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Jan. 8, 2012
Penn State Head Coach Pat Chambers Quotes vs. Indiana 1/8/12
Q: You've been playing very aggressive defense, did that hurt you when they drove and kicked out for three?
A: Our point of emphasis was no blow-bys. They did a great job of exploiting some of our limitations. If you told me at the end of the day that Christian Watford had 10 (points) Cody Zeller had 10 (points), I wouldtell you, "did we win by ten?" You know (Jordan) Hulls is going to get his average, but he played well above that, he was unconscious. And, we knew (Matt) Roth was a great shooter but we have to stay committed to our rotations. You make that one rotation, you make the second, but we weren't making the third and fourth. And that's a young team. We've got to continue to work on it and continue to get better. But, I give Indiana a lot of credit. They have a ton of options and they have a very good team. Watford is a pro, Zeller's a pro, and then you've got these kids from Indiana. I don't think any of their shots hit the rim. Down the stretch Hulls and Roth's free throws were like, "don't even shoot them, just head back, they're good." It's unbelievable, seriously. They didn't touch the rim. And, we were trying not to foul those two. We were begging them to throw it to someone else. We were double teaming those two guys. Watford was taking the ball out. He wouldn't throw it to the other guys. He still found those guys. Pretty amazing. They are well coached he (Tom Crean) does a phenomenal job.
Q: How much were you telling the team to dig on Zeller?
A: We made some mental lapses I would say. We said don't let him go baseline and he went baseline. We wanted him to go middle and we were going to dig from the middle and step up and rotate. But, again, you're right, he opens up everything. You're so concerned with Zeller and Watford that when Hulls and Roth are shooting like that, it's tough to beat them. Sixteen three's! Sixteen! For us to still have a chance at the end and not put our heads down and not sulk and feel sorry for ourselves and compete, we're headed in the right direction.
Q: What do you tell the team after playing hard but not getting the win?
A: There are no moral victories, I said `we gave up 88 points, that's too much, we gave up 45 to Purdue.' We've got to be a team that defends and rebounds. We can't out-score teams. That's not our identity. Our identity is scrappy and gritty for 40 minutes. We didn't do that. So, we will go back to work and try and get back to our identity.
Q: You scored more in the post today, what do you attribute that to?
A: John (Graham) and Sasa (Borovnjak) are feeling moreconfident and our guys are more confident in them. So, it's a two way street here. Sometimes they are open and they are on their own and you're just worried that a turnover or missed layup just crushes you. But, now they are finishing, getting to the free-throw line. I think they did OK. John was 2-4 at the foul line. Sasa was 1-2. I'll take that. As long as they give us one, I'll take that. They are doing a better job of sealing, and getting a deep seal, so that's good for us. And ,that internal will open up stuff for Tim (Frazier), stuff for Jermaine (Marhsall).
Q: Jermaine Marshall played well when the other guys went out, is that the guy you want taking control of the game?
A: You know what, I think Matt Glover did a phenomenal job. He's our lunch pail guy. He's our guy that does it all. You saw at the end of the game, I put him on Watford. You need those guys. Those guys are invaluable. I thought Matt did a great job down the stretch of getting himself to the basket. I thought Jermaine did a great job of not settling and getting to the basket and getting us to the free throw line. Again, we did what we wanted to do down the stretch. It's a four-minute game, I thought we executed like we were supposed to with Tim out of the game and not shooting ourselves in the foot.
Q: Is Glover your number two point guard, where does Trey Lewis stand?
A: Trey's got to earn it. He's got to earn it back. And he will - he will compete every day. He's a freshman. You go through peaks and valleys with freshman. I think Trey Lewis is a two. Glover is our backup one. Trey Lewis is more of a two. He's a scorer, he's got a scorers mentality. He needs to be our Vinny Johnson, the microwave.
Q: Have you been looking any better in practice during late-game situations?
A: Yeah, I mean you saw today. We tried to do some different things at end of game situations. We work on our execution in end of game situations all the time and you try and mix-and-match. Obviously you want Tim with the ball in his hands, getting to the basket, making a play, getting us to the foul line. It's always important to me. I want to get to the foul line. And then I've been giving Jermaine his opportunities as well because he's a good free-throw shooter. And I've been looking at Billy Oliver. He came up big the last six minutes and he's playing with great confidence.
Q: Can you talk a little about Ross Travis?
A: Like I said those freshman have peaks and valleys. He went through his valley and he's back on his way up. His minutes - 17 minutes, six rebounds, a monster dunk, eight points and 2-2 from the free-throw line - that's a freshman playing a big time game.
Q: Billy Oliver was targeted by them, what do you tell him to get open?
A: The ball screens - any time you pop they just switched, which is smart and which is good defense. We've got to move him around a little bit. We've got to set some different screens for him like we did. He's got to get in some dribble hand-offs to create some confusion. But, we've got to move him around. We tried to do that we actually added some different things in the second half to give him those open shots.
Q: You talked about being headed in the right direction, how much of a juggling act is that?
A: We have to continue to get these guys better. And we have to continue to change the mentality that losing is not acceptable, it will never be acceptable. There are no moral victories. I know this is cliché, but it gets contagious. `Oh we lost, you played hard. Oh we lost, you played hard.' That's got to end. You play hard, you win, you compete. But, if we compete for 40 minutes and we do all the little things and we play hard, you give yourself a chance. And all I want is a chance. I want guys that are going to play that play hard and play Penn State basketball. Nick Colella is getting minutes because he plays hard and because he knows what we are doing, and he gives you a chance to make the three he's a very good shooter.
Q: What does it look like with players being upset after a loss?
A: We're not all in yet. There's some guys that were obviously very upset but we want 15 guys that are furious. Because they know how hard they worked in practice the last two days.
Q: How do you know that these players are upset?
A: You know it's a gut. Everything is a gut for me. I go on my gut all the time and usually it's right on. I'm not saying it's perfect, don't get me wrong but I go with my gut. There were guys that were upset there's no question. We have a great locker room though. Those guys like each other. They know how hard they are working. And when put forth the effort that they have the last few days and you come out on the losing end, guys were upset. But I want 15 guys upset, even the guys that didn't play, I want them mad.
PENN STATE PLAYER QUOTES
#11 Jermaine Marshall, Sophomore, Guard
Q: Even when you guys were down nine at the end there, you guys kept battling. Can you comment on that?
A: Like you said, just battle to the end. We played as hard as we could. We wanted to try to finish the game and come out with a victory - unfortunately we didn't do that. We still tried to fight hoping we would come out with a win, but obviously we didn't.
Q: Is this close loss more difficult for the team? Do you think you can carry this level of play onto the road?
A: Yes, especially because we came out to do what we needed to do early and we played tough today. Hopefully we can carry that onto theroad and the young guys can learn. We have to stay close as a group and play hard together.
Q: Can you talk about the mentality when you guys kept coming back to make it a game?
A: Like I said, everyone is just fighting to the end. We practice that everyday and bring it to the game, and that's exactly what that was. We try to fight to the last bullet and we were able to cut it to two, but we weren't able to come up with the win.
#23 Tim Frazier, Junior, Guard
Q: What do you have to say about the team's effort today?
A: We played hard. We had some spurts where we played extremely hard. We have to put our 40 minutes together and play hard all 40minutes.
Q: Indiana didn't shoot well inside, was there a defensive game plan to make sure they didn't score inside?
A: I think we just really focused on staying on our staple and getting the defensive rebound. For the most part we made them take contested shots.
Q: There was a common thread of not being able to find the three-point shooters. Why weren't you able to do that?
A: I would say that Indiana is a great team and if they get open, they can make shots. We had a lot of drive-by's where we had to drop down and help, and that left them open.
Q: Were you told to dig on Zeller?
A: Throughout the game there were certain situations where we went down and we dealt with him sometimes and sometimes we didn't.
Q: Why do you think Indiana was able to score so many three's?
A: Guys get hiding, anybody gets hiding and you have to step up on them and put pressure on them to make them speed up. A lot of those guys were shooters that we were trying to fly at when they were getting ready on the wing.
Q: I'm seeing a level of tenacity from this team that I have never seen before, what's going on?
A: Coach preaches effort and he preaches to play as hard as you can. He's an energy guy and he brings everything he has to work everyday so when we see that as a team, we try to bring it back and return the favor.
Q: This is a tough loss for playing as hard as you did, what can you say about it?
A: We're not satisfied. The bottom line is that we still lost. We believe that we could have beat that team and we are not satisfiedjust because we only lost by a couple of points to a notable team in the country. We're going to work hard tomorrow at practice and the next day, until the game against Nebraska. We are going to play with everything for all 40 minutes.
Q: Can you talk about the mentality when you guys kept coming back to make it a game?
A: We fought throughout the game. You could see that we never thought we were out of the game. Everybody fought. Those guys came out for the whole 40 minutes.
Q: Did you want Colella to take the big-play three at the end of the game?
A: That was the play Coach drew up. There were a lot of options out of that play and Nick was one of them. Had I been there, I would have been the one shooting that three.
Indiana Coach Tom Crean Quotes
Opening Statement: The first thing that comes to my mind is if you don't practice hard, and you don't practice with toughness, you're not going to beat Penn State. They're going to beat teams; there's no question about it. The other night, that didn't look like a fluke to me. They play extremely hard. They battle. They go after it. He's (Coach Chambers) taken some good players that were here and made them a lot better. He took Tim Frazier - a guy that was one of the better point guards in our league at finding peoplewith his quickness and speed - and is making him a complete guard, a complete player. He's got Billy Oliver thinking he's Dirk Nowitzki, and you know what? He is. A big, big part of our game plan was to not let him get loose for threes and we did a pretty good job until late in the game. This is a hard earned victory. This is a tough league. It's the number one league in the country for a reason. When you've got Iowa playing the way that they did the first couple of weeks, Penn State, ourselves - these are all teams that were picked to be at the bottom of this league and that's attribute to how good this league is and how powerful it is. We knew that we were going to have to play at a very high level - this was going to be a 50/50 ball game, this was going to be a rebounding game, it was going to be a toughness game and they were and we were. I'm really proud of our players. Offensively, they moved the ball at a very high rate and we established that early. We did not want to become stagnant early. We wanted to attack and be aggressive and get a lot of ball movement early and we did. That continued throughout the game. Defensively, we did not want to allow Tim (Frazier) to pick us apart versus pressure but it's a lot easier said than done. He is one of the undervalued and underrated players national, I don't think in the Big Ten. I hope they're not underrating him, that's a mistake if they are. I think around the country he's one of the more underrated and undervalued guys, no question. As I said to our team, among many other things, the key for us is that commitment to tough practices, that commitment to execution, that commitment to having energy, but most importantly, that commitment to improvement. I think our team can continue to get better. I don't think we're playing great by any stretch. I don't think that's even in the cards. I think were a product of guys that play very hard. They are gettingtougher. They move the basketball. They have a team defense mindset. But at the same time, as you can see, there are a lot of things we need to improve upon. It's early January, and that's the good news. I think we can get better and in this league you're going to be tested every night without a doubt. If you're not getting better you are going to fall behind quickly. But that's our goal right now, to stay absolutely committed to the fundamentals that we need toimprove upon, the execution of our sets and defense that we need to improveupon, our ability to guard the ball. There are a couple areas that we really have to sure up - communication continues to be one of them. Not as much on the defensive end as the offensive end, especially late. We spend a lot of timeshooting free throws. The key for us is to get the ball in the hands of theguys that feel very confident and consistent. At the same time, there's really never anybody on your team you don't feel is going to have to make a shot or make a free throw down the road and that's got to be the mindset of our club and why we've got to continue to improve in that area as well.
Q: Did you see a Matt Roth performance like that coming?
A: The only thing that we wanted to do was find him early. That was a big thing to Verdell (Jones III) and Jordan (Hulls), when he's in, let's get him established early. Even if he's not shooting it, let's get it established where he's touching it. I thought Jordan and Verdell did an excellent job of this in the beginning and throughout the game, but so did Cody (Zeller) and Christian (Watford) with the ability to get the ball inside and then inside out was really strong. There were a lot of keys. They were trying to attack Cody and Christian and they did a really good job of that. This is a really physically strong as well as tough team. This isn't a team just is out there kind of flying around - they've got some real strength. They made it hard for us a couple times but that's where that extra pass was excellent. I think Jordan shooting the ball the way he did, it gets really hard to back off those guys. But I'm really happy for Matt. And I'm really happy for Jordan.
Q: You mentioned Jordan (Hills), he obviously had a difficult stretch with a couple turnovers...
A: I think he can't let mistakes compound. He's at a whole other level in his mindset with making free throws. When he misses one, it bothers him to put it mildly. He's got to be able to move on. Part of his command presence as a leader and a point guard on this team is just going to the next thing. Again our communication wasn't great and it's got to start with the guards. He's doing a lot of really good things for us. He can improve versus pressure and can improve some of his decision making against that pressure, but that's stuff that we'll watch on film, make corrections on and build on.
Q: You talked about the offensive communication, do you think that was impacted by the way that youguys shot inside the arc? Or was it Penn State's defense?
A: I think Penn State played great, there's no doubt about that. We've just got to do a better job of recognition in certain areas, especially in changing defenses and things like that and we will. They played a myriad of things and we practiced for them. I didn't feel like we weren't locked into that but it's just in the game communication. We played pretty well offensively, as good as they were defensively and as hard as they played, they made us earn it but our guys found the open man. That's easier said than done too. Especially with the length and the pressure that Penn State puts on. I'm being nitpicky a little with the communication, we're looking for a forty minute game and there were probably a couple minutes in there that left a little bit to be desired and that's what we're trying to get over.
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