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February 11, 2014

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Read what head coach Tom Crean had to say on Monday (Feb. 10) as he took part in the Big Ten Coaches Weekly Teleconference with the media.


Opening Statement

“Our focus now is on the week ahead. We are getting back to practice today after taking yesterday off and totally being locked in to Penn State after we go through the corrections and the good and bad from our game at Minnesota and what we can learn from that.  We are ready to roll.”


On message to players regarding fan behavior changing over the years:

“I think the biggest thing, obviously every coach in the country is going to be reminding their team of it today if they didn’t yesterday. For us, you can’t let anyone get in the way of your career or your responsibilities to your team and, most importantly, you can’t let anyone get to you in a way that will affect you in a negative way. It’s a lot easier said than done, there is no question about that.


“The more that you can treat – especially on the road, which is hard – the noise and barbs (from fans) as faceless and nameless, the better you are going to be. It is very, very hard to do. It’s very easy to talk about it but it is a lot harder to actually do it. You want people to have an incredibly competitive spirit when they are playing. It doesn’t matter if you are a coach or a player, it is very hard to turn that off. If you turn it off too quickly, you don’t win games. But you have to keep trying to remind people that the fight is within the lines. The fight is within the 94-feet, the football field, baseball diamond or whatever it is. You keep the fight in there and you keep your edge in there and keep the rest as noise that you work through.”

On drawing the line between good home atmosphere and abusive atmosphere and what schools can do to help:


“I definitely think there is a line. I am always begging for an incredible home court advantage because we have the biggest student section in the country for games and sellout crowds and you want that. You can’t just rely on human decency to override the emotion and passion of the game. I do think the line gets crossed constantly and I’m not saying, I’m not in the fan section. When you go on the road the line does get crossed. The best thing you can do is cheer for your team. You can root against the other team without making it so personal, the bottom line is we are not going to legislate or govern that. When it crosses the line I think that is where security and administration should feel the ability to remove someone. There are many environments that don’t cross the line. It is not always a great environment for the road team, but you don’t want one where it is so abusive in that in breaks their spirit in what they are out there to do. I think that is where the line gets crossed a lot of times.”


On the defense the Hoosiers used against Minnesota with using zone near the end of the game:

“At the end of the day we planned and Richard Pitino did a great thing, he had a poor foul shooter in the game and he took him out at the timeout. There was really no one in the game and with the seven-second differential; you got to trust your defense. It really comes down to this, when we look at how we were playing the ball, we were doing a great job on the ball and then we extended. The last thing you want to do with a young man with that speed and quickness is getting extended. We were doing a good job of keeping him off-balance, but we let him get to his right hand and the bottom line is I’m not sure the zone would have changed it with the spacing that they had on the court. Every once in a while you have to win your own battle and the one-on-one battle that ensues you have to stay true to your technique and the detail of it. It rarely comes down to one possession and I don’t think that should be lost in it. They made one more big play than we did. It was a big play and it was a deciding play. The bottom line is you have to trust your defense in that situation and I’m not sure going zone without a ball screen, if the ball screen would have come, it’s a natural, where we would flow right into the zone, but without that you got to win the battle.”


On the differences with Penn State and how they have worked transfers into the game:

“I think it doesn’t matter what their record is, they play with tremendous confidence. They play with a real edge. They get to the basket. They make free-throws and they are defending better. You can’t look at this team and judge them on percentages, you have to judge them on ability and their ability to create havoc on offense and defense, this is still a team that has the same people that we played against at the beginning of the Big Ten season and they are that much more experienced now. If there is one guy who is continuing to flourish people would think it is Tim Frazier and D.J. Newbill and they are, but Brandon Taylor is playing extremely well for them also.”


On the progression of Jeremy Hollowell and Troy Williams the last few weeks: 

“On the practice part, Troy has had some very good weeks, Jeremy has had some good days. As Jeremy turns those days into weeks I think it’s going to be even better for him. When he goes in with a defensive mindset being aggressive on both ends of the floor, with rebounding and attacking the basket, good things happen for him and he went in with that approach the other day. The more he is consistent in practice with that approach the more he can carry it over into games. Troy just continues to get better and better. We are going through the learning process. The learning curve with three freshman and Evan Gordon being, new to us and all those things, they are still new to this league. They have to continue to get that understanding of what it takes in the league and what it takes to be locked into every possession. When you have young guys you have to live with the mistakes as you get to the successes. I think in the case of Troy, he is practicing hard and now there is more of an efficiency with him and I see that carrying over in games as long as he continues to have the same approach.”

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