Indiana coach Tom Crean met with reporters following the Hoosiers’ 86-57 exhibition win over Indiana Wesleyan Thursday night in Assembly Hall.
Watch and listen to the press conference in the embedded media player below:
Some quotes after the jump.
“We expected Indiana Wesleyan to be a tough aggressive team. They are extremely well coached, there is no doubt about that. That is one of the reasons why we wanted to schedule them. I believe in what they do. I like their coaches. I think they will have an outstanding year.
“They were 1-0 coming into the game and they had scored 91 points, so we knew that they had a lot of offense. I thought once our guys really settled into the game and really started to defend the right way. We got down. They made some shots, and at the same time, we were a little off. We really didn’t start figuring out until the second half that we really needed to get into them. Not in a fouling way, but we were bringing fatigue to the game and we really need to bring pressure. I don’t mean in a full-court pressure way, but really getting up.
“It was really apparent in our pick-and-roll defense, that we have to do a much better job of being active with our hands and being up in the ball. We were late in some traps. But I thought our guys played hard, there is no question about it. We played 12 guys in the first half and we played 11 guys 11 minutes or more. We couldn’t have drawn it up any better than that. I didn’t go in with that plan, it is just the way it worked out.
“I thought we did a lot of good things, in the sense of moving the ball. We capitalized. We played the game extremely hard and serious the entire time when we started to make defensive changes as far as how we were playing certain things. They were very locked in. Guys that came into the game were very locked in.”
On Maurice Creek getting back on the court:
“I was very excited for Maurice (Creek). It was emotional watching the crowd react to him. That’s not surprising, because that’s Indiana. But nonetheless, you never take it for granted. I don’t think any of us take for granted that have lived with him, the fact how special it is that he is out there. It has been a long road. He’s earned it, and he has done it. There was nobody in there outside of Tim (Garl), Je’Ney (Jackson) and our doctors rehabbing with him. They were helping him do the weights, and helping him strengthen his legs, and go through those surgeries. He has earned it. I think he will be better for it. I think that you have seen again that he can really help this team.”
On the depth off the bench:
“I think that is big. You’re not deep, if you’re not consistent. Then all it is, is bodies. Our guys are trying to get consistent. We’re trying to go from having a mindset which they have really established. They come in and they have a great work ethic. They have really good energy. There is a mutual respect among one another. The mindset of playing and competing is very strong. Now they have to get an identity. You don’t just walk into a season with an identity. It’s not necessarily the one you had before. If there is a team out there that has already established their identity, that’s great. We would love to play them in February. Because, unless they are special, they are probably going to be a little different. You’ve got to work into it. And these guys are not different. There are a lot of quality of players on this team. When they are moving the ball, and when they are playing that way and defense is dictating it and when you score 48 points in the paint and 23 points off turnovers. Those are all really positive things. Those things don’t happen if you can’t go to your bench and create some fatigue for the game for the opponent.”