Crean takes “full responsibility” for Notre Dame loss in radio show comments

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Don Fischer hosted the third edition of Inside Indiana basketball with Tom Crean this season on Monday night, which is broadcast live from the Holiday Inn in Bloomington. The show is broadcast each Monday at 7 p.m. ET during the season.

Here are some notes and quotes from Crean’s comments:

· One of the first topics Crean addressed was his team’s inability to break through on Saturday in a 79-72 loss to Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

“We had chances the other day against Notre Dame where we just needed to string together a couple of stops and we didn’t. Every time we would cut it, it remained close until the very, very end, but we never got that combination of a couple of stops with a couple of buckets to get us over the hump. We just have to learn how important those things are. No matter how you’re playing, you’ve got to keep grinding it out, grind it out and figure out how to win the game at the end.”

· Crean talked about the recent offensive surge for senior Evan Gordon and noted the extra time he’s spending in the gym as a primary reason for his success.

“That’s really the culture of the program. The guys who spend that extra time, it’s amazing how well that works out. The guys that just practice, it’s amazing how poorly that turns out. There really is no secret.”

· Fischer asked Crean what stood out about the Notre Dame after going back and watching the film:

“We played worse than what I thought during the game. I take full responsibility because I should have done a much, much better job in the game of making sure at the end that the ball went inside. We made mistakes and we never got really over the hump even though we were right there. We defended at a pretty good rate. We didn’t defend at a great rate. We made numerous game plan mistakes in this game. That’s concerning because we’re 11 games in and we’ve got to be better than that. And I know there’s a certain amount of fatigue that kicks in when you haven’t been through it like we haven’t been through it and how important every one of these things are.

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Film Session: Defensive lapses against the Irish

Entering Sunday’s matchup against the Fighting Irish, the Hoosiers ranked ninth in the nation in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency. But after giving up 1.16 points per possession, the Hoosiers fell to 16th. Noah Vonleh gave little resistance in the paint in the first half and Notre Dame got a number of easy looks near the hoop from its frontcourt.

Additionally, Indiana had issues communicating during transition defense. It was lucky Notre Dame missed a few wide open looks from beyond the arc or the score wouldn’t have been so close over the final couple minutes. The Hoosiers also had trouble containing simple halfcourt action like pick and rolls; the Irish simply out-executed Indiana’s youth.

And as these first two plays in today’s Film Session illustrate, even when Indiana knew what was coming on an inbounds play, it still allowed Notre Dame buckets:

I. With the Fighting Irish up six in the first half, Will Sheehey points up and over Luke Fisher, seemingly letting him know, “hey, pay attention, action is coming your way”:

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Robert Johnson wins MVP of Bullis Holiday Classic

2013 NBA Players Association Top 100 Camp

It was a highly productive weekend for a future member of the Indiana backcourt.

Class of 2014 Benedictine (Va.) guard Robert Johnson led the Cadets to three wins in the Bullis Holiday Classic in Montgomery County, Maryland and was named the MVP of the three-day event.

In Sunday’s championship game, Johnson scored 28 points and added five rebounds and four assists in a 76-73 win over Genesis Academy. Tom Crean and Kenny Johnson were both in attendance.

In Saturday’s semifinal, Johnson had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists as Benedictine beat the Westtown School, which features Maryland recruit Jared Nickens, 49-48.

In a Friday win over Archbishop Spalding, the future IU guard had 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Notre Dame

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Indiana dropped its third game of the season on Saturday afternoon in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Hoosiers fell 79-72 to Notre Dame, squandering their last opportunity for a resume building non-conference win.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Fighting Irish:

· Indiana failed to play to its strengths offensively: Whether you want to credit Notre Dame for forcing Indiana to operate on the perimeter or blame the Hoosiers for failing to get the ball into the post against the zone, this game featured far too many perimeter shots from IU.

The Hoosiers hoisted 31.7 percent of their shot attempts from behind the 3-point arc and another 39.7 percent of their shots were 2-point jumpers. For a team that’s built on getting the ball inside either on post feeds to Noah Vonleh or getting to the basket using the dribble-drive offense, to have 71.4 percent of your shot attempts coming on jump shots is too high.

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With Big Ten play looming, IU still searching for consistent identity

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INDIANAPOLIS — After Indiana’s 79-72 loss to Notre Dame on Saturday, Indiana coach Tom Crean sat alone and addressed the media on what went wrong for his team.

“Our identity has got to be in the fact that going into the game, we were fifth in the country in field goal percentage defense, we were No. 1 in the country in rebound margin, we were way up in the country in getting to the free throw line,” he said. “None of those things worked out to our advantage today.”

In what was his team’s final — and perhaps, best — chance to get a marquee non-conference win, they crumbled when they needed to strengthen. It allowed an effective field goal percentage of 51.9 percent (its season average: 40.8 percent). It let Notre Dame shoot 14 more free throws than it did. On six different possessions in the second half, the Hoosiers had the chance to take their first lead on Notre Dame for the day. That never happened.

The result leaves the Hoosiers in a difficult position heading into Big Ten season: They have no marquee win on their résumé, and those will be hard to come by in conference play. They had their chances, especially on Saturday, against Connecticut and even against Syracuse until they collapsed in the second half, but when Crean has needed his team’s best effort most, it hasn’t happened.

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Hoosiers struggle, unable to break through in loss to Notre Dame

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INDIANAPOLIS — With its best remaining non-conference opportunity to get a win that will help its case come Selection Sunday, Indiana dug itself too large of a hole to overcome on Saturday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

An experienced Notre Dame team, coming off of a disappointing loss at home to North Dakota State on Wednesday, did not allow an Indiana lead all game and beat the Hoosiers, 79-72.

The Hoosiers, looking for their second win over a major conference team, trailed by as many as 13 points before tying the game early in the second half. But each time Indiana mounted a surge, the Fighting Irish answered before pulling away in the final minute.

“We made a bunch of runs, we could just never get all the way over the hump,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Whether it was a missed shot, a missed play defensively.”

The result was a loss that will put even more pressure on a young team to deliver a couple of signature wins in the Big Ten to solidify itself as a NCAA tournament contender.

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Video: Tom Crean reacts to loss to Notre Dame

INDIANAPOLIS — Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 79-72 loss to Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Watch his postgame comments in the media player below:

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