Nov. 20, 2007
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Indiana vs. UNC Wilmington
November 20, 2007
Head coach Kelvin Sampson
"If you take away their start and look at the next 15 minutes and the next five to eight minutes of the second half and I think that is the best we have played all year. Our defense continually caused problems for them. We caused 26 turnovers, which I think is a season high. It is good to see the ball pressure getting out on the wing. I thought DeAndre (Thomas) did a great job on the post of not giving that kid an angle.
"I thought it was a really good defensive performance by us and getting to the free throw line 28 times is another sign that we are attacking. We are getting so much offense off our defense right now and that is something we were not doing earlier in the year. It was another game where I thought we made good progress and we have two days now to get ready for Friday night."
On facing adversity in this game:
"I think you have to give credit to Coach Moss and UNC Wilmington. They came in ready to play. All these teams do. They are going to come ready to play. I've said before, I have had teams ranked in the top five in the nation before. It is a different deal when you are ranked high. As soon as they know you are on their schedule that becomes their primary focus. You have a big bull's eye on you.
"We have so many first-year guys that everything we do is a learning experience. Sometimes you forget just how inexperienced we are. Wilmington is going to win a lot of games in their league."
On getting some of the younger players more playing time:
"That is tough when they don't play the entire first half. I think you have to take that with a grain of salt. Something I have to do a better job of is getting them in there in the first half regardless of the situation. Sometimes when you have some adversity, instead of making changes I have always allowed guys to get themselves out of it, which is what we did tonight.
"We go from down 10 to up 20 at halftime. There is a 30-point turnaround in 15 minutes which shows you just how dominant our defense was in a 15-minute stretch."
On the team showing its ability by making such a big first-half comeback:
"We can be good. But every team is going to present a different challenge. I think we attacked the box-and-one, and we attacked their presses. I thought we did a great job against all their defenses. Shoot 60 percent and score 95 points and it is hard to find anything wrong with the offense."
On DeAndre Thomas' physical play:
"You know that commercial where the car just rams into the wall? The crash dummy. He crash-dummied the one kid and they called a charge and he didn't do it again. Every one of those things is good for these guys. We work with `Dre on finding contact and spinning away from contact. And that is really the only time this year he has had a charge called. Then the next time he got the ball he spun to his outside shoulder and shot a little bank shot. Early in the year, all the mistakes we are making, I see us adjusting to them and getting better."
Freshman guard Eric Gordon
On picking up two early fouls:
"Coach told me to back off my man a little bit but to just play hard. I just had to deny the man and do the other things beside trying to play him hard on the ball."
On getting his offense going after a slow start:
"Our whole team was not getting things going and were down a little bit. But as things picked up we were able to dominate them late in the first half."
On the defenses he faced tonight:
"They threw a box-and-one on me for a little bit, but they threw a lot of defenses at us and we had to adjust."
Sophomore guard Armon Bassett
On the team's 21-2 run late in the first half:
"Once we decided to start playing we turned the game around. That has been the story for us the first couple of games. We need to get out to a better start."
On the team's confidence building with each game:
"I think we have more of an offensive swagger right now and we need to get more of a swagger on defense. It is coming, though."
UNC Wilmington Head Coach Benny Moss
"I thought we, in the first 12 minutes of the game, were able to execute pretty well on both ends of the floor. We were able to get out in transition a little bit and we were able to execute in the half court and that allowed us to do a lot or our changes, defensively, to keep them off balance a little bit. But then the turnovers start coming and Indiana started picking up the pressure and we succumbed to that pressure, to the tune of 17 turnovers in the first half that led to 25 points for Indiana. When you give up 25 points on layups and free throws off turnovers and transition, you are not going to have a chance to beat them.
"You have to take care of the ball and allow yourself to set up the half court defense and we weren't abel to because of the pressure that Indiana exerted on us. All the credit goes to them, they turned it up several notches and we weren't able to match it.
Impressions of Eric Gordon:
"He is better than what I saw on tape, and he is as good as I have ever seen on tape. I don't know of any weaknesses. He can guard on the ball and he can anticipate off the ball. He can really shoot it. He can really attack the rim in transition and finish. And he is a very good free throw shooter (12-of-13 on free throws). He is as good as we have played against."
On Armon Bassett:
"I think he makes them go. Gordon does a tremendous job of getting in the passing lane and getting out in transition. He is a pretty good second option and a guy that can shoot the basketball and beat you off the dribble. There aren't many weaknesses on that team. They are big, they are strong on the front line. They have great guard play that can not only shoot it but get to the basket. And then they get after you defensively. When you combine those things, you have one of the best teams in the country."