After the loss to Georgia Tech, Coach Tom Crean sat down with Don Fisher to discuss the loss on his radio show on WHCC 105.1FM. Here’s what he had to say:
In regards to the disappointment of the game and the season:
“Well I hope it’s a disappointed locker room. I hope it’s one... everyone gets to have a response and what I told them is what goes in you mind, what goes in your head, it can’t go in your heart. Alright, your heart is something you can control like your attitude, and the response that you have from a game like this, from a season that had so much positivity, so many good things, but at the same time so many things that weren’t.
There were so many tales in this season. I mean coming off a Big Ten championship, our second in four years, we beat two number ones. When we were healthy outside of Collin (Hartman), I mean there were so many good things this team did. We had James (Blackmon) and Juwan (Morgan) injured at two different times. We had OG (Anunoby) injured a couple different times and then once for the season. You know, there were times where we played really well, there were times we didn’t.
The turnovers, the fouls, the turnovers again tonight, the poor decision making, all played into it. Those are facts, not fiction. But, just like, there are guys in there that won a championship. That’s a fact. Guys in there that beat two number ones. That’s a fact. Guys have continued to improve. That’s a fact. But the fact is also that we didn’t have as good a record as we could have had, wanted to have. We lost a lot of close games, and tonight was kinda the tale of the season.
We got down, we came back, we played with much better resolve, and then at the end we kinda shot ourselves in the foot with mistakes, not playing as quickly as we needed to play. Not being nearly as strong with the ball as we needed to play, and frankly without someone who took the mantle of leadership on the court, but that was our issue all year. Right now our resolve has to be, ‘Ok, am I going to accept what I didn’t do, and am I going to do something about it?’, and that’s exactly what has to happen for everyone.”
How do you get someone to step up in that leadership role next season?
“Recruit. Recruit is one thing, but at the same time, we just have to grow. There’s things I’m already planning that we’ll do in the off-season and the bottom line for me is that we have to take every step possible when it comes to concentration, awareness, being able to deal in high anxiety situations, decision making, and guys just have to get better. There’s no question about it.
The lineups that you saw, the lineup that you saw tonight, the starting lineup that you saw, I can’t say that would be a starting lineup I’d be happy to bring on to the floor in a year. We’ve got to grow. We’ve got to get better, and at the same time, like almost any season, there is always going to be changes in the season. There is going to be changes.
Bottom line, it sounds like a broken record, but too many people have forgotten about it. We had a leader, he was tremendous, and he got hurt before the season started. And it hurt us. That’s not an excuse, that’s a fact too. The fact is also that no one was really able to step into that role on a consistent basis of really being the one that people look to say ‘ok, that’s the guy who ran the team.’”