Tom Crean said in his postgame remarks following Indiana’s 88-86 loss to Eastern Washington at Assembly Hall Monday night that he wished he could take his young team out and practice following the game.
And he was serious. He said it on his postgame radio show with Don Fischer and then repeated it again in his postgame press conference with the IU media.
Unfortunately for Crean and likely lucky for his Indiana players, NCAA rules prohibit such a practice.
The first time he can get them back out on the floor would be Tuesday.
But when you have a young team making young mistakes you don’t want to waste any time. You want to get right back at it.
“If rules weren't the way they are, I would go practice right now because I would love to get back out there and have our guys continue to understand how fast, how hard, how tenacious they have to be at every position,’’ Crean said. “We learned the other night from SMU, and you know I'm speaking on behalf of a relatively young team here, how good you have to be time and time again to go to the glass and how your guards have to rebound and how it has to be every possession. You're on the offensive glass. We learned if you don't get back in transition, and you don't get matched up, it doesn't matter. When you're playing they're going to take advantage of you and we learned tonight what attack basketball really looks like.’’
Crean said he really likes his IU team right now and is looking forward to growing with them.
“I am so excited about this team, and I love their spirit and, again, if you write it as an excuse, it's because you think I'm making one, I'm not,’’ Crean said. “They've had to do a lot. Not mentioning how much they've been through off the court, the last three weeks, but all the games that we have had in such a short period of time. Now I don't regret it; it's great for them to learn it, but it catches up with you. We had a couple guys didn't have better nights, and we're a team right now that's got to have everybody clickin'.’’
YOGI EXECUTED THE PLAY CREAN WANTED IN FINAL 14 SECONDS
Indiana trailed Eastern Washington 86-83 and got the ball back with 14.4 seconds to play Monday night. The Hoosiers got the ball into the front court quickly and then Yogi Ferrell got the look he wanted.
It wasn’t the 3-point attempt that most of the crowd at Assembly Hall was expecting Ferrell to hoist but instead it was a quick drive down the middle of the lane to try and get a basket that would shave the lead to one with 7 or 8 seconds still on the clock.
But Ferrell missed the driving layup and Troy Williams couldn’t convert the tip in. Eastern Washington then got fouled and hit two free throws at the other end.
Both Crean and Ferrell were asked about the play in the postgame press conference.
Crean said Ferrell did what he was looking for because the Hoosiers were trying to lengthen the game.
“The action that we ran there was three different 3-point opportunities off of that, but at the same time in that situation, you have no problem because you want to go early enough that you can get the offensive board,’’ Crean said. “What did we miss, two layups? That's not a problem, I would run that again, and we had just scored a 3 off that same play, I think. I have to watch the film but, no, we want to lengthen the game at that point. We want to lengthen the game.’’
Ferrell said he was looking for the drive.
“Speaking with Coach after they shot that free-throw, he told me we didn't need a three, necessarily,’’ Ferrell said. “I looked for a driving lane. Surprised I missed that layup, so I'm going to get in there and work on that left hand. I went to the rim; Troy almost had a tip and it just didn't go for us.’’
STREAKS COMES TO AN END
A couple of streaks came to an end Monday night at Assembly Hall.
Indiana’s winning streak against non-conference opponents at Assembly Hall came to an end with the loss. IU had won 43 consecutive home games against non-conference foes.
It was also Tom Crean’s first home loss in the month of November in his seven seasons at Indiana. He is now 22-1.
And Eastern Washington won its first game in school history when playing before a crowd of more than 10,000 fans. The Eagles were 0-20 in history when playing before 10,000 or more fans. The announced crowd at Assembly Hall Monday night was 11,636.Four Things We Learned from IU-Eastern Washington
Indiana struggles to defend paint in loss