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Crean says ... Legends Classic

IU coach Tom Crean passed along some thoughts on tonight's Legends Classic game, via press release. Read what he had to say, as well as quotes from members of his staff and team as well

Tom Crean

On playing in the Progressive Legends Classic
“I think Rick Giles and the Gazelle Group always do an outstanding job. We are excited to have the opportunity to play in the Barclay’s Center. It should be an outstanding event.”

On coming to New York
“There is a great deal of energy whenever you play a college basketball game in this area. There are great fans here and we are fortunate to have a loyal following of IU alumni and fans in the area. It’s great to be able to go away from home and see so many Hoosier fans.”

“I think this is a great place for our players and staff to come to. The city has so much to see and offer that any trip your team takes to New York becomes a special one.”

On the team
“This is our first time away from home and we want to balance their day and remind them that this is a business trip first. I thought we came out of practice today with a good mentality and we are anxious to play.”

Keys for IU
“For us, our best play comes when our defense forces the tempo. We have to be unselfish and reverse the basketball and get the best shots possible.”

On Georgia
“They will present a different challenge than we have seen thus far. We have to defend with great energy.”

Tim Buckley, associate head coach

On the challenges that Georgia presents:
“They are a big physical team. They have really good athleticism and they will try to attack you inside-out. Obviously they will be bigger, stronger and more athletic than the first couple teams that we have played.”

On keeping the routine the same while away from home:
“You really try to keep your routine. The thing we always go back to is our preparation – are we prepared for our opponent with the way we prepare ourselves. I think coach does a great job of allowing the players to experience the atmosphere that we are in so they get the full experience of New York City while we are here. But when it is time for business, it’s time for business and our preparation is key.”

On a player like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope:
“He is like a top Big Ten player and someone that we have to prepare for. He can beat you in a variety of ways. He can beat you off the dribble, he can shoot it from deep and he is really good at cutting and moving without the basketball. If you allow him to get away from you, he can score in bunches. So we have to do a terrific job from the time they bring the ball down in transition through the rest of the half-court set. You have to know where he is and try to take away his strengths – which there are many. You have to get very good individual defense on him but also the team has to be ready and in position on defense.”

On playing back-to-back days:
“We try to get better each and every day and what we are looking at the Big Ten Tournament and postseason tournament play and preparing for those. This is a great way to do that with the quick turnaround. There is a lot of reliance on things we do in a ball room as opposed to a basketball court, so guys retaining information from film and from walk-through is key.”

On what to tell the young players playing in NYC for the first time:
“I think they have had a lot of worldly experiences with their travels in summer basketball and even the McDonald’s All-American game. So they have been in these venues before so you don’t see the fear or intimidation factor, in that regard. But you also want to make sure that they stay focused. I think where we are right now with our program, there are so many other things on the outside that could come in an distract you,that you really have to get back to your core and your base of getting better every day and getting with your team. We have to leave those distractions where they are and I think we have a really good group of guys that and focuses and locks in when we need to.”

Jordan Hulls

On the different between coming to New York versus last time when he was a freshman:
“We’re a lot more experienced. People know about us, so it’s little bit of a different story. We were able to get a win last time I was here, so hopefully we’ll be able to do the same this time.”

On going on the road for the first time:
“Going on the road is always fun. It’s good to see where we’re at as a team as far as going through whatever we need to do in order to win. We’re really excited to be here.”

On the intensity the team had against Sam Houston State on Thursday night:
“We had a really good energy level and if we’re going to win the way that we want to, we’re going to have to have that every game. We have to play that way coming up tomorrow night.”

Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell

On the opportunity to play in the Legends Classic in NYC:
“It’s a great opportunity. It’s our first road trip – I know it’s a business trip, you know no fun and games this whole trip, but we’re going to try go out there and have fun.”

On getting the first opportunity to play on the road:
“It’s going to be a great experience. This game is going to be a test to see where we are and what we need to work on. It’s a long season.”

On what the team needs to do to maintain the focus and energy the team had on Thursday night:
“We just have to keep our own energy – on the bench and on the court. We played so well, so hopefully that will translate over to these next few games that we’re going to play. So hopefully we do a good job of that."

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