Kyle Taber’s dominance in the paint allowed the IU men’s basketball team to control the bulk of the first half of last night’s game against Northwestern. But the Wildcats’ sharp shooters sparked a 10-5 run, and the visitors from Evanston never looked back. In his post-game press conference, IU coach Tom Crean said his team’s lack of physicality cost them a second conference win.
“We’re not that aggressive. You know we’re not that physically tough to begin with. And then we’re afraid to make a play. You know, I’m not getting into any of that. But, we just weren’t physical enough. We didn’t demand the ball enough.”
Northwestern might have won its first game at Assembly Hall, but of everyone who suited up in cream and crimson, the spotlight shone on an IU manager.
“That’s one of the best experiences of my life right there,” said IU basketball manager Mike Santa. “I never dreamed that that was possible. But when he told me, I didn’t know what to think, to be honest.”
Tom Crean said he was not trying to reward the student-manager for all the work he does during the season [in allowing Santa to suit up].
“Mike Santa is everything we asked him to be, along with Brandon Profit, who’s got an injury and couldn’t play. I mean those guys have . . . they come in and make it competitive for our guys. I didn’t do it as a reward. I didn’t do it as an indecision, you know, that’s what I want us to be about. It might just be for the rest of the season. It probably is.”