March 2, 2010
March 2, 2010
On the Hoosiers:
"Our kids have been resilient and have come to practice each day with the mindset that they are going to get better. Our margin of error is so small that I think sometimes the focus tends to be on what might not go right or what we didn't do well. As a coach and the leader of this program, I am going to focus on what we are doing right. We can not put players on the floor and expect great things from them if they play with fear and anxiety. When we have played the game without worry and play we trust our abilities, we have shown we can compete at a high level."
On the last meeting with Purdue
"It was a very, very hard-fought game, full of energy on both teams. We gave ourselves a chance to be right there and we played extremely hard. They key for us was we did not get the key defensive stops we needed and we didn't make our free throws late.
"They play extremely well as a group and they are a team that is player led. They hold each other accountable. They have great leadership on the court and they make basketball plays. If you put your focus on one or two guys, the others will take advantage of that and beat you. Their pressure is relentless on offense and defense. They score so much off of their defense, a lot more than they get credit for. They share the ball. They rebound the ball. You can see constant improvement in their players and they are just in attack mode. In Mackey Arena, they take it up another notch."
On the absence of Robbie Hummel
On the growth of some of the newcomers
"I'm not so sure that Robbie Hummel is not the most valuable player to his team in the Big Ten. He is exactly what you want to have, in the sense of having that swing forward. He can bring the ball up the court, he's a matchup nightmare because he can score inside, he can score at midrange, he can score from three, he can facilitate the offense and he makes 90 percent of his free throws. But Purdue has a ton of experienced guys who have been battle tested and you could see in their games recently that they have risen to the occasion more times than not."
"There are three freshmen in Bobby (Capobianco), Derek (Elston) and Christian (Watford) that are on that front line that are making progress. They all need to gain weight, they all need to gain athleticism, they're going through experiences right now. They need to develop confidence. I think Derek Elston
is really just scratching the surface on what kind of player he's going to be. We definitely need him to continue be an integral part as we move forward this year.
"Christian has to develop an ability to guard different people on the perimeter, to be able to get by people. Once his athleticism really takes shape, I think you'll see even a different player there. And I would say Bobby Capobianco has probably has improved his mindset, and I mean that in a good way, in being able to understand how hard you have to play at this level. If you are looking at it over a two-year period than definitely Verdell has really developed into a solid performer in the Big Ten."
On the last Purdue game
"We had an opportunity to get them at home, but we didn't make the plays we needed to in the end. You have to give them credit.
"I think regardless of who we play we come out with the mindset that if we cut down on our mistakes and let our defense create energy for us we can be successful against any one."
"They have proven to be a great team and it doesn't matter who they put on the floor, they are going to be tough."