Tom Crean on teleconference

Crean’s thoughts on various topics from this morning’s press conference

— On Yogi Ferrell and his next step : “I think just to stay on the path that he’s on, just to be absolutely engaged in every aspect of the game in the way that he’s talking to his teammates during practice, during the games. The way he’s letting the game come to him. The poise that he’s playing with. The ability to read situations. If I were to pick a statistic I would go with rebounding. Defensive rebounding. Every time he gets a defensive board we’re in a great spot because it just eliminates another step on the break. Those are the things and just continuing to stay with what’s working. The biggest growth has got to be if something’s not going as well just to continue to play right through it. That’s what he’s done the last few games for sure.

— On Nebraska: “They present a ton of problems because of how athletic they are. They shoot the ball extremely well. Tremendous at getting to the basket. They’re very unconventional in the sense that the biggest player on the court is also one of the very best 3-point shooters on the court in Walter Pitchford, so it’s gonna stretch our defense. At the same time, that’s why we work on switching. That’s why we put our big men and forwards in as many situations where they’ve gotta guard guards in practice for moments like this. They have tremendous talent. I don’t think there’s any question about that. They’re getting better. They play with great intensity. They’ve got tremendous confidence at home. There’s no doubt about that You can see the crowd support on film. You can see it, you can hear it. I think they’re responding very well to it. I think Tim (Miles) is an excellent coach and a very tough minded coach in the sense that they’re going to be very diligent and tough on both ends of the floor. They’ve got decent depth, too. I thought maybe the best game they’ve played was this past Sunday when they were playing without the young man who has since been removed from the team. For me, I think they’re going to get better and better.”

— On whether it helps that Nebraska has won some big games: “With a young team it does. The older teams know how good this league is. With a group of young guys, we do have to make sure they know that because they don’t have a great familiarity with Nebraska yet. They don’t have a great familiarity with Nebraska yet. That’s where the video comes in, that’s where getting isolated in there on the trip and just getting into a bunker mentality as soon as possible after practice today is crucial to that. I think they’re growing and I think every game they realize just how tough it is to win in this league. We’re really locked in to some personnel things as well as scheme things, which will hopefully create a little bit more of a focus. We’ve got to go in and have a great mindset of not having lack of communication or miscommunication especially when you go on the road. It’s so imperative that everyone is responsible for each other’s plight on the court. … It doesn’t matter who you play in this league, you’re going to be in an absolute battle every night. Bottom line is there’s no one you can point to in this league who hasn’t won games.”

— On Austin Etherington: “It’s fun watching his confidence grow. I think what happened is, I’ve used this analogy before, when things aren’t going your way, you can either get sad or you can get determined. I thought he continued to practice and prepare and persevere throughout when he didn’t get a lot of time and when he was playing sparingly and he just continued to battle in practice. He didn’t like it, but he battled. And you don’t want anyone to ever like that they’re not playing the way they would like to play or not playing as much as they would like to play because they’re not as competitive, but you can’t get sad about it, you can’t get down. You have to continue to be ready, so I think the fact that he has worked so hard and when his name was called and prepared all week after the Michigan State game to go in and be ready in the next game especially going into Penn State, the bottom line was it’s working because he’s continuing to do the little things that matter. They’re all big things, the blockouts, the getting to the boards, the running the court, the moving without the basketball, making simple plays. In answer to your second question, if he’s open, absolutely (we want him shooting the ball.) ┬áHe’s a very good shot fake guy. He’s a guy that can move the ball. He’s gotten so much better. The one thing that’s really improved in the last few weeks is how well he has moved without the ball and how much more improved of a rebounder he is, because frankly that’s one of the things that was keeping him off the court was his lack of rebounding and his lack of blocking out and keeping people off the glass. That’s the thing that he’s doing such a good job now. If he’s open and that ball is swung and it’s an inside-outside situation, knock it down. I think he’ll continue to gain confidence with that, absolutely.”

— More on Nebraska: “I think they’ve been growing for this all year long. They’ve been incorporating some veterans and some transfers and some new players and you can just see the chemistry developing on their team. They’re doing a very good job defensively and it’s hard to find a guy who comes on the court who can’t score. They shoot the ball, they get to the rim. Tim does a really good job of getting guys in spots. This person may be in an isolation, this person may come off a screen. This person may be in a drive and kick. This person may be in a pick and roll. He knows how to get those guys shots. I think they have very good players and I think they’re just getting used to probably I would imagine playing together constantly. IT’s hard to single one of them out. Petteway’s the leading scorer. He takes 17 shots a game in the conference and he is a wrecking crew when it comes to having the ball in his hands because he can find people, but he can really get to the rim and he can shoot threes. The spacing is what’s really made them unique. The balls moves really well for them right now and that’s a really important attribute for why they’re good.”

4 comments

  1. Not going to be an easy game. KenPom has IU ranked #65 and Nebraska at something like #74. Put the game on Nebraska’s court and it will be a challenge.

  2. Seeing the ad “21 Killer Basketball Plays Simple, Fun & Effective” running under the ‘Football Standings’. Is that a Hoosier Scoop hint to Coach Crean? Or maybe a suggested link from Geoff?

  3. I put about as much confidence in Ken Pom’ as his toupee in a hurricane.

    Indiana 70
    Nebraska 62

Comments are closed.