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Feb. 15, 2013
Penn State Men's Basketball
Penn State vs. Iowa
Feb. 14, 2013
Head Coach Chambers
Q: Coach, obviously it was a great atmosphere tonight. Could you talk a little about how important that was to have a little more of a home-court advantage?
A: The students were great and the rest of the fans were great. That was the loudest I've ever heard that place. We can have a home-court advantage. It can be done. It's unfortunate that we didn't come out with a win, but the atmosphere was definitely amazing. It was really special to see.
Q: You got yourself into position to win, but just couldn't make the play. How frustrating was it?
A: You know what, I was proud of the guys to get themselves in the position to make shots and make plays. I wouldn't say it's frustrating. Like I've told you, we're close. Iowa's a very good team playing some of the better basketball in this conference right now. They play great on the road and I give them a lot of credit for hanging on there. They made free throws and timely plays. We need to do that and make those winning types of plays. Seventy-four points is too much to give up at home. We need to make some stops and free throws when it counts. I was proud of the way the kids competed.
Q: Coach, you talked about those game winning plays. Could you talk about that huge block that D.J. Newbill had in the first half?
A: That's Penn State basketball right there. I know exactly what you're talking about. He fell after the missed layup, came sprinting down the court, didn't give up on the play and made the block in the corner. That's Penn State basketball. I know we're struggling right now, but that's what you're going to see until the end of this year and as long as I'm the coach. We're going to play with that type of energy, that type of intensity every night. Our time is coming. The ball will bounce our way and the shots will fall eventually.
Q: D.J. scored 26 points and shot phenomenally from the field. Thoughts?
A: I knew he had it in him. He just didn't trust his jumper. Tonight, he was hitting his mid-range jumper and that opened things up. He's working real hard at it. He's in the gym constantly working on his jump shot, his three-point shot and all the moves that you see. He was a great leader tonight. It wasn't about the points. It was about the hustle plays and his perseverance and that's how we got back into the game.
Q: At one point you had three walk-ons on the court. Could you talk about the productivity you're getting out of them?
A: Those kids are amazing, aren't they? They're pit bulls and they know no fear. They battled in front of a great crowd of 8,000, which is pretty good considering it's 9 p.m. on a Thursday right before THON. Kevin (Montminy) and (Alan Wisniewski) played Penn State basketball. They called timeouts and made big three-pointers. They were in the positive and brought our energy and intensity up. Usually the bench guys are nervous, but they were fearless.
Q: Penn State cut a 12-point lead down to two points in the last four minutes. A lot of teams in that situation might fold-up at that point. What do you think that says about the guys in your locker room?
A: It says they're resilient, they care and they want to win. They're learning about adversity and learning about challenges. We had a lot of great, upbeat huddles about keeping up the intensity. I felt like they responded to me and to each other.
Q: Take us through the free throw at the end of the game.
A: Coach told me to make the first one and I tried to push the second one long and it went long, but it went in. I was supposed to miss it, but I made it.
Q: Despite the loss is there anything you can take from this game?
A: I think our intensity. We should take that moving forward every game. I think we did a good job bringing it from the start to the finish. We were in a little scoring slump in the second half, but we still kept our intensity on defense and we still kept fighting. I think we competed for 40 minutes and that's something coach has been preaching to us. No matter the wins or losses, just keep competing. I think those are positives coming out of this game.
Q: Was that free throw at the end almost symbolic of the way the season's been?
A: Not necessarily. We have our ups and downs, and right now we hit a low. We just need to hang tough and I think we're going to keep a great attitude and we're going to keep pushing. Like coach preaches in the locker room, we have to keep pushing. Tomorrow's a new day. We need to come in with the same intensity we had in that game and bring it to practice tomorrow and get better. I don't really want to say that's the way our season's gone, but we just have to push through.
Q: Can you talk about your play tonight?
A: I was just playing with confidence, you know just playing basketball. Just playing hard and giving it up for my teammates. I was just fighting and trying to get a win.
Q: How big are those momentum plays like the alley-oop when you're trying to get the fans in it?
A: I think it's big because it gives us a little home court advantage, get the crowd going, get our team hyped up. We just have to keep playing.
Q: How frustrating is it when you get right there to get it done, but just can't get over the hump?
A: It's very frustrating because we understand how hard we work and feel like we deserve to make those winning plays. We feel like we had the game, we maybe just needed a little more time on the clock.
Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffery
Q: You've had a lot of games in which you let the game slip away at the end. How proud were you of your team down the stretch?
A: Phenomenally proud. Like you said, we've had a number of tough games that we were unable to close. We didn't play perfect down the stretch tonight, but we were able to make enough free throws, plays and enough stops to beat a team that is going to fight you like no other team. We knew that was going to happen because it happens every game. When the Penn State guys start making shots, now they are a handful. I thought we did a real good job on the glass. I am thrilled with the victory.
Q: Can you talk about Devyn Marble's performance tonight?
A: He was in a little bit of a slump, but it was only a matter of time. He is too good of a player. Like I said, I want to keep going to him, especially down the stretch. He had a couple of free throws, couple of buckets. He did have one turnover, but that happens because Penn State is a good defensive team.
Q: Did you sense your team was playing in crunch time not to lose, rather than go out and win the game?
A: No, I thought Eric May's drive was a big time play. He short-armed it a little bit, but we kept getting to rim, kept getting shots and they were doing the same. We just got the extra stop that we needed.
Q: You have been here a couple of times. Is this the best atmosphere that you ever played at Penn State?
A: The first year we came in here that was an NCAA tournament team. That was a great atmosphere. I also thought we had a great atmosphere last year, as well. We got down 14, then cut it to two, and they beat us. I didn't notice a difference. I have been equally impressed all three times.
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