Crean says bigs coming along, and other stories from the Big Ten call

Centers Tom Pritchard and Bobby Capobianco might not have made any of the signature plays in Indiana’s 81-78 overtime win over Minnesota on Sunday, and both of them fouled out before the overtime. But their improved play still made a significant difference, and made the five spot look like less of a weakness than it has all season.

“I just think the bottom line there was the movement and the energy and the effort we got from them,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said Monday morning on the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference. “Especially on the backboards.”

Pritchard earned his starting job back after two games out of the starting lineup. He responded by scoring seven points and grabbing six rebounds, though his foul trouble continued.

“I’m not sure if I was looking for him to respond to get his job back,” Crean said. “I just wanted him to respond and be the player he was capable of being.”

The state’s other Big Ten coach was not nearly as pleased with his team’s play. Purdue entered the week ranked No. 6 in the nation with a 14-1 record, but lost to both Ohio State and Northwestern this week extending their losing streak to three games.

“Success can mess with you,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said.

Painter said he started to see a fall-off in his team’s effort in their win over Minnesota, which gave them a 14-0 start. The Boilermakers won that game by 19 points, but he said he could tell then they weren’t playing together.

Since then, things have gone downhill.

“We’re just not very tough,” Painter said. “We don’t play hard enough, we don’t chase rebounds hard enough.”

12 comments

  1. I bet Painter won’t have to motivate them when they play the Hoosiers. I am sure being tied in conference W/L will be considered good tonic for one team and bad tonic for the other.

  2. I just thought of this today.

    We didn’t have any quality wins last year. This year we have beaten Pittsburgh, Michigan, and Minnesota. We have also played a couple of teams close, and have lost 2 bad games.

    It is movement in the right direction.

  3. i don’t know about that but we’s have a lot of off ball screening and cutting, inbounds plays, and rivers would be making his ft’s

  4. Barkley- So now that’s what you are about? The fiscal situation of the University and how much employees are paid?

    I’m glad you are concerned so much about what the coach makes, and if you are getting the best “bang for your buck.” I’m sure you are hard at work night after night on your score-at-home IU Budget Calculator.

    Do me a favor – can you tell me if Professor Douglas Hofstaeder is publishing enough articles for the salary we pay him? Is his output commensurate with his paycheck?

  5. ^ Husky, Husky … why do you bring Hofstadter up? Is he a wrestler? Can he be fired for making too many phone calls to recruits? Why are you not asking me about Elinor Ostrom, because she just got a Nobel prize. Would you have even known her name before that? Is she making as much as Crean?

    Crean is wading along, randomly, in his style. The best he can do is to try not to shunt too much the development of these kids. Sadly, he hasn’t been able to, so far, but the kids are more resilient than expected. I’d say we pay way too much for that. And as has been said earlier coachv would’ve brought this team farther along by now. Heck, even you would.

  6. Also, Husky, you’re obviously not qualified to ask about Hofstadter. You can’t even spell his name correctly so you’re clearly not familiar with him and his work. Typically superficial of you.

  7. Chuck B- you just go back to your accounting books, and keep up the good work. We all appreciate your insightful cost analyses. Before long you will have a job in a distinguished company, either as an auditor, or a dufus who sits in a chair and judges the merit of executive salaries based on the alignment of the earth and moon each night.

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