Nov. 14, 2009
Box Score |
Penn State Head Coach Ed DeChellis
Q: What do you have to say about Talor's performance
A: Outstanding performance. He got the ball to the rim, made other guys a little bit better, took the game over when he had to towards the end and made some plays for us to kind of open things up. I thought he was very, very good tonight.
Q: How did he keep his bad night from three-point range from affecting his game?
A: I think that's growing up. I think early in your career, you let things like that bother you and hurt the rest of your game. I think he's one of the best rebounding guards I've ever seen. He really rebounds the ball. That's special. We all look at the numbers and points and it's important but I think he's one of the best rebounding guards coming back and getting the ball that I've seen in a while.
Q: Does he have a sense to drain important buckets in games?
A: He's a great player. He's a first team all conference player and when things get tight, those guys want the ball. When things get tight he wants the ball and he's going to do something with it and it usually goes in the basket for him.
Q: Are you concerned that only one other player scored in double-digits?
A: I have a lot of concerns. We played one game and we didn't rebound the way we needed to, we didn't shoot free throws the way we needed to, we didn't defend the way we needed to. We've got a lot of stuff to work on but it's the first game but I thought we made plays when we had to make plays to win the game. I knew this was going to be a tough game for us tonight. I knew it wasn't going to be like last year going down there and blowing them out early and chipping around the second half. I knew this would be a tougher game for us. I think they're much better than they were last year.
Q: What do you have to say about Jeff Brooks' shot?
A: He's got a little bit more arch on it. It gets a little flat sometimes but I think he's making his free throws and he can make open jump shots and he feels comfortable doing that. He's got some confidence in his shot now.
Q: What do you have to say about Sasa Borovnjak and Adam Highberger's performances?
A: I thought both guys, I thought Cam (Woodyard) did a good job defensively the first half. I thought he mad a big shot. I thought Highberger made two big shots. Adam did a great job for us defensively. Those guys came in and did very, very nice job. It was a total team effort. We didn't play great individually. We've got a lot of work to do but they came in and helped us and made some big baskets for us.
Q: Do you have any idea who is going to play where now?
A: We're still figuring that out. We've got one more guy that will hopefully get healthy here in the next ten days, two weeks. We thought Bill Edwards was in the mix before he got hurt and we need him back. We need another wing player. The guy can rebound and pass and make some open jump shots.
Q: What do you have say about Talor Battle's minutes?
A: I like to get him out. He was playing so well. We're going to play to win. He will complain to me at the end of the year that he's played to most minutes in the country and then when I try to take him out he'll go "I'm ready to go, I'm ready to go back in." He's a good player. We will monitor that as the season goes. He's going to play though.
Junior Talor Battle
Q: What do you have to say about the first night?
A: I'm just happy we won. It's a different basketball team and we had a lot of different combinations out there. We're not really used to playing in a live game with each other. Credit Penn, their a good basketball team so first to win by 15 points and stretch it out a little bit down the stretch it out a little bit down the stretch, I'm happy with our effort.
Q: how anxious were you to get the season started?
A: I was really excited. I hate exhibition games because you get hyped to play a game that really doesn't count. I couldn't wait and now that it's over and we won I'll calm down a little bit. I'm happy we got this first win. The crowd was great tonight and it helped us when we were struggling at times. This was a good win and now we've got to move on for Robert Morris on Monday.
Q: How important was it to be able to get to the bucket?
A: I mean some of the threes I think I took in the late shot clock so I was kind of forced to shoot some threes. My shot really wasn't on tonight so that is an ability I have to attack the rim and score the ball in the paint. When my shot wasn't falling I tried to do that late in the game.
Q: What do you have to say about the team's defensive efforts tonight?
A: I was definitely pleased for the most part. They (Penn) run their stuff. They're a veteran basketball team so it's tough to guard them. The (Tyler) Bernardini kid started with seven, the first seven points and then we kind of slowed him down so I think that was big. We eliminated his touches and scoring ability and got him in foul trouble. I think we had some good times tonight defensively but we've still got a lot to work on to get better.
Q: How important is it for you guys to be able to trust your bench to come in and knock down shots when you guys get into foul trouble?
A: It's very important but at the same time we've got to be smarter about getting into foul trouble like that. The refs called some things that were a little different tonight but we've got to adjust. You can't keep complaining or crying about the calls. You've just got to adjust. Highberger (Adam) and Sasa (Borovnjak) and those guys did a great job off the bench tonight and that's what a team is all about.
Q: Were you surprised by your amount of minutes tonight?
A: I would have played 40 but I told coach to give me a breather in the first half. I needed the one in the first half. In the second half coach Kanaskie asked me at about the nine-minute mark if I could finish the rest of the half and I said yeah. This is a start. This should help me build my endurance and help me in case I do have to play those long minute games.
Q: What did you think of Tim Frazier?
A: For the time he was in there I think he did a pretty good job. It's new. I struggled as a freshman and it's definitely an adjustment. As he gets more comfortable I'm sure he will get better and it and when he builds more trust in coach and coach keeps him in a little longer. For the first game I think he did well. He's got to keep trying to stay under control and run the show when he's out there.
Junior Jeff Brooks
Q: Have you been working on your three point shot?
A: Pretty much. It's something that I've stressed on myself to work on was perimeter shooting just because Talor is such a great driver and he's always looking to kick so you've got to have someone out there ready to shoot. That's what I've been working on and also making sure that I'm in a scoring position all the time.
Q: What is the mentality of being a second scorer?
A: Basically it just changed from last year. Losing Mel (Jamelle Cornley) and Stanley (Pringle) and D-Mo (Danny Morrissey), somebody's got to step up. DJ (Jackson) and Drew (Andrew Jones) also will try and step up. That's what we all three have been trying to do. Tonight I guess I was just on. I just tried to come out in the second half more aggressive than I was in the first half. Some shots went down and the score went up so I must have been doing something right.
Q: Did you change your shot at all in the off-season?
A: Basically that's what it is. It's just more arch. The coach stressed to me a lot and even some of the players used to tell me a lot that I used to shoot a line drive like every time I used to shoot. I've been working on getting more arch on the ball and making sure I'm ready to shoot because last year there was a lot of times that I shot the ball but I wasn't in rhythm and I wasn't ready to shoot. That's something I've definitely been working on is being ready to shoot and putting some arch on the ball.
Q: What do you have to say about the free throw shooting?
A: Coach definitely said as soon as we got into the locker room after the game, he said we shot horrendous from the free throw line. Tomorrow we're going to all make sure we're here a little earlier before practice starts and just working our routines and stepping up and knocking down shots from the free throw line. Even though we won by fifteen tonight, we might be in a another game and we're down by two and we have somebody who can step up and knock those two free throws down. Its definitely going to be stressed a lot more going in to the season as we get going.
Q: How fulfilling is it to you to put up double digits in the first game of the year?
A: It's big. I worked so hard in the off-season and pre-season by gaining strength and working on my game. To come out tonight and have some shots go down and to play pretty well, it was pretty big. Hopefully I can keep this momentum up and keep my confidence and keep going with the flow.
Q: How confident are you now after tonight's game?
A: On a scale of one to ten, I'm about 13. I'm pretty confident.
Penn Coach Glen Miller
Q: Overall comments about the game
A: Well I thought we did some good things, but I talked to our team leading up to this game about all the small things being critical if we were going to have a chance win against Penn State. Those things being low turnovers, can't put them on the foul line, no second chance opportunities, transition defense. So when we came out, I thought we rebounded the ball very well the first half. We got a little bit lax to begin the second half, but the fouls were just- our best player played 17 minutes because he had careless fouls and just a real lack of discipline on defense. Our starting center played nine minutes, lack of discipline, careless fouls got him in trouble and then we came up empty on the foul line pretty much. So again, you're playing a team like Penn State, if you're the University of Pennsylvania, all the small things, the things that you can control, you have to be successful in those areas. And, although we did some good things, for us to take this game down to the wire, we had to do better in those areas. Talor Battle is, as you guys all know, a terrific player and made a lot of plays for those guys tonight.
Q: Were you waiting for someone to come replace the scoring of Tyler [Bernadini] once he was out of the game?
A: Well, we got three-point happy too. I mean we were three-for-15 in the first half and where we had success was getting the ball either off a cut in to the low post or just off a post-up. We talked about that at halftime and really I was not pleased we didn't make the adjustment. We came out just taking some ill-advised three's again. We have some guys that can hit the three, but our success, offensively, was getting the ball inside so we didn't make the adjustment there.
Q: Can you talk about [Talor] Battle's ability to drive the ball to the basket?
A: He's very poised, shifty with the basketball. You have to really cover him for a long period of time. I mean he can break the five-second count and get you off-balance and of course they spread you out with the other four guys and really let him make plays, which he does a very good job at doing. He makes his teammates better and we just had a tough time. We didn't have an answer for him as many teams don't.
Q: Did you see Penn State keying in on Tyler [Bernadini] when he was in at the beginning of the game?
A: Well, I just think he took himself out of the game. What would have happened if he were in the game for 28, 32 minutes, which he should have played? I don't know, I'm just saying that Tyler took himself out of the game with some careless fouls and it has been a problem in practice and we just have to develop some more discipline in all areas of the game. Like I said, when we step up and play against a Big Ten team, we're going to play against Villanova on Monday night, in order for us to compete and have a chance to win, we have to control the areas that we can control with more discipline.
Q: Can you talk about the play on the low-post by your big men? It seemed to be your strength in the game.
A: Yeah, outside Andreas [Schreiber] who took himself out of the game with fouls, I thought Conor Turley played an outstanding game and Mike Howlett contributed. Jack [Eggleston] was his steady self, played hard and we did some good things. There's a lot to be optimistic about, we just have to tighten up our execution. We have to hit foul shots, we have not shot foul shots well in two scrimmages and there's very little margin for error when you step up against teams like Penn State. But the frontcourt did some good things.
Q: You mentioned how there's little room for error- you have two days off and you're going up against a top-10 Villanova team, how are you going to try and correct some of things you didn't do right today?
A: Just get back and work on same things we've been working on. I think we'll have a little more urgency, at least in those areas, in practice. You don't have officials in practice and I think those two guys in particular, Tyler and Andreas, have shown a consistency of fouling in practice and today was a lesson to be learned. They both know that they let down the team and not because of effort, just because of a lack of focus and careless fouls that put them on the bench. I mean we have to have those guys on the floor for more than what the played tonight and then we talk about getting the ball inside, where we had some success and we have got to realize that and make the adjustment instead of just coming out and chucking up three's. But overall, this game should have came down to a few possessions at the end so we did some good things. I think we're going to be a good basketball team this year. I'm excited.
Q: How much of the game plan defensively was to try and get other guys than Battle to shoot?
A: Well we just wanted to shrink the floor defensively, close the gaps. If you're playing somebody other than Battle we wanted to get into the gaps and shrink the floor so he didn't see a lot of holes there. We have respect for the other guys on the team. They have some guys that can play and they have some other guys that can score so our approach wasn't to want everybody else too shoot, we had to play solid defense. I think at times we did and in the first half I thought we did an outstanding job boxing-out, rebounding the ball.
Q: Did you notice any extra defensive coverage on Tyler?
A: No, I mean Penn State does a heck of a job, of course they know that he can shoot the ball, but not anything special. They played good, solid defense. They're a very consistent team in what they do.