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Jan. 8, 2014
Minnesota 68, Penn State 65
January 8, 2014
Bryce Jordan Center
Patrick Chambers, Penn State head coach
Q: Can you explain the confusion over whether that was Tim’s [Frazier] fourth or fifth foul?
A: Yeah, we thought it was on Allen Roberts, to be honest. We thought that he came up and shoved 11, but obviously he didn’t. That’s our job and we have to do a better job. That’s on me. I have to go to the scorer’s table, “Who’s that foul on?” It’s that simple. I looked up. I saw three on the scoreboard. You can’t trust the scoreboard, maybe they didn’t put it up right away. You have to know, but it’s not a smart foul anyway. He has to be smarter and as a team we need to be smarter. [D.J.] Newbill’s got to be smarter. It’s just upsetting. Play hard, play smart, play hard without fouling, it’s that simple and we just can’t grasp it. We can’t get the concept down. Thirty-four free throws at home. That’s incredible.
Q: You guys hit 80 percent from the line in the first half and 43 percent in the second half. Were guys just tensing up or wanting it too much?
A: I would probably say, yeah. Instead of just doing their routine and doing what we did in the first half, exhaling and shoot your rhythm shots, which you always do every day in practice. We practice end of game situations. We’ve been there before. Frazier’s been there before, [Ross] Travis has been there before. We have to make free throws.
Q: Geno [Thorpe] was in the starting lineup for the first time this season. What have you seen from him?
A: We needed some toughness. He’s a tough kid and he showed that today. He was tough, he plays great defense and he’s fearless. That’s what I was looking for and he brought it. I thought our defense was really, really good for about 37 minutes and then the wheels came off. Everyone’s trying to make hero plays instead of habits, foundation, do what you’re taught, do what we do in practice and, obviously, we didn’t do that at the end and they did.
Q: You guys went seven minutes without scoring a bucket. Was that part of the adjustment of a new starting lineup or was it what Minnesota was doing?
A: Probably a combination of both. A new starting lineup and Minnesota plays very good defense, they change their defenses up a lot. We have to take open shots when they’re there. We’re squeezing the air out of the ball. We need to relax, we need to exhale, take the open shots that you have and shoot it with confidence. We talk about confidence all the time on the offensive end. You’re only coming out for defensive effort and rebounding.
Q: You’ve been in three games where it’s close at halftime. How do you make sure this doesn’t get too far away?
A: We’re doing everything we possibly can to learn how to finish games. It’s in their hands now. They have to make the plays down the stretch. They have to want to put themselves on the foul line, they have to shoot with confidence, they have to play good defense, get stops and get rebounds. That offensive rebound with about a minute and change to go was huge. We just need to do the little things and we did it for a good majority of the game. Then we have to finish it and we didn’t finish it.
Tim Frazier, graduate guard
Q: There seemed to be some confusion when you picked up your fifth foul, did you think you didn’t have five or was it just a matter of what that play was?
That’s all on me. It’s nobody else’s fault. I should have played smarter, even if that was my fourth or my fifth. It was not a smart foul by me, that’s all on me.
Q: What was it like watching the final minute of the game, a close game like that on the bench, especially with D.J. [Newbill] beside you on the bench?
Frustrating, obviously you want to be out there and be able to compete with your teammates especially if it’s you competing with them the first thirty-eight. It’s definitely hard, it’s tough. You know, I don’t want to be put in that situation again.
Q: What do you think you guys need to do? You had a five point lead at half and the other home game against Michigan State last week you guys had the lead at half. What do you think you guys need to do to close these types of games out?
That’s simple, keep working. Keep trying. We have to play full 40 minutes of Penn State basketball. Keep doing the things we did in the first half, translate them over to the second half and finish the game. A lot of that is on myself, as far as being a fifth year senior, being able to control the game, control the outcome, and make solid plays getting everybody where they need to be.
Brandon Taylor, sophomore forward
Q: What was Coach Chambers’ message with your final time out without Tim or DJ on the floor? You’re not in that situation barely ever, especially like a close contest like this – what was his message, what were you guys trying to do in the final 90 seconds?
He just said he knew we could do it. We practice it, we run it 1,000 times. He was just saying he knew we could do it, he had confidence in us. He just wanted us to get out there and get it done.
Q: You did seem to get a couple good looks, not you particularly, but as a team. What did it mean to actually get those looks even if two of your “star” guys weren’t out there?
There are going to be situations where Tim and D.J. might not be on the floor. We, just as role players, have to step up and take those shots and do the little things that can get the W.
Q: Did you think about shooting when you got the rebound with less than 10 seconds? You kicked it to Alan.
I didn’t want to do a turnaround three-pointer that would’ve been a bad shot. So I was just getting it to one of our guys to see if they could make a shot.
Richard Pitino, Minnesota head coach
We found a way to get a win, which is huge on the road versus a team we really respect - especially a really good offensive basketball team. Not a whole lot was going right for us and we just found a way towards the end. Austin Hollins got a big steal, DeAndre Mathieu had a big steal and Malik Smith hit some big time free throws. We will learn from it. Obviously, there was some good and some bad and you always want to learn from winning. Which we will certainly do, we'll learn from it.
Q. How much do you think your team can feel it when Austin [Hollins] and Andre [Hollins] maybe get off to a slow start?
A. I thought more than anything in the first half it was Deandre [Mathieu] that was affecting. He was 0-6 in the first half. His body language was bad, he was getting very frustrated and you could see it. It was visible and we need him it's not just Andre and Austin Hollins. DeAndre is a really good player in this league as well. So, I think he kind of figured it out in the second half and was mentally more focused and made some big plays down the stretch.
Q. Did you think the team in general was playing a little bit frustrated offensively? Especially when Penn State went on the big run in the first half?
A. Yeah, we started the game really well. We played very, very well. I think we were up 10 in the first seven minutes and then they made a comeback and then things weren't coming easy for us. Maybe it's just a product of starting a season two games at home. Not sure what it was but we found a way to get a win, which is all that matters.
Q. What did you tell the guys after the game in the locker room?
A. I just said, you know what guys nothing was going right for us, especially offensively. They were making losing plays like not blocking out, turning the ball over and doing a lot of silly things. But, you found a way to win and there's something to be said for that. In this league, you've got to enjoy every single league win, especially on the road. It was not pretty but in the end we are now 2-1 in the league. That's all that counts. Now, we have to get better from this film and refocus for Michigan state.