Introspective Crean takes blame for ND loss

Indiana coach Tom Crean said he did a poor coaching job on Saturday in Indianapolis.

After Saturday afternoon's loss to Notre Dame in Indianapolis, Indiana coach Tom Crean lamented the fact his team failed to throw the ball inside to Noah Vonleh more.

Two days later, Crean accepted all of the blame for Saturday's 79-72 loss on his weekly radio show appearance with Don Fischer.

"We played worse than what I thought during the game, to be honest with you," Crean said. "I take full responsibility because I should have done a much, much better job in the game of making sure at the end that the ball went inside. We made mistakes and we never got really over the hump even though we were right there.

"We defended at a pretty good rate. We didn't defend at a great rate. We made numerous game plan mistakes in this game. That's concerning because we're 11 games in and we've got to be better than that. And I know there's a certain amount of fatigue that kicks in when you haven't been through it like we haven't been through it and how important every one of these things are."

After the game, senior guard Evan Gordon said Crean repeatedly told his players to throw it inside, but that he personally didn't see many opportunities for it. For much of the game, Notre Dame packed the lane in an effort to take away Vonleh and force the Hoosiers to hit shots from the perimeter. It's a game plan many other teams are likely to use during the Big Ten season.

Indiana never led in the game, though it had several opportunities to take the lead down the stretch.

"Frankly, with the mistakes we made in the game and the poor coaching job that I did, I'm amazed we were even in it at the end," Crean said. "But it was still a very winnable game in all honesty and we've got to do a better job of understanding what we want and that starts with making sure it's going through the paint and going through the post."

Indiana (8-3) is off until Friday night, but the players are going through final exams this week. Crean said he would be out recruiting on Wednesday night.


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