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Jan. 19, 2013
Penn State Men's Basketball
Penn State vs. Nebraska
Jan. 19, 2013
Penn State Head Coach Patrick Chambers
Q: You talk a little bit about keeping the team morale up. How do you continue to do that after a devastating loss like this moving forward?
A: I always say devastating is a strong word. I would just say there are still a lot of games and practices left. It's a long season. We are on a marathon. We just need to come back Monday, prepare, get better and work on our fundamentals and habits. There's progress. I don't know if you guys see it, but I see progress with certain players. But we need to continue that progress. They can't feel sorry for themselves because no one else feels sorry for us. We just need to keep going out and working.
Q: With Indiana and Ohio State coming up, how important is it for your team to remain confident in their ability?
A: Look, confidence is huge. It's great that we're playing Indiana next and Ohio State. I'm worried about us. I'm worried about where we are as a team and where we need to get to. We need to be the best team we can be by the end of the year. I'm not sure what that means. It that one win, two wins or zero wins? I don't know. But as long I see progress and see us get a little better each day, then that's the best team we can be.
Q: You've talked about guys leading in practice, but you've also mentioned that you spend a lot of time in huddles pumping these guys up. Is there any leadership that you're missing from your players?
A: No, they're doing the best that they can. They really are. We've put them in a difficult situation and they're all doing the best they can. They come in and they lift, have great attitudes and want to get better. For their sake, I want to see them succeed. I want to see them have success on the floor. And that's only a matter of time.
Q: Is there a concern that sooner or later, when the losses keep mounting that they are going to lose the motivation?
A: That's part of being a coach. That's my job. It's my job to keep them motivated, to come up with different things to keep them forging ahead. And we will do that.
Q: Where does the confidence of the team go on defense and how can that be fixed?
A: Missing shots, turning the ball over. With 18-23 year-olds that's what happens now. It's with this generation. If you miss a few shots, you can't worry about it, especially because we have attitude club and game goals, things that have substance and can help you make an impact on the game. But you're playing freshmen and sophomores, so guys who really haven't played much. We have to keep on that path and tell them to focus on that stuff. Don't focus on missing shots or turning the ball over, focus on attitude club and game goals as how you can help the team win.
Q: Would you say that it wasn't just free throws, but that you didn't play hard enough the whole game?
A: Absolutely. We didn't play hard in the first 20 minutes, I was shocked. Absolutely shocked. We had two great practices and a short shoot around this morning. We were in a good place, good energy. We just came out and I don't know. I felt like they played tight and that they felt pressure. We created an environment of being loose, being confident. I've been saying all year long that you put people in the stands, cameras on and things change a little bit.
Q: You're the leading free throw shooting team in the conference heading into today. Obviously, that didn't go the way you would like it. Can you talk about that?
A: We didn't deserve to win. I'm just being truthful. You have to play 40 minutes in this league. You have to play Big Ten basketball and play hard. We had our chance and we didn't convert and didn't get it done. But if you play harder in the first 20 minutes, harder in the first 5 minutes of the second half, well than yeah, I would say we deserve it. But Nebraska played great. Tim (Miles) does a good job. (Shavon) Shields was unbelievable. Brandon Ubel was out for the last couple of games and kept it together. He was a huge force versus us today. He shot 16-of-16 from the foul line. We were 15-of-24. You have to shoot a high clip because getting to the foul line is difficult in this league. When you get there you have to convert.
Q: How much in practice do you guys practice end of the game scenario foul shooting?
A: All the time. And sometimes it doesn't go your way. You know, look, I'm proud of the way they competed and finished that game. We got some steals and hit big shots, but if you can't get stops and rebounds then it's going to be a tough game.
Q: I can't see you from up top, but body language-wise I don't know what I am reading. When you make a run and then Nebraska comes back, what are you seeing in their faces?
A: You see a shocked team who can't believe this is happening because things are a lot different in practice than when you play in a game. I think they are a little surprised and then you just got to build them up. Half of my huddles are about pumping them up and motivating them to keep going and pushing them and driving them. I wish there were more X's and O's.
Q: How much of a missed opportunity was this given where your next few games are?
A: I don't think that this was a missed opportunity. Like I said, we didn't deserve to win. Nebraska came in here and played harder, they executed well. Their team played together and they took care of the ball for the most part. The kid (Shields) had 29 points. Twenty-nine. At some point you have to take pride in stopping somebody. We had everybody, you name it, they covered him. But he just plays hard and he plays aggressive. I'm not even sure how many plays they run for him. He just gets it done. Clear your head. No distractions. Understands his role. End of Nebraska basketball. Twenty-nine points.
Q: This game was kind of the opposite of Michigan State. Jermaine (Marshall) and D.J. (Newbill) took over against Michigan State and you didn't get much from anybody else. This game, other guys stepped up. Jermaine and D.J., tougher game. Defense stepped up. Can you talk about this?
A: Look, we just need production from other guys. D.J. and Jermaine are trying to do everything and they are playing the best guys on the other team. So you have to score 20 and then you have to defend the best guy on the other team. We need Brandon (Taylor) to be a sophomore and we need Sasa (Borovnjak) to be a 23 year old senior. That's what we need. Whoever comes in off of the bench needs to get it done with energy with enthusiasm. They need to bring spark.
#2 D.J. Newbill
Q: Can you just talk about the way the game ended? Knowing you were so close.
A:We missed five free throws when we needed them. We just need to execute. But it didn't just come down to the free throws, we need to play harder the whole game. They played harder and that's why they won. That's what happens.
Q: You guys looked like you came out with a lot of confidence, but it seemed to fluctuate throughout the game. What's your sense of the confidence level of this team?
A: On the offensive end it's very high; guys have been working on their shots. We move the ball and offense is great. But we need to work on getting it done on the defensive end.
Q: They really took away the driving lanes on you guys today and forced you to shoot jump shots. Did that stifle your offense at all?
A: No, we have shooters. We are a good enough team to go to other options. But they did do a good job of clogging the lanes up.
Q: It's your first season playing in the Big Ten, what is that like?
A: We're playing against some of the best teams, Hall of Fame coaches, and every night's a battle. There are no nights off in the Big Ten. It just shows us how much harder we have to work. It takes heart to be in this league.
#10 Brandon Taylor
Q: Brandon you had a really strong first half with D.J. (Newbill) on the bench, what do you think you have to do to stay more involved throughout the game?
A: I need to learn how to move up with the ball since I'm not a point guard. I need to do a better job in the post because I can play inside and out.
Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles
Q: Have you ever seen a call like that before?
A: No. Nope I've never seen a call like that.
Q: What was the call?
A: Flagrant One or flagrant whatever number. I thought there was contact on the pivot before you just call the first foul, but it's tough. Everybody's in a tough spot in that situation. Now I got a bad interpret. I was told it was a point of interruption so it was supposed to be our ball breaking the press and that's not the interpretation, apparently. I don't know. I'm going to tell you right now I don't know. That's a new one and I'll be an expert by the end of the day.
Q: Speaking of foul shots, you guys were perfect at the line and it really counted down the stretch. How much did free throw shooting help?
A: Well free throw shooting is for us a mental toughness. You know it's just about doing the same thing. It's like a golf swing, it's a skill. You know nobody's guarding you. It's just you and yourself doing the same thing over and over so you have to stick to your routine. Shavon (Shields) hit some big ones and Brandon (Ubel) hit some big ones.
Q: Coach, can you just talk about Shavon's performance today?
A: We almost had a triple double; I just informed him he had six turnovers too. I got to keep those freshmen aligned and he's been tremendous the last two games. He just keeps getting better and better. I think I told him the other day that there's no ceiling here, there's no ceiling. Don't just be happy with 18 or whatever it might be because the skies the limit. Just keep playing and expand your game. You got a great opportunity here to build this program right with us and he's got a chance to be a really, really good player. Tonight was critical and he was huge. I think he's just going to get better and get better.
Q: Defensively, you did a very good job against (D.J.) Newbill and (Jermaine) Marshall. How did you do that?
A: We had too. That was the key to the game, you know. The first thing was getting those two, cutting the head off the monster, screen and role defense and than box out and rebound. I thought that we did a nice job of not letting those guys get a head of steam. They're so physical, they're great at going in and kind of seeking contact and bouncing you off and scoring the ball. They're really strong guys. That backcourt with (Tim) Frazier next year is going to be really good.
Q: Coach, can you talk about your team's ability to withstand Penn State runs?There were some big runs at you. You guys always seem to come back and make another run of your own.
A: Yeah, I was curious to see how that was going to work out too. I thought the guys just always composed themselves and I didn't feel it was necessary to call timeouts and shepherd them through it. They just kind of handled it on their own, whether it was just a big strong play, driving the ball. Ray Gallegos hit a three, a very important three one time. We just did a good job and than Benny Parker, the freshman, did a good job. We had that one stretch where I think we had like two or three raids with Gallegos and (Dylan) Talley and Benny Parker where we got some turnovers. That was a critical part of the game.