Tom Crean, as well as Christian Watford, Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls, addressed the media on Saturday in anticipation of Sunday’s bout with the Temple Owls.
Watch the players:
Complete transcript after the jump.
THE MODERATOR: We’re now being joined by Indiana student?athletes Christian Oladipo, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, and Cody Zeller. We’ll open up the floor for questions.
Q. Victor, I know you faced a lot of good offensive players over the course of the years, a defensive stopper. Can you just talk about Khalif Wyatt’s game and what presents a unique challenge in slowing him down, a guy who likes to get to the line a lot.
VICTOR OLADIPO: He’s a really good player. I’ve been watching him throughout the year. He’s the best player in our league. That’s why he won Player of the Year in that league.
He does a lot of good things well, a lot of different things in order to score the ball. If I get drawn to him in an assignment, I’m going to have to do a good job of slowing him down in order for us to win.
Q. Victor, we talked to you at Selection Sunday about just being in this region and the opportunity to play in D.C., if you guys made it to the Sweet 16. You’re one game closer now. Does that put even more, for you personally, into this game?
VICTOR OLADIPO: No, I don’t really think so. I know me and my teammates are just focused on tomorrow’s game and the task at hand. If we’re fortunate enough to get to the next round, then you know it’s going to be an exciting experience, but there is no next round if we don’t get the job done tomorrow.
Q. Is defensive stopper a job that you’ve been drafted for, you volunteered for? How did it all develop?
VICTOR OLADIPO: It was just that way all my life. It’s kind of hard to explain. Growing up, I didn’t really have any skill set or ability to shoot the ball or dribbling ability or anything of that nature. All I could really do is play defense. That’s what I had to do in order to get on the floor.
I’ve just taken it with me wherever I go. I’ve been fortunate enough to grow, when I got to Indiana, grow as a basketball player. But at the same time, I realize that defense is what I pride myself on.
Q. Victor, one more. If I get that assignment, you really think there’s any chance you don’t get that assignment?
VICTOR OLADIPO: I mean, it’s up to the coaching staff. I can’t really tell you. That’s why I said if.
Q. Cody, what have you seen from Temple inside and what you can do to stop them tomorrow, or what do you guys want to take care of tomorrow?
CODY ZELLER: They definitely have a skill base, especially with O’Brien, that can step out and shoot it so well. They put five guys on the court at all times that can score. That presents a lot of problems for trying to stop them.
We’re definitely going to have our work cut out for us in that area.
Q. Cody, this is the first time Indiana’s been seeded as a 1 in 20 years. I was curious if there’s a different level of expectation?? different level of pressure, I should say, for you. I was curious if you talked to your brother Tyler about being a 1 seed and what it’s like, if that prepares you at all any better.
CODY ZELLER: I didn’t talk to him about being a 1 seed. We’ve been dealing with expectations over here. So ever since even last year at the end of the NCAA Tournament, we were?? I think the day after the National Championship game we were named the No. 1 team for this season.
So we’ve been dealing with expectations all summer, throughout this year. So it’s a mature group that has dealt with it pretty well, and nothing has changed much. We don’t worry about it.
Q. Victor, when you see or hear about the tournament upsets and being in a position of being a No. 1 seed yourself, it’s a given that you want to win, but does it go through your mind that you don’t want to be one of those teams that’s on the wrong end of an upset at this stage of the game?
VICTOR OLADIPO: Yeah, definitely. We want to go in this tournament and be successful. That’s the beauty of this tournament, is there’s so many good teams. If you’re in this tournament and playing at this time, you’ve got to be good, which is why you’ve got to be ready to play every night.
That’s why the Big Ten prepares you for it. It’s so great. You’ve got to be ready to play every night, or you can lose at Penn State or Michigan State. It doesn’t really matter.
So we’re just going to go into Sunday’s game and be well prepared and focused.
Q. Jordan, what kind of defensive challenges is Temple going to bring to you guys, and maybe do they compare to anybody that you guys have played this year?
JORDAN HULLS: If I had to compare them to anybody, I guess I would say Michigan, but then Vic was saying the Big Ten prepares us for a lot of different things. Cody was mentioning how they’re basically going to step out and shoot the ball.
So we’ve got to be locked into our defensive schemes and try to do our best to keep them from doing what they want to do.
Q. Jordan, I know you’re not a big individual?accomplishment person, but obviously tomorrow you’ll get the chance to be?? to set the record for most games played at Indiana. Just talk about what that accomplishment does mean to you.
JORDAN HULLS: I didn’t even know about that, but?? I mean, that’s pretty cool to be able to say that. Growing up in Bloomington and being able to play for my hometown university has been pretty special for me. I couldn’t have done it without all these guys up here with me and in the locker room back there.
It’s pretty cool, but I’m more focused on getting the win and what we can do in order to do that.
Q. Cody, yesterday you guys played pretty sparingly in terms of playing time, only 10 to 20 minutes for your starters. Temple starters played upwards of 35. How is that going to impact the game tomorrow?
CODY ZELLER: I mean, I don’t think it’s going to matter too much. I think both teams are in great shape. We played a lot of guys yesterday, but this time of year, you get a lot of adrenaline. I don’t feel like I get too tired in games like this just because they’re such big games. I don’t think it should be that big of a deal.
Q. Christian, could you comment on scoring 1,700?? hitting 1,700 points for your career? Also, now that you’re in the tournament, do you think about each game being not only the last game of the season but your last game in Indiana?
CHRISTIAN WATFORD: It definitely goes through my mind. I want to play with these guys as long as possible, but as long as we win, I’m not really concerned about how many points I score or anything.
I just want to continue to play with these guys for as long as possible.
Q. Christian, you guys going into the James Madison game talked about how many seniors they have, and Temple has a lot of veterans as well. What makes veteran teams so dangerous this time of year?
CHRISTIAN WATFORD: Just the experience. We know Temple’s been in this tournament for the last six years, so we know they’ve got a lot of experience, a lot of tournament experience.
But any team playing around this time of year is a great tough team, so you really can’t take them lightly or anything like that.
Q. The last three games, Remy has started scoring more than he had been. Have you guys worked with him confidence?wise, or has he just been more aggressive, or what’s been going on with him?
CHRISTIAN WATFORD: I think he’s kind of taking his time a little bit. The game is kind of slowing down a little bit for him. He was kind of pressing a little bit early on, but he kind of settled down, and he’s playing within our system, and he’s taking great shots.
Hats off to Remy. He’s definitely worked hard at it, and he’s been with us working hard all year.
Q. This is for Jordan. What do you remember about Jake O’Brien from Boston University when you played him in Puerto Rico?
JORDAN HULLS: Scored a lot of points against us in Puerto Rico. So we definitely know he’s fully capable of being a great scorer. It’s a different team obviously. Our team is totally different.
But as far as we’re concerned with him, we know that he’s very capable, especially after watching more and more film on him. So we’ve just got to do a good job of being locked in.
Q. Also for Jordan. You guys?? like five different guys that hit 3s in the first half yesterday. Does it open up more for each other when you’re getting it from multiple positions?
JORDAN HULLS: Yeah, definitely. Especially when we get penetration in the lane and driving and kicking and getting layups. That’s just going to eventually open up the 3?point shots for us. It’s something that we work on, and we’re a good 3?point shooting team. So it’s always good to see them go in.
THE MODERATOR: Victor, Christian, Jordan, and Cody, thank you.
We’re now being joined by Indiana head coach, Tom Crean.
COACH CREAN: We know we’re playing against a team that can compete with anybody in the country because they have, when you look at the people that they have played this year. It’s like a who’s who of people that are in the NCAA Tournament, when you start to look at Duke, Kansas, Syracuse, and certainly the people that are in their league.
So Temple, for six straight years in the tournament and Fran Dunphy having the great track record that he has as a coach and the track record in this tournament, is extremely strong.
We’ve just kept trying to look for any similarities that we can bring to our team from our league, and it starts real quick when you get with Wyatt, and you can start making comparisons to Trey Burke and how he plays and how much the ball is in his hands, and not only the way that he shoots it but the way that he delivers it. And we’re used to that. Khalif Wyatt takes a backseat to no one in the country right now when it comes to being a complete guard.
So we’re going to have to do an outstanding job there, but much like any other great team, if you spend too much time on one part of the team or one part of the game, then you’re going to shortchange it in other places. They are really, really good.
We saw firsthand when we were in Puerto Rico, when Christian and Jordan and Derek and Maurice were freshmen, just how good Jake O’Brien was when we played against Boston University, when he was there playing for Pat Chambers, and we’re very familiar now with what Jefferson means to their team, what Randall means to their team, DiLeo, Cummings.
They’re just an all?around tough team, and they epitomize toughness to me because they extend possessions, they get back, they make it tough for you to score, they move the ball, they can drive it.
There’s not a ton of things that you would say you’re getting ready for in all the different offensive things they do when it comes to all the different plays, but you certainly have to get ready for how good their players are, and it’s a tall task, there’s no doubt about it.
Steve McClain has been on top of this since Sunday night. We feel like we’re all pretty well versed in it right now. Our team is well versed with more time to get ready. Just like anything else this time of year, you’ve got to bring your best. You’ve got to bring your A?game and your A?attitude to get ready to play. It sounds corny, but it’s true. That’s exactly how we’re approaching this.
Q. Coach, this team, did you feel a sense these guys understand the clock’s ticking each time the ball goes up for them, playing together? Christian said he just wants to play as long as possible with these guys. Do you feel that sense with them?
COACH CREAN: Maybe. I’m not locked into that. I’m more locked into just are we treating every part of what we’re doing as the most important thing.
I’m sure that plays into it, absolutely. I want to be around them. So it factors in for me. The reason they’re in the position that they’re in, the reason that they won the league the way that they did is because they really do?? they bring their preparation. They bring their focus. They bring a togetherness. They bring it all the time. I think that just continues to compound.
Certainly, you want it to be at its peak this time of year. So if that helps put it at its peak, then I think that’s really good.
Q. Hi, Coach. Good start for the Big Ten, 6?1 in the first game. Is that kind of what you would expect? Is it nice to not be beating up each other right now?
COACH CREAN: I think the Big Ten is outstanding. I don’t think there’s any question about that. Nobody could argue that. To just watch just the little bit that I’ve watched?? and I didn’t see a lot of the Michigan game, but I saw enough to see that they were out flying around and attacking.
I think, again, I think the league prepares you for everything. Everything and anything, like I tell our team all the time, and I’m sure the other coaches have their own statements of how they view it, but it really all comes back to that.
So no surprise whatsoever with how the Big Ten is playing.
Q. Tom, I know that you know senior night was an emotional night and just about what?? can you just talk about what that senior class has meant for the program and how they’ll always be able to come back and know that they had a huge impact on the revival of the program.
COACH CREAN: They’ve established a legacy, there’s no question about that, because they were the ones that came back, and still in a short recruiting period at that point with them, even though we knew some of them a little bit longer.
But they were the ones that came back that had other opportunities to go other places, and they came because it was a great tradition, because they felt they’d have an opportunity, and even at that point, they had no true idea what they were getting into.
To have all of them be the ones that had to go through it without the upperclassmen, without the leaders in front of them, showing them the way, teaching them the way, helping them. I mean, I always knew that that was a big deal, but now when you look at the last couple years, the way our juniors and seniors have helped the young guys, then you really realize how much they missed.
It’s like a part of their childhood they’ll never get back. When you come into a program at that age and you are expected to go into this great, bona fide, excellent league from top to bottom and compete in it night in and night out and be held responsible and accountable for those results without ever going through it before with anybody to show you how, that’s a really big thing, really big thing.
So I think it shaped them. I think it’s helped them. I don’t think there’s any question that they’ve all grown. I think there’s an uncommon bond with those guys, and it’s fun to see. I’ve been around that uncommon bond before, and years later you see how it still manifests itself. Especially with being an assistant at Michigan State or being the head coach at Marquette, you see that come to life. And I don’t think it’s going to be any different with this group.
Q. Could you share a story or maybe some insight into how ultracompetitive Will Sheehey is. He was in the locker room, and it was locked up tighter than Fort Knox, and everybody asked him about scouting reports.
COACH CREAN: I’m not?? that’s probably not a good area for me. I just love Will’s competitiveness, and I love his attitude. He’s a force of energy. He’s one of the best athletes, combined with smarts and competitiveness, that I’ve ever been around, that I’ve ever had the privilege to coach.
He gets better. He’s been a huge, huge part of how our work ethic in the program, along with Victor and Jordan Hulls, was established, where if you weren’t in the gym and doing extra you felt guilty because those guys were. But they’re also a great example of what happens when you do spend that kind of time. Will takes a backseat to no one who it comes to extra work.
What he has is really unique. He’s got an incredible future. I think he’s going to be an NBA player, but when basketball is all said and done way down the line, he’ll be one of the finest coaches that I could imagine. If he wants to do that. I mean, if he ends up wanting to do that down the road.
He’s got such an attitude and ability to see things and talk his teammates through it, that when he does that, it’s like having an extra player on the floor. It’s like having an extra coach on the floor in practice, for one thing. But he’s got a real, real sense of what it takes to be successful. So that’s why I appreciate him so much.
Q. Coach, you mentioned Khalif Wyatt and his offensive capabilities. He’s not the biggest or strongest guy, but what type of elements of his game make him so hard to defend?
COACH CREAN: Well, he knows he’s really good. I don’t know the young man, but he knows he’s really good. You can tell that there’s no moment that’s too big for him. The bigger the stage, it doesn’t make any difference, I would think, just to have the success that he’s had.
And he can do?? he can get it to the rim, he can score on a pullup, he can make 3s from range, and he can find his teammates. So when you have somebody like that that can hurt you and beat you from so many different aspects of his game, that makes him that much more of a dangerous opponent.
They’ve got an excellent team. They get great spacing. You can’t become so locked into him that you forget about everybody else, and that’s going to be the real key.
Q. Your senior starters played sparingly, Coach, up to 10, 20 minutes for most of them, and Temple starters played up to 35 to 40. How much does that affect them in terms of fatigue and how much you want to run the court?
COACH CREAN: I don’t think it matters this time of year. I think time?outs play into it and the 20?minute halftime. I think it all plays into it.
We’ve tried to pace our season for times like this, plus you want to develop the quality of your bench. There’s been some days it’s been good. There’s been some days it hasn’t been good. But you want to develop that. You don’t want to wear out your starters because you want to play at a certain pace. But I don’t know how relevant that is this time of year personally.
Q. Coach, I know he’s affected the team in other areas throughout the season, but how important has it been to have Remy shooting the ball the way he has the last few games off the bench?
COACH CREAN: Remy has been fantastic, and he just continues to work on his game with great diligence throughout the season. He’s had some real good moments and stretches for us, but certainly in the last few weeks his confidence has continued to soar again.
It’s important because then it’s like we’ve got?? when he’s playing the way he’s capable of, it’s like having seven starters.
Q. Tom, can you elaborate on coaching against Fran Dunphy. Not sure if you ever did when you were in Marquette, but what does that element add to this game?
COACH CREAN: No, I haven’t ever had the chance, but I have a lot of respect for him. He’s always treated me really well. I don’t know him great, but we have some mutual friends, and he’s just an excellent basketball coach.
You watch his teams, and now especially watching them?? but I’ve watched them since Penn. Watching his teams now, you just see there’s no?? they’re not going to get surprised. They’re not going to beat themselves. They’re going to have an answer for everything. You can just see that in the quality of their play.
And there’s a poise under pressure. Again, I think that all stems from him and from what I observe.
But this time of year, you’re going to be going against great coaches all the time, and there’s certainly no question that he is and has been one for a very long time.
Q. Can you reminisce a little bit about your early encounters with Victor. What do you remember? What were your first encounters like with him, his family, DeMatha?
COACH CREAN: I’ll tell you what stood out. The humbleness stood out to me. Certainly when you see him on the court, the burst, the athleticism, his act to play at the rim.
I’ve got my three or four favorite basethrown out of bounds?? or sideline out of bounds dunks I’ve seen him get, whether it was with DeMatha or with Team Takeover. And really it all stemmed from the humbleness. Very inquisitive. I think that’s why he’s so respected by so many people, not only his peers back there but his coaches.
Some of the people that he’s closest to were not only his head coaches but his assistant coaches and people that were parts of the staff. Victor has always epitomized one of those people. He treats everybody with great respect that he comes in contact with. I don’t think a title?? you’d be hard pressed to find a manager that wouldn’t have the greatest things to say about him and the way that he treats them. That’s just the way he is.
Now, that comes from how he was raised, there’s no doubt about that. When I?? as I’ve gotten to know his mother and through the recruiting process and certainly more now and I see his sisters and I see the bond that they have.
And I was sitting with him last night having something to eat. Cody had come in after everything was done to grab something, and Cody and Victor were sitting there, so I wanted to get permission to sit with the two All?Americans, because I never had two All?Americans at once, so I wanted to sit at the table. Victor’s mom called. Just to be a fly on the wall and listening to them having a conversation and him asking about his sisters. That was one time for me?? and that probably happens twice a day, maybe three times. That’s just who he is. What you see is what you get, but what you get is a guy that’s got an incredible desire to be successful, never at the expense of anybody else, but always knowing that his work ethic is going to be the thing that drives him.
He wants to see others be successful. He wants to be successful, and he never stops working to make that happen. I mean never stops working. And everybody sees the rise of the player, and we’ve always had the student. He’s always done a great job in school. What I’ve seen is the rise of the student of the game and the way that he really, really studies the film and absorbs and tries to take things away.
And he’s never in there just watching tape. He’s in there studying the game. And it’s the same thing when the film session is over and there’s an NCAA Tournament game on. He’s the same way. He’s not just watching it as a fan.
I think all those things are going to really serve him well down the road.
Q. Tom, I have kind of an offbeat question. One of my colleagues is doing a story on Dwyane Wade. He’s had an outstanding season this year, but LeBron has kind of overshadowed him. Wondering your thoughts on his season this year and also being part of the Heat’s streak that they’re going through.
COACH CREAN: I think the last guy that would look at being overshadowed by one of his teammates would be Dwyane because of the comfort he has in his own person. Dove’s got the new commercial with him, but he should have done the one “I’m definitely comfortable in my own skin” one. Though I love the one with his two kids.
But he is. He loves to win. He’s always been like that. He was the best player on our team at Marquette, but he had a drive that endeared him to his teammates. It didn’t infuriate or scare his teammates, it brought them together. It moved them up. He could take coaching and needling from his teammates. I have no doubt that at the age of 31 he’s doing that probably better than ever.
He sees the big picture. He always has. He always has. Especially his first year when he was sitting out. Because if you don’t see the big picture, there’s no way, if you’ve had basketball taken away from you the way that it was, that you really can endure that the way it did. He could see the big picture. He could see the future. I think that’s why he made the honor roll that year, first semester, because he knew there was something out there for him.
I think he’s like that, whether it’s business, whether it’s the basketball part of it, whatever it is, he sees it. But he’s very detail oriented, and he knows?? the best thing I can say about him too is he wants to be successful, but he wants others around him to be successful because, if they are, he will be too. I think he’s had that for a long, long time.
Q. Any thoughts on the streak?
COACH CREAN: On the streak? I think the way they win, I think you can see they’ve got all the parts put together, and, again, when it’s somebody’s turn in the game to be hot, whether it’s Shane Battier, whether it’s Chris Bosh, whether it’s Dwyane, whether it’s LeBron, they let that happen. But as soon as it’s time for somebody else to make a play, that team lets that happen.
What you see, to me, is three things: incredible unselfishness, a great toughness, and a team that fuels so much off of their defense. I think when you have those three things, then you have the confidence that they’re winning with.
Q. Tom, I asked Jordan Hulls about this, and he wasn’t aware that he’s tied the record for most games played at Indiana. Can you talk about how important it’s been to have that kind of consistency out of Jordan and just the fact that he doesn’t take into consideration his individual accomplishments.
COACH CREAN: That’s funny. We knew he was close a couple of weeks ago, and Christian was close to the most starts, I believe, at Indiana. I don’t know how I would epitomize that. He has been everything we could have asked for from the beginning because, if you had a chance to see Senior Night, that’s exactly what it is.
We have such family?oriented guys that that helps them become?? it doesn’t make a difference if they have the traditional family or the nontraditional family, but they’re very family oriented, and certainly he’s got a very traditional family.
What happens is he comes in, and from the very beginning, he’s made his family part of our players’ families, especially when we had some distance kids at the beginning.
For him to have had the career that he’s had and having at Indiana, for him to do the things that he’s done, for him to continue to grow and get better, for him to continue to be the teammate that he has, when he’s had issues this year, it’s because he’s pressed too hard, because he wants it too much because almost sometimes he’s trying too hard, that’s because he wants to win so bad, and that’s because he wants his teammates to be successful.
I think when you have somebody like that, he’s already established his place, like Christian has, the older guys in the history of Indiana basketball, and deservedly so.
Jordan is one of those guys you could always point to and say this person always came in here and gave his very best, and at the same time wanted his teammates?? it’s really a common theme with our group. There’s an unselfishness to them, and he’s a huge part of that.
Q. Coach, you have never faced Temple in your career. How much respect do you have for that school as a university and an institution? Both Temple and Indiana have tremendous basketball years behind them.
COACH CREAN: When I was at Michigan State, I had chances to play Temple. Been there at the new center when Coach Chaney was there and Pepe Sanchez and people like that.
If you love basketball, you love Temple. How do you not? It’s a great basketball program. Steve Addazio is a friend of mine. So I follow Temple football and appreciate what he did there and was following Al Golden before that. Being on the East Coast and being able to recruit and being by it, I love it.
It reminded me a lot of Marquette, and I love those kinds of schools in a sense where the basketball program is so big and it’s such a big deal to so many people and it’s such a big deal to the city.
I think what Fran has done is he’s gone in there and he’s made Temple continue to be the biggest thing. It’s not about any one individual or any one part of it. It’s Temple basketball.
I read something where he was showing his reverence again to Don Chaney. That’s a coach’s coach right there. They’ve got great tradition. If you’re going to characterize the program, you’ve got to characterize it with durability, you’ve got to characterize it with toughness, and you’ve got to characterize it with fearlessness, whether how they play or how they’ve scheduled all these years.
Q. Coach, you’ve rebuilt the Indiana program from the ground up, but you had the Indiana name and the tradition behind it to do it. Florida Gulf Coast hasn’t had any of that, and they knock off a team that you guys beat. Just your thoughts on their win yesterday.
COACH CREAN: I didn’t get to see any of it. I just heard the score. Florida Gulf Coast?? have you ever been there? I don’t think it’s hard to recruit to that campus. It’s pretty nice.
They’ve done a great job there. Dave did a great job before Andy came in there and building it up, and taking a program and getting it to come up and getting players and getting a few transfers here and there and scheduling big and getting some money in the program. Now it’s going to get harder for those guarantee games.
But they’ve just built up the profile. And, again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s real easy to sell a place like Indiana, but you can only sell it so much. The people who are around you have to be able to see that too, and they have to be able to sell it, and your fans have to do it.
I think it’s going to be exciting for Florida Gulf Coast now. They’ve had some big wins over the last couple of years. It’s been building.
We played them in some of their earlier days, especially at Marquette too with the Division I, so you got to see them kind of coming up.
It’s a great situation right now that, if you really believe in your program, if you’ve got a great staff, if you get people around you that believe in it too, you’re going to attract other great players because people want a chance to come in and win, then you’ve got games like that. I think it’s great for the game, even though I love what Georgetown does too.
When we played Georgetown, you just knew they were going to get nothing but better. I didn’t watch the game to have a comment on how it played out, but I just saw the score.
Q. Just as a point guard, what does Yogi Ferrell see that other guys don’t see? Just in terms of his quick vision, his ability to find guys. What does he see that other guys don’t see?
COACH CREAN: I like that he’s always learning. I think it’s real easy, when you’ve had a lot of success at the age that he’s had it, is to really become locked into this is how it is, and he’s not like that. I love I saw somebody wrote where somebody must have asked him about his high school coach, who I just think is brilliant. And his high school coach, he talked about some of the things he learned from him.
That’s how he is. It’s not just us looking out at his coaches saying this guy is really well coached. It’s them remembering it. So I think it makes it easier for you when you’re adding things to it.
I think he’s got great vision. I think, when he lets the game come in the sense of giving it up early, whether he’s got a drive, throwing it in early, he’s learned more and more that it’s going to come back to him in a very advantageous situation.
And the more that you try to make something happen, the harder it is. The more you let it happen because the ball has moved and you’re creating these one?on?ones all over the court, then you see that great burst of speed he has.
He works really hard on his shot. There’s nobody in the last month of the program that’s spent more time in him?? there’s some that’s spent as much time?? but nobody has worked harder than him on his shot, being there at night, being there on off days. A tough, tough player.
Still, to me, he’s going to continue to be a great player. I don’t know if you were at that game when they played North Central at North Central. And watching him pick apart a defense and find people in all corners and just deliver the basketball the way that he does, he’s just got a great, great gift of he can see it and then he’ll trigger it right away.
Even today when we were going through the film, there were a couple of plays that could be made better. He sees that, and he responds to it, and he usually carries it right out the next day. So the short memory thing is the biggest thing to me. He gets over success, and he gets over failure real quick, and he moves right on.
Q. Coach, you started at the beginning talking about comparisons of Temple and the Big Ten, and I look at just statistically there are three teams that probably Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois that shoot 3s as often as Temple does. Is one of those three a close comparison?
COACH CREAN: Well, no. We’ve just tried to compare more with the individual players and the way they play. I think Temple can beat you a lot of different ways, and I think that’s why they’re so dangerous. They can go inside. They can rebound misses. Big, big thing is going to be not allowing them to extend possessions the way that they do with the rebounding. They do an excellent job of that.
I don’t know if I’d compare them per se to one team. I think there’s lots of bits and pieces you can take, but you just try to give your guys a baseline. As we’re studying the film, hey, this is similar to what he did. This is similar to what he did, those types of things.
But I think they also watch enough basketball to know. They know about Temple, and they know about Wyatt, and the older guys know about O’Brien from BU, and now they’re all real familiar with the rest of them in a short period of time.
THE MODERATOR: Tom, thank you.