Tom Crean: “As far as explanations or anything else like that, it is what it is now.”

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Tom Crean: “As far as explanations or anything else like that, it is what it is now.”

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Tom Crean covered a wide range of topics in his press conference prio to the Bulldog’s contest with Ole Miss:

As far as explanations or anything else like that, it is what it is now.”

OPENING STATEMENT

“Ole Miss. Their backcourt is not only one of the best in the league; I think you could put it up against a lot of the best backcourts in the country. What [Coach Davis] has done with Breein Tyree and Terence Davis and Devontae Shuler and the way that they play and the way they explode and shoot, score, deliver the ball, is outstanding. I think their big guys and their forwards know exactly what to do, and they play really hard. They’ve had a really great season thus far and have played really well at home, and obviously they did a good job when they played against us recently. So, we’ve got to go in there— what will be a very tough environment, I would imagine— against a very tough, pressure defense, a very high throttle offense; we’ve got to take care of the ball, make sure we’re not getting rattled and rushed and defend them a lot better than we did the last time that we played them, and that’s going to be our key. You’ve got to make shots on the road, we’ve got to get on the foul line on the road, but most importantly, you can’t give them a lot pf easy baskets off your defense or on turnovers, and that’s going to be our focus and that’s what we’re really working to get better at s we go into this game. 

On how the players have bought into his positivity at practice, etc….

“Oh, sure. I think so. To be honest with you, if you don’t have that kind of energy, you’ve got to go stand on the sidelines. We have to get better, right? But I think, ultimately, when players are in an environment where they’re improving, and they know they’re improving, that’s a huge energy tick for them. That’s what we’ve got to continue to do, and there’s no question we’re right there on the result. We’re right there on the result, but they’ve got to keep understanding that everything that we’re going through— the process, so to speak — is what’s going to give them the chance at that results, so you cannot back off. You just cannot back off, because practice is mere games on many different levels, and that’s something that we have to continue to build on. We’ve got a great group of guys who work very hard ad it’s our job to make sure that when they look at me as a head coach or at our coaching staff, that they see energy coming right back at them. But the standards that comes with that, when it comes to the effectiveness that you want to play with, practice with, we can’t get away from that either. So, they’re not ‘Ra-ra’ sessions as much as they are ‘Let’s get better, let’s really work at it.’ You know, it’s an honor to play for Georgia, but it’s an honor to practice to get better to represent Georgia, just as it’s an honor to coach for Georgia. That’s how I look at it everyday.”

On if the technical was a judgement call…//On whether he has thoughts…

“That’s what I read… Here’s my thought: it’s going to be very interesting watching what happens going forward, not only in the SEC, but throughout the country. Now, that will be interesting, and if I’ve gotten any calls on anything, other than a few sympathy calls but more so, importantly, ‘What’s going to happen next time from other coaches?’ So, that would be my only thought there, but it’s not going to do anything about what changed the other day. It was unfortunate, and the young person who threw it, no one knew at the time. That’s unfortunate. I think the young man feels bad about it, and it was a mistake, right? So, it’s like anything else. I love our fans, absolutely love our fans. I mean, we’re on the verge of breaking the single-season attendance record here soon. So, it just happened, right, and you just move on. As far as explanations or anything else like that, it is what it is now.”


Nicolas Claxton

On if he feels his vision is finally starting to come to fruition with his players…

“I don’t look at it like that. I mean, you’re in the process of it everyday. So, it’s all about measuring improvement, and I’d like to be able to measure it in the ‘win/loss’ column, but that’s not happening as quickly right now. The bottom line is that we are getting better, and we’ve got to stay with that because you have no chance to get the win if you’re not getting better. You have no chance to get the win if you don’t believe you can win. So, building that level of confidence, playing with that level of energy, trying to get that level of execution right, is what we’ve got to get focused on every day, so we’re working on it.”

On how important it is to keep up the reinforcement…

“You’re always teaching. You’re teaching them what they’re doing well, and you’re trying to show them what they can do better. It’s a matter of trying to get to your strengths, especially during the game. You’re trying to work on your weaknesses in practice, and you’re trying to cover them up when you play the game. You try to stay away from [weaknesses] as much as you can, even if you’re a championship team. You’re always trying to play to your strengths during the game, but in my estimations as a coach, you’re always trying to work on your weaknesses with your players, because they always deserve the opportunity to get better no matter what.”

On the players’ emotions after Miss. State game//if he thinks his players are numb to the losses..

“I don’t think so, because then you wouldn’t improve. I think you wouldn’t see improvement if that was happening. Very disappointed— the other night was a very tough locker room; very, very tough. I’ll be honest with you; I’ve had a couple [players] who have disappointed me that [the loss] wasn’t tough on [them] in the locker room, and I’ve addressed those things over periods of time. That’s all part of building your standard, too. It’s most important how they feel during the game, because that’s the only time you can do something about it. But you don’t want people who can just let it go that quick, and they don’t necessarily have to treat it like coaches. I learned a long time ago that not everyone is going to necessarily be built that way, but you can’t just let it go like that. You know, those are standards that have to be built. But a lot of times what they says is if you’re putting a lot into it, and you’re putting a lot into it, mentally and physically, it’s going to hurt you, right? Then, the trick is, ‘Can you come back from it, and how quickly can you come back from it, and how quickly can you learn from it?’ So, that’s what I see, but it was very tough to be in there with them the other night.”

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.