HD Video: Tom Crean on Iowa win

  • 01/29/2012 9:27 pm in

Coach Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 103-89 win over Iowa on Sunday evening at Assembly Hall. Watch the press conference in high-definition quality video in the embedded media player below:

Quotes after the jump.

Opening Statement:

“Again, 17 wins, 17 different ways to win and I thought our team responded to the last couple of days, they were excited to play. They had tremendous energy and I think the energy of the crowd helped fuel them even more. This is one of the best crowds of start to finish, just the level of enthusiasm and energy that we’ve had all year. We’ve had some awesome crowds, but our crowd was tremendous today. I thought our team came out with really good resolve and we knew we were playing a team that the number one focus for us was the transition offense and it was even better than we thought. They really did a great job of getting out and running and getting some easy baskets, but our guys continued to respond. We didn’t want to get into a situation where we were trading baskets and there were a couple of times it did, maybe that was just the pace of the game, but for the most part, our guys did a very good job of moving the basketball. We had a 11 assists at half, 20 for the game. We had, I believe, 27 deflections at half, so we were active defensively, we were rebounding the ball. So, there were a lot of good things happening and the table was set today by Verdell [Jones] and the way he moved the basketball, the way he got in the lane and the way that he found people. Certainly, Cody [Zeller] was outstanding throughout the game, but he was the beneficiary of some very good looks, a lot of penetration. I thought Will Sheehey gave us a real lift to start the game. It was a match-up situation for him that we wanted with him on Zach McCabe. Christian [Watford] got rolling. We had a very solid game from a lot of people, but the bottom line was that the ball moved. And when the ball moves on offense and when you’re active on defense and we kept understanding the pace of the game, it worked out well for us.”

On Verdell Jones’ recent improvement:

“I think he continues to improve. I think he’s a senior that wants to make a mark. I think he’s a senior that has improved in all areas, especially on the defensive end. And we felt like we had a really good match-up for him the other night [against Wisconsin], he did and he made some great plays especially in the first half. He came out today with great resolve and I think Verdell’s playing very well. He’s a two-way player. He’s really doing an excellent job defensively and I’m proud of the way he’s playing. We just need to keep it up.”

On Tom Pritchard:

“It was great to see because it was starting to come, certainly in the Nebraska game. Very active, a lot of energy and when he’s confident going up and making baskets, that energizes our entire team. That’s like a Matt Roth three or a Victor [Oladipo] or Will [Sheehey] dunk for us because our players love him. They want, and obviously our fans do to, they want to see him be successful. When he’s aggressive like that it makes a huge difference on our team and I thought he drew a big charge in the second half and getting back. It’s hard because our bigs were underneath the basket. They were getting dunks, they were getting some layups and they were racing in getting the ball out of bounds. We had to play at a very high pace to get back and thought he did an excellent job with that as well.”

On Derek Elston and Will Sheehey:

“I thought they were very good and we want Derek to play with confidence. The last couple days in practice, he hadn’t been doing that and that needed to change because he’s one of our better shooters. He really is and when he lets the game come to him and you can look back at, especially the Ohio State game at home, he was a key, key guy defensively under the defensive boards. So when I look at him as one of seven starters, I mean it and sometimes he needs to be reminded of that. But I thought he played with confidence and he shot the ball extremely well and we got the lift from Will that we thought we’d get. That we wanted to get by putting him in the lineup because Zack McCabe was averaging 18 points in the last three games. [McCabe] was 20-for-29 in his last three games. He had become their go-to guy and we wanted to put a top-flight defender on him.”

On Cody Zeller:

“Cody’s an excellent passer. Sometimes we make the basket, sometimes we don’t, but Cody’s been passing the ball at a high level all year.”

On scoring 100 points on a Big Ten opponent in for the first time in his [Crean’s] career:

“I think it was nice for the fans, it was nice for the team. We moved the ball, I’m excited about the 20 offensive rebounds and the 20 assists.”

On importance of this game going into two road games:

“It’s important to play well and I think it’s like anything else, we got to 17 wins and you’ve got to find different ways to win them and we have. There are a lot of things to shore up, but our guys did an excellent job of taking what the game gave them, really following the game plan. Everything we practiced for, they did and we took some of it away, some of it we didn’t, but there’s still a lot of improvement for this team with a lot of season left.”

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