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December 17, 2016

Tom Crean

Indianapolis, Indiana

Butler - 83, Indiana - 78

TOM CREAN: Most disappointing thing for us today was our defensive shot challenges, far and away, and I don't even have to see our film to know it's the worst we've done. It's the second time this year that we've let our lack of offense affect us on the other end, especially in the first half. I mean, we're right in the game. I never even had one -- I wasn't even fearful at all, and I knew we'd make shots in the second half. You look, they made 7 of 14, we make 0 of 14, and it didn't seem like a big margin to me. But I never liked our spirit defending. I really didn't.

It's disappointing. So that's the most important thing, and as I told them, until the end of the game, we never had one guy say, I want that matchup when it came to Martin. We never got him off. He's a straight-line driver. We wanted him to change direction, we didn't get that. We wanted to bring him into some traps. We didn't get that. And he started making shots that were bombs that we just -- and he wasn't the only one. I think I'm going to be really, really, really disappointed when I look at the film and see the fact that having a hand up is not good enough at this level. Having a hand up in their face and at the rise of the ball is what this level is all about. It's correctable because we haven't done that. That's one of the reasons our defense has been so good, but today we didn't have that.

Juwan never got into the sync. Juwan wasn't cleared to play until this morning because he got injured in practice the other day, and he wasn't himself. OG's being off affected him, especially in the first half, and trying to find his way, and he got better in the second half, but that's no excuse, those are just things that we dealt with today, but we never got our defense under control, and I mean, the turnovers turned into some points and things like that. I can't even think about that right now because just the way we've been guarding is so much better, and to give up open threes -- and they made some tough shots. I'm sure we'll look back at it, and they did, they played an excellent game. Outside of a couple things, they were ready for what they were doing. They got us on the out-of-bounds play at the end, but we were standing straight up, so I think I could have got the lay-up at the end if we're going to stand straight up on that.

That didn't beat us. What beat us is our tenacity with our hands and our communication on ball screens, and they got comfortable, and when a team gets comfortable making shots, that rim looks a lot bigger, and they're already a great shooting and great passing team, no doubt about that, and we let it be too easy for them. So that's why I'm not even remotely concerned about coming back, about how close it was. We didn't guard well enough.

I don't have much else to add, but I'll try.

Q. Just to follow up, you said you felt like it's the second time this year that guys have let lack of offense let it affect them at the other end of the floor --
TOM CREAN: Yeah, I don't know. I'll rephrase that. It affected us in the first half.

Q. Just the fact that the turnaround in the second half, the second half comeback, was the defense generated, even know you know you're disappointed --
TOM CREAN: Yeah, I'm sure it was. I've got to be honest with you, I have to watch film. I'm sure it was. We didn't get the game locked down defensively. We let that team be too comfortable in this environment, and they're good enough that you can't let them be comfortable, and we were battle tested, they played a good schedule, we played a good schedule. They got too comfortable shooting and opened up things for them. Yeah, we made shots and all that, but we've got to guard better than that. I mean, I don't have a lot of brain power to go beyond that right now until I watch the film. We've got to guard better.

Q. What do you emphasize with a guy like Josh coming out of a game like this? It looked like he was forcing --
TOM CREAN: He wasn't very good. He wasn't very good, but he did the best job on Martin at the end of the game. In retrospect I probably should have done it earlier. Rob did a decent job to start the game, but we didn't keep that up. We wanted him to attack. It's a fine line with that because he's very -- he needs to play faster, right; he needs to build his stride. There's times he plays very short stepped, very short legged, and he's not, and we want him to play downhill. I think we're going to see the film, he probably could have shot a few more free throws today would be my guess. But I did think he did a good job going to the rim, so I don't want to distract that. I mean, I don't want to detract him from doing that. Some of those shots didn't go. If some of those shots go, we're sitting here totally different outcome, but I mean, we're not going to -- I'd rather have a guy aggressive and trying to make plays and there's a chance to make the basket, create a foul, drop it off than not.

I don't have a big issue with that. He'll play better, and I did not start him in the second half. I started him because we needed to get OG going defensively is what we needed to do. So it's a lot of time, and I sometimes forget those guys are sophomores, but I can't let them be in there and Juwan and OG and think that they're sophomores because they've got a much bigger role for us, as does Thomas, obviously, and if that's unfair, that's too bad. It's where we're at. They want to be great players, they want to play in the NBA, you've got to be at a high level every night no matter what.

Q. You mentioned after the Fort Wayne game that you maybe saw it coming, a poor performance. Is there anything in the preparation --
TOM CREAN: Oh, yeah, I think our preparation is fine. I don't see that. We had injuries. We didn't practice with Juwan for three days, two and a half days. When you've got -- it just throws you out of kilter. It's not an excuse. He played like a guy that hadn't practiced the last couple days. He wasn't his normal confident self, and that -- so yeah, we had a good week. There's no issues with that. Discombobulated because of timing and that type of stuff with exam times, but everybody goes through that. There's no reason for that. They're fine. We just didn't guard well enough. I don't think it's -- it's not a -- as I told the coaches, there's no magic answer, we've got to guard better. We've got to get our hands up, and I'd like to tell you that it's a lot deeper than that or that it's a lot more schematically involved than that, or it's a lot more detailed than that. We've got to get our hands up and we've got to communicate our switches, and when we've done that, we've beaten some really good teams, and when we haven't, we have an outcome like today.

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