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Feb. 17, 2012
Penn State Coach Patrick Chambers
Q: What did you think of Jon Graham's free throws?
A: I'm just so proud of him for showing the confidence that he had to knock those down. I think you are going to see a much better, more confident Jon Graham now. I think this is going to help him. He's only a freshman. This can only build his confidence and self-esteem.
Q: Has that been an issue for him?
A: No, but when you miss sometimes down the stretch incrucial games and all, it starts to weigh on you. You second-guess yourself. You second-guess your routine. You second-guess what you're doing and yourself.
Q: What is your approach to fixing that, especially the mental part?
A: We practice free throws a lot. We definitely deal with the mental part. Routine. I would say `Think about your routine.' Sometimes we get those negative thoughts, we look at the scoreboard and think about how we have to make this one. Well, I yell at them "Routine, routine, routine." That triggers their mind to think of their routine. I like to think that is what Jon did today. He was thinking about nothing, so he was not thinking about missing. Confidence is a powerful thing.
Q: You took Tim out quite frequently in the first half, was there something you wanted him to do differently?
A: Actually, I was trying to go offense-defense. I thought we were right there to throw a really big punch, and go in with a larger lead. So, I rolled the dice a little bit and got 14. I wish it was more, and Tim missed some easy layups.
Q: When defending Tim, they clogged the lane and had three guys on him. Did you think in the last three minutes that you had to go flat?
A: No, but it is definitely something you talk about in huddles to go flat. I didn't think he was ready to go iso. I thought Jermaine was playing good and Cam had a pretty good first half. He is a senior, and you hope he picks it up.
Q: So you were hoping one of those guys would hit the three?
A: That's exactly what I thought, and Jermaine did, and we got a great look for him against the zone. The possession before he had a wide-open corner three. Then he makes a great play. He shoots, misses, but then gets his own rebound. They are strong, confident moves. What I told Tim is that your team will protect you, big time. Jon Graham did a great job.
Q: Jon Graham. There has been a lot of focus on his free-throw shooting, but he had big blocks, a couple of tips. He played a lot of minutes.
A: He was terrific, and he is only going to continue to get better.
Q: Do you think that helps his confidence?
A: There is no doubt about it. We always say we don't want to be a feel good team. A feel good team is when you make shots, you play harder. But, if you think about what he did, he had a couple of offensive rebounds and put backs. That definitely got his motor going a little bit. But, even in the second half, where he didn't score other than free throws, he still played pretty hard, which is a breakthrough and progress.
Q: Is there a difference in demeanor for these guys as far as confidence?
A: To me the huddles are always the same. I am always pushing, driving, motivating with confidence. If you have a shot, stick it.
PENN STATE PLAYER QUOTES
Q: Iowa fouled you on purpose. What were you thinking when you got to the line?
A: Well, it was a big surprise for them, right? Going to the line, I just had a clear head. I wasn't thinking about anything. I work really hard on my free throws. Whenever I have spare time I go to the gym. I shoot a ton of free throws. It's just routine. Just knock it down with confidence.
Q: How did you get a clear head?
A: I basically said `forget about percentages, forget about the past.' I was concentrating on this game and the free throws I had ahead of me.
Q: Did it surprise you?
A: Not at all.
Q: What does it mean to you to get those two buckets at the beginning of the game?
A: I really wanted to set a tone, to get the team going, get the game at a fast pace. Just had to do my job, which is rebound. I saw the clear lanes and had some easy layups.
Q: Has free throw shooting been an issue for you in practice or were you okay there?
A: I was fine in practice. I think just in the game, in the heat of the moment sometimes it will get to your head. This is my first year playing and a lot of times it just gets in your head and gets you a little excited sometimes. I think tonight I did a really good job of relaxing and calming down during my free throws.
Q: After a four point half for Tim Frazier, what did you see in him in the second half?
A: He was just being the Tim that we know he is. He came out to attack. He was aggressive. He is going to make the right plays and that is why he is our leader. We never lose faith in each other in all of this. We have the utmost confidence in each other.
Q: Tim only had four points the first half but you guys were still up by 14. What does that say about the res of the team?
A: We are willing to do anything for each other. When a leader, like Tim struggles, every one picks him up, it's kind of hard to not feed off each other. When one person picks up for another person, it's easier for another person to step in and pick up for the next.
Q: How important was it to get off to a good start against Iowa?
A: It was very important. Any game that you come into with a slow start, it is very hard to recover especially in the Big Ten. Jon really set the tone for us. He was a beast at offense, finished strong in the hole
Q: You've only got two more games at home. What are your feelings as a senior about the end of the season?
A: I have to set my feelings aside. Everyday when I come out to practice, I try to practice the same. At the games, I play as hard as I can. I think about it before every game but nonetheless I try to play hard because it is coming down to my final possession.
Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery
Q: What was the message at half time?
A: I think in the first half, when they jumped us, we started quick shooting the ball. You can't do that on the road. Now, that was disappointing. You can look at a lot of things and say you should do this or that, but that's the one thing that was glaring in the first half. It affected our ability to keep it under 10, which would have been nice under the circumstances. So, in the second half, we obviously wanted to play better defense, get 30 points. I thought offensively we didn't execute very well in the first half at all and obviously in the second half we executed much better
Q: Second half you got a pretty big performance from Matt (Gatens). He ended up with 21 points. What was it about his determination that stood out to you?
A: He really continuously works hard to get open. We did a good job finding him. I thought Aaron White made some big hoops when we really needed it, when we were struggling. He made some big hoops. I thought (Roy Devyn) Marble had a spectacular game for us. Forty minutes, I can't take him out even though he's hurt. I'm really proud of him.
Q: Free throw shooting down the stretch...?
A: Not good. That's unfortunate. We got it back to a 1-possession game and then couldn't close it out with free throws. We were working hard enough to get there. Josh (Oglesby) misses one, Aaron (White) misses one, Melshan (Basabe) missed three.
Q: Down the stretch, you send a guy shooting 35% to the line...?
A: To his credit, we fouled him on purpose. We let him catch and fouled. He was a 38% foul shooter. Give the kid credit. He stepped up there and drilled them.
Q: Late in the game, did you want your guys going straight to the bucket, get fouled and get right on the line?
A: Well, you're trying to lengthen the game there when we're in the double bonus. If we can get to the free throw line and get fouled and stop the clock, then we can decide if we want to press, do we not want to press? Do we want to go zone? Do we not want to go zone? Do we want to stayman? What are we going to do? It gives you some time to put it all together.
Q: How's Bryce's (cartwright) future? Is it up in the air?
A: I think it's hard to say. High ankle sprains are a bit difficult to come back from. When we play Sunday, I don't know. He may play, probably not. I'd say doubtful but possible. He's made a lot of progress since Saturday. He has made a lot of progress and I think that's encouraging.
Q: If he (Cartwright) can't go for you Sunday, do you stick with the lineup from tonight?
A: I haven't thought that through yet. Probably stick with what we had. That would be the logical alternative, especially because they're so big.
Q: Was Graham the only guy you wanted to foul?
A: The only guy in the game. And that's risky. It's a three-point game. If he makes one it's a 2-possession game. You're thinking that through, but if they shoot at the end of the clock and we foul or they get a tip or a rebound, there's only 13 or 14 seconds left in the game. It makes it tough.
Q: Matt (Gatens) was really looking for the ball. You guys found him but he missed all of his shots in the first half and hit them in the secondhalf?
A: It was an amazing performance by Matt. Very few guys can do that. Once they start going sideways, like he was, to come out and hit five. He was really, sort of wired at half time. He was sitting there and you could tell he was disappointed in himself and how we played collectively. He was going to affect some change, and he did and everyone sort of fed off of hisperformance and his energy level. Then we had a shot. We got it to a one- possession game.
Q: What did you think of Josh's (Oglesby) performance?
A: I thought Josh couldn't make a shot, but he played really well defensively. He had three assists, no turns. He's not a mistake maker and he's doesn't hurt us on defense. I thought from a stamina standpoint, I was worried. He was able to hang in a very intense physical game. We know he'll make shots.
Q: What's the message to this team going in to Sunday's game?
A: We have to play better than we played out there. Weplayed pretty decently defensively today in the second half in particular. I think we're getting better we'll just focus on that. We have to score too. Zach (McCabe) struggled tonight. We need him to play better, especially if we're going to have a chance against Indiana.
Q: Do you think your team let up on (Tim) Frazier in the second half?
A: No, I don't think so. He got in foul trouble. He had two and then Pat took him out. Then he was kind of going offense-defense a little bit. He's a handful. He's going to have the ball all the time. I think one of the things that worked was the zone. It limited him a little bit, but he still made a couple big hoops when we really needed to stop. He's able to find a seam and make something happen. But, it's almost like if he gets lower than 20 points, you feel pretty good about yourself. He's an all league player.