Crean: “I will be bonded with those guys forever.”

There will apparently be no availability for Indiana today with the team traveling to Michigan State, Tom Crean’s old stomping grounds. This is a shame, because we were really hoping to use this period of good feeling to ask the sort of light-hearted goofy questions we hadn’t had a chance to ask yet. Hugh had something plotted about facial hair. Sigh.

But anyway, J.D. Campbell came through with some quotes from Crean for us for use in previews. They follow. Verdell Jones’ status, you will learn at the bottom, is still unknown.


On his impressions of Michigan State
They are tough and fast team who hit the offensive boards as well as anyone we will see.  With their speed, we will have to really be at our best with our transition defense as well.

On the crowd they will face on Sunday
“It will be as tough an atmosphere as there is in the country. We’ve got to get up there and have to shut everything out as much as we can, except having conversations with one another.  It’s not like you are going to ignore it (the crowd noise), but you have to do your best to work through it.  This will be the first opportunity for our freshmen and sophomores to play there so we have to be ready.”

On his time at Michigan State and what it is like coaching against his mentor, Tom Izzo
“It was a great opportunity to be a part of the ground floor, maintaining and then building on what was already a great program.  Having been there as a graduate assistant, I had a great feel for it.  I grew up in that state so I had always been a fan of what they had done in that program.” “I loved it, many memories.  A lot of the blueprint of what we are trying to do here, were all formed inside of that.  He (Izzo) is a great, great friend.  I will be bonded with those guys forever..”

On the Hoosiers
“We have been very focused and I like our energy.  You can talk as much as you want about what you need to do to close games, but no words can replace the experience of doing it. Even when we missed the opportunity to regain the lead with just over a minute left, we came back and defended. There was a belief that if we stayed with what we were doing and battled good things happened for us in that final minute all the way around.”

On the Hoosiers defense
After watching the film, I was proud to see how well we rotated and challenged shots.  We are really going to have to have a rebounding mentality against the Spartans.

On the Offense
We have six guys who are shooting over 50 percent from the field and that shows me we don’t take bad shots that aren’t in the rhythm of what we do. We will have to be smart and patient and get the best opportunity each possession.

On Verdell Jones III
He is making progress and we will see how things are after we travel.