DAYTON – Tom Crean is the first guy to own up to it: Sometimes (Michigan? Two weeks ago?) he doesnt exactly own the postgame.
I havent always been great after the end of games, he admitted Sunday, and no elaboration was needed to call up memories of his postgame tirade against current Michigan and former Indiana assistant Jeff Meyer.
He made up for it Sunday, walking into the midst of the Temple players as they huddled at midcourt after Indianas 58-52 third-round NCAA tournament victory.
They just happened to be standing there, and they were all there together, Crean said. Those kids those young men dont know me, and I really dont know them, but I have unbelievable respect for them because I have great respect for their coach.
So what did he tell them?
I just told them that they were as tough a team as we had seen all year, and they played against great teams, and we played against great teams, and theyre as good as any of them, Crean said. It was an unbelievable honor to go battle with them.
Jordan Hulls played 19 minutes Sunday, most of them with his shoulder bound up after an open-court collision in the first half.
The good news: He played 11 of those minutes, and scored all five of his points, in the second half.
The better news: The shoulders just a door ding.
My shoulders good, he said. Im sure itll be a little sore, but nothing too serious.
Down an excruciatingly hard stretch Sunday, Victor Oladipo bottomed a dagger three and was key in holding Temple star Khalif Wyatt without a field goal for the last 6:31.
Now he gets his reward: a ticket to his hometown, Washington, D.C., to play in the East Regional with a berth in the Final Four at stake.
Its a great feeling and Im just glad that were going, and we want to be successful there.
Its gonna be fun playing in front of my family and friends, he said.
But its a business trip, he went on. Were going there on a mission.