We didn't get the chance to meet with IU coach Tom Crean or any members of his team, with the quick turnaround from Friday and the busy weekend. In lieu of availability, IU media relations provided the media with quotes from Crean, associate head coach Steve McClain and players Victor Oladipo and Jeremy Hollowell.
We'll have more on the game tomorrow, but here, in the meantime, are those quotes (note: I believe at least some of Crean's quotes come from his postgame comments after the Bryant win):
Head Coach Tom Crean
On hosting part of the Progressive Legends Classic:
"Just like last year, we have the opportunity to play home games as part of being in an exempt tournament. I think that is very attractive to our program and fans. We are looking forward to this experience the next nine days.”
On North Dakota State:
"They are a good program with a lot of experience and will present different challenges than we have faced this year. They are extremely tough and well-coached and they return their top five scorers.
On what pleased him most about the Bryant win:
"I thought the freshman got better as the game went on. (Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell) - we can't take for granted those numbers like that and the presence that he had with what he did and another good deflection night.
“Jeremy Hollowell really got it going in the second half. Victor Oladipo had 17 deflections. I'm not even sure what the rest of his stats are here but 17 deflections. That is impressive stuff. Jordan (Hulls) played a very good game. Jordan has been very aggressive for us since last Thursday and that's what we need him to be. Remy (Abell) got better as the game went on as well. That's what we have to have.”
On Depth and Improvement:
"We have to continue to have that kind of improvement, because there is no question we are short-handed on the front line, so we are trying to mix and match and do a lot of different things. But the players responded really well to that Friday."
Associate head coach Steve McClain
On the challenges that NDSU presents:
“They return four veteran starters from a team that went to postseason play last year (CBI). They are a team that won 19 games as well. If you look at the history of their program, they are a program that redshirts kids and gives kids that extra year of growth and development. They have had some big wins over the years on the road against BCS schools, so they are a team that isn’t afraid to walk into a tough environment and compete.”
On what Indiana needs to do to continue to put pressure on the opponents:
“We have to put great pressure on the basketball. Taylor Braun, their 6-7 small forward is their leading scorer and a guy that can get baskets at the rim or from the 3-point line.
Lawrence Alexander was their freshman point guard last year and was a mid-major freshman all-american player. He is a guy that really tries to get to the rim and create shots for others.
But I think more than anything, we have to do a great job of knowing where we are at on the floor defensively – when to pressure them and when to back off. And we have to do a great job on the defensive boards because they do a great job of going to the glass hard.”
On what NDSU could do to try to take Indiana out of its game:
“For our fans to watch, they are a team that plays the gaps on defense and they want you to settle for the jump shot. They do not want to give up penetration to the paint. So we have to make sure that we take our time and get the shot that we want.
“Bo Ryan’s (Wisconsin head coach) son is on their staff and they have a Wisconsin flavor to them in how they play offense and defense.”
On getting into the flow of the college basketball season:
“I think that is what we feel right now. We see our veteran guys making sure that our younger guys know that now they have to get to the next game. Now we have to start preparing for the next one.
“I thought we did a good job of immediately changing our mentality and getting to preparation for NDSU. That is a good thing to see a team buy into that philosophy, especially a team that has a lot of youth with veterans.”
#4 • Victor Oladipo
Junior • Guard
On the challenges that North Dakota State (NDSU) presents:
“They are a really good team and we are going to have to be focused for them, just like we are going to have to be focused for every game that we play. They are picked to win their league and they have really good players. So it is going to be good for us, now playing every other day, or every two or three days, and it feels like we are in the full swing of things.
“We are excited for this game and excited to play a game again. The first game was a real success so we are looking forward to the next one.”
On what the team wants to improve upon after the first game:
“Making less turnovers and being more consistent and playing at a team, along with playing at a high level. We need to do the little things so that we can get better inside of the game.”
#33 • Jeremy Hollowell
Freshman • Forward
On providing energy off the bench and that role:
“I just want to come in and establish myself off the bench. I know I need to come in with a lot of energy, play hard and do what the coaches ask me to do – rebound, defend, get steals. In the first game, I feel like I started out rushing things a little. But I think I settled down and let the game come to me and played within myself.”
On the challenges that NDSU presents:
“They have some size and they do a lot of screening, so we have to do a good job of communicating on defense and execute our gameplan and I think we will be OK.”
On the intensity of the crowd in Assembly Hall:
“Coming up here last year, I had gotten a feel for it. But the fans are great here. I’m not really surprised by it because I know that they are going to be behind us the entire year. It’s just a great feeling to have that support from them.”