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December 19, 2016

OG Anunoby

Tom Crean

Robert Johnson

Bloomington, Indiana

Delaware State - 56, Indiana - 103

Q. How important was it to cut down on turnovers?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think that's very important. As the season goes along and we start to get into Big Ten play, that will be something that's very, very detrimental to our team. If we turn the ball over and let guys get out in transition and things like that, that makes it hard. So I think as the season goes along and we can build that turnover margin, it will be pretty good.

Q. Rob, what do you think of the team's defensive effort?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think today was a lot better communication-wise. I think we were connected on defense pretty much for the whole game, except a couple mistakes. When we did make mistakes, we didn't stack those negative plays on each other. We came back with a positive play, so I think that was good.

Q. OG, you didn't miss a two-point shot. What do you think was the reason for that?
OG ANUNOBY: Just my teammates finding me and, yeah, making it easy for me.

Q. What do you guys feel like you learned about how valuable OG is from when you didn't have him?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Oh, we knew it would be hard without OG just because of everything he brings on the defensive end, guarding multiple positions, rebounding the ball, and his versatility on offense. So we're excited to have him back.

Q. He had a career high four blocked shots. When you look back at the Butler game, is there anything you learned from that?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Yeah, I think a couple of things. We let our intensity drop. Coming out I think it was pretty good, but it wavered throughout the game, and we let guys get comfortable, especially some of their shooters. Like Martin, we let him get a little comfortable in the second half, especially with some of those threes. And that's just something we've been focusing on, staying connected and sticking to the game plan and taking guys strengths away.

Q. Did you get a chance to maybe step back a little bit and look at film when you were getting help with your ankle?
OG ANUNOBY: Yeah, I got to watch film and look at my mistakes and look at the things I did right and look at the things our team did right and try to fix the things we did wrong, and continue to do the things we did right.

Q. What were the last couple of weeks like for you?
OG ANUNOBY: Just watching the game, supporting my teammates and trying to get my health back.

Q. How are you doing?
OG ANUNOBY: I'm getting better.

Q. Robert, you guys obviously got off to a hot start. Can you talk about staying that intense?
ROBERT JOHNSON: You said was that the key for this game?

Q. Yeah, because you said you kind of had a little lapse last game. You got off to a hot start here. Is that more guys staying up longer?
ROBERT JOHNSON: Most definitely. Especially coming off a loss moving forward you want to immediately get better doing some of the things you didn't do well. And I think today we put forth pretty much a 40-minute effort.

Q. OG, how much better was tonight's game?
OG ANUNOBY: Tonight we were a lot more connected, talking more and playing with better intent.

Q. Rob, how big a part was getting OG back and being connected defensively? How big a part of the defense was that?
ROBERT JOHNSON: I think it's very big, especially when you have a guy back there like that. Like today you had four blocks, so when you know somebody can erase some of those mistakes if you're out pressuring the ball and you happen to get beat, it makes the defense that much more connected and it allows the guards to pressure a little bit more.

COACH CREAN: First thing, I love the way our team got off to a really good start with the offense, 32 points in the first ten minutes was huge. I thought the energy of the crowd was fantastic, especially with the holiday game like this and to have so many people that maybe aren't here on a regular basis be a part of it was great.

I thought the energy was really good there. I loved the fact that we got better as the game went on. I think the last 26 minutes of the game they shot 11% from three. They shot 27% or so from the field. Those are all positive things, because we wanted to really focus on us tonight. They had certain things that we wanted (no audio).

Number 44 is a very good mid-range player, and I thought our guys did a really good job of being locked into their personnel, which sometimes isn't as easy. But a short turnaround, especially when they're not household names like some of the guys that they play in other games are.

So, good balance for us. 62 deflections was huge. I think the fact that we scored on so many offensive rebounds, even though there weren't as many for us to get, but the ones we got, we scored on.

I thought the ball moved really well. Not just because we had 28 assists, but even when we missed some shots, I thought the ball was moving at a really good rate. I thought our athleticism was really sharp. I felt like our practice last night, even though it was short, was outstanding. They learned a lot from the film.

Q. It seemed like the energy was there right from the beginning. You have to be happy with that?
COACH CREAN: Oh, sure, absolutely. No question about it. Our big thing tonight was no matter what we were doing offensively, let's not let the offense dictate how we're guarding, not at all, and I didn't think we did. I think we got off to a good start. Our deflections were up at the beginning of the game. We were active.

We knew we had to challenge shots a lot better, and it was very clear in the film from the other day that that was the number one weakness that we had in the game, and they weren't happy with those numbers. I wasn't happy with the numbers. They weren't happy with the film, and they showed really good resiliency and maturity, and responded in the short window that we had.

There wasn't one point tonight where I thought we weren't playing extremely hard. Even when we made mistakes, we were playing really hard and competitive.

Q. What is the key to limiting turnovers?
COACH CREAN: Ball movement. The ball just moves quicker. And we're still trying to throw a few home runs. We want to play fast. When you're playing fast, there's going to be a few. But I think it's just, it's really not that the ball doesn't move because it does move. It's got to move one dribble sooner, and when it's moving one dribble sooner, even without the dribble, that's a big part of it.

And I thought we were good in our cutting. I thought for a short turn around they knew what we wanted to do on the weak side tonight, and the key was to continue to reverse. So there was always a weak side that the defense had to be adjusting with. So things like that are important, but we're getting better with it.

Q. Can you talk about Robert Johnson's game tonight? He had 16 points, rebounds, assists and blocks.
COACH CREAN: He's playing well. He played with very good energy. Focus was good. He did a lot of good things the other day, but I think like everybody today, their defensive energy and their defensive pressure, especially in the case of Rob, it's so important that he establish things with his defensive pressure. And we were a little sloppy in the first half with some reaches and things like that. We were a little overaggressive at times, but I thought he played really solid the whole way.

His number one thing, you know, there are different things that we're working on constantly that he can be better at offensively, defensively, but it starts with his defensive ball pressure and energy there, and that's where he gets himself going, and I thought he did a good job of that.

Q. OG had a couple weeks off. Can you talk about just trying to learn a lot and from the bench watching extra film? Does it feel like you got some things out of it?
COACH CREAN: No, I have no idea. He played well tonight. That's all I know. I don't think you learn a lot from being out. I think you learn a lot from practicing and playing most importantly. So I think that showed up tonight. In his first game he played the other day like it was his first game back in some period of time, at times. Tonight he played like he's capable of.

Q. You have one game in the next nine days before Nebraska. Is there something you'd like to see this team improve on before that?
COACH CREAN: We just want to keep getting better. I mean, absolutely we want to keep being more efficient defensively with our hands. We don't want silly reaches. We don't want to try to throw home run balls. We want to continue to get better shooting the ball, whether it's outside in, inside out.

The ball touched the paint the other day against Butler, we were at 66% in the ball going through the paint. Tonight we were 84% in the second half alone. That's key. That we just keep understanding how the ball has got to touch that lane, whether it's a post-up or whether it's a drive. And the more we reverse it and stay true to our spacing, the better we are.

So it's just a matter of, there are no wholesale changes. We only added a couple things for this game. We do that every day, but the most important thing is we just stay with a real mindset of how efficient we can be on both ends when the ball is moving quick and when our feet and hands are moving quick.

Q. How's Juwan? He said he was not himself the other day.
COACH CREAN: I think he looked pretty good on that dunk, so I think he's fine. I think he's fine.

I think he did fine, and we won the game 103-56. I started him in the second half. Did I go with OG in the second half? Yeah, I was just moving it around. He's fine. Did he look injured to you on that dunk? No, he looked pretty good, so he'll be fine.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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