Men's Basketball

    Indiana vs. Charlotte Postgame Quotes

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    Go Hoosiers!

    Go Hoosiers!

    Dec. 2, 2006

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    Indiana vs. Charlotte Postgame Quotes

    Indiana Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
    Opening Statement:
    "The thing about our team is that we wanted to be better today than we were November 2. Our team is improving, and we are a lot better today than we were two weeks ago. As we go forward, it is important to be better on January 2. I really think we will be as long as these kids come to practice everyday and work and compete and play hard. The theme of this year will be to keep getting better. There are so many times we want to look at the journey as a destination and this is not a destination for us. We are learning how to compete and play hard. Whatever we are doing is a work in progress. Defensively, we are a whole lot better than we were two weeks ago and as we progress in this season, with this team, we will get better because the kids are learning how to work. Learning how to work hard is key in life, and the kids are learning to be givers, not takers."

    On the game:
    "I thought we defended ball screens well tonight, we contested threes well, we rebounded well. Offensively we are going to get better as we go. We had a lot of opportunities, and to hold Charlotte to 34 percent is great, outrebounding them by 12 is a sign we are getting better."

    On A.J. Ratliff:
    "A.J. needed confidence, benching him was the right thing to do and then to let him play and build up that confidence was right. It's the only way he is going to get confidence. Sometimes, when you are learning something new, you lose focus and forget to just play.

    On Earl Calloway:
    "Earl is not a half court, run your team point guard. Earl has to score. That's part of learning. I didn't see Earl play in high school, I didn't see him play in junior college, I didn't see him play last year. What I have seen of Earl Calloway has been in the last two months. As you get to know him, you realize that Earl isn't going to go out there and run your team. Let him attack, let scoring be what he is about because I think he can score. The more he attacks the better he is as your point guard."

    On the team and the role of players being established:
    "We are getting close after a few games. I can see it and it takes time. Everybody wants you to be a February team in November, and it is hard to do that. I would much rather be really good in February than in November. The first few games the team was trying hard not to mess up, and today, we are a lot better than we were. All you can control is improvement and getting better."

    Junior guard A.J. Ratliff
    On the game:
    "It would have been nice to have hit more shots. Eighteen points is fine, and the win is even better. The win was a great birthday present."

    On his approach for the game:
    "Tonight was a whole different game. There was a different approach than the Duke game. Coach got on me for being timid, and he made the right decision to bench me. All I wanted to do tonight was respond and show him that I am not a timid player, that I can attack and hit shots for the team."

    Senior guard Earl Calloway
    On the game:
    "We needed to come out and respond, ready to compete, and I needed to help lead the team and help us get the win."

    On the offense:
    "Coach says to attack so we are going to attack. We are going to take anything the defense gives us and that's our approach to the game."

    Charlotte Head Coach Bobby Lutz
    Opening statement:
    "I thought we played, believe it or not, we played a little better in terms of our effort. Especially in the first half, we changed our defenses early, we did a nice job because we were scoring enough we could mix it up. We zone pressed and showed the zone press, and keep the flow of the game the way we wanted. Then we hit a stretch where we couldn't score and they took advantage and took the lead. In the second half we made a good run but we couldn't sustain it. We had some really good looks in the second half when the game was still in the balance, and right we just can't seem to make those. Their defense is very good most of the time. But tonight we got better looks than I thought we would coming into the game. I thought we would really struggle. We had some open looks, some kick outs, had the ball at the high post open from foul shot distance. To win a game like this we have to make those. I am taking nothing away from Indiana, they are very good defensively. By far the best defensive team we have played this year. We have played at Syracuse and Mississippi State. But for us, despite the loss, we made some improvement. If we can make a few more shots, we'll be okay once we get to the league. For us to win E.J. Drayton and Leemire Goldwire can't go 5 for 23. Those two along with De'Angelo Alexander have to shoot it better than they have been shooting it for us to have a chance. Those are the three guys who can score along with Carlos Williams. Right now, we just aren't as consistent as we need to be. Indiana pounded us on the glass, nobody has done that all year either, Syracuse included, anybody. I hope we really learned a lot, and we'll be better for it in the long run."

    On keeping momentum after a good start:
    "We like to change defenses, and we have to score to change and keep them off balance. It is much more difficult to change when you are missing all the time. We have to continue to get good shots, we actually pass up a few occasionally. You aren't going to get wide open looks, you have to be able to shoot with a hand up. You are not going to get wide open looks that much. Through the years, we have had guys that make shots, and for us to be good Leemire (Goldwire), E.J. (Drayton), and De'Angelo (Alexander) have got to do it consistently. It's the same thing tonight, we got those three guys the bulk of our shots. What we have to do is get them to shoot it when it is a good one, and not force it. They obviously forced a few tonight. E.J. really doesn't force many, he gets a few blocked because he's a little undersized compared to who he is playing against. The other two have to continue to make better decisions. We just have to make some shots, you can't shoot 32 percent. It's the worst shooting team I have ever had, and at the beginning of the year, I would of never thought that, there is time and hopefully we can get that turned around.

    On preparing for Indiana despite them not having a set rotation:
    "Our coaching staff does a great job in terms of prepping our players. It is something we feel like we do, despite the fact that (A.J.) Ratliff went off. We told them his percentage isn't good, but he is a good shooter. I really don't think it affected us that much. To be honest, we got off to a great start despite the fact they started guys that were not probable starters. We also knew that when they came off the bench, those guys were going to be anxious to prove that they shouldn't be coming off the bench. Ratliff in particular did that, but (Earl) Calloway did too, I thought he played well."




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