Men's Basketball

    Postgame Quotes - Indiana vs. Purdue

    Go Hoosiers! Armon Bassett
    Go Hoosiers!
    Armon Bassett
    Go Hoosiers!

    Feb. 19, 2008

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    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Indiana Head Coach Kelvin Sampson

    Opening Statement:
    "Two things we really wanted to do well tonight is, Purdue is really good at getting into passing lanes, ball pressure, passing lanes, they try to take you out. We tried to dominate the boards; I thought we did a great job of that. And we tried really hard to get to the one-and-one as quickly as possible instead of making extra passes, especially with E.J. (Eric Gordon) and Armon (Bassett). We wanted those guys to really drive it. Play through DJ (White) as much as we could, knowing that they would post double him. But we just tried to get to that free throw line.

    "I thought it was a great defensive effort. Any time you hold a team that has as many guys that can score as Purdue and you hold them to 34 percent, you outrebound them by 16, you know those two areas of the game are really solid. The turnover thing, like I said after the Minnesota game, sometimes you have to bring them in the huddle and remind them what color jersey you're wearing. I had to do that a little bit with (Jamarcus) Ellis tonight. But you know, I don't think we made any mistakes because we weren't trying. I think you have to give some credit to Purdue's defense. They did a good job pressuring us. They are not an easy team to play against. I am really proud of Armon. DJ did some light running yesterday. You could tell yesterday he was probably going to play. I don't think I anticipated him playing 36 minutes. You learn not to take a kid like him for granted. He is a horse."

    On this five-game stretch run: "When we started this stretch, prior to the Illinois game, we kind of circled these five games. For most of them, I think we only had two days of prep. Illinois was a Thursday, Ohio State was a Sunday, then we came back and played Wisconsin on Wednesday. Then we played Michigan State on Saturday and turned around and played Purdue on Tuesday. That is five games in 13 days. We talked about that. We tried to equate why we work like we work. Our kids still lift twice a week. We still condition guys outside of basketball just to make sure we are prepared for this. And then mentally, this group has been strong all year. I knew this was going to be a really tough stretch but I felt like if we could get through this stretch...our goal was to go 5-0 and we came within a three-point bank shot of doing that. I think that tells a lot about this group. I am really proud of this team. But, we have a lot of basketball left."

    On the focus of the team:
    "I think the way our team is playing answers all the questions. I think our play speaks for itself."

    On how far this team has come over two years:
    "I don't think I have ever had a team that I felt didn't give great effort or didn't have a core of good kids, really nice kids. When you play 26 games and you look up and you've lost four times in 26 games...I think we had a two-month stretch where we didn't lose. Any time you get this close to March... Purdue certainly has a shot at winning the conference championship. I really like their team. I think we have a good shot at it, and I think Wisconsin does. These kids have a lot to play for."

    On the play of D.J. White: "I've learned not to underestimate him. A kid like D.J....at the end of the day, this is why you coach. I remember when we started conditioning he was allergic to running. He would break out in hives if he had to really sweat. But I think the key thing for him was the Pan Am Games this summer. I think that had a lot to do with it. D.J. deserves the credit. When he went to the Pan Am Games, he got a lot of confidence from that. When he came back he was just a different guy. He has been great all year."

    Senior Forward D.J. White

    On his play tonight after the injury to his knee on Saturday:
    "I knew I was going to play. Like coach said I was feeling pretty good yesterday. I just wanted to go out there and be aggressive and play like I've been playing. In the beginning I was kind of timid because it is always in your head when you take a fall and have an injury like that. But as the game went on I felt more comfortable."

    On the improvement in his game this year:
    "I've been more aggressive; I've been more consistent on a nightly basis."

    On playing with passion:
    "I play with a lot of emotion. Sometimes it gets the best of me. That is just how I play; I play with emotion. I feed off my teammates and they feed off me. I just try to have fun out there and I think that is what we did tonight." On the contributions of Kyle Taber:
    "He was big for us, with five rebounds and being in the right place at the right time. He is just always there. He plays with energy and gets his hands on the balls a lot. He is doing the little things to help us win."

    On his free throw shooting:
    "We do it everyday in practice. Coach puts us through drills in practice where we have to make one-and-one. It is just preparation and being in the right position. Guys stepped up tonight."

    Sophomore Guard Armon Bassett

    On his defensive performance tonight:
    "I think that when I play with energy on defense my teammates feed off of it. I think we got up by about five and I turned my defense up and I think we pushed the lead to 10 or 12. I just have to try to do that as much as possible."

    On his rebounding:
    "When I get more rebounds it gets me playing harder on defense and it gets my shot going. That is definitely something I tried to do this game."

    On his role on the team:
    "Some nights it might be to score, to be a scorer when DJ and EJ aren't going. But, just to point my guys in the right direction and be a leader out there, making sure everyone is staying back, going for the boards. Trying to be Coach Sampson out there on the court for the most part and setting the tone on defense as much as I can."

    Purdue head coach Matt Painter

    Opening Statement:
    "I felt our guys gave a pretty good effort. Obviously, we couldn't make our free throws and that really hurt us, especially down the stretch. We were doing some positive things and coming up empty. We missed the front end of the drive or get fouled and miss one or miss both of them. So that was unfortunate.

    "To look at a stat sheet and get 30 more shots than your opponent and not be able to get more baskets than we did, that's very discouraging. But it's also a positive because I thought our guys were ready to play. I thought they competed.

    "We are not a good rebounding team. We have to fight, we have to scrap, especially when we go small like that. But we are trying to gain an advantage at the other end. And I thought we did that, but we just didn't take advantage of making our free throws. And then we had some guys tonight miss shots that they normally make, and you have to give credit to Indiana's defense for that. I felt they did a good job.

    "Overall, it's difficult. Eric Gordon is a very good player and D.J. White has really matured into a great all-around player and leader. They are tough to stop."

    On the high number of free throws Indiana took and made:
    "You have to look at four of those (fouls) at the end, you take eight free throws away from that because we fouled on purpose, so it's only 26 free throws. And when you are aggressive, you are going to force turnovers. And when you are aggressive, you going to go to the line a little bit more. There is a give and take with how you play and we understand that. But we were in position to win this game and we didn't. We did the same thing at Wisconsin, they shot that many free throws and we were still able to beat them by forcing turnovers and we made more shots than Wisconsin. And I think that, for us, is the silver lining. We can get that corrected, so hopefully we can get that corrected for the next game."

    On whether he expected D.J. White to play as well as he did:
    "You play so many college games, if you are able to get out there, I think the adrenaline and emotion. He's an emotional guy;you can see when he gets it going. He makes plays and he's into it. I felt if he was going to get out there and actually play, he was going to be productive. And obviously he was very productive.

    "Sometimes, all that preparation and then they don't play is a total different game. But it looked like, to me, Indiana was pretty damn good against Michigan State without D.J. White. So that just shows you how good of a team they have. They can beat a team like Michigan State the way they did without him and then to be able to play obviously with him like they have done all year. They've got a lot of weapons."

    On D.J. White and what has changed over the past year:
    "Well first of all, what I think has changed with him, not changed with him, but just a more aggressive approach to rebounding the basketball. Every night he just a double-double guy, and tonight he just dominates the glass.

    Then, from an offensive standpoint, he lets it come to him. He gets 19 points on 11 shots tonight. He's more efficient, if it's there, he takes it. If it's not, he dribbles into a post move. He can pass out of it, he can hit the 15-footer. He's done a great job. Obviously, he's the best post guy in our league, but those two have to be the best combination in the country. For an inside-outside combination, those guys are great."

     

     


       

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