Crean, Jones and Roth talk Illinois

  • 01/09/2009 10:59 pm in

Tom Crean, Verdell Jones and Matt Roth met with the media Friday afternoon to talk about Saturday’s matchup with Illinois. Here are a few highlights:

Jones on the rivalry between Indiana and Illinois:

“The whole week, that’s the talk about this big game, Indiana versus Illinois. I’ve grown to see Indiana fans really don’t like Illinois fans and I know for sure Illinois fans hate Indiana fans. So it’s a great rivalry and I hope we keep it going.”

Crean on having Calbert Cheaney around practice the past week:

“He just talked to the team at the end of practice. As a fan, as a coach but most importantly as a man, it’s unbelievable to have him here. He is a wonderful guy. He has been good to me since the first time I talked to him. He loves this university. He loves this state, that’s obvious. He’s got a great future in whatever he wants to do, whether it’s in basketball or outside of it. And for him to come in here and have that presence, he has truly been an E.F. Hutton in this program this week. And he has really observed. He wanted to get a firsthand account, so he hasn’t done a lot (of practicing) but he has definitely been here and he had a point to make. And he’s been good for us as coaches for us to talk to him. Any former player, they (current players) know that those championship banners mean something. They may not understand everything about them but they know that they mean something.”

Roth on the hostile environment expected in Champaign:

“That’s something we are all looking forward to, we like that challenge. We like the challenge of going on the road. We had a great non-conference schedule; going on the road and playing at Wake Forest and places like Kentucky where we played in front of 22,000. So I think we are going to prepared for that.”

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