Troy Williams Archive

Notes, quotes from Tom Crean on Big Ten teleconference

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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.”

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A tale of two halves costs the Hoosiers once again

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Like many of Indiana’s road games this season, Saturday’s performance against Minnesota was a tale of two halves.

There was the first, in which Indiana built a double-digit lead for its second straight road game and appeared on its way to just its third win away from Assembly Hall this season.

And then there was the second, in which a collapse once again doomed the Hoosiers (14-9, 4-6), this time in a 66-60 loss at the hands of the Golden Gophers (16-8, 5-6) in Williams Arena.

“We had some turnovers in the second half, and we had some awareness issues at the end of possessions,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “And that’s what it was more than anything else. And in this league, it’s not possession-by-possession, it’s a pass-to-pass league.”

Indeed, such slim margins for error have been the difference makers for the Hoosiers in their first 23 games this season. At Penn State on Jan. 8, the Hoosiers trailed by as many as 15 points but limited mistakes in a second-half comeback victory, their only true road win of the season.

At Nebraska only two Thursdays ago, the Hoosiers led by 16 points but allowed the Cornhuskers to shoot a 66.7 percent effective field goal percentage in the second half in a 60-55 loss.

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Video: Noah Vonleh, Troy Williams react to loss at Minnesota

Noah Vonleh (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Troy Williams (11 points, three rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 66-60 loss to Minnesota on Saturday night at Williams Arena.

Watch their postgame comments in the media player below:

Video courtesy of J.B. Bauer of LateNightHoops.com.

Video: Jeff Howard, Troy Williams preview Illinois

Indiana senior Jeff Howard and sophomore Troy Williams met with the media on Saturday afternoon to preview Sunday’s game at Assembly Hall with Illinois.

Watch their 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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Film Session: Analyzing IU’s turnovers

Over the weekend, the Hoosiers posted high turnover rates in wins against Nicholls State (28.3%) and Kennesaw State (26.3%) and now stand 309th in the country in turnover percentage, per KenPom. A supercut of all of their miscues from Friday and Sunday are above.

Two games in a 13-game season present a small sample size. Still, there’s enough of a range of ways the Hoosiers turned it over from these two games that speak to their season-long issues with ball control.

A few themes in the latest edition of Film Session:

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Indiana focused on stopping efficient Notre Dame offense

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After his team lost to North Dakota State, 73-69, on Wednesday, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said his team needed more confidence on the court.

Especially on the offensive side, after his team had its second-worst shooting performance on the season (43.8 effective field goal percentage), his biggest worry was that his team has lost its offensive rhythm.

“For a program that’s kind of hung its hat on being efficient offensively, I just think this week, not the greatest of rhythms,” he said on his teleconference with the media on Thursday. “I think it’s a little bit of confidence with stuff. That’s why I think in practice, you’ve got to play a little bit. You’ve got to step up. I want guys to keep taking shots.”

Heading into today’s game in Indianapolis as part of the 2013 Crossroads Classic, Indiana is well-aware of those shooting struggles. But for the Hoosiers, stopping the Fighting Irish’s offense will still be priority number one.

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