Notes, quotes from Crean on Big Ten teleconference

  • 01/16/2012 10:38 am in

Notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s Monday morning appearance on the Big Ten coaches teleconference. Prior to the call, the Big Ten announced Illinois guard Brandon Paul as the league’s player of the week and Minnesota’s Joe Coleman as the league’s freshman of the week:


– “Well we’ve had a tough week in the sense that we haven’t played, we feel, up to the standards that we had been playing with. And some of it is that we’re just not making shots the way that we had. I think when you shoot the ball at a pretty high rate, it brings a lot of energy. But the difference between a team that’s good and a team that’s trying to be a lot better than that is can your energy continue to be where it needs to be on the defensive end when the shots aren’t going in. We had some chances, especially early on yesterday in the Ohio State game when we watched the film that if a couple of things go different for us early, it’s a different story potentially. But it didn’t happen that way. And we’ve just got to continue to play through, if we have droughts, we’ve got to be able to play through them at a really good pace defensively. And that’s what we’re going to continue to make sure that we try to understand.”


– “I think the intensity is good. But I think the urgency and the awareness is not where it needs to be. And I think it’s sometimes a matter of getting through screens, getting out of rotations, being in position. There’s a lot of different things that go into it. Yesterday the game started out where we didn’t block out very well. It’s different things and it probably does come back to the point where it’s got to be that communication, everybody understands what the other person is doing on the defensive end of the floor and then it carries over to the second half where they’re not in front of the coaches. I think those are the biggest areas. It’s not one glaring area. There’s a lot of little areas that need to be shored up.”


– “They’re very hard-nosed. They’re very, very well-coached. They have a lot of energy. They do a very good job of playing inside-outside. They’ve got good guard play. They’ve got [Jorge Brian] Diaz back inside, which provides a lot for them that they didn’t have earlier. So we don’t have any qualms about how hard this game is going to be.”


– “I think they’ve handled it well. I really do. I think they’ve done a really good job of understanding that we’re in a climb here. I think the moment that we let down our guard, especially with the urgency that it takes to win these games and the mindset that you have to have going in especially defensively that in this league we should never forget that everybody can beat anybody on any given night. It doesn’t matter if it was us in the past when we were coming up as a program or where we’ve gotten better to this year. It’s still gotta be the same sense of urgency, the same awareness on defense, the same ball movement on offense. You just try to keep them as focused on the process of why they’re winning and how to get better at the same time. Then when you hit a little drought like we have this week, you continue to show them how close you are but at the same time how far away it is if you don’t play with that urgency and that edge that you’ve been playing with.”


– “I think anytime you can get more hands on work with your players year round, the better the program is going to be because they want to learn. They really do. Even the ones that come in thinking they know everything, they figure out pretty quick that they need to learn some things. And I think the bottom line is, when you’re running a program it’s like any other business, if you’re taking away from it or if you’re not allowed to work with your people, somewhere there’s going to be a void and that void’s going to be filled by something or someone. And when you can continue to teach year-round your players what it means for them to be successful, the tools that they have to have, that they can then take on their own and work and build towards, I think that only helps. But you want to build relationships year-round as well. You get to build them in recruiting.  In the summer time when they’re there, that’s the most vulnerable time. So you want to make sure that you’re continuing to build all facets of the relationship.”

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