Nov. 18, 2007
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Indiana Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
"First of all, I would like to congratulate Coach Lynch and the football team for an unbelievable victory yesterday, and congratulate Coach Lynch, his staff and the players on a tremendous year, going to a bowl game and playing 13. Watching that game, especially the last five minutes, I don't know if I've ever been as emotional, especially when they started showing Jane (Hoeppner) on the sidelines. I'm just really, really happy for the coaches and the players and Coach Hoeppner's family. It was really a neat day."
"As far as our team today, I just think we continue to get better. Our defense is going to come along. One thing that we talked about last night in our film session was that we have so many new players, they are going to make mistakes so we just have to be patient with them. You can tell that every time we hit the court, we're improving. Jordan (Crawford) is making mistakes, Eric (Gordon), DeAndre (Thomas), all of our new guys. They make mistakes. A lot of them are playing a different defense than they have ever seen, but their attitudes are good. They are hard workers and I think we will continue to get better in that area. The good thing about this team is how unselfish they are. We had 38 baskets today and had 22 assists. That tells you a little bit about this team's personality."
On the biggest change on defense in this game compared to the last game:
"Longwood probably isn't as good as Tennessee-Chattanooga, for one thing. I think we have to recognize that. Coach (Dan) Dakich had the scouting report and he did a great job of preparing us. (Kirk) Williams had 29 last game and he did it all driving right and really slashing and getting to the rim. And we knew that was going to be a challenge for D.J. (White), guarding a guy that can really slash. D.J. did a great job today. He really, really guarded the dribble. If you think back to our exhibition games, most of our big kids were getting beat off the dribble, but its two weeks later. This team is playing early like it should and now we're starting to get better."
On the improvement of Lance Stemler:
"We told him to just relax and play. One of the things we were talking to Lance about is - at the end of the day, this is a basketball game, nothing more, nothing less. I knew at some point this season we would bring DeAndre in the lineup with D.J., because in the Big Ten there are a lot of teams that play two bigs. But I think it helped Lance to bring him off the bench. I think it took the pressure off of him."
On what the team gets out of this kind of a game:
"A lot. This is an important game for this team. We have a brand new team. Practicing everyday, we see the same thing and we need to play games to see where we improve our help side defense, our ball-pressure defense, our rebounding. There wasn't a thing that we didn't emphasize that we got better in and maybe you can't see that in practice. Early in the season, every team in America is going to play these types of games. Sometimes they need to tangibly touch things that they see that they are improving in."
On Jamarcus Ellis and his 11 rebounds:
"He has a nose for the ball. He's been like that his entire career. I don't know that there is anything that I've done to help him. He was like that in high school. He was like that in junior college. He's a team player. When we were recruiting Jamarcus, he just fit. I think he rubs off on the other guys, too."
DeAndre Thomas, forward
On having a size advantage on opponents and staying out of foul trouble:
"I'm just going to go out and be aggressive and see how the referees are going to call the game. If I see that they are calling offensive fouls, I'll stop being as aggressive and keep playing hard."
On his first start:
"I just come in and do what I need to do for the team. If I need to rebound or battle on the floor, I'm going to do it for the team."
On playing with Jamarcus Ellis:
"It's easier because I know that there is another player that I grew up with for a long time, so I know how he plays and he know how I play. It's easier."
Jordan Crawford, guard
On coming into the game off the bench:
"It's not a problem. I know there are three guards out there that are just as good as me, but I don't worry about that. I just think about coming off the bench and think first about defense and the other things will come."
On his role on the team:
"I fit in wherever Coach wants me to fit in. We have four guards that can play point guard, so whoever is closest to the ball can bring it up and we can still run the same play and be effective."
Longwood Head Coach Mike Gillian
"First of all, that is a team that you will have difficulty finding seven teams around the country that are better than that. They have talent, leadership and there is a poise that exists when you have guys with that level of ability. It's not physical talent, or even mental talent, but emotional stability that just controls the flow of the game and it is at a different level here. When you have a large number of guys on one team that all have that ability, and unless you can do something to interrupt that during the flow of the game, it is going to be difficult to achieve success against them.
"All that being said, we certainly could have played a lot better. During stretches in the first half, I thought we did a pretty good job of attacking the basket, offensive rebounding and that takes energy. When you are behind and you realize at halftime that, against a good team, you are going to have a difficult time getting yourself back to a workable situation. So that makes it hard for the guys to go out and have that same energy when you are playing against a team like that and you understand how good their players are. The second half, we had a little bit at the beginning, attacking the basket and didn't get any fouls called, and they just kept scoring and the game got out of hand."
On Indiana's run at the end of the first half:
"You don't know what will happen if you hold on to where you are, in that 10 to 12 point range. But we have experienced situations like this a number of times. We have had a number of them where we have gone in at halftime with very close games against high-profile teams and had it get away from us a little bit in the second half. We could have played better, but it is difficult to fault our guys. They gave the effort that we need to give in order to be successful.
"You have to understand, there is an upper echelon that exists and I have a hard time believing there are seven teams in the country better than the team we just played against. So you kind of have to catch lightning in a bottle to be there and really be competitive with them. They really deserve all the credit here, it's not about us playing poorly or not doing some of the things we talked about, it's more about how good the opposition really is."
On Indiana's balance in the post and on the perimeter::
"You have to understand, when you have D.J. White and DeAndre Thomas and they are 8-for-11 from the floor in the post, and we say we have to be able to defend the post area, an area we are a little better in than we have been in the past. But you have to have talent to be able to have guys to be able to do that. So if you defend the post, then you have to be able to take away the perimeter. If you look at (Indiana's) three-point shooting (11-for-18), that makes it hard to defend the post and the perimeter. They have all the pieces that make it difficult to defend or take away any one piece.