Read the entire transcript of what Indiana head coach Tom Crean had to say to reporters last night following his team's 86-75 loss on the road to the Purdue Boilermakers.
Q – Tom, where did you feel like the game got away and why?
TOM CREAN: We outscored them in the paint, didn’t shoot a free throw until the 11 minute mark of the second half, got outscored 15, 16 points at the foul line with a plan to go inside. I’d say that’s always going to be a factor when you’re not getting a chance to match that.
We made our comeback and obviously (Dakota) Mathias…we were very concerned because as good as (Caleb) Swanigan is and the rest of them, Mathias in my opinion is the key to their team. We did a great job against him at our place, and then today…that’s actually some of the video that we lead off with and how good he is moving without the ball. He got hot and we lost him a couple times and I think that hurt us.
So in answer to your question, the first half he got hot, the points off turnovers was negative for us and it came back in the second half. But we could never get…we could never match anywhere close to what was happening at the foul line.
Q – Coach, can you address the fouls situation?
TOM CREAN: No, I can’t. Thank you though. I don’t coach the officials I coach Indiana. So I’m sorry, I don’t mean to cut you off, but I’m certainly not going there. Thank you though. I don’t mean to be rude, I’m really not trying to be, but I’m just not going to address the officials.
Q – I don’t want you to address the officials, but how much did that hurt you?
TOM CREAN: I think it’s obvious. I think it’s obvious that when you’re scoring the points in the paint that we are and yet 15 points behind in the free throw line. I mean it just hurt us. I didn’t mean to be rude at all, I certainly didn’t mean it like that.
Q – With some of the turnovers, I know we talk about this almost every game, 11 in the first half, you talked about some of the ridiculous turnovers that have killed you in recent games…
TOM CREAN: Well we made a comeback, we made a comeback so what’s done is done. But if you check the stats obviously the first half it hurt us, but what was the score at halftime?
Q – 40-32
TOM CREAN: Yeah, so it wasn’t insurmountable.
Q – Tom, what do you like or dislike about your team and the way they are sticking with things?
TOM CREAN: I love their fight, I love their resolve. Togetherness every day in practice. You would not be able to tell that we’ve had so many tough losses…you wouldn’t be able to tell it. They’ve got tremendous resiliency, which is going to carry them a long, long way in life if they never lose that. We haven’t gotten as many wins out of it with the 13 games that we’ve had that have been under three points with a minute to go, this one not included, but they’re working very hard to overcome things. Obviously the foul trouble did hurt us, and I’m not saying we didn’t foul, but the points in the paint is…I used to think I could understand points in the paint…I have no idea what points in the paint mean anymore because I don’t know how it reflects what you do or don’t get at the foul line.
But I love the fact that they care. They’re working extremely hard and we have some guys that are getting a lot better, without a doubt. And they want to learn. So those are all the qualities that you really, really want in somebody and I wish…I cannot tell you how bad it hurts as a human being and as a leader of them for them not to get the results a lot of the time for the work that they put in. It hurts everybody, but it hurts us for the players because they work so very hard.
Q – Post defense…when you see two guys get 17 (points) and nine (rebounds) in nine minutes combined how big of an impact is that?
TOM CREAN: It’s obvious. I think it’s obvious, I don’t think there is any question about that. I mean we’re posting up. We’re a different team than we were a year ago. We’re going to post up and we’re going to play in the lane, as are they. Caleb (Swanigan) is hard to guard…were coming down on our digs…I mean he is very difficult to guard…I don’t have…its tough right…I think Matt (Painter) had…I think I saw the quote…I may be paraphrasing…I think he said it when he talked about us not having OG (Anunoby) and Collin (Hartman) that our foul trouble is different than other people’s foul trouble. I know I’m paraphrasing that to a degree, but I appreciate that. I appreciate another coach saying something like that. I appreciate some of the things that he has said and I’m happy for him winning a championship. I think he is a great coach and he runs a great program. But ours is different. It’s much different for us now when we have foul trouble.
Q – Tom, can you talk about the contributions you got from (Tim) Priller tonight?
TOM CREAN: Tim Priller is getting better, he really is. He’s got a nice touch, he works extremely hard, he puts the same time in that other people do but he doesn’t get the same opportunity because they’re better. But he works at it and he was ready when his name was called. I’m proud of him for that.
Q – Coach, you have a young roster. How important are games like this for them from an experience standpoint?
TOM CREAN: I don’t know. I’m nowhere…I can’t even think about that, I’m sorry. I’m sure it’s good. They’re getting a lot of experience, but I don’t coach for the future, I really don’t. You coach for the present and you coach to make sure you’re better the next day. It’s very hard for me to think in those terms, I’m sorry.