Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 83-55 win over Purdue on Saturday at Assembly Hall.
Watch and listen to his postgame comments in the embedded media player below:
Quotes after the jump.
“Well I thought our team was asked enough let down questions. The human dynamic can sometimes play into it, but not today, not at all. Not with the way they are maturing, not with the way we feel about the rivalry with Purdue. It’s a big, big deal. They’re a great program, they have been for a long time. Matt (Painter) is not only one of best coaches in this league, but one of the best coaches in the country. There is no doubt about it. When you play against them, and coach against them, you’ve got to have a strategy for everything, you’ve got to have that great mindset. Our guys did that. I thought Christian Watford came in and not only got us going at a high level offensive but the job he did on A.J. Hammons was excellent. I mean really, really good. Our guys had memories of that game. They had seen the film. They had heard plenty enough about how A.J. had 30 points in the first game and all that. We came out and had a little different view point of how we were going to defend him. At the same time they are so great on the perimeter, that you can’t be in a situation where you drop off at all on the Johnson brothers, (D.J.) Byrd, or Anthony Johnson.
“I thought our guys did a great job. A lot of excellent basketball throughout the game, in the sense of continuing to push it up. Will Sheehey, that’s why we consider him a starter, not doubt about that. I had no idea that he had a record, until J.D. (Campbell) told me, and I’m glad we took him out of the game them. I’m glad that he got it. That’s something that he will always have, when it’s a record for the school. He played outstanding. (Kevin) Yogi (Ferrell) consistent. Jordan (Hulls) consistent. Victor (Oladipo) was doing an excellent job in the game, before he injured his ankle, of letting the game come to him. Facilitating to his teammates. Cody (Zeller) just continues to do so many things. He commands so much attention on the court. He played very, very efficiently today. Scoring the ball, rebounding the ball, defending, helping, blocking shots. All the different things. I thought our team got better as the game went on. That’s what you want as a coach. You want to continue to make adjustments that will make you better inside of the game. That’s what they did. That was a huge win for us.”
On Christian Watford guarding A. J. Hammons:
“The one thing we wanted to do was put him in a situation where we could get into his body a little bit better. Change up how we defended him. He got a couple buckets in the second half. We just wanted to be a little more aggressive. We wanted to be able to come off and help a little bit more with Cody. Christian really rose to the challenge. He can guard anybody. I’m glad that people are seeing that. He’s got a toughness to him. He can make shots. He can get to the rim. He can make foul shots. But he can really, really defend. That’s big. That’s really huge. Will guarded him some. When you have guys like Christian, Will, Victor that are so multi-dimensional with what they do defensively, it gives you an opportunity to do so much. And really Cody, not just because he is 7-foot and is hard to score over, but because he can get down and guard people.”
On Will Sheehey’s play today:
“I had no idea that he had scored that many points. Usually I am somewhat tuned into that during the game. I usually have a fairly decent pulse of it, but today I didn’t. He was just so active. Again, it’s just a living example. Victor didn’t really try to press, force, do anything in the first half that was out of character, out of context because other guys were making plays to the point that I was more concerned about it than he was. That’s why he’s such a great player. Here’s a guy who is doing all these great things, getting all this attention, and he is just out there feeding his teammates and making plays. Will is the same way in the sense that he does so many things defensively. He is so locked in to helping his teammates. He literally could run our walk-throughs on the mornings before games. We’ve got some others that could to. But that just showed how locked in he was. He’s got the edge, the personality. He has completely bought in to the fact that the he is a quality starter guy coming off the bench, and understands what the game is giving him when he goes in. He epitomizes a student of the game right now, when the game going on. When he gets in there, he just plays. He is really maturing because of that. But he was all over the place. Again, because he can guard so well, and he can guard so many different people. He is so active on defense that the activity carries over to offense. I think we are going to get better. There are definitely some things that we can improve on, and we are on our way to it today, and then Vic went down. There is a lot of room for improvement for this team. Guys like Will get that, and that’s why they’ll continue to improve, and play the way they did.”