Dec. 8, 2007
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Indiana vs. Kentucky
December 8, 2007
Indiana Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
"I thought our interior defense was really good. We had a good plan to post-double (Patrick) Patterson but that stuff doesn't work if your guards don't do a good job rotating behind it. Our 2-guards ran our stuff, executed. I thought we played tough, I don't know that we played great, but I thought that we played tough. And that was something we knew we had to do today. We had to grow up and be men and play with some toughness.
"Jordan (Crawford) was raring to go. He had a great week of practice; a super week of practice. Jamarcus (Ellis) continues to improve. D.J. (White) played with a lot of confidence. The big thing for us today was DeAndre Thomas off the bench. I thought him coming off the bench really juiced us. Mike (White) and Lance (Stemler) are what they are; they are just solid. They understand their roles and are tough kids. But DeAndre Thomas was the big contributor today. It is a long season and we are progressing and getting better. I just think that is what we are trying to do here, just get better."
On big lineup with D.J. White, DeAndre Thomas and Mike White on the floor at the same time:
"They play together against bigger teams. Where we struggle is against 6-6, quick, athletic guys like Xavier's lineup. We realized that we needed Mike to match up with those kinds of players. Eli (Holman) and D.J., basically they can both guard post guys. Neither one can guard a smaller guy. What we are doing is just getting better. You do that over the course of a season. This team is on a similar path to last year's team. I don't know that we struggled early, we just weren't very good early."
On when he realized Eric Gordon would not be able to play:
"I really thought he would play on Tuesday and Wednesday. I really thought he would. He just didn't get any better. I talked to him on Tuesday and he felt better. Wednesday he felt better. Now Thursday you could tell he was not getting better. He was out at practice shooting around. When he was walking around he didn't feel a lot of pain. But now as soon as he squatted, he felt it. I think Thursday afternoon was when I realized he probably wasn't going to play. But you never know. I have seen some on game day rise form the dead. There is no game more important than a young man's health. It's not about if he is going to play or not; it is whether or not he is going to be healthy enough to play."
On winning despite the absence of key players:
"Obviously we are a lot better when we have Eric (Gordon), Armon (Bassett) and A.J. (Ratliff). But I think there are always blessings in disguise in everything. I think if we had not had some guys out, I don't think Tone (Jamarcus Ellis) would be this far along. Jamarcus has just kind of steadily progressed. Maybe if everyone had been there none of them would be playing with as much confidence."
On what Jordan Crawford did well in the game:
"I thought he really ran the offense. Jordan studies things pretty well. Just listening to the comments he made to me in practice about what he saw as he was sitting. I think guys can pout if you make a mistake and coach disciplines you. You can approach that two ways. But I thought that he took his discipline like a man and he practiced well. If anything, I thought it helped him."
Senior Forward D.J. White
On the atmosphere and the first win over Kentucky in a game he played:
"It feels good to get the first win. Here at Assembly Hall we had a good crowd supporting us. Words just can't describe how good it feels to beat your rival for the first time."
On playing without Eric Gordon and Armon Bassett:
"We are supposed to win these games. We take pride in our home court. We take pride in winning these games.
On recording a double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds)
"I take pride in rebounding. My goal is I want to be a double-double guy. I want to help my teammates in any kind of way, defense, offense or rebounding. With my height and my size I think that is what I need to do for the team to win. Anything I can do. Last year when he first (Sampson) came, he pushed me a lot about rebounding. It sticks in my head throughout the game.
On becoming a 1,000-point scorer:
"It means a lot. A lot of great players have come through this program and to be in that club means a lot to me."
Freshman Guard Jordan Crawford
On being guarded by his brother, Kentucky guard Joe Crawford:
"It was fun playing him. I didn't think that he was going to check me. When I saw him on me I had to smile then had to get to business. It was weird. The past three years I have been watching him on TV and just to see him out there was crazy.
"It wasn't hard because we really wanted to win this game. I had to do what I had to do to win. We all contributed together. We all had to step up because we had players out."
On being tired after playing 39 minutes in the game:
"I was prepared for it because of this last week. I knew we were going to have guards out, so coach said when you are tired don't turn it over, just pass. Give it to D.J. if I am tired. That is what I had to do."
Kentucky Head Coach Billy Gillispie
"It was a tough game for us. They whooped us in every aspect and did it with a shorthanded team, and I don't take very well to that. The whooped us and hopefully we are going to continue to get better."
"I thought we did a few things a little bit better, but you couldn't tell that unless you know what you're looking for, and we have a long ways to go in every aspect. But I think we are going to get there."
On whether today's game was a step in the wrong direction:
"I really don't because I think that we are starting to do some things better. It just doesn't look like it when you miss layup after layup after layup. Or if you earn a trip to the foul line and you miss the front end or both sides of free throws, then those things start to add up. Then you start looking at the scoreboard and say we haven't take any step forward at all. I think some guys are really starting to play with more passion and understanding of what it is going to take for us to be a good team. I do see some improvement, but the score definitely would not indicate that today."
On Indiana's run to start the second half:
"It was a little bit of the defense and a little bit of panic on offense. We don't carry out assignments very well. We have to pay better attention and understand that our margin for error is a bit small. We are going to have to take on a more gritty approach. We shot 38.8 percent from the floor today, and we have had teams that can win those kinds of games. We don't want to shoot 38 percent, but we have to get to the point of believing that we can (win the game) no matter what. Defensively, you can't give up easy baskets because you aren't carrying out assignments, you can't give up second opportunities and you can't foul so much."
On Joe Crawford playing differently because he was playing against his brother (IU guard Jordan Crawford):
"You would have to ask him about that. As far as his play, it was fairly similar to the way he has played this year."
On his thoughts when he found out Eric Gordon and Armon Bassett were not playing for Indiana:
"It doesn't matter. They have good players and they executed very well. They had guys really step up and play. Those guys are really good players. I think they had really good point guard play. He (Bassett) is a vastly underrated player and Gordon is a great freshman. As a fan, you can think `well, two really good players aren't playing in the game.' And then the other thing is D.J. White gets his second foul early and only played 10 minutes in the first half. So they are playing with out three starters basically in the first half on only ten minutes from one of three starters. So I think you can say `well, this ought to be easy.' But until we get better at executing and taking advantage of opportunities, we are going to struggle no matter who we play against."
On whether Kentucky took too many bad shots:
"I don't think we took too many bad shots, we are just not getting the ball reversed and thrown inside enough. We have to throw the ball inside to (Patrick) Patterson more. That is not going to happen many more times where we continue to not throw the ball in there. We are going to start getting it in there and we are going to live and die with the freshman. That's the way it's going to be and I thought we would be better at it today, but I don't think that we were."