Dec. 29, 2007
Final Stats |
Chicago State at Indiana
Post Game Quotes
December 29, 2007
Indiana Head Coach Kelvin Sampson
On the team's play in the opening minutes of the game
"I just thought we were ready to play. We had really good practices since we came back on Wednesday. We practiced really hard on Wednesday; we had two great practices on Thursday, practiced Friday. Today at our hour practice from 2-3 we had a lot of bounce, a lot of energy. I thought our defense was really, really good the first 20 minutes. I think we dominated every phase of the game and I felt we did a great job on their guards the first half."
"The story for us is rebounding. Our kids came in having a lot of respect for (Chicago State). This team led Miami (Ohio) by 10 in the second half. Regardless of how they played against us they played better than this against these other teams. (David Holston) is a great little player. Give him credit. The story tonight, though, is getting to the free throw line with EJ (Eric Gordon), getting the ball inside to D.J. (White). I thought Jordan (Crawford) did a great job off the bench of getting the ball to people. He had five steals, eight rebounds. That is a good performance going into league play. We are excited about starting Big Ten play on Wednesday."
On the status of A.J. Ratliff
"He could have played tonight. He can run on it (his injured ankle). I think the main reason was, talking to (athletic trainer) Tim Garl, was just the cutting. He didn't look good on it at the shoot around. He was actually better on it Wednesday than he was today. There is really no reason to risk it. Hopefully he will be ready to go on Wednesday. If we had played a league game tonight, I think he would have played."
"I haven't really looked at tape, preparation wise. I have seen them play on the Big Ten Network a couple of times. They remind me of us last year. A new coach trying to get kids that have been there awhile with another coach to learn a new system. You can tell they are going to get better as they go along."
On Big Ten play
"One thing I think we have established this year is we are a good rebounding team. We played better on the road last year than our record indicated. We won three road games, at Connecticut, at Penn State and at Northwestern. But in the six games in the league that we lost we led in the second half of all those games. So it is just getting better. I think the league is better than people think. That is a great win Wisconsin had today at Texas. Michigan State had that great win against Texas in Detroit. Ohio State had a great win against Florida. It was a really good win for us against Southern Illinois on the road. So, there are a lot of good win in the league this year and our league will wind up being really good by the time we get to March."
On whether or not the first 20 minutes were the best played by the team this year
"It was the hardest (the team has played). That is always the goal for us. Our team last year finished third in the Big Ten. We won 10 league games because of how hard we competed. Not necessarily because we were better than the other teams. I thought our team last year came together where they could win. No matter where you play, home or away, it is tough. We are getting better. I coach the team. I am not an observer, I coach them. This team is improving."
On tonight's crowd
"Unbelievable crowd. That is the great thing about playing here. These are the best fans I have ever seen. And I don't say that to patronize anybody. That is not an opinion; that is a fact. These are the best fans I have ever seen. They support this program. That is why it is a privilege to play and coach here."
Senior Forward D.J. White
On learning from last week's slow start against Coppin State
"I think we did. One thing coached emphasized was starting slow and it was something we worked on all week; we wanted to get out to a better start."
On helping the younger players prepare for Big Ten play
"It is tough because night in and night out any team can beat anyone. We need to keep our focus. It is tough to win on the road.
On whether this team can win on the road
"I think so. We went on the road early this year and won some tough games. That is a start."
"I'm just glad to be out there playing again and helping my team. My wind isn't the same as it was but I felt good out there. I'm excited for the conference season to start."
Chicago State Head Coach Benjy Taylor
"They are a very, very good team. They overwhelmed us with their size. They outrebounded us by 30. Our inside guys are young and they weren't really ready for that, but their effort in terms of 40 minutes for what they were trying to accomplish, I thought was very good. They just overwhelmed us defensively and on the boards. In the second half, we went small and the kids played a little scrappy, but it was over after the first 10 minutes."
On the team's shooting in the second half
"We just moved the basketball better. We tried to take advantages of some mismatches. They had their four-man trying to guard our wing. We thought we would dribble-drive them a little bit. That worked to our advantage, but we had shots in the first half, we just missed them. We were a little overwhelmed tonight and we'll have to figure out why. This is Indiana, the No. 14th ranked team in the country, but it's basketball. We have to come out and play."
On David Holston's effort
"He's a competitive kid. They did a good job on him in the first half, but I knew that he wouldn't quit. Guys got him open. They found him and we did a nice job for the most part in the second half with him. David would rather score five points and win than score 25 and lose. That's just the kind of kid that he is, so this has been really hard on him."
On defending Eric Gordon and D.J. White
"What can you say? We were afraid going into the game. Those two guys are very, very good. Also, there are other players that are so good that you have to play them as well. If IU had just those two guys, you would have a chance, but (Armon) Bassett can score and shoot, (Jamarcus) Ellis is very good, (Jordan) Crawford is good. Everybody is good. They don't have any weaknesses that I can see."