Notes, quotes from Tom Crean on the Big Ten teleconference

  • 02/23/2015 10:44 am in

The Big Ten held its weekly coaches teleconference on Monday morning to review the eighth week of conference play. Here are some notes and quotes from Tom Crean’s appearance:

On Indiana relying mostly on shot attempts from behind the 3-point line and close to the rim and whether it’s a concerted effort to go away from the long 2-point jumper or just based on personnel:

“Well I think it’s a little bit of both and I think spacing has a lot to do with it and the penetration. The number one thing for us is to get through the paint. And so, we want to get to the rim, we want to put pressure on the rim, we want to be able to get to the free throw line and we play not only at the rim, but we’re trying to get a lot of cutting going when the ball is being driven. With that, it creates help situations when you’re getting the ball in the paint and that gives us a chance to play to our strength which is the 3-point shot. Certainly we’ll take pull-up jumpers, but the bottom line is getting clean, separated space shots, not shots that you have to manufacture and shots that are challenged and a lot of times when you’re sitting there in that 10, 12, 14 foot range, those shots are going to be challenged. So if you’re creating some help in that situation when you drive it, let’s make the kick for the open 3-point shot. That’s really what it has been more than anything else.”

On the health status of Collin Hartman:

“He’s sore this morning, but no, there’s no update past that right now.”

On Wednesday’s matchup with Northwestern:

“Northwestern is really playing at a high level in the three-game win streak. They’re shooting I believe about 44 or 45 percent from 3, which is a big jump. They’re defending the 3 at a much higher level. They’re not fouling because of the zone and they’ve cut down their opponent’s free throw attempts in a big way. They’re very comfortable offensively. They’re getting very good spacing, they’re very comfortable shooting 3s and they run a lot of really good actions. So they’re playing with a ton of confidence on both ends of the floor. We’re looking forward to it. It’s a great environment to go up to Chicago and they’ll have a lot of fans, I’m sure we’ll have a lot of Indiana fans in the building. Chris (Collins) and Brian (James) and that entire staff are doing a tremendous job with a fairly young team. They’ve got some veterans, but they’ve also got some young guys that are playing extremely well and we’re looking forward to it. And if its a zone (defense), we’ve got to do a great job of moving the ball and be ready to knock down 3s and if its man-to-man, we’ve got to do a great job of moving the ball and be ready to knock down 3s. So no matter what we see, we’ve got to be in a position where the ball is moving and do a great job in transition defense and try to limit them to one shot and taking what the defense gives us.”

On cutting down practice time as the season moves to its final stages and whether he’s had to do anything differently with this team in that regard:

“I think it’s constantly reading your team and the bottom line is, there’s still time for the film work, for the conditioning, the lifting, walk through time and these guys do a really good job whether it’s on the court, in the ball room of the hotel or whether its in the film room. And the bottom line is that you just want to continue to make sure you are maximizing your time spent. It doesn’t always have to be physical, but you have to absorb it. And the times that we are physical, we’ve got to make sure we’re going really live and getting enough up and down time with scrimmaging, not getting away from the breakdown drills that you have to do and then just keep developing their skills and keep developing their good habits that they have to have on the court and sharpening it as much as possible with competition. So it’s just really a read and it’s something we’ve been doing for some time, but in this situation (between Purdue and Rutgers), we didn’t need to spend an inordinate amount of time on the court and it could be more in review sessions and things of that nature as we got ready for this game because we had just recently played Rutgers.”

On the “year of readiness” proposal that is being discussed and the prospect of freshman ineligibility:

“The initial response is, if it was something that the entire body of college athletics did in the sense of college basketball and college football, one through whatever number it is, whether it’s Division I on the football side or BCS, and all of those type of things, then that’s what it is. But to look at it in the sense that it would potentially be for selected conferences, I don’t think that makes a lot of sense in the world that we live in as far as recruiting and as far as trying to put the best product of talent and team work and togetherness on the court. I think the way the rules have been set up over the last three years to get your freshman in with you in the summer, that’s a real carrot in front of them to do really well academically in the summer because if they’re not doing well, all of the sudden by the second semester, they could really be in an issue. And so academically, I think there have been a lot of really good things put in place that really show how valuable getting the right kind of grades and classes and putting the right kind of effort and focus, concentration into your academics is and at the same time, it’s up to us as coaches to make sure we’re putting them in the best situation to help them grow in every area on the court, on the field, whatever our sport it. With these practices that are in now, kids are only going to get better academically, but again it comes down to their desire to do well academically, it comes down to the structure in place and the demands and accountability that we put on them academically and I feel really good about what we’re doing and I’m sure I’ve got a lot of colleagues out there who feel really good about what they’re doing so I don’t see where the need is for it unless it would be, like I said, all the way across the board.”

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