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Feb. 13, 2011
Penn State vs. Northwestern
Penn State Head Coach Ed DeChellis
Q: How much does this help to give confidence back to these guys? Not just the win, but how they won?
DeChellis: I thought it was important. I talked to them for two days that this is a game you have to have. There are games on your schedule you point to that you say you have to have. Especially when you stub your toe like we have done the last three games, you have to come back and get a win. I thought they did that. I thought defensively we were pretty good tonight. I think we did a good job challenging their three-point shooters and making them do other things other than shoot threes.
Q: Seems like the ball movement was pretty good tonight.
DeChellis: Second half was pretty good. They defensively switch a lot of screens so you try to simplify things and we just went to a passing game. Pass, cut, swing it, swing it and drive it. I thought we could get some stuff and we got some easy baskets second half, which was important. I thought we shared the ball. First half, we were really stagnant. But, I thought we got the flow the second half and got a cushion and it was a little easier.
Q: There was a lot of focus on Talor Battle getting 2,000 points, but there were four guys in doubles. How important is that team effort?
DeChellis: We had four guys in double figures and he made some big threes. They went to the 1-3-1. He knocked down a couple big threes right in a row. But, I thought he was good overall. I thought he was very good. Just under control and taking good shots. Settling the offense, driving, making plays, and scoring the ball. I thought defensively, he was good. I thought he was really good defensively, as well. It was a big honor for him to score 2,000 points. Not many guys have done that in their careers and he is a special player.
Q: What was working there defensively, holding Northwestern to 2-21 from the three-point line?
DeChellis: We really pushed out. But they missed some open shots. Our focus was to try to take away the three and make them try to beat us with twos. I don't know if they make enough twos to beat you. Maybe they want to make layups and shoot threes, we thought we would take the threes away. I thought our guys did a good job with that. Kurt (Kanaskie) did a good job with the scout again. Our kids have some confidence playing Northwestern for some reason. I don't have the answer, but we have always seemed to be able to win the game against them. Someone told me they haven't won here since 2002, maybe. I don't know if that stat is true or not, but someone said they haven't won since 2002. We have beaten them a few times and had some confidence.
Q: They had those couple easy layups to start the game and really nothing after that...
DeChellis: Well we had Jeff Brooks, he didn't get it early what we were trying to do. Once we got him straightened out at a time-out, then we took those things away. He was trailing a guy instead of coming up the middle defensively. He was giving him the back cut, and I said what do you want to do? He wanted to back cut and he wasn't coming off to shoot. Once we got his body between his guy and the basket, he was fine.
Q: How do you think Jeff Brooks did coming back?
DeChellis: Jeff was solid. I think he got a little winded we had to get him out a little more tonight. He wanted to make a couple open shots in the perimeter he usually makes. He was a little upset with himself for that. But I thought it was a good effort overall from everybody tonight.
Q: Talor did you know you passed 2,000 after you hit that three?
A (Battle): Well Brian kept telling me that I was close, so I had a pretty good idea that I was close. People were telling me before the game good luck. They re-announced it after we won the game and it was pretty special, but the most important thing here was to win the game, and we were able to do so.
Q: When they announced it, did you look at the crowd to see what they were doing?
A (Battle): I kind of put my hand in the air just to say thank you, but it was in the middle of the game. It was similar to high school except in high school they stop the clock and do the little things. So I just put my hands up in thanks, but that's pretty much it.
Q: Talor what does it mean- you mentioned about winning the game- you had four guys in double digits and you get to the milestone that you had. That's pretty impressive.
A (Battle): It's great reaching the 2,000 mark, but more importantly, what made it more special, was we played so well. We had a couple of guys step up. We played really well.
Q: Jeff you have played with Talor all four years, can you talk about what it means for Talor to get to that mark.
A (Brooks): You know it's big. I'm so happy for him. You know he came in ever since he was a freshman and just made big plays, and really took it to the max every day. So congratulations, Talor. That's a great milestone to have being in college. I know he's going to keep it rolling. He's not going to stop wherever he's at, so we'll see where he ends up at the end of our season.
Q: How did you feel to get back onto the starting lineup and how anxious did you feel.
A (Brooks): I felt very anxious. I think that was the flow of the game for me. I was just a little too excited to finally be back there. I didn't shoot the ball too well today. I felt that I was rushing shots just because I wanted to get my shoulder back into play. But it felt good. It felt good to get back out there, play defense, and win a big game.
Q: I see that's all wrapped up. How does it feel?
A (Brooks): It feels good. I'm icing it down today. Then tomorrow I'm coming back to do two different sessions of rehab and things like that. But, it's feeling well.
Q: When you're playing do you feel any pain?
A (Brooks): Not at all. Because of the brace that I'm wearing and the adrenaline, you don't feel too much of anything. I tried not to think about it, and just keep playing, and giving effort on every play.
Q: What were the practices after the two big losses to prepare for this game?
A (Battle): They were spirited. We knew that we really had to win some games and this was most important because it was our next game at home. So we really needed to come out with a lot of energy and I think we did that. We needed to defend and rebound. Michigan State came out and crushed us on the drives. They were more physical. They had more energy. That's what coach spoke about- coming out and doing what Michigan State did to us. I think we did a pretty good job, starting the second half, doing that.
Northwestern Coach Bill Carmody Quotes
Carmody: We've been able to survive this year because we've shot the ball pretty well. We usually make nine or ten 3 pointers a game. We haven't had much of an inside game all year. Tonight was a night that we couldn't make a shot and they [Penn State] had something to do with that - with our misses, no doubt. We still didn't get any production on the inside and it could be offset because we didn't get any shots. I thought our defense was actually pretty good in the first half - not bad. But when you're down and things aren't going well, it's just really hard to get back. Again, we're basically a perimeter team and we just couldn't knock them down today.
Q: Battle made some history today. Where do you think he stands in terms of being the quality player that he is?
Carmody: I think he's a heck of a player. I think that he's the quickest guy when we're going to scatter. He gets separation from his guy. I would say his ability to separate from a defender is better than anybody's in the conference. When he's coming off the screen, you're with him and then all of a sudden he's five feet away from you. He's a very craft kid and just a really nice player. Penn State's a veteran team. There's four seniors starting and they've been through a lot of stuff. They're not going to beat themselves for the most part.
Q: Is there anything in particular that they [Penn State] were able to do to affect Northwestern's offense?
Carmody: I don't know. I think in the first half, [Michael] Thompson had a couple of shots when the clock was going down. They weren't the greatest shots, but he had to take them. It seemed like most of the other shots were what we'd normally hit. Guys were open and feet were set, but we didn't knock them down. What happened to us tonight hasn't happened all year so you've got to give them [Penn State] credit. They were doing something. We also missed some layups early in the game. Our centers missed a couple of easy ones. But with the next shots, you become a little tighter. The human element is a part of this ball game. They [Penn State] did a really nice job on us.