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 15, 2019

Tom Crean

Athens, Georgia

TOM CREAN: First off, I appreciate you being here and covering the football team, too. I made this point when I walked down before the game. I've worked for a guy that you wouldn't have been here on Friday night when you jump on that charter airplane and be in Auburn and be ready for the game. If there's Greg McGarity before, after the game, and now heading to Auburn. And our fans, I know a lot of them will head to that football game tonight or tomorrow. But Mike just told me it's the third highest three-game start to a season in attendance. That just says so much about our fans says, so much about our students. It doesn't go unnoticed. It's absolutely imperative for us to build our program to get our team where it needs to be. I think they're having fun, and they're bringing a lot of spirit and energy to us. So hopefully these guys, the way they're playing tonight, brought some spirit and energy to them, because those guys played with really good joy. They had fun. We got better. With only one practice between today and -- well, did a walk-through today. But yesterday we practiced. We needed to get much better from Tuesday night with our transition defense, things of that nature. And it was certainly about us doing that. And thought our guys got better there. Greg McGarity told me we had 30 assists. I had to ask him to say that three times. I'm not sure I've ever coached a team that had 30 assists. I might have been. I don't remember. But loved the way it moved, and it's just another step in our journey of how much better we gotta get, because there's a lot of things we have to get better at. But tonight was a good step in that direction, and also proving what we can control, and that's what this team has gotta learn. A lot of good basketball from a lot of guys, really good basketball from a lot of guys. With that, I'll turn it over.

Q. What did you say when Anthony doesn't have the typical game?
TOM CREAN: I would say if you took a -- if you asked who was the happiest player tonight, playing the game, Anthony should win it. And we had a lot of guys playing with a lot of joy. But he wants to win and he wants to see his teammates do well. And he saw some things tonight -- I would call an action, and he was actually able to see a better opening. It was almost like the audible. We were in the play and he'd see something different. He's a very, very good passer. He's a very good distributor. 7 assists, 9 deflections. Did a lot of good things there. We tried to move him around, and he reads the game. He's learning to read the game all the time. So I think that's the takeaway for me is is how happy he is playing. He's young. He's 18. There's going to be tough nights. But tonight he did a really good job of moving that ball. And he guarded. He put a lot into his defense tonight.

Q. What did you see from Rayshaun tonight?
TOM CREAN: He played with joy. He played with confidence. He played -- he played relaxed. Relaxed means he played urgent and aggressive, too. Not relaxed and casual, but relaxed and urgent, aggressive, active. When he's playing like that, he's a very, very good player.

Q. You talked about urgent. Did you see more of that tonight?
TOM CREAN: Yeah. The guys, like you make a play, if I reach on you in the back court because I missed a shot, I look like I'm trying to get a steal on you, that's fake hustle. Right? If I run back on defense and I come across the lane and I draw a charge on you, that's real hustle. Right? There's a lot of ways to fake hustle. There's a lot of ways, in sports, especially in basketball. But when you cannot fake is the urgency, and you cannot fake the urgency on defense, you cannot fake the urgency on the glass, because that takes a lot of consistent work. Right? And that's what we've gotta learn. That's a huge word for us, because they're not used to that.

When you have that many young guys, they're used to being able to shorts cuts. They're used to being able to being very talented and getting away with things and stopping people because of that talent or because of their body or because of their length. It doesn't matter who you play in college basketball and the ones that want to play and move on beyond this it's even more so. You have to have a level urgency in what you do. And that takes -- it takes experience. It takes going through it. It takes maturity. And it takes we have to constantly stay on it, and that's what we're trying do.

Q. Do you like how this team has developed in these first three games?
TOM CREAN: Yeah. I thought, considering we took a step back defensively Tuesday night, to take a step forward like we did tonight, I think is a good sign, because it showed in our practice yesterday, and they responded to the film. And what I like to think they responded to the film. They saw that it wasn't just a coach getting out onto them about it; it was they didn't like what they saw. That's part of the maturity process. That helps build the urgency to this. There's so many things with this many young guys, new guys that we've gotta get better at. But I do like the jump from Tuesday to Friday with only one day to prepare without taking Wednesday as our day off.

Q. You talk about the 30 assists. You also had 11 turnovers.
TOM CREAN: Four in the second half?

Q. Yeah. In the third game of the year with this many newcomers, like are you maybe not surprised, but are you impressed that things have come along to this point this quickly?
TOM CREAN: When I look at like the defense, the other night in the transition and the lack of rebound, I'm still looking at how stagnant we were on offense, too. With that being said, there's a lot of room for movement. There's a lot of room -- you know, tonight our biggest focus offensively was we had to hit the paint. I've had teams where we haven't had key paint touches on the bench; I've had teams that I never worried about them, because they got them in the paint. They got them at paint, and it wasn't just scoring in the paint. It was getting in the paint, the ball touching the paint and being able to reverse it out for a three or drop it off or those type of things. This team is going to have to have that. They've gotta understand the value of how important that ball is to be in that paint, what we still want to be able to cut, we still want to be able to spot it out. We still want to be able to post. So we've got a long way to go in so many years, but we've just gotta stay -- we've gotta work to stay consistent with our progress and see how it turns out.

Q. You mentioned the leap forward from Tuesday to today defensively. What specifically about the defense did you like tonight?
TOM CREAN: Transition was better tonight. The urgency of getting back, getting back, getting in front of our man, not driving them back. Clarity where the ball. We gotta get a lot better there, considering the schedule we have coming up. Tonight was a step in the right direction.

We're behind in so many areas -- I hope this make sense. We've been spending so much time trying to get them to understand how to play. This is how we have to move without the ball. This is the cutting. This is the spacing. These are our actions. This is how we want to guard the ball. This is what we want to do in the post. And sometimes you don't always understand this is what's gotta be done so we win. Right? And the things that we do the most, which is running the floor, offensively or defensively, rebounding, right, moving without the ball. Right? Those are the things that you have to be really, really good at. It determines if you're going to win or not. And we're behind on that. We're just behind on that. Because there's so much for this team. We're really in the first chapter of a book with this team, so to speak, because there's so much that they gotta get, they gotta be better at. And so that's kind of where the focus is. We'll look at this, got a list of things that we gotta get done this weekend to improve and we'll have for them tonight and get ready to go.

Q. As you look at the rotations that you have --
TOM CREAN: I don't have any yet. But go ahead.

Q. That's kind of the question I had. So you play 11 guys in the first nine-and-a-half minutes.
TOM CREAN: Is that what it was?

Q. So do you like having that all depth? Is it a luxury to be able to play all those guys?
TOM CREAN: It's hard for them. It's hard for them. And it's really hard for them, because when you have a bunch of new guys that have always played, like first game of the year that might have been the first time that some of the starters never started a game. Right? That's hard. I mean, they can say, well, it's college basketball. That's hard for them. Right? So in answer to your question, yes. We want that.

We've gotta be able to, if we're going to play -- that's why our transition D, our half-court D, those things gotta get solidified so that we can practice, so that we can mix defense, so that we can run even more, and then we have a chance to get some strength from numbers. Right? But right now we've gotta a lot of guys learning what this deal is about, in practice, in school and when it comes to these games, but eventually hopefully they -- yes, we want it to be a necessity more than a luxury. And that'll be the hope as we go forward.

Q. You talk about playing with joy. How does that affect your team tonight and then moving forward?
TOM CREAN: What do you think? They look happy? Yeah, they were excited. You know what, it started on the defensive end. It started on the defensive end and it started with the way that they attacked the paint. And the other night we started the game by shooting jumpers, and we did not have urgency defensively whatsoever, and it permeated through the game. And tonight they did a great job of that. So that, that's where the joy comes from. And I tell you what, a lot of that, Anthony's got something to do with that now, because when he's moving the ball like, with all the hoopla and hype that he has with people looking at him, the way he plays and the kind of teammate that he is, that says volumes about him as an 18-year-old. Volumes. Volumes. And I love that about him. I mean I love that about him. And I think that they all have it. When a guy like that is leading the way with that and showing that enthusiasm, look at the way he was Donnell when he hit that three the other night, that helps permeate a joy inside our team. But it's not all going to be bouquets and roses here as we go through this. We're going to be in some tough, tough situations. If you can fall back on that joy; you can fall back on the skills that you're developing and work through it, then you have a better chance.

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