Postgame Quotes - Indiana at Penn State
Jan. 11, 2014
"I think a win like this today is big for many reasons. One is because we grew up a lot today as a team. We needed to and we did. We played with tremendous togetherness and we never got down. We came back from some monstrous deficits for us, things we had not been through and responded to...this team hadn't. We got a lot of great efforts and contributions from a lot of people, but I thought we played a really hard-nosed, well-coached, get after you team. They're going to win games, and I think we're going to win games. He is a phenomenal coach. I have no regrets saying I voted for him for coach of the year last year because of what he gets...to have a team that plays as hard as he has day in and day out...it speaks volumes about what he's doing."
"I think James Franklin is going to be a fantastic coach here, but Pat Chambers is one of those guys that he could win on that field too. He's just got such a presence. So for us to get that win in here today was big. I'm proud, like I said, of the way we responded to the adversity of the game. We grew up and played with real confidence. We've got a long way to go but we made a lot of strides this week and it carried out into the week. I think we're going to build on it. Instead of going through the game I'll leave it open to whatever you guys want to ask about that."
How big was that shot that Austin (Etherington) hit?
"Monstrous...that's big...that's big. He's had a very good week...very good week. I thought the way that he got comfortable in the game. I thought the one lay-up he missed on the curl cut was a big play even though he missed it. But he was right in the mix...he's a battler...he's scrappy...and really because he hasn't played a lot the confidence is going to go one way or the other in the game...it's either going to really grow or it's going to drop because he is not starting with a huge level of it when he walks in because he doesn't have all the experience. The fact that he went in and his confidence grew like it did to the point where he could knock down that shot in the corner was huge. He grew up a lot today and this week in the sense of he was on the court in really crucial situations."
How important was it to get different types of responses and come back from the early deficit and then also trade baskets late and then make the free throws at the end?
"I think it was big. We certainly wanted to get our running game going at a faster level because we wanted to bring fatigue to the game, but it was just a grinder. It was two teams playing really well inside and outside in the sense of really working to get what they wanted. I don't know the numbers...36...we shot 36 (percent) and won the game so I'm not saying it was a beautiful game, but in the sense of people trying to get what they wanted out of the game it was really, really good.
"And for us to get a win like that and...and...because for the people that cover us when we've been down, we haven't had the maturity yet to be able to respond to that. The team last year, the team before that, I wouldn't worry about that but it's a whole new deal. So every team is different and you want your program to be strong but every team is different and how you get it to that point. So I thought that was great and they really earned the victory today. When two teams fight like that you can't say they you deserved it, but to it the way we did you can say that you earned it. I think that's important."
Basically what changed after the opening minutes? What didn't you like in terms of how you guys got down?
"We were just a little quiet. I have no doubt we were ready to play. we were up early and we've been getting up early all week. We've been building it earlier to get prepared for this and the fact that we're going back to school on Monday. Usually a lot of times what happens is when you've been sleeping in and all of a sudden...I see it with my own family and my own kids...Tuesday and Wednesday come and suddenly you're feeling the effects of being back at school. So we wanted to start that earlier and have them trust us on that, knowing they would come out like they were playing a 9 o'clock Saturday night game full of fire and they did. We were ready to play, we just didn't get up into them defensively the way that we needed to."
"And I didn't think taking a three to start the game was a good idea, but again at the same time, everybody settled in. We don't win this game without the way Troy (Williams) played during the game. I know he wasn't on the court at the end of the game, but again you've got to play through some of those moments at the beginning knowing that you're capable of so much more. The bottom-line is no one really got down. I think having Evan (Gordon) in the line-up to go with Will (Sheehey) and Yogi (Ferrell) at that point really helped us because nobody...it wasn't like panic set in or sadness set in...we just kept moving."
You talked after the Michigan State game about Noah (Vonleh) being more aggressive... Pat Chambers said they really couldn't stop him. What was different today?
"I'll be honest with you...it sounds simple but it is what it is...he's just learning. I think if you look at it, for those of you that watch us, he rarely faces up in the previous games...right...faces up...faces the defense...reverse pivots...rips it through...drives it over the top...backs it down. He is usually trying to play with his back to the basket in that sense. I'm pretty sure...I'll have to watch the film to be accurate...pretty much everything he did at the beginning of the game was a face up and then he played off the face up."
"It may sound simple but that is what the game is. You've got to be able to see it. And it's like we work on that numerous times throughout the day in practice and stress it in games. It takes time to get it. There's still a lot of room for improvement for us on our ability to rip, face up and play. But he made tremendous strides...he took the practice habits to the game and he stuck with them and he was rewarded for it, and we were rewarded for it. And I think he gained confidence from it."
Can you talk about Jeff Howard's performance on the offensive glass? How big were those three offensive rebounds?
"I'll say this...I said this on the radio show and I think this is so big for families, for teams, for young kids that are learning sports...Jeff Howard is always ready. The old term play on demand...I learned that term and I've used it with our people before...it's a Scott Skiles term...play on demand. You never know when you're going to go in, but when you go in you're ready to go. Now Austin did that today and he knew he was going in. Jeff Howard doesn't know when he's going in. When Jeff Howard went in there Jeff Howard was ready to go. There wasn't any 'I've got to work my way in' or 'I've got to make my presence felt'...he just played. I think he kept us moving in a direction with getting to the foul line and with being active and with being where he needed to be and doing the things defensively...it's fantastic and we can build on that."
"But it's...if every player in any sport at any level had ab attitude that they're not going to sit there and worry about what didn't happen, and worry about when they're going to get in, and worry about things they can't control, and just be absolutely ready to go when their name is called...you're not going to always have great success, but you're going to have it more often than not. He was ready and it really helped us."
To follow up on that, is that what earned him those minutes when you were subbing offense and defense down the stretch?
"Oh absolutely...absolutely...because when they're putting as many shooters in the game...and we made...I was really proud of our...I was most proud of the coaching staff, but we made a couple hardline decisions in the game strategy-wise that we felt really good about going in, and then when you're playing against somebody like a Tim Frazier that has the ability...Tim Frazier is not just a veteran of college basketball...I don't know him other than to see him games or at the Big Ten Media Day...I would imagine coaching him is a lot like Will Sheehey. They have a tremendous mind for the game just when you watch somebody that way. He can really pick things apart, and I think that is why he is going to be a next level guard for a long time...because he can really see things. He picked some things out with some things with some things we were doing at the shot-clock that we had to say, 'Okay we're either going to get better at or we're going to make a wholesale adjustment'. We made the adjustment and Jeff Howard was a part of being able to make those adjustments."
You obviously started Evan. What went into that decision and Jeremy (Hollowell) obviously doesn't get to play today. What all went into all of that?
"The biggest thing with that is I think that is just how the week played out. I think we've seen flashes of what Evan can do. I think we've some flashed of where Evan is not as successful as he needs to be. It's really at that point where it's time to let's go, and I think he is ready for it. In Jeremy's situation it is really right now more than anything else he just needs to get his focus where it needs to be, and that's the biggest thing."
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