TOM CREAN TALKS HILLSDALE
November 4, 2013HOOSIER SPORTS 365
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana head coach Tom Creanmet with the media on Sunday night to talk about Monday's exhibition game against Hillsdale College. Here is a brief transcript of what he had to say.
Head Coach Tom Crean
"We are going through the whole process of learning how to go hard every day and learning what it takes. I heard a great term last night and I think it fits our team, `resiliency training'. I think it fits exactly what we are trying to do. We are trying to understand what it takes to be fundamentally sound, our footwork, our ball handling and our shooting. At the same time we are trying to get our team to understand all the concepts that go into it and I think the most important thing is that we have a ton of upside and we have a long way to go to get to that upside.
"Our situation is one where we are going to stay hard at it, keep being demanding on the mental side of the game, which makes the physical side so much better. We continue to look for different combinations and look for ways to get better on the court. The most important thing is we have to establish an identity. Teams that establish it quickly and can lock into it are the ones that get better over the long period of time.
"What I have to do for them is establish what their roles are going to be right now. It's very early for that. We are getting ourselves into a sense of what our expectation level is when it comes to shooting the ball, who is shooting the ball where, ball handling, level of screening, level of rebounding, all of that. With a young team it is important that we can do that.
"They are working hard, but have to learn how to compete a little bit longer. I think tomorrow night is going to be a great test for that. We are playing against a team that played very well at Valparaiso and obviously, must have played extremely well against Toledo. This will give us a chance to see a very good shooting team. It gives us a chance to go against some very good players and game plan for them."
On the identity of the team:
"I think what they have to learn is that the offense does not create the defense, the defense creates the offense. We are fast and are trying to get out and run our break, but we had the first over-the-top basket today that we have had in a week. Cody Zellerused to get a couple every day and that's with everyone running back to stop him. It has to come from the defensive side. It can't be let's just work so hard on our offense, it has to be the defense creates it and the rebounding creates it. Like I told the team, you are never going to dominate games with fast break points, but you add fast break points, hustle points, you get the points off turnovers, now you really have a chance to be good."
"We have to be a better rebounding team. I don't think we are pursuing the ball the way we need to. I don't think we are as physical as we need to be. We have to get as much physicality out of this team as we can. We have to take very good shots. My biggest concern going into tomorrow night is turnovers. We are trying to be fast and up-tempo."
On the focus of practice:
"We are maxing out our time on the court because we have so much to do. We are carrying over our individual workouts into the practices. There are certain minutes I want to make sure we are getting every day. When it comes to basic things like passing, cutting, layups and three-point shooting, I think our fast break drills have taken a detour because of all the time we are spending on that. We are spending a lot of time on footwork and positioning defensively and rotations.
On what needs to improve from last game to this game:
"I want us to challenge shots better and not gamble defensively. At the same time I don't want to take away their athletic instincts. We need to learn how to be more solid defensively. I hope we use our length even better and that's a team that got over 50 deflections. I want to see the leadership improve. I want to see game leadership improve. I want to see more accountability from them to each other. I don't want to see lack of energy or frustrations, which you see young teams go through. We have to be solid on defense and physical in our blockouts. We need to take care of the ball offensively and at the same time try to break the speed barrier."