Quotes following Indiana’s 83-62 win over James Madison on Friday.
The Hoosiers will now play No. 9 seed Temple, which beat No. 8 N.C. State 76-72, at approximately 1:45 p.m. CST Sunday.
Q. Yogi, just talk about the beginning sequences and those first three drives and what specifically you saw.
FERRELL: I was just trying to push the ball in transition really and find openings. The lane kind of just opened up for me, and I just kept attacking at the beginning. When they closed it up, I’d just kick out. So those first early drives really helped us.
Q: Yogi, how did the Big Ten help prepare you for this tournament?
FERRELL: The Big Ten prepared us just to play against some of the high-level guys. This team had a lot of high-level players. They had Nation, Moore, Davis, and each Big Ten team has always high-level scorers.
So going up and playing against some of those guys prepared us against this team because they’re a great team. You know, it just prepares us to go out there and play physical because the Big Ten is a very physical conference, so we wanted to go out there and be physical as well.
Q. Yogi, can you talk about just the feeling about playing your first NCAA Tournament game and then coming out of the
gates the way that you did.
FERRELL: It was definitely a lot of fun. I mean, just running up the court, just running the breaks is just a lot of fun, especially to get this win, our first win, especially my first win, my first game.
But just to be out there and play with thesd guys was just a lot of fun.
Q: I know James Madison wound up with 62 points, but with ten minutes to go they only had 31. I was curious how you evaluate how you played defensively this afternoon.
CREAN: I think we played excellent. We let our guard down a little bit late, and we didn’t make many adjustments at that point. We didn’t switch our defenses, which we would have if we felt it would have warranted it at that point.
But I was also trying to make sure that I was conscious enough getting people out of the game, and we tried to do some of that at the end of the first half. So I would think for the first 30, 32 minutes, whatever it was, we were really, really at a high level. We had a ton of deflections. We weren’t giving them easy baskets.
There was a couple here and there, but we were challenging our guys. We were talking about the pick-and-roll coverage, really, really locked into personnel. I can’t stress enough how proud I am of the way that they did that because they do that all year long. You don’t want them to catch a break now.
You want them to understand that, hey, this really works, and you’ve got to be — it’s not just about getting ready for play X and play Y, it’s about really getting ready for individuals and what they do inside of that and how cohesive they are.
So our players were really, really good with that, and they never took their foot off the pedal there those first 30 minutes with our game plan defensively.
Q. Is there anything you saw or heard the last couple of days that suggested to you that your team was not overlooking this group, that you were ready to play at a high level?
CREAN: Oh, I never worried about it. I do — my only concern that, if we didn’t play well, we were going to be underworked and we weren’t going to be overworked, because we really did try to flip the switch at the end after the
There’s no question that the gauntlet and the grind of the season had caught up with us some. It was so important to make sure that we got — that this was really with a fresh-mind approach, I think. I saw it come alive. I knew we’d
get their legs right, but they were really able to get away and make that changeover, that transition from the high-level games and the high-level preps night after night that never end, take a couple days to make themselves better before they jump right back into that preparation.
With that being said, there was never a drop-off when we went to the preparation. Our first walk-through Wednesday night, after the game was over in the ballroom at the hotel, there was no question they were ready to go and talking it and communicating it and seeing these things on film and bringing them to life in our walk-through. So I never worried about that with them.
I mean, you always worry because that’s human nature, but there’s nothing I ever saw from them that concerned me whatsoever.
Q. Coach, Yogi has shown maturity beyond his years all season, but just to come out as hot as he did but never get out of the offensive flow, what does that say about him?
CREAN: He’s just a very mature young man that’s got an extremely short memory. He just plays, and he moves on, and he moves right on from it. I didn’t even realize that he had six assists, one turnover inside of that time, and we
got him some good rest too. So the eight rebounds was big because we need more guard rebounds, and when he rebounds the ball, we’re much better because that break starts so fast. And the same thing with Jordan Hulls. So that’s a very, very positive thing, but he had great confidence shooting the ball.
He’s worked so hard to continue to get extra reps in his shooting, and if there’s one thing — we’ve shot a lot all week long, but there really weren’t a lot of opportunities for these guys to go — we weren’t in Cook Hall. So we couldn’t go back and get those extra reps. I felt really good about the way we shot the ball in here yesterday
with the 40-minute workout, and he was one of the key guys with that. So I know it had to help his confidence level.
Q. Coach, have you seen Temple play at all or have any impressions about them?
CREAN: Oh, absolutely. We’re fully ready to start going over them here in a short period of time with our guys because Steve McClain has been on the scout since Sunday night.
Fran Dunphy is a phenomenal coach, and it starts with him. I mean, he has been a great basketball coach for a long period of time, and they play in a highly respected league, a tough league, a league that it’s got a little bit of everything. They’re going to deal with pressure. They’re going to deal with zones. They’re going to deal with tempo, all those types of things. What they do is he really utilizes in my mind — I don’t know any of his players, but he takes these tough, athletic guys, gets them to really move the basketball. They know what they want early in the
clock. They know what they want late in the clock. Wyatt is a tremendous player, but he’s far from being a one-man team. He does so many different things. They do so many different things to get shots. So they’re going to be an extremely difficult matchup.
I didn’t see any — well, I saw maybe two minutes of (Temple’s 76-72 win over N.C. State). I’m going to go watch that now. But for them to come in here and win — the thing that got my attention is when I saw one of the articles where they basically missed — I could be wrong on this, but they basically missed the Selection Show because they were still in a meeting going over what had happened in their last game.
That’s a serious team. That’s a team not to be taken lightly.
Q. Tom, you alluded to this a couple of minutes ago. Were you worried at one point that the Big Ten was going to batter you guys to the point you weren’t going to be ready for the tournament?
CREAN: It goes through your head. I’d be lying to say it didn’t. You don’t want to put that in your players’ minds, but, again, I wasn’t worried about — we really backed off our practices much earlier than we ever had to prepare
for a long season. But there’s no way around it. You’re in that league, and it’s possession by possession, and it’s
so physical and taxing. Again, the people that know us saw it. The people that don’t know us, our guys prepare every game, and we’ve had a couple of tough games.
But our guys prepare every game the same way, and I haven’t always had teams — they know when they’re playing this team or that team, but they never, ever differentiate in their preparation, and that goes a lot into it too with how
they got — you win the Big Ten. You win the league like that, that takes a lot out of you.
So I’m really glad we had a little transition time and that we utilized it the right way to help them get their minds around this and get their bodies back.