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Jan. 26, 2011
Penn State vs. Iowa
Penn State Coach Ed DeChellis
Q: Guys said you weren't pleased with the first half...
A: Yeah, well we didn't rebound. Threw the ball away. We weren't aggressive offensively. We we were probably 180 the way we needed to come out of the locker room play after losing, so I thought the last three minutes of the first half were really important for us to play better. To take the lead physiologically- that was important. I thought the second half we played better.
Q: You seemed to play with more energy defensively in the second half.
A: Well, just our energy, or whatever you want to call it. They made a couple of tough shots, like the kid, 24, made a shot when the shot clock was running down and kind of ducked in and just chucked it and other guys' made shots, open shots, and we weren't guarding them. So, we got out of that and ran some zones, changed the tempo of the game, and I thought that was a little bit better for us. Then the second half we guarded them. I thought we did a much better job. I thought we had energy. We were moving our feet, knocking some balls around, and played better.
Q: You were down 11 midway through the first half and end up in the position where you had three offensive rebounds and then Brooks gets a three. Was reestablishing the tone and the energy the stuff you were looking for?
A:Well, yeah. We had three offensive rebounds, but it doesn't mean we need to shoot them. I said to the guys that you need a good shot, offensively rebound, shot fake, and gather go up. I mean there were three offensive rebounds but I'm not sure how many quality looks we got out there. You know Jeff makes a big shot. I just thought we did some things out of character. But we did have some spurts. You know I don't know if we would have won this game last year. The kids realized we didn't do we needed to do. But it's a win in the league and gets us to four and four. We're going to come back to work tomorrow and Friday and be ready to go on Saturday.
Q: What kind of game did Brooks have?
Well he was active. He made some big shots for us. He knocked down some big shots. Big rebounds. Blocks. I thought he was more active the second half. You know, we just have to get him going earlier. I don't think the first five, seven minutes he did a whole lot. We've got to figure out how to get him going earlier right from when we toss the ball up. But I thought he played well and I thought Bubby really played well. Those two guys really carried us. Made Shots. Fed off of each other. It was good fun to watch.
Q: How much different is this offense when you have two guys scoring twenty verses one guy scoring making all the shots?
A: Yeah, well it would be nice if we could get some other guys doing some stuff. You know it's a little easier when you're sharing a basketball and your making some perimeter shots. You know things flowed a little easier the second half. What did we score 36, 38? You know that was a little bit better. I thought we attacked the last five minutes of the game. We weren't playing like we were up six or eight. We were attacking the baskets. I thought the second half we were okay.
Q: Talor talked about the slow start, where you had to kind of find your own energy because there wasn't much in the crowd. You guys on the road normally play in hostile environments. Do you think these guys on the road our feeding off of the energy of the crowd?
A: Yeah, there's no question. These guys feed off the energy of the crowd. And when you walk out there and it's nuts you know you better be focused, or it could be a short night for you if you don't bring it. I think our kids really fed off the away crowds and the energy they have. I mean we played in- Ohio State was 18,509 and Purdue was packed. There was a synergy about us because the place was going nuts. And you know you better pull it together and do what you need to do or this game could get out of hand pretty quickly. You know you've got to make your own energy. You walk in a building that is not what it needs to be, you know you've got to make your own energy, and you got to get it done. You can't point and blame. It is what it is. You've got to go play and win the game..
Q: Every game is a must win, but coming back home with conference games running down, how much did you guys really need to have this game?
A: Well you know it was big for us. It was a trap game. You play really well on the road, you win some big games at home. And then you come in, and kids look at a team, they're 1-6 or something and were going to show up and were going to be okay. We know that really wasn't the case and we tried to emphasize that the last two days of practice. That Franny did a great job with the (Iowa) team, they played hard, they got some great guys who can score, and anytime you can play a team who can score, you know they put up 90, you have a problem. I'm proud of our kids. It's one we needed to have and they understood the importance of this thing.
Q: Saturday is a special day with Coaches vs Cancer Day. How special is that for you?
A: Well, you know it is a special day. We're going to band together, and I'm even going to walk out with a headband. I talked to coach Ryan, so he is starting to come around with that idea. It is National Coaches vs. Cancer Day, when we wear the suits and sneakers and with the headbands, hopefully we get a great crowd to help raise money. Sara, you went to Hershey with us there and saw first hand what other people are going through. It's just amazing to me that the fight and energy people have who are fighting cancer. It's amazing that the families can pull together and the support. We're trying in our small way to try to help financially and that's been our goal. You know we got beat by Purdue, and I felt miserable. I came home late and my wife is involved with the Coaches vs. Cancer and we had a lot of applications at the house for people wanting and needing money. She helps filtering those to the right people and getting checks to the right people. I'm reading some of these stories - I mean their just amazing stories. And here I was like an idiot, feeling sorry I lost the game and these people are in such a bigger fight. That's what I take. It's just about the fight. Hopefully we'll have a great crowd, so we can help raise some money.
Q: What got you guys going in the second half?
Brooks: Defense. In the first half we didn't defense a rebound to their seven offensive rebounds, that's always been our staple, defensive rebounds to put ourselves to have a chance to win the game. Coach came in and told us to contain the ball, and defensive rebounds and we'll be just fine. So we came out and made sure we did that and came out in the positive end.
Q: What kind of spark that run for you in the first half?
Battle: I think defense was the spark of that too. Jeff hit a couple of big shouts, the step back three, the step back jump shot, he gave us a little confidence and then some other guys started making some plays. We came out flat, we shouldn't be doing that, coach was talking to us about that. In the second half we came out with a little more grit. We really made a run.
Q: Jeff, you guys were down 21-10, and had three straight offensive rebounds, and you ended up with a three, how much of a momentum changer is that?
Brooks: That was a big play, I had my hands on the ball, slipped through me, then I finally got it and shot it, Andrew came back and got a tip in, Billy tipped it back out and the next thing you know I'm wide open in the corner and hit the three, it just made us feel like if we played a little bit harder we'll get the lead back and take over things on the defensive end. At first when we came back to the huddle after the first four minutes, we felt like we weren't playing hard enough, we knew we had to play harder than this to put ourselves in a better position.
Q: Why do you think you guys came out so flat?
Battle: We really don't know, coach asked us the same question and we didn't really have an answer but that's definitely something we cannot do Saturday. One thing that was said in the locker room was that we came out flat, shame on us, but the difference between last year and this year is that we were able to dig ourselves out and win the game.
Q: Jeff, six threes a game is a lot for you, were you just feeling good?
Brooks: I think they were definitely trying to keep me out of the lane, putting Jarryd Cole on me, a bigger stronger guy like him, I just felt like from the perimeter I would have a better chance of getting a shot off because they didn't want me to drive and once I started hitting a couple of jump shots I felt like I was on, and shot a little bit more and guys like Talor and Tim were telling me to shot it a little more and that's what I did. I think I had a better offensive night than I've had in a while at home.
Q: Coming into this game, with the games winding down, was it a must win?
Battle: Definitely a must win, every game we win is not really technically a must win, but we want to win every game. One of the major things you want to do is to protect the home court. We obviously lost one in the league, and we can't afford to lose anymore, we have to get some on the road. Every game we go into in our heads is a must win, we need this one, that's what we say and that's how we play and try to go get them.
Q: Do you guys feel when you guys play ranked opponents, you play on the same level and them you play Iowa, you guys let them dictate the pace?
Brooks: You kind of hate doing that, we feel like we should be playing on our own level. We should come in with our own level of confidence and we are going to bring it every night, whoever is out there. When you see us going down 21-10, people are trying to say that they were so hyped for Michigan State but now against Iowa, they can get the job done. I think we did a better job in the second half just playing our game and we ended up winning the game just for the simple fact that everybody played harder and gave a little bit more effort and made some basketball plays.
Q: Was the first ten minutes just a simple lack of intensity for you guys?
Battle: It was tough, I hate to say this but we had to bring our own energy and I think we really didn't do that. There weren't really many people in the building due to the weather, I hope. That's tough, believe it or not, but as seniors we should understand that and we didn't do it but that's done. The most impressive thing was that we battled back and still won this game by 14 points.
Q: Against Wisconsin, how much are you going to emphasize starting out strong?
Brooks: That's probably going to be one of the biggest keys, fight from the opening tip. Wisconsin's a great basketball team, were a good basketball team, it's going to be a great game. The biggest key is that we come out with energy and provide effort and everyone steps up and plays hard and we'll see what happens
Q: Talor, against Iowa, you've had some really good games but fell short the last couple of times out, is there any special motivation for playing them?
Battle: Not really. It was good. I actually spoke to Coach Fran and him coming from Siena, I know Fran very well, it was good to talk and play against him. I thought and kind of hoped that one day I would get to go back and play for Siena against him, so to play in here is a good thing and I was excited about that.
Q: Lots of turnovers and fouls in the first half, what do you think you guys need to shape up on for this weekend against Wisconsin?
Brooks: Coach said that plays like that comes down to our focus, and that's going to be a big key. We come out focused every play. I remembered one play I threw to Tim and it slipped through his hands and one play he threw the ball to me and I wasn't even looking at the ball. Those are the plays that we cannot have against a Wisconsin team, because they are going to take that to the other end and try to get a three or something. Plays like that we can't have, unforced turnovers, we cant have those at all on Saturday at all. I think coach is going to emphasize that and we are going to do a better job with that.
Q: Are there any techniques behind the blocks?
Battle: Yeah, I set those up, if you look! I kind of slide in and make a guy take a different kind of shot and Jeff cleaned it up. Brooks: You can attribute that to me just flying around out there. Basically, I'm just trying to be the energy guy on defense and sort of one of those guys that intimidate guys that try to shoot easy layups. All our guys in the league are crafty around the basket and I've just been a force out there just waiting for a shots to go up and I've been able to get my hands on balls. Those are the plays we need, those spark us on defense, it sparks me a lot too, then I'll just get ready for another one. I love it, I love catching those balls, Im not going to lie. Talor wish he could do it but it isn't for everybody!
Iowa Coach Fran McCaffrey Quotes:
Q: Coach, where did you see the change in this game from your control in the first half to Penn State's control in the second half?
Coach: I think it was the end of the first half with the 10-0 run, with most of those points coming off of second chance opportunities. This is a team that does a very good job of getting to the glass. When they struggle offensively, which they were early, they go back and get it. They give themselves second and third chances to keep the game close. In that instance, they took the lead. We have to give them credit for their energy and focus. In that stretch, they really battled on the glass and that changed the complexion of the game. In the second half, our defense wasn't what it needed to be, in particular, against (Talor) Battle and (Jeff) Brooks. For us, the disappointing thing is that those guys are having as good of a year as any guy in our league. We spent a lot of time talking about that prior to the game.
Q: You had a lot of empty possessions or quick shots. Why did you have those?
Coach: I didn't understand that, especially that we talked about that during timeouts. You're on the road, they're making a run, they got the lead back, we were still within 2 or 3 possessions. We want longer possessions, screen, cut, move, get angle. A couple times, Bryce (Cartwright) felt he needed to make a play, which he did in the first half. Then he was driving into traffic and still shooting the ball, he did that two or three times. A lot of guys had quick shots.
Q: How much tougher are they to defend with (Jeff) Brooks playing well?
Coach: He has really impressed me. I've watched him a number of times. He is playing with a lot of confidence and energy. Not a lot of guys with his length can go off the dribble and shoot threes like he can. His energy is always there, so he's on the glass, and he impacts the game in so many ways. When you have Battle and Brooks playing well, that takes the pressure off of (David) Jackson, (Andrew) Jones, and (Tim) Frazier. Every piece fits into that team. They are hard to defend in the style that they play.
Q: In the second half, Melshan (Basabe) was on the bench. Why?
Coach: He was breaking down defensively. We were trying to get it figured out for him and he was struggling. They run a lot of different stuff that requires quick decision-making. He was struggling and so we went with (Andrew) Brommer and (Jarryd) Cole. They were in a better position to be successful. We got a few stops with those guys.
Q: Was there anything that Penn State was doing on Cartwright?
Coach: No, they played a matchup zone in the second half, with a lot of switching. They were backed off in the first half, playing man. We just didn't get going in the second half.