Indiana coach Tom Crean, sophomore Jordan Hulls, senior Jeremiah Rivers and sophomore Christian Watford met with the media following the Hoosiers’ season-ending 61-55 loss to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament.
COACH CREAN: I thought our guys played with tremendous heart, discipline, toughness, and they left it out there, and I think that’s what’s most important. Penn State did, as well. And we knew that’s the kind of effort we were going to need to play against them, and obviously they felt the same way. It was a hard-fought game, and we didn’t shoot the ball great. We didn’t rebound the ball nearly as well in the second half. But we still played at a very high level of competitiveness.
When we play that way, we have capabilities. We’ve done that certainly at times this year, and when we have, we’ve been successful. Tonight we weren’t successful obviously with the win, but our guys have a mindset that’s growing, and I’m proud of what they did, and that’s where I’m at.
Q. Jordan, starting the game out, Penn State on a pretty good opening the game up, you knocked down a couple shots yourself and you had a three and then that stretch, Victor off the bench, what did he bring to the team, no doubt a lot of energy?
JORDAN HULLS: Yeah, Victor no doubt brought a lot of energy on offensive rebounds. I don’t know how many he had, but he definitely brought that to our team, which we needed. But there in the first half, we cut it to — or they got it up one to end the half, so that was tough for us. But like I said, Victor just played great for us today.
Q. Jeremiah, more so just your journey now, your final game. Talk about the last three years at Indiana and what your emotions are like right now knowing this is your final game?
JEREMIAH RIVERS: Yeah, it has been a journey. I mean, two years at Georgetown, two good years at Georgetown, three good years here really. Honestly, I’ve created such a strong bond with my teammates. Like I told them in the locker room after the game, this is my family and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This was the best experience of my life. I’ve grown so much as a man and as a person and seeing these guys grow and getting better and better and moving forward, it was a blessing, and I thank them for having my back all the time.
Indiana coach Tom Crean met with the media on Wednesday to preview Indiana’s matchup on Thursday with Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament. Watch what Crean had to say in the embedded media player below, courtesy of IU Athletics on YouTube:
In lieu of availability this weekend ahead of Indiana’s trip to Ohio State, we were all e-mailed a selection of thoughts from IU coach Tom Crean regarding his team’s tilt with the Buckeyes. Take a gander below to see what he said:
Indiana Head Coach Tom Crean on the Ohio State game
“First and foremost, this is another great opportunity for our players and coaches. We get to play on CBS on a Sunday afternoon against one of the top teams in the country.”
”We will have to play mistake-free and make the most of our opportunities on offense. We have to move the ball, make the extra pass and take the best shot possible each time down the floor.”
“Each game is an opportunity to find out something about yourself. When we have played with toughness and resolve we are a different basketball team, home or on the road. We have to play with trust and belief in one another and we have to play with a controlled confidence. As I said after the Purdue game, we played hard, but we didn’t always play smart.”
“Defensively, they have so many weapons that we are going to have to be active with our hands, move on the pass to disrupt what they want to do and contest every shot. We can’t allow them to be active on the offensive glass.”
On Ohio State
“Ohio State is a great example of a player-led team. Their seniors (Lighty, Diebler and Lauderdale) have done a great job of integrating their younger players.”
“I think everything starts with Diebler, because he’s as good a shooter as there is in the country and the ball continually finds him back because of the way he finds other people. They’re such a dominant team and they’re so good at so many positions that you just can’t let guys do things that they don’t normally do in games.”
“Last time against us, Buford got hot early with the three and it just created everything else for the rest of the team and we did not have an individual match-up for Jared Sullinger.”
“Ohio State is different because of how much talent they have and there are multi-dimensional. These guys can beat you from three, they can beat you from the pull-up game, they can beat you at the rim and you’ve got to get up and you’ve got to establish more will and grit and resolve to that.”