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March 6, 2009
Head Coach Ed DeChellis
Q: Coach, Talor's last basket at the end - did it all unfold like you drew it up?
A: Oh yes, perfectly. We thought we were better off going for something in transition than setting something up. I thought they were very good defensively and I thought we had a better chance to spread the floor and making a play. Jamelle was struggling some we didn't think we could go inside to him. Our option was trying to get Stanley a shot. We figure we could get him another look and have him spot up or have Talor try and get to the rim.
Q: What does that shot say about Talor? He was 5-16 going in for that shot and he was still confident.
A: All our kids were confident in the huddle. We were down seven or eight or whatever it was with four to go and there was no panic. They just felt like we were going to win the game and they kept saying that and we just needed to make a stop here and there and get a big rebound. I thought we had some crucial plays. I thought D.J. Jackson hit some big free throws, I thought they missed a free throw or two, things just kind of fell right for us. Talor made a play and we win the game, and sometimes that's what the game is about. Sometimes it's making a shot, making a play, making a free throw. It was a great basketball game. I thought Illinois played really, really well. They made the extra pass, they made big shots. It was two teams that wanted to win and they were fighting.
Q: Do you want this emotion to carry over to Saturday?
A: Well, it's a tough turnaround, it's really tough. It's 11:30, they're not going to get to bed until 12 or 12:30, and then they have to be over here for breakfast at 9 and we've got to be on the flight at 10:00. It's a tough turnaround. We'll try to use the momentum. We're going to fly to Iowa, we'll have a walk-through and workout and plan what we want to do against Iowa and then go play on Saturday.
Q: What happened to Jamelle?
A: He banged up his shoulder. He's had a problem with his shoulder and he banged it up again. I'm not sure what his status is going to be, I've got to go back and check on him and see how he feels.
Q: Do you think this gets you into the tournament?
A: Sure, I think it was two great teams out there tonight. And on national television, you can't draw it up any better. It was two heavyweights just slugging it out and making plays. We made the last play to win the game and sometimes that's what it comes down to. We're 10-7 in the league, we've won 21 games; I don't know what else people want. We're going to try and give them one more on Saturday afternoon if we can, then get to the tournament and take it from there. I think this was a very important game for us. The crowd was great, the students were unbelievable. This is what we've built for for six years. We've got some kids who have done that and have gotten excited. The students and fans were unbelievable tonight and my hat's off to them.
Q: How important is it to not only get to this point, but to get to this point and win?
A: I think it's important to win on national television. We had some recruits here tonight. To win on national TV, with all those people sitting in a room on Sunday making a decision, they had an opportunity to see. Maybe they haven't seen us play much, so that was an opportunity tonight to see us and see what kind of team we had and what kind of excitement we had. That's what basketball is all about, I thought that was very important. We gave them a good show.
Q: With five minutes left, Cornley had the injury, you guys were down ten, Jones fouled out. What does that say about your team?
A: We've been resilient all year. They're a resilient team. They've got some toughness, they've got some heart, they're never going to quit. The clock might run out on us, maybe we won't have enough time, but they're always going to fight until the end. They're going to find a way to win. And that's kind of what we've talked about. We didn't shoot that well other than Stanley [Pringle]. We made our free throws and we found a way to win.
#12 Talor Battle
Q: Talor, what was going through your mind when you turned the ball over the previous time? Were you hoping for another shot to get it back?
A: I knew we had at leas a chance to tie. But right after I turned the ball over, I looked at the team and said, "I'm going to make it up to you all, I promise." Fortunately enough, he missed the foul shot and I just made a play at the end that won us the basketball game. I thank God for that.
Q: Talor, what's it like when you put a shot up and it takes so long to drop through?
A: When you shoot the basketball, you know whether or not its going in first before anyone else. I made the move and whoever tried to step up, they tried to take a charge and I just kind of jumped from left to right. I knew that it was just so soft that it was going in. It was sitting in the back of the rim and just dropped in.
Q: This is a 9:00 game; you've got to think a lot of the selection committee is watching it, even out west where it's a 6:00 game. Do you think the impact of seeing all this might have some effect on them?
A: Hopefully they did see it, but we've still got another game. That's our main focus. We don't control anything that has to do with the committee. We keep building our resume and we've got the opportunity to do something that's special. If we go out there to Iowa and take care of business and some people lose, we could finish second. This is what we've been working on all year and we've been working to play as hard as we could in this league.
Q: How much of a factor was that crowd?
A: The crowd was great. We thank them. Can you all put that in your articles? "Thank you," Talor says. We just couldn't get over the hump all game. Credit to Illinois, they made some big shots. Frazier was hitting a lot of threes tonight; Tisdale hit a couple hook shots. He hits some of those shots and you just kind of say you can't do anything about it, he might be a pro right there. Our fans just kept us in all the way. That free throw was close at the end, and it probably was thanks to them that we had an opportunity to win it.
Q: Talor, what does winning this game do for the Penn State basketball program?
A: Brian kept telling me all week; this is one of the biggest games in a long time. And that put a lot of pressure on all of the guys. Whether we wanted to admit it or not, we truly did. This was Jamelle's last game here at Penn State, hopefully. There was a lot of emotion in the game. It was a tough thing but it was a big game and it was a great thing for us. I also want you to write in your articles, we want to thank Darryl [Clark]; he did a great job firing people up at half time. It was amazing. That's one of the best quarterbacks in the country taking time out of his day to come be a hype man out there being a clown. We appreciate him doing that, that was great of him.
#11 Stanley Pringle
Q: Where were you Stan [when Talor made the game-winning basket]?
A: Somewhere at half court just looking, waiting for the ball to fall in the hole.
Q: Unlike last time, they came in here and really played a great game. They brought their A game, their coach was just in here saying how proud they were of how hard they played. You guys really just took the game away. What did you feel like when it was 60-50?
A: We were in the huddle and Talor said we weren't losing, Coach said we weren't losing, and we kept it like that.
Q: You've got a forty-hour turnaround, that's really tough, I don't think you guys have done that. Is it hard to keep your legs?
A: We've got to ice them, definitely. Ice and stay off of them, no partying tonight.
Q: Not even on your birthday?
A: Not even on my birthday. It's twenty-two, and I needed just two more points.
Q: Stanley, a lot of people are going to remember Talor's shot, with good reason. But you hit a lot of shots down the stretch to keep your team in it. You hadn't been shooting the ball as well lately, what was the mindset tonight?
A: I came out early and I was hitting shots in warm-ups. Maybe it was my birthday.
Illinois Head Coach
I just want to say congratulations to Penn State. They had a great win and a great crowd; they have a reason to celebrate. They didn't quit. We had the lead and we had our chances. They made this spectacular comeback and we did the same thing to Northwestern. Now we are on the other shoe. It is a tough pill to swallow. When we were here last year it was the same thing. Last time we fowled Talor and he made the free throws and this time he made a tough shot. I couldn't be more proud of our kids. I think they came ready to play. They played very hard and that is all I can ask of them. We just couldn't get it done. We couldn't score down the stretch and we didn't make our free throws, probably my fault; I got it into the wrong hands in the last free throw. Other than that it was a great effort by our kids and a lot of credit to Penn State.
Was that Penn State team an NCAA tournament team?
I hope so. They are going to have to solidify it on Saturday and then next week. Our SID Derrick Burson said that there were 30 teams on the bubble. Obviously this helps them. It is a big win for them and I will be cheering for them to get into the NCAA.
What was going on in that last play?
We had everyone back. We didn't have anyone on the free throw line. We always talked about a timeout and to stop the ball. We even talked about double teaming Battle to make sure that someone stopped him. To his credit he wind in there and found a way to get it in the hoop. Derrick said it would have been better if we had switched it to have a little more time. Even if Mike Davis air balls it then we get back on defense, but neither one happened and that is how games go. We won probably one that we shouldn't have against Northwestern and now we lost one that we should have won probably.
How are you going to get the momentum going again for the Big Ten tournament?
I think it is great. We played our butts of, what can you say. It was a heck of a college basketball game. A lot of credit to them. I hope our kids feel good about their effort, now we have to go home. We get two days rest. I have never been through this with the rest. Give them two days off to get away from the coaches; they get away from us and hopefully come back with a nice fresh feeling going into the Big Ten Tournament.