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February 25, 2017

Tom Crean

Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana - 63, Northwestern - 62

COACH CREAN: I'll be brief. Very proud of the resiliency of this group. Certainly numerous times they could have turned it in. And they never did.

And I never felt like they would. And that's the -- you've got to have the reward for going through the hard stretch that we've gone through and the reward is resiliency. And I'm not sure I could get it across to you, if most people would have any idea how hard it is to keep coming back day after day when you're working so hard and you're right there, and then it doesn't go the right way.

And that's what they've had to deal with. But there's not been one day in here -- in the Michigan game we didn't play quite as well at the end. But there's not been one day in here where these guys didn't get -- didn't bring it at a high level of focus, work, preparation.

And if you do those things and you stay consistent with it, at some point in time the bounce is going to go your way. And literally the bounce went our way.

Northwestern's an outstanding team. They're an NCAA Tournament team, if I know anything about basketball. And I don't know if I do or I don't. But I do think they are one.

He's done a great job coaching this team, building this team. And they have a lot to be proud of. It was a great battle. But our guys to find a way down seven with a minute and a half, whatever it was, to stay in there and keep coming, especially after, I don't remember when Bryant banked the three, but for those guys to do that very proud of them.

Q. Talk about the sequence at the end of the first half. Down by 12 (indiscernible). What was the key point?
COACH CREAN: Defense. They were three I think of 18 when they didn't get in the paint. So it was defensive stops. And that was the biggest thing.

Q. After James makes the 3 at the end and Northwestern got the ball back, (indiscernible) McIntosh hits the shot before the dunk. What did you tell your guys in response to that?
THOMAS BRYANT: I was, like, I don't even know, man. You're giving me sequences I can't think about. I don't know. I'm sure I said something. It probably didn't work. But I said something.

Q. How much of a momentum boost was that Devonte Green buzzer beater to cap the 22-0 run?
COACH CREAN: It gave us three more points. I think that was cool. It energized the crowd. The players felt good about that. But we didn't come out and have the same response at the start of the second half that we needed to. And so -- but no question. To cap off a half, you know, this team is not used to going on 22-0 runs. We've had teams in the past that have done that.

This one hasn't as much. But again it was how they got it. They got it with the defense. And so it was a great shot. I didn't get a good look at it. I'll watch it later. But you don't get to see that every day. So a lot of remarkable things tonight. Bob Hamlin just said no one's been proposed to on senior night that was actually out on the court. That was cool.

Q. Were you in on Collin's plans?
COACH CREAN: Yeah, absolutely. Not many were. I kept it quiet. He told my wife. And he told me. It's been in the works for a little while. But absolutely.

Q. You got contributions from many guys. But during that 22-0 run Devonte didn't play at all outside of (indiscernible)?
COACH CREAN: Very good.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
COACH CREAN: I think that group, I think the Devonte, Juwan, De'Ron, James, Josh, if I remember correctly, I think that group was plus-15 in the first half. That's outstanding. And I think he just played it with a high motor. Moved the ball. There's certain things you've got to live with. That one turnover late in the game, it's just not -- he's going to get so much better when he can play with those eyes up. And he'll be such a better player. He really will.

Most guys go through it and he's got to get to that point. But he played hard. He just played basketball. And he held his matchups very well. So he did an outstanding job.

Q. Just that last about nine seconds from when James grabs it, dumps it off to Thomas, how did you see that unfold? Were you trying to get --
COACH CREAN: It was just a great play. It was just a great play. They did a great job.

Q. They were doubling Thomas a lot inside. To adjust in the second half away --
COACH CREAN: There's two things we weren't doing with the double. It's a post escape. The post escape, we were holding the ball too long on the first pass. The pass out of the trap is usually going to be the second pass. So two things need to happen -- well, three things need to happen.

You get it swung, okay, to the first pass. You get it swung again quickly to the other side and you sprint in front of the nearest man. So whether it's your man or the doubler, okay, sprint in front of him and seal him in the middle of the paint. We weren't doing a very good job of that. We were holding the ball, trying to dribble it rather than try to reverse it. That's where we had slippage.

And we knew -- part of our adjustment package, you can't not play through your four man when you know that's who the double is, but we tried to move them more in the second half just like we opened the game, trying to move them invariably when the ball is going into the post randomly they're going in there. So we work every day on post escape. We just didn't get that ball swung as quickly. We were trying to look to throw it back in on the same side. We didn't get a flash middle.

Q. How satisfying is it to not only break the losing streak but for Collin Hartman?
COACH CREAN: I'm happy for the players. I really am. Coached 18 years, there's very little I haven't been through or haven't seen. Not a lot anymore affects me one way or the other. But senior night always will and no question about it. And especially knowing what I knew was going to transpire after, you want that to be good.

And so it's fantastic. And it's bittersweet with Collin, but like I said in here yesterday it's the epitome of what you want of Indiana basketball. He's got options. He can move into a great position work-wise or he can come back and play another year.

And no one could fault him either way. He's done a fantastic job. You can all see it. He's an outstanding young man with an outstanding family. And now he's joining another one. So that's great.

Q. Is that your first proposal?
COACH CREAN: I'd have to think about it. But I imagine yeah, I think so.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
COACH CREAN: Very good. Because we were in a different defense. And once we went back man we didn't feel as good with it. But Thomas needed to settle in a little bit and we needed -- I felt good with that. There's been a couple other times we've been close to that. And he did fine.

Q. You said yesterday Collin still open (indiscernible) the last game one way or another --
COACH CREAN: I wouldn't think so.

Q. (Indiscernible)?
COACH CREAN: We'll get into that tonight. It's another one of those games, like I reminded these guys -- who is at the top of the league right now, Wisconsin, Maryland Purdue? All three of those games came down to either the buzzer, the last possession or the last two possessions. And so what these guys have got to understand we didn't get those wins, but at the end of the day we just gotta figure out how to get over those humps. Will it be easy in there? Absolutely not. Very difficult place to play. They're good. They hit on all cylinders. We'll make adjustments in our plan. There will be some different things we'll need to do, no doubt about that, as we've gotten a little bit healthier. And at the end of the day you've got to go in there and weather runs. We're not going to be able to go in there and have periods of time where we're not getting good looks or we're turning the ball over. At the end of the day with them it's defending them in transition and it's blocking out at the end so they're not getting the second shots. That's the most important thing I think and just kind of build as we go.

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