Jan. 20, 2008
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Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
"In the first half I thought Penn State's kids came out and really played with great emotion. We kind of expected that. Their best player (Geary Claxton who is out for the season with a torn ACL) is a great kid; we are talking about an all-conference kid. You could tell in the first half they were hitting big shots, especially from the three. We were not attacking the zone very intelligently. But once we got to halftime I thought we were good...second half, offensively in terms of execution, moving the ball, quality of shots, not turning it over; just movement. It was probably as good as we've played all year in the second half. We shot 63 percent in the second half, I think maybe we had two turnovers the second half and that is just a high level of play.
"The only adjustments we made was turning Tone (Jamarcus Ellis) loose. We tried to get the ball to him on the baseline as much as we could. We tried to get him into the middle of the zone, sliding Lance (Stemler) out to the perimeter. Tone is really good on that short corner. He is a really, really good basketball player. We also moved Jamarcus over to (Jamelle) Cornley. Cornley is a warrior. He is just a tough kid. Good game for us, second half was outstanding at both ends. When you are winning a lot, the thing about college basketball, we have such a good record and we are playing these teams now, the more you win the harder it gets. We just have to stay on task, stay focused and keep improving."
On not making any substitutions in the second half:
"I done it a lot of times over the years. It was a slow-paced game. They were zoning us. There's a reason they are zoning us. They're sitting in a 2-3 (zone), then we started attacking the 2-3. We were scoring on almost every possession, then they go 1-3-1 and we go 2-for-2 against the 1-3-1. So what do you do? It is a half-court game. Those guys, this late in the season, there was no reason to make a substitution. Usually you make a substitution either for fatigue or foul trouble or you are rotating a bunch of guys. I liked the way that team was playing. I saw no reason not to leave them in there."
On the team's defensive effort:
"They (Penn State) were making shots. The key to winning on the road, at the end of the day is the basics and fundamentals have to be really good, defending and rebounding, but at the end of the day you have to make shots. You have to make shots and you have to get to the free throw line. My problem the first half was the open threes they got in transition. I think that is probably the most difficult thing for freshmen to get. In transition, you don't have the guy you were assigned to before the game. We've been an okay transition team but that is an area we need to continue to get better in. They were getting open threes in transition and the problem is they were making them. Second half, both ends of the floor we were really good. And even the threes they made the second half, those were contested threes, so give them credit."
On the spark Armon Bassett provided off the bench:
"I don't know that he will be 100 percent. It's just hard for me to commit to starting him when in practice he is kind of limited. And Jordan (Crawford) is out there working his butt off. I thought the guy who was doing the work should start. In the second half, I was little more interested in winning the game. Armon, he has been through these wars even though he is just a sophomore. He's played a lot of minutes and been in a lot of situations for us. There is a comfort level with me with Armon from last year. But I also knew we could attack that zone a lot better than we did in the first half and Armon is a tremendous three-point shooter."
Senior Forward D.J. White
On the stretch where the Hoosiers took the lead for good after going up 56-54:
"It was a stretch where we needed to pick it up. We came out of a timeout and it was a tie game and we needed somebody to step up. The guards, Jamarcus (Ellis), Eric (Gordon), Armon (Bassett), did a good job of finding me in open spots. That is what good guards do and I think we have good guards and they just find me at the right time."
On how he feels about the team's play and its 5-0 start in Big Ten play:
"I feel good, but there is always a lot of work to be done. That is what practice is for. We are trying to get better and better each game and watch film and correct our mistakes."
On how Coach Sampson has helped him develop his game:
"He has gotten me into the mentality to be more physical, more nasty. He is always talking to me, especially last year, about playing more tough. I think that's what has changed my game the most."
Junior Guard Jamarcus Ellis
On the stretch in the second half where IU took the lead for good:
"During that stretch I think it all started with our defense because we were a little lackadaisical in the first half. We came out in the second half still a little lackadaisical but I give Penn State a lot of credit because they came out and played hard. But the better team won and I think we started to pick it up the last 7-8 minutes in the second half."
Penn State Head Coach Ed DeChellis
"I thought we had two guys who were trying to score, we just couldn't find a third scorer tonight. I thought we played pretty good for 30 or 32 minutes and then we missed some critical shots that we need to make. You need to keep scoring against a team like this because they are going to continue to score. We just couldn't make that next play that we needed to make to score. I think we were down two and had three or four chances and didn't score and they came down and made a big shot. From there we just didn't have enough to get back into it.
"I thought the two kids (D.J. White and Eric Gordon) played really really well for them, obviously and then (Armon) Bassett made shots and I think he fed off those two guys. I thought we played well, we just have to find a third scorer."
On Indiana shooting more free throws late in the game:
"We were just trying to play our zone and keep them away from the basket. We were trying to make them make perimeter jump shots. I thought we got a little soft with our zone and I don't think we were as active in the last 10 minutes, especially from the 10 minute mark to about the seven minute mark. We just weren't really active in it and we have to be active to create turnovers. We tried to do what we could to win the game, and we played a smaller lineup to try to spread them out and drive. I thought that was to our advantage to get (Jamelle) Cornley driving the ball against some of their bigger post players. Again, I thought we were good for 30 minutes but unfortunately this is a 40 minute game."
On the Claxton injury forcing guys to take on different roles:
"This is the first time without him, and that is our third scorer. I thought Talor (Battle) played well tonight and I thought Jamelle played well offensively. We need to find another guy and we have to get somebody else some shots. And if we make those shots then we have a third guy who can score. Hopefully that is going to be a different guy on any given night.
"We started three freshmen out there tonight and I thought they did well in the first half. I thought they did well in the first 10 minutes of the second half and then the wheels kind of came off. We just couldn't get somebody to score. Jamelle didn't score and then Talor didn't score and then we had a hard time getting somebody else to make a basket for us."