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December 12, 2015

Tom Crean

Thomas Bryant

James Blackmon, Jr.

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 105, McNeese State 60

COACH CREAN: I thought our guys played an impressive game from start to finish. We had some really good runs offensively and defensively and moved the ball well. We got good shots. Really good stands defensively which keyed our offense, so we're excited about that.

We played relatively fast and at the same time didn't turn the ball over and give it back. And so we did lot of good things tonight. Really good effort and I thought everybody contributed.

Q. Impact of Max the last three games?
COACH CREAN: That's one reason we wanted him so much. When that opportunity came we thought there was a lot left on the table for him to provide. He's playing with a lot of confidence and he's getting better all the time and he can shoot the ball and rebound it and he's smart and defends. Those are kind of things. And he's playing with some really good guards. Yogi just had 12 assists in the last two games. I think that's impressive. So, we're excited about Max and he's going to have to have a huge role for us moving forward.

Q. The level of focus tonight?
COACH CREAN: I think the focus speaks for itself in the way that they played. So, I think they measured it pretty well. To shoot the percentage and the defensive and I think we closed really well. So I think those things are really good.

Q. You got Juwan back tonight. How important was that?
COACH CREAN: Really important. Really important. We're happy to have him back. We weren't sure it would be this quick, so it was great to have him. And he's going to be a key guy because we need every bit of help we can on -- because he can defend a lot of different ways. But we need that help on the front line, no doubt.

Q. How is Thomas' foot?
COACH CREAN: We'll see when we get to practice, talk to the trainers and we'll base it on our schedules and we'll go from there.

Q. Finals week coming. How do you balance the academics part with the basketball?
COACH CREAN: Like we always do. We put the academics first. And I think that speaks for itself here, for seven plus years. So there's a lot of days that we don't have a full team at practice throughout the entire time anyways. So that's just part of it.

But there's enough windows to create our practice times, and at the same time, let them get the time that they need to study. But there's never an issue with that. They do a great job academically and we have got it well structured in the sense of not only their exams, but their study sessions and things like that.

Q. Talk about Thomas's big night.
COACH CREAN: I think it's very important. It's very important for him. He's worked hard. We got some extra work done with him today, which was this morning or this afternoon before walk through, which was good. And just kind of reestablishing a couple things for him. But the ball moved really well. Those guys did an excellent job tonight, no question.

Q. Point of emphasis this week?
COACH CREAN: Everything, we got to get better at everything. There's really not any one thing that I would say that we hang our hat on. You want to work at everything offense, defense, rebounding, special situations, individual improvement, team breakdowns, all those type of things.

Q. Thomas, is it difficult to maintain focus on a night like this when it is your last game before break? Is it tough to maintain sustained focus on a night like this?
THOMAS BRYANT: I wouldn't say it would be that hard. Of course, there are there are some lapse in the game where we lost a little bit of focus. But the team was all bought in. Everybody knew what their job was and when we saw one thing, like, laxing, we all picked it up and all talked to each other to get it back on track.

Q. How's your foot?
THOMAS BRYANT: I'm fine. I'm healthy. I'm just working on just working on getting better each day with the team.

Q. Talk about all the open shots.
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: For me, yeah, it was spacing that's something I like to work on with the other point guards, like Yogi, and we try to work on that together of the so talking about that more and it was ball movement. Our whole team was moving the ball well and that's something that we said at halftime that we should keep doing.

Q. Turnover forced?
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: Yeah, it was aggressiveness, sticking to the scouting report and then I felt like one time in the huddle when we saw that they were scoring on us a couple times we just brought it together and said let's tighten up on that.

Q. Season low turnovers.
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: Ball movement making the right pass, making the early pass to guys running the break and just being smart and I feel like everyone took care of the ball I feel like tonight.

Q. (Question on the last three games.)
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: I feel like it was a spark to what we want to do. We felt like we just want to keep it up and the coaches talked to us about how this is practice for Notre Dame. So we wanted to come out and make a statement a little bit.

Q. (Question on staying out of foul trouble.)
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: I watched myself on that. Just keeping my hands up at all times because I felt like when I get them in there a little bit they're going to get me for that. So I felt like I was a lot better with that and, yeah, I feel like everybody did well at not drawing fouls on themselves.

Q. Talk about the measuring stick of Notre Dame.
THOMAS BRYANT: Well, it's huge for me. It's a chance to play another Indiana team. We only get a couple chances at that after, I feel like we only get three chances at that this year, so it's something that we really want to win, it's something that we all talked about and it's always good to play at Bankers Life.

Q. Have you watched Notre Dame?
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: I haven't watched Notre Dame that much this year, just haven't had time, but, yeah, I'm really good friends with him and V.J. Beachem, so I know the way they play a little bit.

Q. Talk about your battles against those Notre Dame players.
JAMES BLACKMON, JR.: Yeah, well me and V.J. played AAU all the way up in high school together and me and Demetrius went at it a couple times in high school. I remember he might have had 40 and I had 40 one game or something like that.

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