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March 16, 2013

Tom Crean

Victor Oladipo

Christian Watford

Cody Zeller



COACH CREAN:  We made a couple of comebacks in this game, and we did an excellent job of that, and every time we made that ocmeback with what was working for us, we got a way from it. 
We had some critical turnovers at key times.  We had some critical second shots we gave up at key times.  The biggest story for us is we've been defending the three the last six, seven games at an incredibly high level, and today we didn't.  We didn't.  And they got some kick‑out threes and things of that nature, but we got a way from what had been making us better.  We started to over‑help again, and tried to cover for one another when there was no need to do it.
Those are the things we just can't do.  I mean, it's possession by possession games.  And there were times we got the pace going in a good way and there were other times we just have to bare down and play.
They are all correctible, because they are all things that we do‑‑ but they are areas that we just have to be very, very consistent with.  But Wisconsin played well.  They shot the ball very well.  They made some open ones, and they also made some tough ones, there's no doubt about that.  And they answered the bell every time we made a comeback.
But the biggest disappointment is every time we had something working, like I said, we had to come back in and we didn't stick with it enough.

Q.  This was a goal but not the goal; despite the loss, how do you feel going into that event?
CODY ZELLER:  Obviously we wanted to get this win today.  We'll learn from it.  We'll figure out what we did wrong.  We'll make the corrections and get ready for next week because that's what's most important.

Q.  In the first game against Wisconsin, you had 18 points in the first half.  What was different about the way they played you in this game?
CODY ZELLER:  Nothing, nothing too big.  You know, I always want to be aggressive.  You know, they do a nice job inside of not fouling me, going into the lane a lot.  They weren't falling as well as they were.

Q.  How frustrating was it, you made a couple charges at the end and they would respond right away.  How frustrating is it to claw back in the game and see them gain more separation?
VICTOR OLADIPO:  It was tough.  Credit them, they did a gate job down the stretch, and you know, we had some key turnovers like Coach said that we have to look back and see what we did wrong and fix it and get ready for the NCAA Tournament.

Q.  Victor, how comfortable are you that this team is playing its best basketball at the right time of year?
VICTOR OLADIPO:  A little bit.  Like Cody said, we really wanted to win this one.  We are going to have to go back and watch the film and see what we did wrong, correct it, and get ready for the big tournament, because we want to be successful in that, as well.

Q.  Christian, are you shocked with what Evans has done?  Every time he's played you guys he's been a great player.
CHRISTIAN WATFORD:  We made some tough shots and we tried to take the ball out of his hands and stuff like that.  He made some tough shots, hats off to him.

Q.  How much do you think other teams are going to look at Wisconsin, the way they played you guys, as a way to blueprint a way to game plan for your team?
CODY ZELLER:  They have been trying to slow it down on us all year.  We always want to speed up the pace, and you know, with our pressure, if we are getting after them on the defensive end, getting deflections, then that's how we want to play.  We didn't do enough of that and enough to speed up the pace tonight, which is why we got beat.

Q.  Did you feel like the problem on offense was stagnant ball movement?  Looked like at times you were reversing the ball and then Wisconsin went after those charges and seemed like the ball slowed down a little bit.
CHRISTIAN WATFORD:  We knew what we had to do.  We knew we had to move the ball in order to be successful against Wisconsin.  We just tried to force the ball in; it happens.

Q.  This is 12 in a row for Wisconsin over Indiana.  Is there any explanation for that?  I know you had some lean years as you rebuilt the program, but they seemed to really give you guys problems.
COACH CREAN:  They are a very good team, extremely well coached, disciplined, great staffs, inside‑outside scoring, great balance, and just an all‑around great team, they are an excellent team and have been for a long, long time.  As long as he's the coach there, they will be.

Q.  The last time I saw you, you were turning your focus maybe a game a little bit, your first year at Indiana, you won your first conference game and you were struggling since then, all these years later, can you give me a sense of why you guys are where you are right now?  You come in as a very high seed and you're probably going to have a really good run in the Tournament; is there thing that you can point to over the years that's brought you to this point?
COACH CREAN:  Consistency of work habits; getting better team, constantly because the talent upgrade has been most importantly because the work ethic continues to get better.

Q.  Same question I asked Victor.  Are you comfortable that your team is playing its best basketball right now?
COACH CREAN:  Well, I guess we just need to improve.  Bottom line is there's certain things we can get better at.  That's an all of tough question when you get beat today like this, but if you asked me the question yesterday, I probably would have had a different answer.  But we didn't play as well today, so it's just a matter of going and looking at the film, making the corrections that we need to make and moving forward.

Q.  How much stock do you put into winning a conference tournament when you're trying to win a National Championship?  I think in 2003, you guys didn't win the USA tournament‑‑
COACH CREAN:  That's a hypothetical in the sense of 2003.  My mind-set is you try to win every game and take the next one as it comes, and certainly we would have liked to have won it. 
       But it doesn't undo what we have done to this point.  It doesn't undo any of that.  We have had an excellent season.  There's room for growth, there's no doubt about that.  But we would have liked to have played better today, no question.

Q.  You had an extended conversation with Coach Ryan, can you talk at all about‑‑
COACH CREAN:  I told him he's a great coach and always looked up to him and what he's done in his program.  I hope they go a long way in the NCAA Tournament and I hope his father starts feeling better.

Q.  Bill Carmody got fired today from Northwestern.  Like to know your thoughts on a fellow Big Ten coach.
COACH CREAN:  First thing that came to my mind is when Rob Ryan lost his job with the Dallas Cowboys, he said he would be out of work about five minutes.  I doubt Bill Carmody will say that, but that should be the case.
He's a great basketball coach.  He's done a phenomenal job at that university, did a phenomenal job long before that.  He should be one of the more higher‑demand coaches, and all anybody needs to look at is what Bruce Webber has done this year at Kansas State after leaving Illinois.
Bill Carmody should get the same opportunity at another league, there's a lot of prestigious leagues out there and get an opportunity to coach in, and I would be shocked if he didn't have great success.  I don't know him well personally but I know him enough to have great respect for him.  When I see on film and going against him, I have incredible respect for him.

Q.  Quick turnaround and different styles you've played over the past couple of days, how does that prep the team for the tournament?
COACH CREAN:  I think it always helps, yeah.  I think it's a matter of understanding.  But we didn't do some of the things that we do on a consistent basis today, and that hurt us as much as anything.  They played an outstanding game, but like I said at the beginning, you've got to understand what got you there, and we did a great job coming back and then we got away from that a little bit.  But we can play better.  We will play better.  We have played better and we are going to go find out next week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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