Tom Crean met with the media Tuesday afternoon at Assembly Hall to discuss Thursday’s game with Washington in the 2K Sports Classic at Madison Square Garden.
Watch the interview in the media player below:
Quotes are available after the jump.
On what stands out about Washington:
“Their speed, their transition game is the best we have watched on film and the best we will see in a long time. They get the ball out of bounds really quick. They attack and do a great job off of one pass, getting the ball ahead and attacking the rim. They want to play fast. They don’t spend a lot of time in the half court. The ball gets swung a couple times and they are going to the rim or shooting a three.”
“C.J. Wilcox is playing at a high level. Nigel Williams-Goss is an excellent freshman guard. He was a national level recruit and we saw him a lot. Their big guys are good inside. Shawn Kemp Jr. is playing well. Perris Blackwell is solid. They are scoring a lot of points. They have had some good games and some close games. They are an extremely fast team that is very aggressive in half court defense as well.”
On wanting to play a fast pace:
“It’s all about transition defense. It’s going to be a tournament of depth because every team has numerous players, but the depth is only as good as the consistency. If it’s not consistent all you have is players. You have to have guys that can come in and make an impact. Whenever you go in you have to understand that the number one premise is that we have to get back. We have to get good shots and get on the offensive glass. We have to improve our ability to take care of the basketball and that leads to great transition defense as well. If your getting good shots and have rebounding balance, you have your guys getting back on the air time of the pass, but its not a one or two man job. College basketball right now is so much about how you attack in transition and how many two on ones you can create.”
On the teams practice today:
“It was very energetic. We have to continue to understand that we have to take care of the ball. We were able to work on a lot of situational stuff today, which we will be able to view on film. We spent an enormous amount of time working on fundamentals. Anytime you have a team with as much upside as we do, we have to continue to work on the fundamentals of the game offensively and defensively.”
On playing outside of Assembly Hall for the first time this season:
“This is a hard environment not to get distracted. The bottom line is, we want them to have fun and we want them to see New York, I want them to experience that. They will see an NBA game tomorrow tonight, Pacers vs. Knicks. When we sit down to watch film and practice we have to be focused. That is where our leadership, if leadership is going to be a strength for us, it’s like rebounding, it has to travel too.”