Tom Crean Archive
In one of the most perplexing losses that fans in Assembly Hall have witnessed, Indiana fell 66-65 to Penn State on Wednesday night after holding an 11-point lead with 2:53 to play.
The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 14-10 overall and 4-7 in the Big Ten with a game at Purdue looming on Saturday. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss to the Nittany Lions:
· Indiana played not to lose late, rather than to win: The Hoosiers had plenty of chances to close the game out down the stretch and simply couldn’t do it. Turnovers and poor execution were obviously a big part in that, but IU tightened up late and rather than just making the plays that helped them build a 13-point lead, the Hoosiers looked like they were just trying to hold on.
The blame for that, of course, has to go around. It doesn’t all fall on the coaching staff, nor does it fall completely on the players, either. It was, collectively, a poor effort down the stretch. What we’ve learned from watching the Big Ten this season is that every possession matters. And when you’re on a wrong side of the turnover battle consistently in close games, in this instance IU had five more than Penn State, the outcomes are not going to be favorable.
As the final buzzer sounded at Assembly Hall on Wednesday night, boos resonated from fans as Indiana’s players slowly walked off Branch McCracken Court, heads hung and hands at their sides.
The Hoosiers (14-10, 4-7) had just lost to Penn State (13-12, 4-8), 66-65, in one of the worst collapses of the Tom Crean era. Indiana led, 64-53, with only 2:26 left on the game clock. This was against a Penn State squad that lost two straight and had lost six Big Ten games in a row at one point, as well.
There’s no sugar-coating it: This loss was bad.
“It’s not very fun to lose a game like that,” said sophomore Yogi Ferrell, who finished with 16 points.
You can start at Penn State’s 4-of-4 shooting from the field in that final 2:26. You can point to Indiana’s four turnovers in the last 2:06 — three of which came from dead-ball, in-bounds plays. There’s plenty of familiar wrong-doings to choose from.
But the nature in which Indiana lost this game is what is most significant. The Hoosiers had pretty much dominated the Nittany Lions throughout, scoring at ease and forcing turnovers in what was a must-win game if they had any remaining hopes of an NCAA tournament bid. Games like these were the ones the Hoosiers had to win.
Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 66-65 loss to Penn State on Wednesday night at Assembly Hall.
Watch his postgame comments in the media player below:
The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the sixth week of conference play. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:
· Prior to the call, the conference announced that Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes was named the league’s freshman of the week for the third time this season and Ohio State’s Aaron Craft was named the league’s player of the week for the second time this season.
· Opening statement: “Our focus right now is just on the week ahead and getting back to practice today after taking yesterday off and totally being locked into Penn State after we go through the corrections and the good and the not so good from the other night and what we can learn from that. We’re ready to roll.”
· Crean was asked about coaching a team that draws a strong response and how his message to his players about dealing with fan behavior has changed or evolved: “I think the biggest thing and obviously I’m sure that every coach in the country is going to be reminding their team of it today, if they didn’t yesterday … and the bottom line for us is that you can’t ever let anybody get in the way of your career, get in the way of the way of your responsibility to your team and most importantly, you can’t ever let anybody get to you in a way that’s going to affect you in a negative way.
“It’s a lot easier said than done, there’s no question about that. The bottom line is, the more that you can treat, especially on the road, which is hard, but the more that you can treat the noise and treat the barbs and treat all of that as just faceless and nameless, the better you’re going to be. Again, that’s hard to do. It’s very, very hard to do. It’s very easy to talk about it. It’s a lot harder to actually do it because you want people to have an incredibly competitive spirit when they’re playing. It doesn’t matter if you’re a coach or you’re a player, it’s very, very hard to turn that off. And if you turn it off too quickly, you don’t win games. But the bottom line is you’ve got to keep trying to remind people that the fight is within the lines. The fight is within the 94 feet. The fight is within the football field, the baseball diamond, whatever it is. You keep the fight in there, you keep your edge in there and you try to treat the rest of it just as noise that you work through.”
Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 66-60 loss to Minnesota on Saturday night at Williams Arena.
Watch his postgame comments in the media player below:
Video courtesy of J.B. Bauer of LateNightHoops.com.
The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the fifth week of conference play. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:
· Prior to the call, the conference announced that Noah Vonleh was named the league’s freshman of the week for the seventh time this season. The seven weekly honors tie Vonleh for second most since the award began in 2010. Northwestern’s Drew Crawford and Penn State’s D.J. Newbill shared Big Ten player of the week honors.
· Opening Statement: ”We had a great victory yesterday over Michigan and now we are right on into Minnesota. We have a week to get better. We have a week to prepare for them and we’re looking forward to it.”
· On IU having six days off before its next game: “We just have to focus on areas of improvement and getting better at areas of strengths. At the same time, work it into the game plan as we get deeper into the week, just making sure that we make it as competitive as possible. At the same time, get them the rest that they need.”
· On Evan Gordon being ill leading up to Sunday’s game: “He just was under the weather. He was being treated for the flu and, even though that came back negative, he was definitely under the weather for a couple of days. You’re certainly sick when you are missing practice, which he did. But, he kept his spirit alive and he tried to prepare even when he was away from the team on Saturday. Then, Sunday morning he was back and cleared and I knew we were going to have him in a limited role from basically talking to the doctors and Tim Garl. We wanted to really keep an eye on his minutes yesterday but, at the same time, he came out and played with great energy and he played fantastic.”
Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 63-52 win over No. 10 Michigan on Sunday at Assembly Hall.
Watch his comment in the media player below:
Quotes are available after the jump.