Hoosiers want to set tempo with defense

MONTREAL — With a radically smaller lineup set to take the court when the games start to count in November, Indiana wants to set the tempo with aggression.

That’s aggression on the boards, in transition and, of course, on defense.

The latter is where IU coach Tom Crean wants everything to start with his young group of players. During the Hoosiers’ six-day stay in Canada, Crean and company are experimenting with a handful of sets to get things in gear for the season.

“Right now we’re trying to get the base of our defense — our man, our zone, our combination defenses, things of that nature,” Crean said.

Indiana is also aiming to engage more with varying degrees of pressure, which it tried at times during Friday’s exhibition game against Laval University. The team is making a more concerted effort to force more turnovers than it allows a year after leading the Big Ten with an average of 15.1 per game. That comes with switching defenses, but also with trying to wear down opponents before they can swing momentum.

Last year, Crean admits, the Hoosiers didn’t have enough players who bought into that philosophy.

This year, the focus is on.

“We didn’t bring fatigue to the game enough,” Crean said. “We didn’t have enough differentiators last year. We had some guys that were more concerned about the offensive part of that than bringing it to the defensive end, which created the energy and created the fatigue.

“I’ve said before, no question, we subbed a lot last year, too much, because we were looking for some type of consistency. Most of the time, it didn’t come and we still won 17 games, still won some big games, still won ranked games. We still had eight games go down to one possession, were 2-6 in those games, but we didn’t bring enough of ‘When we get them down, get them tired, let’s go pounce on them.’ That’s what we’ve got to learn to do.”

4 comments

  1. “We didn’t have enough differentiators”. wtf?!? did this guy really manage to get a degree? “you have to have a tenacity. you have to have a believability.” you have to have a dictionary.

  2. …and you have to have a believability in the supermatic reignability of speaking in the tongues of the monarchistic languages.

    Tsao 3:16

  3. Im wondering ,after his self-admittance the team last year was young,which of the returning players and 5th year players didnt buy into his “gameplan”

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