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 12, 2019

Tom Crean

Athens, Georgia

Georgia-95, The Citadel-86

TOM CREAN: We have to get better established in our game when the game starts. I think the first half these guys learned it was a hard lesson. We're not going to win a game against a team like Citadel by outshooting them on offense. They know way more about how they want to get all threes.

The bottom line for us is we want to do a really good job of not only helping on the dribble, staying with our man, they had numerous three-point shooters out, go to go to work early. When we did, that we guarded well. When we didn't, they made open threes. That's where we have to continue to get better.

That's the number one issue we have right now as a team. I said this back when the fall started: How are we going to get our rebounding right? That's what we got to continue to build on.

We also have to get our urgency and communication right offensively. To play at a pace like this tonight was a great experience for a bunch of new guys.

Q. You talked about the eight turnovers. You also had 18 assists. When you're evaluating this team and guard play, how important is assist-to-turnover ratio?
TOM CREAN: It's going to be very important. I think it's more the ball touching in the paint, are we getting it inside. Our bigs have got to become better passers, look to pass the ball better.

We played four guards, right? That's what the game was giving us. The game wasn't giving us a situation where our bigger guys were as urgent as they needed to be, with guarding a team that's playing five out like that.

When you're delivering and moving the ball, there's so many possessions inside of this game. The more you touch in the paint, make that kick, that's more important than any of the assist-to-turnover ratios because there's a really good opportunity you have to get a great three because of that.

If we can build up and keep cutting back our turnovers and make simple plays, make simple passes, don't try to hit doubles, triples and home runs. You hit enough of them, you end up pretty good.

At times we did that, but at times we didn't. We just have to keep learning what settling is and what attacking is.

Q. Citadel goes on an 8-0 run. You called a timeout. What is the message, what did you want out of that timeout?
TOM CREAN: Well, we're going to be fine, right? You got to do it with a way that they buy it, right? At that point we've got to figure out this is not how we're going to win the game. The lineup we have right now is not how we're going to win this.

The lack of urgency was what the problem was. We don't communicate well enough. That falls a lot on our upperclassmen, it really does, our frontline. We need some guys that are going to quarterback. We don't have Nick Claxton back there being able to switch one through five at 6'11" and a half and a seven-foot wingspan. We don't have that right now.

If that's not you, you have to quarterback the defense. You have to make sure you're doing your work early in the post. You have to get up on shooters, right? You got to be comfortable away from the floor.

Nick probably wasn't that comfortable away from the floor a year ago right now. We have to get there. Tonight that's why we have to play a much smaller lineup.

Really I think, if I'm not mistaken, we made a mistake on that timeout, right? We wanted to get it inside, we wanted to get it inside.

We got really good guys, but the lack of maturity came out a little bit tonight with our settling and thinking the game was going to be won on offense, getting our head down as we're going, as well. We got to continue to grow through that.

We've just got to learn.

Q. The rebounds, you're obviously not a big team, is it a product of your physical stature or is it fundamentals and commitment?
TOM CREAN: I don't think it's fundamentals as much as commitment. I think that's what it's got to be. You want to play, you have to figure out how you're going to get on the court. Rebounding, defending, talking, running both ends.

Every time we got outran against the press tonight, something good happened for us, even if we didn't make a shot. We're not physically aggressive enough. We're not urgent enough on the glass yet, we haven't been. We've got to be there on both ends of the court. When you're going to play smaller, you may not get the offensive rebounds when you're playing smaller, but you got to get the defensive rebounds.

I tell them, I want to stop the shot, okay, see a team picture of five guys somewhere in that paint vicinity every time that shot goes up. I won't be watching it a long time tonight looking for that picture because it wasn't there like that. That's where we've got to get better.

We're not a team that is going to have a guy, Rayshaun is capable of it, but we have to start doing it. Ray doesn't grade out high enough at all on where he should be as a rebounder for his size and age. Really, none of our bigger guys do yet. It's early, but they have to grade out even that much higher.

If we're going to shore up and be able to compete, we've got to have a team defensive rebounding mindset with five guys being inside that paint.

Q. Who did you see as the leaders in tonight's game?
TOM CREAN: I think leadership, I don't really judge it like that as much. I thought Anthony did some really good things, I thought Sahvir did some really good things. I thought Tyree was rebounding when he wasn't worrying about missing shots. We can't have him be like that. He has to continue to be locked in. Donnell tried and showed some.

But we're a quiet team. I'm really not going to give anybody the gold star for leading the way with communication or taking the bull by the horns inside the game. But those guys I just mentioned did a pretty good job or we wouldn't have won the game.

We found a way to close it out, which is very important. That's the greatest lesson we learned, if we're going to have strength in numbers, even though we might not have strength in certain positions, per se, we're going to have strength in numbers, you got to be able to play different ways.

I would have loved to have them have to match up with us so they got to guard us inside. But we weren't able to do a good enough job of being able to match up with them to do that. So the game was giving us a smaller line.

Q. What did you make of Anthony's performance tonight?
TOM CREAN: I have to watch the film. I thought he did a lot of really good things. He has to understand he has to attack. When they would box-and-one, I thought they triangled-and-two us. He's got that in his repertoire. I thought Anthony made adjustments really quick. We got him off the ball in practice prepared for any of those combination defenses. I thought he did a really good job coming off that.

I think he did a lot of good things for a second college game.

Q. Kentucky lost.
TOM CREAN: I heard that. What was the score?

Q. 66-64. With Citadel, do you come out of this saying Whew?
TOM CREAN: Citadel is good. It's a tough scheduling matchup. They shoot threes, right? It's a tremendous opportunity for us. We've dealt with that. Dealt with a team that not only shoots it, but shoots it that well.

It's part of it, right? There's going to be some very tough nights. Fortunately we were able to get this one.

Q. Jaykwon Walton, is he okay?
TOM CREAN: What do you mean?

Q. He didn't play last game.
TOM CREAN: Yes, he's fine. No issue there.

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