensively, defensively, in all those areas, and play with good pace, he can be a real contributor for us.
I'm not surprised that he played that way. He's a very confident young man. At his age, high school AAU, he was always a leader. I thought he came in and played to his personality. He really made our team better tonight.
Q. Something a little bit different about Troy tonight?
COACH CREAN: I think Troy responds. Troy responds to different things. He responded to getting better. He responded to improvement. He responded to playing with even more energy. The key for him is to continue to build on that.
That's what practice is for. That's what film study is for. That's what continuing to have experiences like this that can carry with you because you know you're capable of it. That doesn't mean he's going to get 19 boards every night, but he was all over the court, which is what we need from him, and that's when he's at his best.
Q. (Question regarding free-throw attempts.)
COACH CREAN: I think it says that there were a lot of whistles called. We needed to adjust to the game. I thought that we did.
We had some fouls certainly, too early in the game. We played the game, especially the first half, with key guys in foul situations. We haven't had that many guys at one time in those foul situations, that I remember.
But it says that we really read the game. We read the way the game was. We didn't settle for shots when we could drive it. We continued to play through the paint. I think our paint numbers were really good. Our drive and attack game.
Again, our aggressive mindset was on both ends. That's really how it has to be. When you're not as aggressive on defense, it's going to carry back over to your offense, right? If you're in a settle mode, you're not going as hard and as tough as you can on the offensive end, you're not going to be as aggressive on defense. You're doing both constantly inside of the game. It's not football.
To me, when guys are at their best is when they have a real aggressive mindset throughout the game. I think that's how we played.
Q. (Question regarding Thomas' off night.)
COACH CREAN: Did he have an off night by your estimation? You're looking at the stat sheet. I just said he made adjustments. Again, you're looking at the stat sheet. I don't just look at the stat sheet.
He made adjustments inside of the game, okay? He got rebounds. He had to adjust in the pick'n roll. They're really good with the ball screen.
It's real easy to look at the stat sheet and say he had an off night. The most important thing is he got better inside of the game even though it didn't transfer into the stat sheet. I have a different view of it.
His confidence will be just fine, all right? He's dealing with injury situations and things like that that are internal that he has to get through. We keep trying to help him through all of that. I think he's just scratching the surface.
For us to be a really good team he's got to get more than four points and two boards. But as far as the adjustments he's having to make defensively and do the things against these quick guards when they run up into these ball screens, I think he's making progress.
Q. (Question regarding Yogi's big game.)
COACH CREAN: I don't think anything comes easy for anybody on the team. I don't think anything comes easy for a guy that's that good. I think he pushed the pace. I don't think they gave him those points. I think they're a good team and he had to earn them. I think because of the way he was on the attack on both ends of the court, good things really happen.
It was also the involvement of everybody else doing their job. You know, ball movement, body movement, screening, cutting, being guys that have to be guarded because they can shoot the ball. I think all that stuff really helps.
Really proud of his effort. Really proud of how it started on the defensive end.
Q. (Question regarding defensive efforts behind the scenes.)
COACH CREAN: I'm just with them all the time. It's through practice and film. It's internal. But we spend a lot of time together. It's just a matter of being with them to watch them improve.
But all this is is a win. We're 7-3. We got to get better and we got to get back to practice tomorrow.
Q. (Question regarding James' mental side.)
COACH CREAN: No, not mentally at all. I think it's just his body. I think he's still recovering from the injuries and all those type of things. I don't think it's mental, no. James came to have a really good game. He got some foul trouble. That's all that is, so...
No, I think mental aspects are really overrated. When you come in and work hard on the court, work hard in practice, you study the film, you're honest with yourself, you want to improve, I think you get better mentally real quick.
What I said about him the other night is I just don't think he's where he is going to be physically, speed-wise, things like that.
But what else is he going to say? Of course he's going to say he's right. He'll continue to get better.
Q. That's what I wanted to ask, the ability to recognize a game like this, how it is going to be called, how important is it?
COACH CREAN: Oh, it's crucial, absolutely crucial that you figure out. When you can figure out the way the game is going to go in the first couple minutes, then the trick is to don't trick yourself, right? That's the key.
It is what it is. You just want it to be consistent. Those guys, I have no problem with the officiating. They called the game the way the rules are written now. All you ask in that is that it's consistent on both sides. You have to make your adjustments. I thought our guys did.
I thought we played a pretty intelligent game. Certainly there's room for improvement in every area, that area, too. But I think our team's going to get a lot better.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports