The Indiana Hoosiers had their first big test of the season against the Creighton Blue Jays of the Big East and the Hoosiers collected a big win at Assembly Hall as apart of the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
Check out what head coach Tom Crean along with players Thomas Bryant and James Blackmon Jr. had to say about the Hoosiers big win as provided by VAVEL USA writer Josh Eastern.
Tom Crean, Indiana head coach:
On how big of a role depth will play in Hawaii (asked by myself for VAVEL): "Oh, paramount, no question about it. Because there will be all kinds of unknown things. You've just got to control what you can control. Be ready to go in, get into the flow of the game, talk on defense, run the court on offense and clean up. What we'll have is time over the weekend to clean up some of the stuff we've got to get better at while we're preparing, and it will be huge. You try to get them to understand to go in and have a positive impact in the game. That's why we look at plus-minus so much. Are you affecting the score in a positive way? It's not about going in and making great plays or a bunch of plays. It's about going in and playing right. That is a huge part of building that consistency level, especially for a young guy."
On Thomas Bryant's intensity level: "On film, literally on film. Because we always knew about Thomas Bryant, but we didn't see a real inroad based on conventional wisdom with him maybe potentially leaving the East Coast. But once we knew there was an opportunity that he might, and then you really started to dive into it, that was the biggest thing. You could see the dunks. You could see the running. But you knew that he had infectious energy, and the more you watch him you see that he really is infectious to his teammates. In the case of tonight, infectious to the crowd because it's for real."
Opening statement (highlights):
"First thing I want to do is thank the fans and especially all the students that didn't go home when they could have. The energy in there was fantastic, just from start to finish, it really was. Could hear it in the back during warm-ups, and never take that for granted. To see that kind of turn out tonight, especially with the weekend coming up and next week coming up, to have them stay was big. Our team fed off that. Our team was really ready to play."
"I was really proud of the way we gave really good effort, and then the pace of the game kept going. We played through the post a lot more tonight. Like I said, the activity on the glass was huge for us. And we have guys who played through things."
"19 rebounds was a real key thing for us from our guards, because there are going to be long rebounds. The way we defended the three was positive. The way we got back in the break, we gave them some baskets and turnovers in the post. But those were the key things that we needed to defend the corners, especially on the break."
Players: Thomas Bryant and James Blackmon Jr.:
On playing with passion: Bryant: "I've always had that passion in me, ever since I started playing in grade school. I had to do something. I wasn't the most talented player, so I had to do something to separate myself from others, and the passion, the will to drive and the will to play was the difference, and I've always kept it with me."
Feeding off of the passion from Bryant: Blackmon Jr.: "So much, man. I'm kind of a laid-back-type of guy, but when I see him like that, that makes me want to bring more energy to the game. Guys like that on our team make it so much better for the fans and also us, we feed off that."
On it being the first true test of the season: Blackmon Jr.: "It definitely was a huge test. You could tell the level of play that they brought. I feel like they're going to be a great team down the road. I feel like it got us going, the plan, they're so good offensively, I felt like if we wouldn't have had that defense, it would have been an up and down game and could have gone either way. So I feel like our game plan went well."