Notes, quotes from Tom Crean on the Big Ten coaches teleconference

  • 01/04/2016 10:26 am in

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

Opening statement: “We’re excited about our start because we’ve gone into two venues on the road and been able to find a way to win the game against two teams that are very, very competitive and getting better. We’ve been a little undermanned in the sense of not having James Blackmon Jr. and at the same time we’ve had different things that you deal with in a game like you would, but our guys found ways to persevere and win those games. I think those things come back to help you as the season goes on so we’re excited to be at home tomorrow for Wisconsin in what promises to be a very special evening with the fact that the 1976 team is coming back to be honored during this game as far as their 40-year anniversary pertains to it. We’re excited about that. We’re anxious to play.”

On Thomas Bryant, the importance of dealing with what he can work on rather than the negatives following the Rutgers game and how easy he is to work with in terms of getting to the next step: “Very easy, he’s hungry to get better. At the end of the day, the bottom line with him is that he wants to improve any way that he can. He’s a quick learner, he loves to be in the gym. It was one game. It was some foul situations, that’s all that it was. We’re proud of the way that he continues to improve and his attitude continues to be one where he sees how good he can possibly be, but he never feels like he’s arrived at any point. I think that’s a great thing for a young player.”

On how much better Bryant has gotten at shaking off a bad night and being able to get back in the gym without letting it affect him: “I think he does that easy. That’s not an issue that we see in our guys. They’re a hungry group of people and he’s no different. They want to improve any way that they can.”

On the play of OG Anunoby and what stands out about his play in league play so far: “Sustained intensity, sustained intensity in practice and really understanding how important practice is, every aspect of it. Continued development of his perimeter skills, especially the way that he can guard people and his ability to play away from the basket shooting the ball. And then I think the attitude of rebounding. He really wants to be a rebounder, he knows he can be a rebounder and I think every day he just continues to gain confidence and I think that carries into the games.”

On the potential addition of anyone from the football team: “We haven’t had any concrete conversations yet about any of that. We’ll see how that goes down the road. But as of right now, there’s nothing there.”

On how much the 1976 team registers with the in-state players on the roster: “Well I think the fact that it’s the last undefeated team in college basketball and they see the relevance of that when they see that being talked about during the season, especially with what Kentucky went through last year. The bottom line is they can’t walk too many places around the facilities and not see a reference to the champions, especially the ’76 team. I don’t think it has to register with them as far as knowing those guys individually as maybe their parents would or the fans would, but knowing what they accomplished and knowing that it hasn’t been done since, I think that registers with everybody.”

Filed to: