Crean, IU players talk Big Ten Tournament

Read what Indiana coach Tom Crean and the Indiana players are saying before the Big Ten Tournament.

Indiana opens play in the Big Ten Tournament against Northwestern on Thursday evening. The Hoosiers are in desperate need of a win if they hope to make the NCAA Tournament.

Read what Indiana coach Tom Crean and some of IU's players had to say about the Big Ten Tournament below.

On familiarity with Northwestern in order to prepare:

“There were some really good things in that game but we lost our edge in that game. We’ve got to do a great job on trade depths. They took the game over in the second half and we didn’t respond to it as well and that’s got to be a big part of it. They’re playing on confidence. The Michigan win was a huge one certainly. After us, the zone is good because it keeps their players on the floor and keeps them out of foul trouble, they can play Alex Ola a lot of minutes. We like the zone better. There were some times we missed and we've got to do a better job all around but I do think because it’s fresh in our minds, the mistakes we made should help lead us in the preparation.”

On Yogi’s season:

“I think he continues to get better and better. He’s his own worst critic at times. At the same time, he’s got an edge and a level of toughness that’s outstanding, and we need him to play with that edge on defense as well as offense and be the stopper and be the team leader at both ends of the court that he is on the offensive court. Because when we have that, we’re good. And he improves all the time, he improves every year throughout the year and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody. He’s done a fantastic job.”

On having Collin back:

“I think it’s going to make a huge difference. It didn’t make a big difference the other day because he didn’t play more minutes than he was allowed to play doctors wise but he did play more minutes than he was ready to play. But we needed him on the court. He was our leading block out percentage wise and he didn’t play a great game and didn't play with his normal confidence and movement, and that was to be expected. We’ve missed him. There are only one or two players whose percentages haven’t been significantly different without him in the line-up. Hopefully this gives us a couple more days to get him healthier and get him more in the rhythm and acclimated again and get him feeling good. He’s a huge, huge part of what we’re doing especially in a zone situation because he can help in so many different places. He can be at the basket, he can be at the middle of the lane and he can certainly shoot threes when you look at the leading guy for three-point percentage or at least he was a week ago. No question we get him healthy that's going to help us a great deal.”

On Northwestern playing well at the end of the year:

“They really have. His younger guys are playing with a lot of confidence and playing the zone, which is keeping them out of foul trouble. The biggest difference for them going into the zone is the difference in fouling and the difference in how many free throws they’re giving up. It’s a monstrous amount. To me, it’s very smart for him in that area. He’s about to keep Alex Olah in the game. He’s not going to the bench, as he might have been before to keep those guys in. Bryant McIntosh has done an outstanding job at moving the ball all year for them. Tre Demps to me is an all-league player. I know he didn’t get it on the first team but he’s an all-league player to me. He’s gotten nothing but better. He’s a tremendous player and really heard of up there and he can really shoot the ball. So you’ve got to do a great job of moving into the zone, get behind it, getting it reversed. We were really good with transition up there in the first half. In fact, I think we had four times we got fouled going to the rim in transition and shot the ball well. We weren’t as good in the second half. We were making it in the first and not making it in the second half. And we have to make sure going into a new arena like that, we have to do a great job on the glass, a great job offensively and defensively.”

On players preparing for the postseason atmosphere:

“I think they are aware of that. Absolutely. That’s why fixing you and fixing what needs to be fixed with your offense and some adjustments defensively and things like that are so important when it comes to games. These guys have done a good job on short turnarounds in the sense of what they pick up in the ballroom and during walk-throughs. But really it’s about us having the right edge and the right mindset and the right awareness level more than anything else on the defensive end.”


Do you know where you stand regards to the NCAA Tournament?

Yogi Ferrell- “Honestly,that’s not something we focus on, we know our goals, we see our goals ahead of us so we do everything in our power, practice hard, watching extra film and getting extra shots up to attain those goals.”

Troy Williams- “I know that winning is going to take us to where we want to go. But I think every team feels that this time of year.”

Collin Hartman- “Teams are at a point that their season can go either way. We know winning is our key and were focused on that and that only.”

Offensively. What are the keys for you?

Yogi Ferrell- “I think we have to do everything harder. We have to cut harder, screen harder and fight for every rebound."

Troy Williams—“ We have to space the floor and make the extra pass. Making good decisions and play unselfish."

Nick Zeisloft—“We can not play tentative at all. If we get a lead, we have to play harder. If we are behind, we have to come right at someone."

Defensively, what can we expect?

Troy Williams—“We have to win the glass, rebound and that will help us in transition."

Collin Hartman—“We just have to come in with the right mindset and not let any one player get comfortable. They also have Jershon Cobb back, so they have added a veteran guy to their lineup."

Nick Zeisloft—“We have to pressure the ball and not let them drive and kick so easily.” Top Stories