Tom Crean Archive

Indiana’s win over Illinois ‘a big confidence builder’

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After Indiana’s 56-46 win over Illinois (13-8, 2-6) on Sunday afternoon in which the Hoosiers shot only 40.8 percent from the field and got only four points from freshman Noah Vonleh, Indiana (13-7, 3-4) coach Tom Crean was asked whether he thought his team could have won with those numbers earlier this season.

“For lack of thinking about it deeper, I would say probably no,” he replied.

After all, the Hoosiers had similar numbers in their 59-58 loss to Connecticut earlier this year, when they shot an identical 40.8 percent and got zero points from Vonleh. And in games this season, before Sunday, that the Hoosiers have scored less than 60 points, they were 0-4.

Crean did not even need to look further back than 26 days earlier, when Indiana and Illinois played in Champaign, Ill., in their Big Ten opener. That game, the Hoosiers allowed 83 points and turned the ball over 23 times in an overtime loss.

On Sunday, though, Crean spoke after a victory in which the Hoosiers showed the grit they didn’t even have earlier this season. Against Illinois, Indiana scored less than 60 points, yet allowed the fewest points in a Big Ten game in Crean’s tenure — the fewest since a 65-43, Jan. 23, 2008, win against Iowa.

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Video: Tom Crean reacts to win over Illinois

Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 56-46 win over Illinois on Sunday afternoon at Assembly Hall.

Watch his postgame comments in the media player below:

Notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s teleconference

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Friday morning, Indiana held a teleconference featuring head coach Tom Crean to preview Sunday’s matchup against Illinois. Here are some notes and quotes from Crean’s remarks:

· The first question directed at Crean was geared toward the health status of senior Will Sheehey, which we posted a full update on earlier today.

· Crean was asked about what improvements he has seen from his team since its Big Ten opener on Dec. 31 at Illinois. Instead, he elaborated on what his team continues to need to do to improve, saying, “When we make mistakes, sometimes they are self-inflicted. A great example is the other night (at Michigan State) — we had young guys having very veteran moments, where we did some great things defensively and offensively. But then we also had some young guys that had some freshmen moments with tough shots or mistakes on screens.

“And what we are trying to get across to them are two things: the best teams and best players make you pay for mistakes and the margin of error that you have in this league is so small, that’s why you have to keep your mistakes as minimal as possible and treat every possession as the most important possession in the game. Now that is very hard for a young team to get to, but I do think we are making strides in that area. I think our desire to compete to win, understanding more and more has been very strong and a lot better.”

· Crean said he thinks Illinois is going to come into Assembly Hall on Sunday night with “a ton of excitement and energy” and that the Hoosiers will have to match that if they want to win. The Illini have lost five straight games since a 2-0 start to the Big Ten season, but Crean thinks that’s more the grind of the Big Ten affecting the Illini rather than a simple lack of Jon Groce having a good team.

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Michigan State

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Indiana dropped its second straight Big Ten game on Tuesday night, falling 71-66 to No. 3 Michigan State in East Lansing. The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 12-7 overall.

Here’s a look at five takeaways from IU’s fourth conference loss:

· The turnovers return: After taking care of the ball better over its previous three games against Penn State, Wisconsin and Northwestern, Indiana saw its turnover problem reappear against Michigan State. The Hoosiers coughed it up 18 times for a turnover percentage of 26.1. Through six conference games, Indiana is the most mistake-prone Big Ten team with a turnover percentage of 21.3.

Turnovers for Indiana are, as described accurately recently by Tom Crean, the elephant in the room for this team moving forward. The Hoosiers are already challenged offensively and the turnovers just compound the problem. Turning the ball over and poor shooting is putting a tremendous amount of pressure on Indiana to produce offensive rebounds and get to the foul line to be successful. When it doesn’t happen, the result is typically a loss.

· The effort was encouraging, but IU didn’t finish well: In his postgame comments, Crean said he was proud of his team for the way it bounced back following the loss against Northwestern. And he should be. This is a loss that Indiana can grow from.

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Video: Crean, IU players, Izzo after IU-Michigan State

Tom Crean, Yogi Ferrell, Noah Vonleh and Tom Izzo all met with the media following Michigan State’s 71-66 win over Indiana on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

Watch all of the postgame reaction in the media players below (Crean and IU players video via Jeremy Price on YouTube):

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Notes and quotes from Crean on Big Ten teleconference

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The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the third week of conference play. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:

· Opening statement: “We’re just getting ready right now for Michigan State, who is playing extremely well and really playing well on both sides of the ball, both ends and with very good consistency considering they’ve played without one of the better players in the country the last couple of games in Adreian Payne. We’re trying to continue to get better here at what we’ve got to improve upon and get ourselves prepared in a hurry to get up to Michigan State.”

· Crean was asked about how his team responded to the Northwestern loss and whether they practiced on Sunday as he mentioned they would in the postgame press conference: “No, I actually changed it up. We didn’t have a full practice. We’ll do that here in a little bit, today.”

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Poor preparation carries over as IU falls to Northwestern

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As Indiana prepared for Saturday’s game with Northwestern, Tom Crean was not pleased with what he saw.

Coming off an impressive 75-72 win over No. 3 Wisconsin on Tuesday, the Hoosiers had a chance to move above the .500 mark in conference play against a rebuilding Northwestern team that had been clubbed in its first two Big Ten road games.

Instead, Indiana took a step back on Saturday afternoon, falling 54-47 to the Wildcats in a loss that was stunning to perhaps everybody but Crean.

In his postgame comments, IU’s coach described his team’s preparation leading up to the game as lacking in both focus and consistency.

“It’s not the first time, it won’t be the last time, but it was there, and it was addressed, and it was addressed frequently, and it was addressed last night,” he explained. “We tried to shake it out of it this morning, and it just didn’t fall that way.”

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