You could hear Tom Crean’s frustration a little bit beginning with his postgame remarks to Don Fischer that were piped in to Assembly Hall following Friday night’s 87-79 victory over UNCG.
Then he reinforced many of the points when he met with the media 20 minutes later.
The bottom line: IU needs to do a better job of taking what they learn on scouting reports and carrying that over into game situations.
“The bottom line is our team has got to learn that it's one thing to want to play defense, it's another thing to be in the spot,’’ Crean said. “We've got to learn how to take things away. We're not doing a really good job of understanding scouting reports, strengths and weaknesses of teams. We've got to get that figured out in a real hurry. We're asking a lot of these guys in the sense of intensity. Awareness is an ongoing issue. We're building that awareness but it's got to be built to the level where we can really take things away from people.’’
Crean said there are a lot of specifics in a scouting report that Indiana needs to swallow and digest.
“If the scouting report says he goes over his right shoulder 95 percent of the time, then he's probably going to go over his right shoulder 95 percent of the time,’’ Crean said. “We got to take the right shoulder away, or we have to take the left hand away or switch out when we're supposed to switch out.
“I have high expectations for what these guys can do because they're really working hard. We've had a good week after losing the game the other night of coming back on Tuesday and really, really working to get better, being together Wednesday, even though it was an off-practice day, having a really good day yesterday, sharp today. Their hearts and minds ... their hearts are in the right place, but their minds have got to get in a clearer place when it comes to scouting report defense.’’
CREAN SEES MISSED OPPORTUNITIES ON OFFENSE
Some may look at the box score and see 50 points for IU in the first half and feel good.
Crean would not be counted in that company.
“Offensively, we had 50 points at half. I thought we could have had 70,’’ Crean said. “It wasn't that we weren't moving the ball. We were doing a good job of that. We weren't doing a near good enough job on the defensive end to turn those into fast-break baskets.
Crean said he isn’t crazy about referring to his team as a work in progress but …
“I hate the term 'work in progress,' but I really don't have a better one for where we're at six games in,’’ Crean said. “It's still a team that is 60 percent new to college basketball with the exception of Nick (Ziesloft) but he's new to us, and we've got to keep understanding that all the nuances of the game, when it comes to the scouting reports, when it comes to what our game plan is defensively, whether we're switching, whether we're in zone, and so much of that stems from communication. So outside of Yogi and for the most part Collin, and at times Robert, we got to get a lot better defensively.’’
Crean said that offensively it’s clear that IU can get its shots.
“Our ball is moving,’’ Crean said. “They were doing a great job of taking away the middle of the floor on the break. So we got the ball into the corners. We were getting what we wanted in that sense. We've got to do a better job of demanding the ball in the post-up, when we post, in the middle when we flash. We will.
“I thought we played a more downhill game even though they did a better job of taking away the elbows. But they want to get better. There's talent there to get better. But when you're moving and playing as many games as we are in this duration, we've got to get the defensive scouting reports down quickly and not let these games be as close as they were.’’
HERE AND THERE
Devin Davis was in attendance at the IU game against UNCG again on Friday night. There is no new timetable for when he can return to school or rejoin his teammates … Indiana has made 117 free throws in six games while its opponents have only attempted 89 … Yogi Ferrell had 15 points, six rebounds and six assists. It was just the second time in his career that he has had at least 15-6-6 … The Hoosiers had five players score in double figures for the third time this season … Former Indiana player Mike Roberts was back in Assembly Hall Friday as an assistant coach at UNCG. Roberts played in 2001, redshirted in the NCAA Final Four season of 2002, and the played the next three seasons at Indiana under Mike Davis.What We Learned: IU-UNCG
Defending Shooters continues to haunt IU
Crean discusses 2015 signees