Men's Basketball

    Indiana vs. Wisconsin Postgame Quotes

    Go Hoosiers!
    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Jan. 31, 2007

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    Head Coach Kelvin Sampson

    Opening Statement:
    "I thought this was a tremendous college basketball game. The crowd was tremendous. We made shots. When you get down to a possession game you have to make baskets. Two keys for us going in were keeping Wisconsin off the free throw line and, in some way, trying to neutralize Tucker. He had 23 points tonight, and I think we did a great job on him. You know, if he touches it 10 more times, he's probably going to have 10 more points; that's just how dynamic he is. I'm proud of our kids. This was a great win for this group of kids for a lot of reasons."

    On why it was an important win for this team:
    "Just the belief. When they started rushing the court, in the last five or six years, I was always on the other side of that. When we would lose a game on the road, that just brought back so many memories, we would lose and the other team would always rush the court, and then all of the sudden you are on the other side of it. I can't remember having fans rush the court like that. Just looking at this group, I know the journey is still ongoing. There is nothing final about tonight, but I go back to September with this group. That's why I was happy for them. I know where they started, I know what they looked like in September and October, then you fast-forward to tonight. I'm just happy for them. The locker room, the looks on their faces, that's why you coach. You don't coach for yourself or for the other stuff. You get old enough in this profession, it's the things like tonight, watching our students' faces as they rushed the court and our kids in the locker room, how ecstatic they were. Tomorrow I'll get them back down to earth, but tonight I'm going to let them enjoy it."

    On what the team looked like in September:
    "We had no identity. I learned a long time ago that to win games, you have to decide how it is you're going to win it. You have to think about how you want to win the game - what is your identity, what is it you do? When you are playing Wisconsin, you see exactly how they win. Their discipline, their shot selection, how tough they are. We didn't have any of that. We had no identity, we had nothing we could hang our hat on. It's been a climb. For these kids to be accomplishing something like tonight, I'm really, really happy for them. Then we'll just move on from here. That just wasn't the No. 2 ranked team. To beat a team like Wisconsin, because they are hard to beat, they are hard to play against, you sit down and prepare for Wisconsin. ... They are not hard to prepare for, their offense is what it is, but they are a monster to play against. ... I'm proud of these kids because they won the game, but I was also proud that we beat a great program today."

    On the team regrouping after Wisconsin tied the score:
    "You can't turn the ball over. That's one of the things that you preach every day - we can rebound a missed shot. You can't rebound a turnover. At some point you have to get easy baskets. Wisconsin, it's going to be a halfcourt game. We can certainly take advantage of missed shot opportunities and had a little bit of a run going. ... They (Wisconsin) made big shots, but we kept answering. Coming out of our locker room, I looked Rod Wilmont right in the eye and said, `You're throwing it to D.J. right inside.' The first five or six possessions out of halftime went inside to D.J. That allowed us to play inside out. They adjusted and started fronting him, and that's when we started knocking down some shots outside. Our kids deserve a lot of credit - they played with big hearts.

    On why IU played more of a zone defense in the game:
    "You can't let them get to the free-throw line. I didn't anticipate playing one defense more than another, it's one of those deals, you throw it against the wall and see what sticks. If the zone's working, why not stay in it? I thought our man was good early, we forced them into some turnovers, uncharacteristically for them. They know who to throw the ball to, just like we did in the second half."

    On encouraging the crowd to get into the game:
    "I told them to stand up and help us. This was a collective effort tonight. Our crowd deserves as much credit as we do. They were great tonight, I mean, they were great. ... Tonight, we had to raise our level of play and so did they."

    On the toughness of A.J. Ratliff now as opposed to the beginning of the season:
    "Every kid is different. Rod Wilmont, you can say whatever you want to him, as loud as you want - no matter what you say, Rod's OK with it. A.J.'s a little different. He needs to be approached a different way. Not having recruited these kids, I didn't know them, but you quickly learn which ones to do which. The golden rule in coaching is that you treat every kid fairly, but you don't treat them all the same. That's just the golden rule. I learned that from my father - treat them all fair, but you can't treat them all the same, and A.J.'s just really responded."

    Redshirt sophomore forward D.J. White

    On his play:
    "Coach told me right after halftime to be more aggressive. To go to the hole and try to get the foul, and that's what I tried to do."

    On Wisconsin double teaming him:
    "The scouting report shows that they normally play in the post one-on-one and we expected that.

    On the victory:
    "It was a great feeling. A great college basketball atmosphere. The fans bring the best out of us every night. Assembly Hall was live tonight."

    On the team huddles down the stretch:
    "We just tried to play under control. We have been in tight games before and practice prepared us for it. We knew to be calm in situations and to play Hoosier basketball."

    Junior guard A.J. Ratliff

    On the difference between his first and second half:
    "My teammates were looking for me more. I have to give credit to Earl because he was looking for me after I hit my first shot. D.J. had tension in the post and that created more opportunities for me. All the credit goes to my teammates and I just shot it in."

    On Alando Tucker:
    "He is tough and strong like a bull. He makes plays around the baskets and it seemed like every time they needed a basket the ball was in his hands. He is probably the hardest person in the country to guard right now. He has a post game, he can drive, and he finishes."

    On the importance of the win:
    "I don't think we have beaten a top three team since I have been here. It's real big for me and my career. It is something that I will remember for a long time."

    On the crowd:
    "It was big time. It was the biggest crowd I have seen since the Duke game last year. We have the best fans in the country and when it comes to coming home, they won't let us lose. They give us a big, huge, pick up."

    On the stretch of Indiana's baskets:
    "I felt somebody had to step up and make plays. D.J. made plays and my teammates were counting on me to make the shots. It was opening up and I had all the confidence in the world. Coach had confidence and my teammates had confidence in me."

    Wisconsin Head Coach Bo Ryan

    On playing on the road in tough atmosphere:
    "Give them credit, they hit the shots. We have been in those same situations, close games on the road and teams didn't hit the shots the way they did in that one streak. We needed to change that momentum. And they way you change that is to get something done at your end. I liked some of our looks down the stretch. The only one at the end was maybe that Alando (Tucker) was a little quick, but he's the kind of guy who has hit big shots for four years. When we were playing from behind, that part of it, we haven't had a whole lot of experience."

    On defending D.J. White:
    "With D.J. (White) early on, we recovered from that. He hit four field goals in the second half. I think a few of them were early. That is why I kept Marcus Landry on the floor, he was doing a great job defensively on White. A couple of the other guys struggled a little bit."

    On what was the difference in the game:
    "We shot 50 percent. Going on the road and being able to do that with what they have been doing to people in here, that I can live with. In transition, they pulled some of those 3s quickly. Those are the same shots that other teams have had in transition, and pulled it quick and when they missed, and then we get the rebound. It hurts when you make them go down to the other end and guard you. But when they go in, it hurts us. In that stretch, they hit 5-of-6 threes in the second half. Our guys did a heck of a job to come back from down ten on the road like that.

    On the mistakes Wisconsin made:
    "You have to remember how Indiana has been playing here and what they are doing now. This will still be a tough place for other people to come in here, too. I hate to just say it was just them hitting those shots in that streak, but we would like to have some of those passes back. Some lobs looked open, the adrenaline was flowing and the pass went about two feet over their head in two possessions early. You can't get them back now."

    On the difference in Indiana's team this year, than the past:
    "They play hard, they play smart, they get after it and they hit some shots. Now that is a heck of a combination, and it happened tonight."

    On what his team can learn from this game:
    "We still have four more road games, we still have four tough home games. Every place we go now, it's some kind of special event. That's playing on the road. Hopefully we can learn to avoid that one streak in there where we kind of let it get away from us defensively. Offensively, we have to take care of the ball better. You can always go back to those seven turnovers in the first 12 possessions."




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