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Jan. 15, 2012
Penn State Head Coach Patrick Chambers
Q: What's the trick to getting consistency?
A: Seniors, juniors, more juniors. I have to do a better job. I'm disappointed with our effort and that's on me. I have to do a better job getting these guys ready to play. I feel like we looked like we're in slow motion out there. This just wasn't the same Penn State basketball team that competed against Nebraska, competed against Indiana, competed against Purdue. Maybe I'm asking too much. Maybe I'm getting a little greedy. That's on me. Somehow and some way we have to get back to our roots and our habits. Again, I have to do a better job.
Q: You're getting in practice, right?
A: No question. But somehow I have to come up with better ways to motivate, to relax guys, to have guys play with confidence. That's all I say during huddles. That's all I say on the bench, for the most part. Play with great confidence, fearless. You got a shot, take it.
Q: Did the pace of the game, with all the whistles, affect the team?
A: I teach them all the time, that's what attitude is about. You can't let officiating or missing shots dictate your effort. I'll watch the film, but you can't let the refs whistle bother how you play. That's just immaturity. And I always tell them, `sometimes it feels like a road game when you're at home. You have to understand that, the other team's playing harder. When the other team's playing harder, the refs see that. They might get the whistle.' I'm not saying that's what happened, but they might. So, we just have to do a better job of with our attitude and staying positive, keep playing hard, defend, rebound, and compete. We didn't do that tonight. And I give Minnesota a ton of credit. Tubby (Smith) did a phenomenal job. He did a great job at Indiana. He comes in here, we knew it was a hot team. They're playing with some great confidence. They played Minnesota basketball better than weplayed Penn State Basketball.
Q: Tim (Frazier, 23) and Cam (Cammeron Woodyard, 24) were saying that if you guys play forty minutes of Penn State Basketball in a game, you're going to win. Where in the game do you think you're not getting the full forty minutes?
A: When we miss shots, everybody puts their head down, the body language. Then there are missedassignments on the other end. I feel like its déjà vu, 17 turnovers, 17! They still shoot in the fifties? So you're either turning them over or they're scoring, and you're not taking advantage of those turnovers. Something's got to give here. Something's got to give. And again, we are working tirelessly on our defense, jumping on the ball, doing all the little things, its just not coming into the game and I've got to figure out why. It lands on me, not the players. I've got to somehow figure out a way to get them to compete the way we compete in practice.
Q: A couple of flagrant fouls, is that just another example of immaturity?
A: Playing hard but reckless. Those were pivotal points in the game. I talked to Mike, he said it was just overly aggressive. I talked to Brian about the elbow, and again I talked to Mike, and that's what they saw. They made a right call. We've got to be smarter. The refs had nothing to do with this game, it was all about us and it is about us every time we come out. We've got to do a better job.
Penn State Player Quotes
Q: Cam, did you feel like you had to pick it up when Jermaine [Marshall] came out kind of cold in the first half?
A: When Coach [Chambers] put me in the game, I just went in and played ball. I took up the defensive game. Tim [Frazier] did a great job of finding me and he did not look away from me. He continued to give me the ball.
Q: Did the amount of foul calls make it hard to get into a shooting rhythm?
Cammeron: Not really. You do not pay muchattention when you are out there playing hard. The referees are a part of the game. We have to adapt to how they call the game. That is all in the flow of the game.
Q: Cam, did you find Minnesota's height to be a problem defensively?
A: Notmuch. You see that all the time. They were a little bit lengthier, but I try not to think about that. I just try to keep it away from my head and keep a clear head.
Q: Did the foul calling impact the team's tenacity?
Tim: I do not know if it impacts a lot. As Cam [Woodyard] said, the refs are a part of the game. Those fouls are being called and you have to keep playing a full game of 40 minutes.
Q: Tim, what does the team need to do better defensively?
A: Defensively, we just need to play our game. We have to get some stops, some crucial rebounds and hold our own. You could see a lot of spurts out there where we did not play Penn State basketball. We really have to do that for 40 minutes for us to win.
Q: Looking forward, what does the team needto do to beat Illinois?
Tim: Just be us and play Penn State basketball for 40 minutes. I am sorry I keep repeating that, but that is just what it is. If we play a full game of 40 minutes of Penn State scrappy ball, then I do not think anyone can beat us.
Q: Cam, what did Tim say in the huddle in the beginning of the second half?
A: Once again, sorry to keep repeating it, but we just need to play Penn State basketball. That is what we are. We have to stick to our identity. We have to play hard on defense and we were not doing that. When Tim got everyone in the huddle, he was being a leader and telling everyone the truth. He said we needed to play harder on defense.
Q: Tim, what do you think the issue is withthese last few games?
A: I could not tell you. We play completely different in practice. Sometimes you see spurts of us playing all out, 40 minutes and we just need to get a completegame. I think that is our whole problem, getting a complete game from everyone, playing 40 minutes. It does not really have to do with scoring and doing all that. It is all about doing the little things and playing Penn State basketball where we focus onattitude - what we put our hearts on.
Q: Tim, you seem frustrated. Is the frustration getting to you?
A: I do not know. I really wanted to win. We all wanted to win that game and the outcome was not what I like or what anyone else likes. I am kind of frustrated about that, but I know that I stick with my team no matter what. We are going to have to get ready, watch film tomorrow and get ready for the next game.
Q: Cam, how did your hamstring feel today?
A: It goes in and out, but that is a part of it. You have to fight through pain. I will treat it tomorrow.
Q: So it is not 100 percent?
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
Do you think as the season goes on that Joe (Coleman, 11) is just feeling really confident and that is what you're seeing on the court?
Yeah, well he has played that way from day one. He's just such a hard worker, such a committed player, that you knew he was just going to eventually blossom and now he's making free throws and the more he makes the more confidence he gets and the more confidence we have in him, and I think the team as well. He's just a relentless and hard-nosed kid and that's what we needed, we needed that type of toughness and he brings that every day in practice. It's been a big key to the way we've played lately. His energy and enthusiasm has helped.
Did you think it would happen this soon for him?
Yeah, I think we have people in positions that we have some veteran ball players, some sophomores that are getting better and playing in front of him. We had Maverick (Ahanmisi, 13) at the point, so we made that change. We had Austin (Hollins, 20), and so we inserted him in the lineup and I think it gave Austin some confidence too, and he's played very well since that time and the one guy that was taking a lot of it was Maverick, but he's done a solid job as well, but we still have to get better ball handling. I thought today we were shaky with the ball handling, 17 turnovers, that hurt us when you look at our point, Julian (Welch, 00) with four turnovers, Joe (Coleman) with four, this was a tough day in our back court.
How big is it for a guy like Joe (Coleman) whose got a lot of family background with the Gopher's, to be able to play like this his first year and step out of their shadow a little bit?
Well he's been trained properly, coming out of that program at Hopkin's, Novak's players always come. He's won three state championships right out of high school, so he knows how to compete. He's a winner and he learned a lot from his brother. I think it helps having that. I remember when his brother used to bring him to practice with him and they'd be in the gym at six am before practice would even start and he was just a ninth grader at the time and here he is now. He's been preparing for this opportunity and this chance and he's embraced it. He doesn't fear failure or success he's just what you want in a player. He's committed, the first guy in the gym, he's the last guy to leave, he's always willing to do whatever we ask him to do and he's a team player.
The win against Indiana, a lot of emotion there, a big win and then the way that your team started the game, the energy just lacking a little bit and then did they have Coleman help bring that energy back just a little bit?
Well they were playing pretty good, Penn State's a very good team. Tim (Frazier, 23) was having a great day, he's a very talented player, Tim Frazier, and I thought Cameron Woodyard stepped up and knocked down threes. I don't think it was so much us not having energy as much as they're in their home court, they're playing hard and they're playing well. We've got to play smarter that we did, as I said before we've got to be tougher with the turnovers and taking care of the ball, doing a better job there because Penn State is a good team, and when they get after you defensively and pressure you and they've got quickness and they're very aggressive so you have to fight through it and I thought our guys did that.