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March 6, 2010
Post-Game Quotes Penn State vs. Purdue
Head Coach Ed DeChellis
Q: What was going on with Talor Battle?
A: I just talked to the doctor; he's doing better now. He just got sick. He was just sick in the stomach. He was very light-headed and very dizzy. He just felt horrible. He thought he was going to vomit and all of that kind of stuff, so he was back there with the doctor for the last five or six minutes.
Q: What does this game do for your team's pride?
A: I told the kids after that we played Ohio State here and gave ourselves a chance. We went on the road to Michigan State and gave ourselves a chance and then this one here today. They've fought through things like adversity. I think there's a fiber there, a good fiber of some character. It hasn't been easy. It seems like bad things have happened in terms of the ball bounces the wrong way. Another bank three tonight and the other night against Michigan State we get a steal, we push and Chris (Babb) gets knocked to the floor. The ball has four or five guys after it. The ball goes free, they pick it up, throw it the length of the floor and then we've got to foul them. It's been like that the whole year. I don't have an answer for it. I'm not trying to make an excuse. Our kids have hung in there and they continue to fight and give us great effort. For that, I'm proud of them.
Q: What does losing Talor Battle and still keeping the game close say about the team?
A: Tim (Frazier) came in and did some good things. He turned it over a little bit earlier. We went out a little stymied there for a while. He came in and played with some poise. Chris (Babb) made a big shot or two and made some free throws. Everybody pitched in and that's all positive and good stuff. We let E'Twaun Moore get the ball late off the free throw line and that was a mistake by us. Other kids stepped up and did a nice job.
Q: What was the difference between the first and second halves?
A: The first half we just couldn't put the ball in the basket. We shot 30 percent. It was kind of going back to the future, back to the way we were. We missed some easy shots, I thought. I was a little worried at halftime because we made a big three to get it to eight and get it to under 10 where we're in striking distance. (Purdue) is a very good team and you've got to capitalize. When you get some shots you've got to make them. We didn't do that. We fell behind in the second half but we didn't panic. We kept fighting and fighting and fighting and trying to get it to where we could steal the thing. I thought we gave ourselves a chance.
Q: What kind of problems did JaJuan Johnson cause?
A: I think he's a long kid. He can block some shots. We didn't play well offensively. We did maybe 20 minutes on the floor yesterday. We were walking through their stuff and their zone and how we needed to guard and walking through some man-to-man sets. We didn't go up and down at all. We shot for a little bit, but we had to save all of our legs and energy for this thing tonight. We couldn't spend any time on the floor yesterday.
Q: How much are you looking forward to the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday?
A: Everybody is 0-0. I think we played a lot better here in the last couple weeks. We've given ourselves a chance and won some games. We played three pretty good teams that have won the conference championship toe-to-toe for a long time. We had a chance to really win all three games, we just didn't. Maybe that will all turn around in the conference tournament. Maybe all of this kind of stuff will be gone and we will have a nice streak and we can celebrate.
Q: Does practice leading up to the Big Ten Tournament change at all?
A: Yeah. We're on spring break. We have them the whole day. We'll get up and practice, watch some tape and get a lift in. We can try to practice and get some rest. We can bring them back in the afternoon and get some more shots up and more tape if we want. We've got them for three days before we leave which is good. We're giving them tomorrow off. They need a day off. We'll come back Monday around eleven and get started.
Q: Do you think you guys are better than your record shows?
A: I think so. Like Matt (Painter) said to me before the game and Greg Kelser came in and talked to me and he said, 'no one wants to play you in the tournament. I've talked to other coaches and no one wants to play you guys in the tournament.' Somebody is going to play us and we're going to play somebody. I don't think we're that far off. We're a play or two away. Having our confidence early would have led to more wins I think. We lost our confidence early and then we scrambled, fought and got it back. I think we're playing pretty good offensively the second half. I think we have got some pretty good rhythm the last two or three weeks offensively. Individually, guys have played better. Jeff Brooks has played better, Chris Babb has played better, Drew Jones has played better and that's important for us. It's a team game played by individuals.
PSU Player Quotes
Q: You guys have done a good job getting out of holes lately. Can you talk about how frustrating it is to dig yourselves into the holes?
A: in the first half, we were down. We couldn't make any baskets. People were going to rack and not finishing, me included. We got down easily by ten points. We were down eight at the half. So it's kind of hard when you dig yourself a hole and then try to dig yourself back out. We got down by two and then they hit that bank shot that killed our spirit.
Q: Have you seen an off-balance shot like the one you saw from Moore?
A: Yea. We were actually discussing that today. We were talking about luck and how some guys don't believe in it and some guys have superstition. My opinion is that we have had some back luck. I remember Trevon Hughes hit a bank shot against us here last year and then coming into this season, we had McCamey hit an off-balance three and Westbrook hit a shot at the buzzer and now that bank shot by Moore. It's obviously bad luck. All I can say is that we are looking forward to the tournament. We are pretty confident about ourselves and we all feel that we are dangerous.
Q: You didn't have Talor at the end. What was it like when you didn't have him in different situations today?
A: I don't think we even noticed. I think that's how much better everyone has got. Everyone is playing with confidence and it stunk seeing Talor go out of the game. But I think we all kept our heads and were mature enough to keep playing and fighting. It does really stink losing Talor during a clutch moment in the game, but things happen. We couldn't just drop our heads. We just had to keep our heads up and keep playing.
Q: Do you guys feel like you were better than your record?
A: Definitely. Even at the beginning of the season, we lost a couple games down in South Carolina, we felt like our record was a lot better than what it showed. It's just a tough season and you can't blame it on anyone else but yourselves because we are the ones in uniform and we're the ones on the court. Everyone sees the end result but doesn't see the hard work and what guys have done to make ourselves better. The biggest thing is that we have the tournament. That is the biggest thing on my mind, just going to the tournament and making some noise.
Q: How do you guys look beyond next week with everyone coming back next year?
A: The biggest thing like you said is everyone is going to be back. We don't have to worry about who is going to do the scoring and the rebounding and all those other things. We have the same team chemistry coming back and we're just going to build on that as a unit. Whatever happens in the tournament happens, but next year we all looking towards it because it is going to be a big year for all of us, especially me, Talor, D.J. and Drew who are going to be seniors. We don't want a season like this to happen for our senior year. We're looking forward to next year as one of the best years we've ever had at Penn State.
Q: Do you guys feel that you had enough pride coming into this game where you were basically slotted as the No. 11 seed for the Big Ten Tournament?
A: Yea we all felt like we were capable of coming into tonight and winning this game. It didn't come out that way, but we feel that if we look at this the positive way, we could go into the tournament and play well. As we walked by Purdue's locker room and heard them cheering because they were Big Ten regular season co-champs, we know that could be us next week screaming and hollering because we won a Big Ten championship.
Q: When Talor went out, did you guys tell Tim anything in the huddle?
A: Not really. He is a good player and he knows that being a freshman is out the window. That was out after the first couple games. He knew he had to step up, especially on the defensive end. He made a couple stops and got us back into the game. He played well but the end result didn't come out the way we wanted it to.
Q: How did you guys adjust to their defense?
A: I think we came out a little stiff in the first half. We weren't really taking good shots. I think we just settled down in the second half and absorbed the pressure and took what they were giving us, and we knocked those shots down. I think in the first half we missed some open shots and in the second half we got them to fall.
Q: Were you looking to shoot more when Talor went out?
A: I knew that somebody was going to have to take the big shot. It just happened to be in my hands. Normally as everyone knows, it would be him. But it just came my way and I did what I needed to do and it didn't go in.
Q: Can you tell us the look you got with about seven seconds left?
A: It was kind of what we drew up. We just kind of did a pretend dribble handoff and for me to get the ball and make something happen. It just didn't go in.
Q: How do you guys look at finding a second scorer going forward?
A: Before this game we've had three or four guys in double figures every game. I think we are doing fine, we are just not pulling it out in the end.
Purdue Head Coach Matt Painter
Q: Coach I thought three things were important coming into this game, a good start, rebounding, and controlling [Talor] Battle early. All of those things happened, and you just held on.
A: Yeah, that's something Penn State has done all year, they've always made runs and continued to fight. We knew we had to step up and make free throws and do a better job defensively. We wanted to try our best to keep the ball out of the post and do a good job on the glass, and for the most part we did. We did a good job of not letting them get on the run for a while, I think. That's the way Penn State has been all year, they've continued to fight, and you knew it was going to be tough down the stretch.
Q: How does 'Big Ten Champions' sound?
A: Well it's great, especially for our players who really sacrificed a lot and battled, to be in this position and to get the job done is a great feeling. We've had a little bit of bad luck here with Rob [Hummel]'s injury, so it's good to see so many smiles in that locker room, because they know this was a team effort.
Q: In different ways, your seniors did so many things. That's what you dream of right?
A: Yeah Chris [Kramer] obviously does a lot of little things for us, and is playing a different role for us now offensively and defensively. Keaton Grant is playing like an all-conference player right now. He stepped up tonight and made some huge threes for us. It seems like every time we've needed it on the road, he's stepped up for us and made huge shots.
Q: E'Twaun [Moore] made that bank-shot towards the end, would you expect anything less of him?
A: No, he struggled today offensively, but he still gives us something when he's not making shots. We had a little bit of luck there with the bank-three, so we were pretty fortunate in that regard.
Q: When you were up one, and Moore stepped to the line and made those two free throws, how big is that?
A: Well obviously if he misses in that position, they're shooting to win the game. A three puts them in the lead, and it's a buzzer shot. So a lot is going through your mind. After he makes the first one, without question you don't want to let them get on the run with it. We were able to get a stop and get a rebound to put it to four, and that sealed things for us.
Q: How big of an accomplishment is this? Especially with [Hummel]'s injury?
A: You go through a period of time and you have the pieces in place. But then you lose one of those major pieces and it's tough, but you can't feel sorry for yourself. As a fan, player, or coach, you have to get over that, go out there and compete, and that's what we've been able to do. Now to be able to get a road-win without [Hummel] and outrebound our opponent, gives us some confidence. There are some different things to point out about our success when [Hummel] isn't playing, and I think it's great that our guys recognize that as we continue to improve.
Q: Talk about [John] Hart and [Kelsey] Barlow, and their contributions?
A: [Hart] does some good things offensively, he can make a shot and break guys down. [Barlow] really helped us with his rebounding. The tip-dunk was a big time play. He's an athletic kid, and those six rebounds for us were very important.
Q: Is Penn State much improved since you played them last?
A: Without a doubt. I really like [Jeff] Brooks, he gives you some matchup problems. DJ Jackson is a good player, he has good size and athleticism. Babb is playing at a higher level right now, and when he's making shots, they're a dangerous team. [Tim] Frazier gives them some quickness. That being said, we were fortunate Talor [Battle] went out. It was unfortunate for them, because Talor Battle is a great player and he's a tough matchup for anyone in the country