Men's Basketball

    Indiana vs. Iowa

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Jan. 23, 2008

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    Head Coach Kelvin Sampson

    Opening Statement:
    "We have a lot of respect for Iowa. They continue to get better, beating Michigan State, winning at Michigan, losing a tough one to Purdue. So we had a lot of respect for them, but I just think our kids are getting better. Our defense was better tonight, ball movement was better. If you keep working at things and you have good kids you usually improve. It is a good win, our scouting report and how we defended them was good. We are getting better in that area."

    On the team being off to its best start since the 1975-76 season:
    "I've only been here parts of two years, but I just focus on getting this team better in the areas we need to get better in. I was talking to Todd (Lickliter) before the game...taking over a new program the first thing you have to do is establish your culture, how it is you want your team to be. The thing that makes this program so special, I keep saying it because I mean it, is the fans. You look up and there is 16-17,000 people here every game; every game it's like that. It is a special place because of the fans."

    On what the team needs to work on now that it is in the heart of Big Ten play:
    "Just get better. What we are doing. Defense, decision making, shot selection...there is not an area that we haven't improved in. The way we run our offense now, it is familiarity. When you have a lot of kids that are accustomed to being the go-to guy; it takes them awhile to filter into a role. We play our roles better now than we did earlier. I still think this team is going to continue to improve.

    On being able to put away Iowa
    "I just thought our defense was a lot better. I think whatever happens is a by-product of that. It is because of our defense and our rebounding. I am looking at the stat sheet...I didn't realize we held them to 17 points and 21 percent in the second half. This team has been playing well. I was proud of our defensive effort tonight. We've got Thursday, Friday to get ready for our next game."

    Senior D.J. White
    On how he has seen the team improve defensively since the last time they played Iowa:
    "Just the way the ball screens. That was probably our weakness. We watched film of some of the mistakes we made when we played Iowa the first time. Just looking at those misstates, hedge when we need to and be aware of what they were doing."

    Junior Armon Bassett
    On the play of the defense tonight:
    "It was a little bit better today. EJ (Eric Gordon) played good on the ball defense. I thought everybody tried to make the effort when they were guarding the ball and that is what sparked us in the second half."

    On how he is feeling physically:
    "I don't know. I am going to play."

    Iowa Head Coach Todd Lickliter

    Opening Statement:
    "Well, I'm going to state the obvious, they are a good team. My feeling has always been that if you approach it right and you worry about how you play and not where you play then winning on the road is a possibility. That's not to say that a team doesn't play better in front of their crowd at their place.

    "It would have taken a great deal more poise and a great deal more functioning as a team. Our strength would have had to been that we were extremely united. And I'm saying united in purpose, not united in belief or concern for one another. We would have just had to be stronger as a unit and we weren't even close to that.

    "When you look and it's a 22-point game and they scored 31 points off turnovers, it's pretty obvious that we lacked poise. As a coach, you will ask yourself `what could I have done?' I believe in staying the course and playing good basketball and we just weren't able to do that tonight."

    On how difficult it is to guard the inside-outside combination of D.J. White and Eric Gordon:
    "It's virtually impossible to guard Gordon on the perimeter and in the open court, and if he's not the best player in the nation then he's one of them. And then D.J. White is one of the best post players in the nation.

    "But they are not alone. (Armon) Bassett made big shots and (Jamarcus) Ellis has great skills and the list goes on. They have a nice combination of players, there is no question about that."

    On what Indiana did to cause all the turnovers:
    "Well, you have to ask yourself `Did they cause them or did we make them?' I'm a believer that if you are on the ball and you stay in a stance and stay focused on the task at hand, you can avoid that (the turnovers). I have watched it. I sat right where I sat tonight and I watched teams throw every kind of defense imaginable and our guys were able to handle that."




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