Transcript: Crean, players on NCAA loss

Here is the complete transcript of remarks from Tom Crean and IU players following an 81-76 loss to Wichita State Friday night in the NCAA Tournament in Omaha.

Here is the transcript from the postgame press conference Friday following Wichita State’s 81-76 victory over Indiana in the NCAA Tournament in Omaha, Neb.

IU coach Tom Crean opened with a statement.

TOM CREAN: First of all, we appreciate the way Bruce Rasmussen and everybody from the NCAA Tournament and certainly Creighton and the city of Omaha, the way they have treated us. We certainly wanted to stay a few more days. I say a great city, great love for amateur sports and college basketball here takes a beak seat to no one. The tournament has been extremely well run and we were honored to be a part of it. As far as for the game, hard-fought game, no question about that, both teams playing very, very hard, the 50/50 balls going both ways. Unfortunately for us the biggest difference was the points they were able to score inside of the paint. When we have been able to keep that under control this year, we have been better and when we haven't, that's what we have struggled. A few points off turnovers, we would like to have back, we shot the ball well, you come into a situation and shoot 50% from 3 there is no argument on that part of it but we gave up too many easy baskets and VanVleet did an excellent job of controlling the game for Wichita State. He broke us down some in our coverages, but he was also able to find the roll. They did a better job than we did of finding the roll in the pick-and-roll because we felt we could run a lot of middle offense, ball-screen-type of offense, which we did, but we had a harder time dealing with their length, finding that roll man and, again, they were able to get more points in the paint. To me, we will watch the film and see different things but bottom line is I think that's the biggest difference in the game for us. I'm proud of our guys, the way they have persevered is a great word for us right now. I wouldn't call it a mantra, we're not trying to make a T-shirt, but the bottom line is that's what our guys have done all year long. They have persevered through adversity, persevered through different trials, and they did some things that not a whole lot of people expected them to do. Unofficially picked 11th in the league and they get into the NCAA Tournament with a 10th seed as the youngest team. We're not happy with the outcome today, certainly we could have played better, but I have zero disappointment in the way these guys battled, competed, got better and persevered throughout the season.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the four gentlemen up here.

Q. Yogi, Fred and his running the offense, running pick-and-roll, what made that so hard to guard tonight?

Yogi Ferrell: We needed to be more up in our defensive coverages. We shouldn't have had the big so far back where he could attack our feet, he's very good at doing that. He needs to be -- we need to be more up on the drive screen and take away the angles.

Q. For Yogi, even with the points you guys were giving up inside, you guys kept hitting three after three. Were you thinking for most of that second half that that was going to be enough?

YOGI FERRELL: No, I mean, we never knew it was going to be enough. Our offense was hitting a couple of shots at the end of the day, we should have been playing better defense. They scored so many points inside. If we could have got more stops in a row, which is what we wanted to do and knocked down a couple of shots, we could have been right there.

Q. Tom, I know it's difficult in the moments right after a loss, but what would your expectations be for next season? You mentioned a young team. What would you think this team could do next year?

TOM CREAN: You said it all first, it's too early to think about that, but my thing would be that we continue to build on the things that we do pretty well, and absolutely be obsessed with getting better at the things that we struggled with. We've got to get a lot stronger. We've got to have a more consistent -- we just got to build consistency. We'll leave it at that. I don't have a lot of deep thoughts on that one yet, but we have to build consistency in all the areas and improve and stay on course, because I think they got a lot better during the year. Our record didn't always reflect it in some of the games, but I'm with 'em every day, so I'm going to stick with being the judge of it. And I don't get to have an opinion and insights -- I can have an opinion. I have insights into this team because I'm with them every day. I like where it's headed, but there is no question that we've got to continue to improve in not only in the basketball areas, but certainly the strength areas; and being able to, I would say, the biggest thing right now is putting more multiple stops together, because when we did that, we were a pretty good team. When we didn't, it got a little harder for us. Off the top of my head that's where I am at. I wasn't ready for the checklist at the end of the year.

Q. Collin, as Coach mentioned, given some of the challenges you had at the beginning of the season and the ups and downs you had, how do you think you will look back on this year given everything that's transpired?

Collin Hartman: I feel we have really come together as a team, and as brothers, as a family. We've really stayed together through as a unit through everything, the ups and the downs and I feel we did get better throughout the season and I couldn't be prouder of this team and how hard we played.

Q. Yogi, physical game out there and I know the Big Ten is a rough-and-tumble league, but how does Wichita State compare with those teams you faced? Are they any more physical than what you guys saw during the year?

Troy Williams: Yeah, like we said before coming into this game, they reminded us of Michigan State in our league. They go to the boards hard; they play very physical, they help really strong on defense at the elbow and that's who they mostly resemble.

COLLIN HARTMAN: They're a very strong team, very athletic. They're great, they're old; they're skilled and they're relentless on the boards. So that's the team that they do remind us of.

Q. Troy, when you guys -- there was about two minutes to go and you hit Yogi in the corner, what was your guys' mind-set? You got down to 1 point. Did you have a mind-set as a team that you were going to come over that hump after you hadn't led in the final 6 or 7 minutes of the game?

TROY WILLIAMS: No matter how large the deficit is, we always stay together, we always say anything can happen. We could easily back and get two more threes or two more possessions, we get a bucket and we're right there in the game. We never see each other as out of the game. Like you said, Yogi's got us down 1 and we were right back in it after that.


Peegs.com Top Stories