Nov. 27, 2007
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Indiana Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
"I thought a big key for us tonight was that we had to win the rebounding and we had to get to the free throw line. Those were two areas that we had to be good in. I thought a big key for us, and we were talking about it during the TV timeouts, was that we needed to get into the one-and-one. Getting into the one-and-one early in the second half was huge for us.
"Georgia Tech is good. They are really, really athletic and long and they have guys that can shoot. (Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt) has done a nice job putting his team together and I think they are going to have a really good year."
On the decision to play Mike White:
"During the Xavier game, the thing that I noticed during that game was how immature and inexperienced we are. Those first four games we played, we won those games the way we should win them. The thing I noticed in the Xavier game was that DeAndre Thomas is going to be a good player here. Eli Holman is going to be a good player and all of our freshmen are. But you go out there against that Xavier team and they have all those seniors and juniors with a fifth-year senior point guard, it just exposed how immature and inexperienced we were. And I said we just can't go to the transaction wire and pick somebody up. We have somebody sitting right here that can help this team. The decision to redshirt Mike was a good decision at the time. There hasn't been a need to say anything about this, but Mike has had an ankle injury. He didn't even play the last couple games in the Bahamas and it just kind of lingered and never got healthy. Then once we got to October, he didn't go through conditioning, so I said why not just redshirt him. But this Xavier game just jumped out at me with our inexperience. Mike had really been practicing well, but we sat down and talked. But you want it to be his decision too."
On the defense keeping Georgia Tech on the perimeter:
"We were doing a good job in the first half, the only problem we had then was Armon was getting broken down off the dribble. When Armon was getting beat, D.J. had to help, and instead of helping over, he was helping up. So Armon did a better job defending the middle and D.J. did a better job of not helping up."
On using the zone:
"That is something we may use, especially in the next two games. There are a lot of things that we are going to do as the season goes on. But you can only be good at a few things early. If you try to put in four or five different things, I have just never been very good at that."
On D.J. White's influence on the rest of the team:
"D.J. likes playing against good teams, and you can tell. But he is a senior and he has a lot of pride. I think we were all a little bit embarrassed on Saturday night just because we have pride. When you lose a game like that, nobody hurts more than the players and coaches. He is starting to play better too. We are all starting to figure out each other and one another. We have to be patient with this group, but D.J. is a huge part. We can't play the way we are playing without him. We have to get the ball to him, whether it is inside-out or outside-in. The outside isn't very good without the inside."
Junior Guard/Forward Jamarcus Ellis
On his aggressiveness in the second half:
"It was something that I saw, but the coaches also kept repeating it. They weren't getting back because they were trying to press us, so we were really trying to get into the one-and-one. So by them not getting back, we were just trying to be in attack mode with the three guards we had out there.
On looking for his offense more tonight:
"Not really, because my job on this team is to make other players better. It's easy for me to score and go to the basket like I did tonight, but my job is to make other players better. But tonight, I had no choice but to be in attack mode."
On picking up his fourth foul in the second half:
"I was frustrated, but coach talked to us about being mentally tough and playing smart with four fouls. He took me out for a minute because I couldn't play with four fouls like that, so I got back in around the four-minute mark. He just told me not to commit stupid fouls and move my feet."
On D.J. White's performance:
"D.J. is our leader, along with Lance. I really felt that D.J. was playing hard and he finished with a double-double. When D.J. is all riled up, everybody else is all riled up. When D.J. is dead, we are dead, even at practice."
On making shots early helping him get in the flow:
"It helps you get in a rhythm in the game and get a little confidence. My teammates are just unselfish and find you whenever you are open."
On Mike White's contribution tonight:
"He was was a huge spark off the bench, which was something that we needed coming off that Xavier game. Everyday in practice, Mike attacks the glass, and that's what he did tonight. He played great."
On being ready to go tonight after Saturday's loss:
"We knew we had to come out and attack and never quit. We knew we had to come out and play with a lot of heart. They are a really good, athletic team, so we knew we had to come out and compete with them."
Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt
"I'm disappointed with the outcome, but I'm very happy with our team's effort. It's a tough effort that you have to put out if you're going to be a good basketball team. I think we're a talented group, but two of our losses early in the year, I don't think we sustained any kind of effort. We still need to get better in that department. I'm disappointed with the loss, but pleased with the effort we put out and I think if we keep doing that, if we get those guys back from injury... Those guys that came back today were pretty rusty. We'll be a better team as the year goes on."
On telling the team how to stop Indiana's offense:
"Play quick and explosive, and play with a lot of confidence. Late in the first half, our shot selection hurt us. I thought in the second half, we did a good job of getting the ball where we wanted it. They ran the zone, I think, one time. They didn't surprise us. We executed and got a shot off in the corner. We didn't guard them off the dribble. If a team gets 10 assists and 17 turnovers, that means you didn't guard them off the dribble. And when you don't guard them off the dribble, you give up 38 free throws. It just comes down to us not guarding off the dribble."
On improving the team element:
"It's interesting, our game today. I've talked to people at all levels. Everybody wants to play. When they don't play, they have the back-up quarterback syndrome ... the coach is jerking me. When they get out there, there is a responsibility that comes with being a prime time player. It's not just our level. I've talked to pro guys. I've talked to high school guys. It's the biggest thing wrong with our game right now. Kids want to play, but they don't understand the responsibility that comes with playing. The good ones do. The good ones work hard in practice every day. The good ones work hard in every possession. They don't take any possessions off. I'm not criticizing our guys in any way. It's an epidemic in our game. This game has become one where everybody looks at it like it's about me. The best teams are about teams.
"You look at this team tonight. They are going to get better as the year goes on. They have a bunch of new pieces who are learning how to play together. I'm sure if you put Kelvin (Sampson) on some truth serum, I'm sure he'll tell you that they didn't play as a team in the first few games. But once they figured out that they all can have their individual glory as the team does well, Indiana is going to be one of the best teams in the country. What afflicts them is what afflicts us and afflicts most of the teams that struggle. Kids have got to understand that there is a responsibility that comes when you get playing time and that means that you've got to put it out there every single night. It's not just good enough to get off the bench and say, `I'm playing.' That's not the point anymore. For some reason, our game has evolved to where kids just want to play. You see it in recruiting, you see it everywhere.
"I'm not calling any of our guys out. Anybody who has been around our game in a while knows what I'm talking about. We don't have selfish kids, it's just what this game has become. They think they are playing hard. When you think you're playing hard and when you come up to my level, then you can play hard. They think they are playing hard. We're getting it. I'm not discouraged. I told them that I'm disappointed with the effort. I'm disappointed it's taken us five games in the year to where we realize that there is a hell of the a responsibility that comes with getting on that floor and getting in a Georgia Tech uniform, playing in the ACC. We're getting it. We played a good game tonight. We could have won this basketball game. A bounce here, a call there, a shot there, we win. I'm just talking about the game in general and not anyone specifically on our team."