They said it: Indiana coach Tom Crean and player Yogi Ferrell after 81-76 loss to Wichita State in NCAA tournament:
TOM CREAN OPENING COMMENTS: … 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.
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.