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February 12, 2014

Tom Crean


COACH CREAN:  Penn State deserves credit.  They persevered throughout the game.  They never lost their belief in it, and we gave into the pressure of the game a bit.  The two things that hurt us throughout the night were turnovers and the ridiculousness of those, but more importantly tonight is the scouting report defense.
It's the greatest form of toughness.  Everybody thinks they understand toughness.  Toughness is consistency.  It's consistency of a purpose.  The three words, "do your job," when you can do that consistently, then you've got a form of toughness.  When you break down and you give in and you make mistakes, this league is good enough to make you pay.
This team was first in attempts, in attempts and percentage, and we were going to try to take away the paint.  We were going to try to take away the three‑point line.  Same thing we did against Michigan who had much of the same ability.  They could get to the basket.  They could get to the three‑point line.  They could score.  We were the same team that did that a week ago and did it with a lot of success.  The bottom line is when you don't stay true to what your job is if that means I don't leave my man, I don't leave my man.  That means I force him left, I force him left.  If it means I communicate a screen, I communicate a screen.  If it means I switch, I switch.
When those break down enough, that's where we never took their belief away from them in this game because we made too many mistakes along the way that allowed them to stay in it.
The turnovers, there is no excuse.  I'd like to say, you know what, if we did this, if we did that.  What if we just aired it out and slowed it down?  I'm not sure that's the answer.  We need easy baskets.  So you have to run some that we just‑‑ we lost this game defensively by allowing them to stay in it with mistakes and then the pressure of the game got to us a little bit.  Couple five‑second calls and a couple of‑‑ I keep going to the word awareness, and that is the nicest word I can use, and that's what we've got to continue to coach, and we'll get right back at it.  As I said to these guys, any night, anybody can beat anybody in this league.  We've done it, they've done it.  Anybody can do it.
The only way we'll be able to get better is to come back and get better.  So that's all we can do.  So go ahead.

Q.  Talk about that five‑second call?
COACH CREAN:  That's lack of awareness.  You have to call a timeout when you take the ball out there.  I would say panic.  I would say guys not rolling back.  You're going to be held.  I mean, there is no question about that.  Couple of call, couple weren't, you've got to play through it.
The bottom line is you've just got to make a basketball play.  You've got to make a play.  The press offense, you just roll back and screen and roll back.  Use the baseline, pass fake, have the awareness, okay.  When you can't get it in, call the timeout sitting right there.  I mean, that's part of it.

Q.  In terms of the last five minutes, the offense sort of came to a halt.  You guys didn't make a basket.
COACH CREAN:  I haven't looked at the offense yet.  I'm sure you're right.  What is the question?  What happened to us?

Q.  Yeah, you guys were scoring pretty effectively before then.  Definitely high‑shooting early.
COACH CREAN:  We had a few turnovers in there.  I don't have a great answer on that until I watch the film.  But when you're trying to‑‑ you've got to have more than one or two guys that can get the ball where it needs to be.  We missed some shots, a couple of quick ones, but I mean, I'm rambling now.  I've got to go watch the film.  So it obviously wasn't good enough, but I've got to watch it.

Q.  What were you hoping to get on that last play?
COACH CREAN:  Yogi or Will on the side.  We needed a screener there.  So get the screener to the middle, just get into an open‑court play.  Get a jumper, get to the rim or throw it to Will in a one‑on‑one type situation there.  We put (No Microphone) in the middle of the floor.

Q.  This deep into the season, how do you get there?
COACH CREAN:  We've got to go back to work tomorrow.  I can't psycho analyze it.  We've got to go back to work tomorrow.  It is what it is.  This team beat Michigan a week ago.  It's just we've got to come back.  That's the way it is.  I'll be there.  You know what I mean?  That's the bottom line.  We've got to get ourselves ready to go beat Purdue.  That is the bottom line.

Q.  You mentioned the defensive guys getting out of position.  Did you see that throughout the game?
COACH CREAN:  Absolutely, yeah.  Absolutely, we showed them at halftime again.  We gave up No. 3 is in there.  No. 3, right?  No. 3 is in there to do one thing.  Take three‑point shots, and we gave off him, and he had three threes tonight.  So I don't know if we make a lot of changes defensively, all right, because the same type of mentality of not coming off shooters who beat Michigan a week ago.
So it really becomes, I don't have a better answer for you than it's lack of‑‑ it's just you can't just play to play at this level, and it's not just the youth.  We've got a fifth‑year senior out there that's got to play better.  But we've got a fourth‑year senior that's got to play better.  We've got all to do better.
So bottom line is that that's, in this league when guys are penetrators and they're kicking at the shooters, we won a Big Ten championship at Michigan last year doing the same type of thing.  Trying to take the outlets away from Trey Burke, you know, we win the championship.  So it's just a matter of being able to carry out the game plan.

Q.  You mentioned when you had them in timeouts or were they panicked in the huddle the last couple of minutes?  Did you see some things that could help you?
COACH CREAN:  I was very calm.  I was very calm.  I don't think we had our‑‑ our leadership could have been better at the end.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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