UGA MBB: “Bottom line, there’s a lot of things we didn’t do very well…,” Tom Crean

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UGA MBB: “Bottom line, there’s a lot of things we didn’t do very well…,” Tom Crean

Head Coach Tom Crean | UGA men's basketball team | Georgia vs. Ole Miss | January 25, 2020
Head Coach Tom Crean | UGA men’s basketball team | Georgia vs. Ole Miss | January 25, 2020

After Georgia loses to Ole Miss 70-60 at home in Stegeman Coliseum, UGA men’s basketball head coach Tom Crean discusses the game in this postgame presser from Saturday night in Athens, GA. There is a transcript of Coach Crean’s presser located below the video.

Opening Statement:

“We’re not going to beat anybody shooting the way we shot. Our defense at times was good, at times not, but the bottom line is our offense over a period of 40 minutes didn’t give us enough chance to win the game. And some, we missed layups, we didn’t finish with contact, we didn’t finish sometimes without the contact.”

“But we have just got to regroup in a hurry and not let a bunch of young guys lose confidence, which I’m certainly not. It’s just a matter of we have just got to continue to get better. We’re not shooting the ball that well at all. And when it gets compounded, when it’s not moving as well or when we’re not cutting as well, and then we’re not getting anything around the bucket.”

“And that’s where we have got to just continue to figure out ways where we can make the game easier for ourselves offensively with our movement. But bottom line, there’s a lot of things we didn’t do very well. But at the end of the day you get 18 offensive rebounds and we don’t score that many points because we didn’t shoot a decent percentage — we shot a very poor percentage — from the field and from the three.

“And it’s going to be really, really hard to win like that. But we have got to turn back around quickly and get ready to go again at Missouri. So go ahead.”

 Head Coach Tom Crean | UGA men's basketball team | Georgia vs. Ole Miss | January 25, 2020
Head Coach Tom Crean | UGA men’s basketball team | Georgia vs. Ole Miss | January 25, 2020

Q. How much did Sy’s presence in the paint really affect guys finishing at the rim?

“Probably a little bit. He’s not the only big guy we’ve faced. We’ve got to get better making layups. We’ve got to get better — there’s two areas that we’ve really got to get better at: We got to get more 50/50 balls, especially on the defensive end. And we’ve got to play through contact on the offensive end. And if it’s not him, it’s somebody else, right? It’s just, that’s just part of it and we have just got to do a better job. I’ve got to find ways that can get — I’ve got to find ways to get them, finish them better and get them easier baskets.”

Q. I’m not sure if you were at Michigan State when Izzo did the shoulder pad thing, but how physical are your practices and is that something you got to look at?

“I think yesterday we had a really — in all honesty, we had — my best friend is in town and — my life-long best friend, grew up with him in Michigan. And he said to me, I told him it was really nice of him to say that, because it ruined my night. He said he’s seen us practice 50 times in my coaching career and that was the worst one he had ever seen. And that, and we didn’t have — we were not very good yesterday. We were good defensively and then because it was physical, we didn’t do a good job. I think we can always make it physical, all right? Make it more physical.”

“But at the end of the day you’ve got to be able to extend, you’ve got to be able to finish, you’ve got to be able to go up through it, and I don’t think our, I don’t think missing shots and missing layups and things like that is anything that’s a result of practice. In fact, in the last two weeks we have shot the ball more in practice in time than probably than what we have since the beginning of the season, since we have gotten into games. So I’m not certainly not going to panic on the shooting or anything like that. We have just got to — it’s, the last guy that can get frustrated is me. That’s the way it is, okay? You go through things. And it’s very hard league to win in and again, we got to get better in so many areas. But we’re not we’re not going to change things. We’re going to maybe add, tweak, that type of stuff. We’ve just got to continue to stay with what we’re trying to do and do it better, do it faster, do it with more movement, and then it becomes like anything else, it becomes infectious.”

Q. The players mentioned about they felt that they let Ole Miss take them out of the game plan today.

” In what area?”

Q. Just overall.

“Yeah, they were more physical. We told these guys, We’re playing a 5-0 team. They’re going to come in here — there was no doubt they were coming in here high level. We knew they beat us last year twice. The thing that I kept saying to our team is the most urgent team, okay, the most desperate team, is going to be the one that finds a way to win the game. And there were times we were that team today. But they were that way more often.”

“And it’s like this, okay, when, especially with missing shots, all right? When your awareness is not high defensively, your urgency goes down. Okay. When your urgency is not high, your awareness goes down. It’s amazing how those two connect. And when you’re not making shots or when you’re not — we were defending pretty well at times. All of a sudden we’re making shots, we’re defending even better, right? Creating turnovers. But maturity in a team takes, there’s so many steps to get there and the greatest weakness that we have, and we’re not alone, that so many have, is when you’re not as, you’re not as aware, you’re not as urgent when it’s not going well for you, right? When you’re not making shots or we’re in the making shots. And that, to me, is what it is more than anything else and we have just got to continue to work through it.”

Q. You’ve talked all year about need to improve rebounding, defense, communication, all those things, but what are the specific steps you need to take in these next few games to turn around?

“We rebounded pretty well today. We just didn’t get it a lot of finishes. We had 18 offensive rebounds. That’s a high number. But we just didn’t — we’ve got to finish better. We’ve got to finish around the board better, we’ve got to be confident in our shooting. The last thing they need from me is to lose confidence in them shooting the ball. But we have got to move the ball better. We’ve got to get our break going back again, we’ve got to get the ball in the middle of the floor, hit all sides.”

“We missed again tonight. Some of it was the length of Kentucky, but, and some of it was the length of Mississippi State, but today it was more, we just missed. We missed some shots that you’ve got to make, right? That you have to make. The margin for error is very, very small against any team in this league. And that’s what it was as much to me as anything else. When we have length on Tyree, when we kept staying in front of him, he had a hard time scoring. When we let him get past us, and he got a couple late where we just weren’t in position.”

“But when we opened up that first dribble, we kept saying, you know, Win the first dribble. Win the first dribble. Win the first dribble. Because if you can guard the first dribble, now you kept the guy in front, right? And now you’ve got a chance for the help to come in. When you give up the first dribble, and now they start to get downhill on you, that’s where all the problems come. And a lot of times tonight we did that, but the bottom line for us is we didn’t, we didn’t put enough pressure on them with our driving game and we didn’t put enough pressure on them with our cutting game, so, therefore, there was more challenge and at the basket and we made some passes and things of that nature, but there was more traffic at the rim, rather than us loosening it up because we were cutting and moving the ball better.”

Q. I believe Anthony, I think 10 of his 12 shots were threes. Is that the game plan…”

“No, that’s not the game plan. It’s not the game plan. He’s got to get to the rim more. We got to continue to move him around more. We have got to continue to move him. We got to get him in the middle of the floor more. And again, he, like everybody else on this team, the ball’s got to move better, all right, the ball’s got to move better. It’s, we’re a high percentage team on going through the paint, four passes, five passes, those type of things. And there’s always going to be breaks, the break is going to skew that, obviously, because the break might be no pass, the break might be one pass.”

“But the bottom line is it’s got to move better and so we just got to continue to find, okay, what can we tweak that can make this better. We made some real adjustments with him, he’s got to continue to cut when they’re denying him, he’s got to continue to cut rather than stand, because he becomes very, very easy to guard when he’s just standing in the slots, right, because they’re not coming off him. Now it might create a basket for somebody else, but he’s learning a lot about cutting, a lot that he never knew. But we’re nowhere near where we have to be with that. And I would say tonight we weren’t like that as a team. So we got to make sure that we’re continuing to develop that all the way across the board.”

Q. You talk about guarding the first dribble, when you have a team like this that you talked all year that doesn’t have that traditional five to protect the rim, is that how you try to win the battle…:

“We didn’t go zone a lot because these guys — charting Breein Tyree through the league and through the last five or last four non-conference games, his numbers were coming on being open. He can get to the rim, he’s pretty good getting to the rim. But when you lose him he makes you pay. And they had some other guys like Shuler and Hinson and guys like that that were a little bit of a struggle that are really good, especially in Hinson’s case good catch and shoot shooters. So we wanted to switch a lot. Sometimes we did a good job of that, sometimes we didn’t. Our guards did a poor job defending the post tonight when we switched and we got caught behind way too much and things like that, so we weren’t great defensively by any stretch of the imagination, but our defense was good enough, our offense didn’t “

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The University of Georgia 1991-1994. Lanier Tech 2009-2012. Writer and graphic artist covering UGA athletics, college football, and recruiting. Peach cobbler fears me!