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Penn State 86, Campbell 75
November 10, 2017
Bryce Jordan Center (University Park, Pa.)
Penn State Head Coach Patrick Chambers Quotes
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Opening statement: I thought we defensively did a really, really good job for 30 minutes. I know that sounds funny to say, the kid [Clemens] had 39 points. I knew it was going to be a hard game, and I knew the way they played at the end of last year. I knew all about Clemens. He reminds me a lot of Allen Iverson, just a guy that can score and get to the free throw line. I knew he would be able to try and keep his team in it. I thought our defense was really, really good for 30 [minutes]. We have ten more minutes. Foul trouble messed us up. With Lamar [Stevens] getting in foul trouble, Nazeer [Bostick] getting in foul trouble, and Tony [Carr] gets his third, and I have to take him out for a couple of minutes there, we had some unusual lineups out there.We are 1-0, and I’m going to take a lot of positives away from this game. Mike Watkins is back on Sunday. He’ll be playing and be starting.
Q: You guys got to the free throw line 41 times tonight, even with the end of the game free throws, I think that’d be 33 free throw attempts if you adjust for that. What do you like about your team’s aggressiveness?
Once we recognized we were on the bonus or the one-and-one pretty early, we wanted to drive the ball more and not settle. I didn’t want to settle for threes at the point. We only took five in the second half, but they were good ones. They were really good ones, good looks. I wanted to keep putting pressure on the paint, keep putting them in situations where they’re on their heels, and they’re going to foul us. It was great to see us shoot 80 percent. It was really good, we got the right guys to the free throw line.
Q: How did you like pace overall from start to finish?
I’m trying to play 70 possessions a game. I think that puts us right in our wheelhouse where we can really get the ball up the floor quickly before the defense gets set. It was tough today with how they attacked us. Again, I thought Kevin [McGeenhan] did a great job with 1-3-1 just to slow us down. He was trying to slow us down, and it was smart. We just played with concepts. It was a concept day. We ran some cuts, but it was mostly concepts. Just moving, passing, cutting, and screening because you didn’t know if they’re in 2-3 or man. I want to play with a really good pace. Scoring eighty-some points today was good for us.
Q: Coach, what did see from Tony Carr’s offensive play in the second half? It seemed like every time Campbell would take a run and cut it to five, Tony came up with that big bucket you guys needed.
He made big buckets, and he made some great passes too that put us in position to be successful, which is great. He showed some leadership. You could see he was disappointed they had made a run on us, and he wasn’t going to let us lose this game. He was going to come out and compete, and he did that. He took it on his shoulders. We can’t have that every game. He’s also very unselfish, and he’s going to get the ball to the right guy or the hot hand. That’s why he’s tough to guard. He was close to a triple-double. That’s how well he played. I loved his approach. His approach was fantastic. I thought his leadership shined through in huddles. He’s just got to keep it going.
Penn State Men’s Basketball Player Quotes
Tony Carr | So. | G | #10
Tony [Carr], you’re probably one of the rare guys that can have a career night and feel like he could’ve played better at the same time. How do you assess your play? Obviously you filled the stat sheet, but in general, how do you feel?
I feel like I definitely could have played better. My shot was inconsistent. I had some bad misses. Like you said, I can have a career night, but I know I can do some things better. I just try to focus on the positives as much as I can. Coach [Chambers] said my defense is better, so that was good to hear.
Tony [Carr], how well do you think Jamari [Wheeler] played, and what does he do to compliment your game?
I think Jamari played very well. He doesn’t look like a freshman out there to me. Just his style of play, he plays the same way every game, every practice, every time he steps on the floor. He’s a big help to me just for him to come in and just run as point guard for me to get off the ball at times and be able to do different things on the court. It’s great having Jamari out there.
What was the plan for stopping Clemons and how you guys think you executed on that plan?
The plan was just to make things tough for him, and I think we did a good job. Guys like that are going to score regardless. It’s just how you make it tough on them. He had to dribble about 10 to 12 times every time he was getting to the basket, so we just wanted to make things tough on him. I think we did a pretty good job.
Pat [Chambers] said that Mike [Watkins] is going to be back in action. How is this team different when he’s out there on the floor?
The team is much different. We have another one of our best defensive players out there. Josh [Reaves] is the anchor of our defense, but Mike is right behind him. He’s a very big piece to our team on offense and defense. Just having him back in the locker room, knowing that he’s going out there with us, is going to be big on Sunday.
Tony [Carr], what was the mindset like for you in the second half when Campbell was making those runs and you kept coming up with those big buckets to keep extending the lead to the team?
I just try to make the best plays for my team, whether that’s shooting or passing or diving on the floor, doing anything. I just try to do what my team needs of me, and at that point in time, it was just to score the basketball. I just wanted to have a scoring mindset down the stretch and lead us to the win.
Josh Reaves | Jr. | G | #23
Josh [Reaves], you’re obviously a big defensive guy. How do you feel like that went for you guys tonight? Obviously, it’s tough against a guy like Chris [Clemons] who’s going to put up his points regardless, but how do you think the last 30 minutes or so went?
I feel like we played really good team defense towards the end, just trying to lock in and get the stops that we needed to seal the 'W,' but I mean there’s always room to improve. I know, individually, I have things that I can work on. As a team, we have things we can work on. We’re going to go into practice tomorrow, and we’re just going to do what we need to do to work on those little things.
Q: Josh [Reaves], you’re typically a guy who plays with a ton of energy. How much was that energy heightened on the first night of the season?
The energy is definitely heightened because we haven’t played in front of a lot of people recently. We’ve had some issues and stuff like that, but it’s nothing like coming back to the BJC and having your home opener. I wasn’t able to have that chance last year, so I was just trying to bring as much energy and hype everybody up as much as possible so that everybody can get focused and get ready for the game. It did that.
Opponent Head Coach
Kevin McGeehan, Campbell Head Coach
Opening statement: I thought we played hard. I thought we played a pretty good game. When you come into a Big Ten school, you have to do just about everything right to win. I thought we hung pretty well on the boards. Probably gave up way too many offensive rebounds. Things have to go your way with such a physical team. We had a hard time guarding [Tony] Carr. Obviously, he’s terrific. I thought we did a nice job battling and keeping our composure. Cutting it to five late, I think shows there's a little grit in our team. I think we’ll get better as the season goes on. I think it’s great to come in here and I give credit to Penn State. The Nittany Lions played well. I’ve known Pat [Chambers] a long time. I was expecting a good hard fight. This will help us grow. This will help us be more prepared for playing in our league and continue through the nonconference
Q: Carr’s length for a point guard, he’s able to score in a lot of different ways, how much of a challenge is that?
We put our power forward on him at the end of the game. He’s a tremendous player. His length and his pace are really good. He just has a good sense of the game. He’s calm and poised. He just let the game, however, unfold. It just happens for him. If that means he drives and drops off late to somebody, then that's what he does. If a three shows up and they need a big one, then he does that. His length is a factor. I think across the board; the length was a factor. Just tip from behind, I think it surprised Chris [Clemons] a little bit about how they were able to get their hands-on balls and just disrupt them. It wasn't like he lost every time, it was just a little disruptive.
Q: What did you think of your defensive efforts?
I thought we did a pretty good job in the first half. We were mixing with our full-court zone. They beat us a couple of times over the top. We just felt like going man-to-man down the stretch was going to help us be aggressive enough to help us a make a play or two to cut into the lead, which it did. Overall, I think our defense was pretty decent. I wish we had found a way to stop Carr a little bit. I would say he got a lot of free throws towards the end. He’s a handful and very hard to guard.
Q: How much of that mixing zone is something you regularly employ?
Towards the end of last year, we started doing it quite a bit. We have continued to grow with it and make adjustments to it. It had been pretty good for us, so we just continue to try it. Just figuring it keeps a team a little off balance since you’re getting two different looks. You are getting a zone look, and a man look. It had been pretty effective for us towards the end of last year. So, we just kind of continued with that. Not necessarily game-specific for Penn State.