Feb. 17, 2011
Penn State vs. Minnesota
February 17, 2011
Penn State Coach Quotes
Q: Can you talk a little bit about your bench guys in the first half coming in?
DeChellis: I thought they played with energy. I thought our bench guys played with energy the first half. Steve Kirkpatrick made a play or two. I think Tre Bowman got a rebound. Jermaine Marshall made a drive and made a kick to somebody else. I thought they did a pretty good job. As well as Billy Oliver, coming in for Andrew Jones really quickly because he had two fouls in the first couple minutes of the game.
Q: Was the first half all about weathering the storm after that series of fouls?
DeChellis: Well we are trying to establish ourselves and do some things offensively that we want to do. Those guys, I thought, did a good job coming in and tried to execute. They practice everyday and they know what we are trying to do. We're not very big. You take your two top rebounders out of there, it's Andrew and Jeff. I was just glad we were able to continue to battle and rebound the basketball. We made some shots to keep things in tact. I thought when we got to the second half we would be okay.
Q: Were you considering fouling towards the end?
Q: With them being so big, was the game to score a lot of threes?
DeChellis: Yes, we thought about it. I was really concerned about the free-throw line block-out because I knew they were going to bring all of those guys back into the game. I just said to the guys, if they get ahead of steam up and we were in trouble, go ahead and whack whoever has the ball. Faceguard, hover, make him go towards the basket, not back. We didn't do great, we did okay, but it was a really hard shot. If we got ahead of steam up and we were sideways, I said go ahead and foul somebody. They really did a good job, you didn't see it, but they really do a good job on free-throw line and getting to the rim. If you put Ralph Sampson in and Trevor Mbakwe and their other big kids, it's going to be a free-for-all for the basket. I'd rather take my chances the other way tonight. Different game, different night, I would probably foul.
DeChellis: Our game plan was to drive and pitch. We knew we would have a hard time scoring over that front line. So we really wanted to concentrate the last day or two on driving the ball, kicking it, reversing the basketball, shot faking them and driving them again. And trying to get those back line guys moving a little bit. That's really hard for us. There are two or three seven-foot guys it's really hard for us to score over them. But I thought we could move them around and get some shots but we didn't go in saying we have to shoot 30 threes but it just ended up that way.
Penn State Player Quotes
Talor Battle, David Jackson
Q: Talor it felt for a minute that maybe it was going to be like that Michigan game- Mentally do you think you think that affected you?
A: Battle: No, maybe it felt like that for you, but that never crossed our minds. We couldn't let that happen to us. We went down three and Drew had a big tip in. Then I had a shot, so that was the resilience that we showed tonight that was really big. But like I said, that thought about the Michigan game never crossed my mind. And we executed.
Q: Did you guys plan on taking all those three's?
A: Battle: Nah. I really shot all the three's. Judge shot a couple. DJ shot a couple. But they were in the zone, so there wasn't too much you could do. They're so big. Honestly if you didn't take those shots, I think we would have struggled to win the game today. Fortunately enough DJ and I could get some, but Tim really did the best getting into the lane, and finding it. So it was really big for Tim to find them.
Q: DJ you got into some foul trouble in the beginning of the game. Can you talk about that?
A: Jackson: Yeah, that was a big emphasis for Coach D. Said the game was going to be won or loss in the paint and the boars. Minnesota has three pretty good big men that really have a lot of good sides. Coach just really stressed to us about going out and competing and being the tougher team.
Q: Were you surprised at how well the guys played off of the bench?
A: Jackson: No, not really. They worked really hard at practice and had a couple of pretty good days. And that's how we expect them to play all the time. Cam, Maine, and when Tre gets in there, and Billy comes of the bench to do some things. That's how they should play all the time.
Q: Talor can you talk about the defensive effort you and Tim put in off Hoffarber?
A: Battle: You know, he's a really good shooter. The first half we had a little stretch where we lost him and he kept knocking them in. We couldn't keep doing that. Late he hit that tough one off me, but he's a really good player. We had to just key in on him. He's really just their outside perimeter they just like to get inside. So we just wanted to take him away. He is a really good player. Right down the stretch we caused him into that big turnover. He was really contested with that last shot. I think we did a pretty good job with him for the most part.
Q: Talor there was obvious a lot riding at the end of the game. Was any of it running through your head?
A: Battle: Oh it runs through my head- I'm normal. I get excited for those shots. I think the guys wanted me to take those shots. I was open today. That was one of the coolest things about the shot. Right when I released it, it felt so good. It was a great feeling, but it was about winning the game. They had a scramble and I was trailing. Jeff hit me and I shot with confidence. That was the game.
Minnesota Coach Tubby Smith
Hats off to Penn State. They really did a good job of making shots. Talor Battle is an outstanding player and we know that. We kind of lost him in transition there. He knocked down that three. We took a quick shot there and they got the rebound. But we made some mistakes with turnovers in the late game, especially when we had the three-point lead there and I guess we walked. That's what was called. I thought we had taken a charge at the other end and we didn't get that call. It's tough, we have to make plays and make things happen. We didn't do it when we had to. We had our chances. Again, I have to compliment Penn State and the job they did.
Q: How tough is it to stick with Talor Battle throughout the game in that zone?
It was tough because he is 7-14 from three. He is just a complete player. He does a lot of different things for them. Forty minutes he is just an iron man. It is tough we tried to do some things and tried to find him but he has such deep range. It really distorts your whole defense when he is so far out there.
Q: Going back home, you have two games in a row. How big would it be to get the 2 home games back to back?
We need to get another game and we need another win. I thought we played well tonight in spots. We shoot 47% from the floor and 43% from three. Controlling the boards, I thought we did some good things there. Getting back to the Barn is going to be critical, that we come ready to play and figure out how a way to get another win. I'm not going to worry about this one, we just have to worry about the next one. We have to do the next right thing, the next best thing.
Q: You have three home games in the last four, does that help?
That should help getting back. We didn't play very well in The Barn last time we played so hopefully we will be ready to play when we are there this time.
Q: When Jeff Brooks and Andrew Jones went with about 10 minutes left, you dominated them on the boards but it didn't really translate into points. Did that seem like a lost opportunity?
Again, Penn State is a pretty good team. We are a team that is still trying to score. We are not an offensive juggernaut. So, we have to really take care of the basketball and do a better job than we did tonight. We can't afford to have 13 turnovers. During that stretch, I would imagine, I can't look at it but I don't know what we had at halftime. We had a few turnovers at halftime. We had about 5 in the first 8 possessions. So that negated about any advantages we had size-wise with the turnovers.