Notes, quotes from Crean on Big Ten teleconference

  • 01/23/2012 10:35 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 Wisconsin guard Jordan Taylor as the league’s player of the week and Michigan’s Trey Burke as the league’s freshman of the week:

Opening Comment

“I think anytime you’re in a season, especially in conference play, and you can feel like you’re getting better and improving, then things are moving forward. I felt like this week we did. We definitely got better from our game at Nebraska Wednesday night to playing Penn State yesterday. I think it showed in the way that we played and getting better is physical, it’s mental, it’s every aspect of it. I think that’s what we’re focused on and our team did a nice job yesterday.”

On the overall strength of the Big Ten this season:

“Even the guys that are new to the league like Doc Sadler and Pat Chambers know exactly what they want to do and they’ve got very strong programs.”

“It’s an extremely well coached league. It’s got excellent continuity in it.”

“It’s not a league that has a lot of players jumping out early. There’s very good young players, certainly in the league, but there’s also an excellent amount of juniors and seniors on a lot of the teams that have been through so many different things and they understand the value of possession by possession.”

On whether the season to-date has surpassed his expectations:

“I don’t spend much time on expecations in the sense of where a program is at or where our program would be at.”

“If you feel like you’re getting better day-to-day, then the process is going to work itself out.”

“I like our chemistry. I like our team unity. I like our willingness to improve and the work ethic is tremendous.”

“Certainly Cody [Zeller] has brought a ton to the program and we anticipated that, but there’s no way to quantify or predict what a freshman is going to do in a program. You can be hopeful, but certainly Cody has done a lot of things with a lot of room to get better and a lot of room to make this team even better.”

On what stands out about Wisconsin:

“Their experience, they know how to play.”

“They have numerous guys that can play at a really high level.”

“I think when they’ve been at their best they’ve had really good balance.”

“Jared Berggren is really playing at a high level right now.”

“Their system is very strong and solid. They’re hard to score against. They pack the lane. But at the same time, they’ve got a lot of balance in their scoring and people that really space the court which puts a lot of pressure on not only your on the ball defense, but your help defense.”

On the importance of getting a win on Sunday:

“I think it validates the work. They put so much time into it and we certainly didn’t want this team to have the past, especially for the older guys, play into their minds because that’s somewhere you don’t want to go. We don’t spend a lot of time on the past but we also know it’s in the back of their minds.”

“It was very good for them mentally. The way they won it, the way we perservered throughout the game. The way we got better defensively throughout the game. The way the ball moved better, I think those are the things you hand your hat on and get ready for the next one with.”

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  • Anonymous

    With respect to what the team can take away from yesterday, there’s just so much. I don’t think, aside from the ending nonsense, that one could have scripted a better result for almost every single player than what happened in that game.

    That said, with respect to Crean’s comments on Wisconsin, maybe the single best thing to come out of yesterday’s game was a) the general success of the man-to-man vis-a-vis Frazier in the second half and b) the particular success of Oladipo’s defense on Frazier. Now, the team and Oladipo have the experience that will allow them to defend Taylor successfully. If Indiana plays the way it did in the second half on both ends, they can score more than the Badgers are capable of.

    With respect to the ending nonsense, the refs created that situation by their constant desire to call the game “equally,” when Penn St’s players, and especially Glover, were initiating the increasing “chippiness” throughout the game. That they applied the same approach to the ending, when Penn State clearly carried a FAR greater degree of fault, from the flagrant foul on Watford to the interaction with Indiana’s coaches, was awful officiating.

    As for Crean’s comments on the impact of Zeller this year, Cody is on the cusp of becoming a beautiful player to watch play the game and that is the highest compliment I know how to give a basketball player.

    Of course, predicting a national championship is silly. The tournament depends on so many things, especially match-ups. If Cody Zeller is in an Indiana uniform as a junior, HE would be the match-up problem for every other team in the country. He’ll be completely unstoppable. So, I’m predicting that Indiana will win a national championship if Cody Zeller stays until he is an upperclassman. And I don’t feel remotely silly for doing so.

  • MillaRed

    I too am worried. I will be at the game.

  • merk

    I absolutely agree that Yogi is going to be a stud.  He has all the tools to be one of those outstanding big 10 point guards that can absolutely control a game night in and night out.  I just feel that from day 1, Jordan will get the nod.  Jordan Hulls has got to be the active leader in consecutive starts in the league, he is one of the purest shooters in the nation, and most importantly he is the team leader.  This team is not in the top 25 this year without his play 9/10 games in my opinion (ill give him a pass for Nebraska, everyone misses a FT once in a while).  He has all the intangibles that make up for his athletic deficiencies.  I think that there will be a handful of different lineups that Crean uses based on opponent (awesome that we will have that luxury).  But I think Jordan needs to remain an integral part of the equation and be the fearless leader that he appears to have transitioned into this year.