March 13, 2010
Box Score |
COACH PAINTER: First of all, I want to
congratulate Minnesota. With everything on the
line, I thought it was going to be a great college
basketball game, and obviously it wasn't. But
hopefully that victory got Minnesota into the NCAA
Tournament, and I think they deserved it, and they
kept their head up. They kept battling all year
through adversity, through some suspensions,
some guys not playing for them, and they just kept
plugging and I think they've got a great team and
they're going to do a great job in the NCAA
Just unfortunate. We have a great group
of guys that have worked very hard to be in this
position and now be 27-5, we've had a great
season, and being 2-3 in the Big Ten and battling
back and being Big Ten champs.
I'm proud of our guys, but we simply didn't
have anything in our tank today, and obviously
Minnesota did and they had some things go their
way to start the game and we didn't, and it
snowballed from there. The game of basketball
will humble you, and today we were obviously
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Chris
Q. JaJuan, they just seemed to have a
relentless pursuit for rebounds today, and
you've talked all year about that, how key that
is for you guys to rebound. Early in the game
did that create the snowball?
JaJuan Johnson: Yeah, it definitely
makes a difference. Any time your shots are not
falling, they're rebounding really well, and they're
having shots fall for their end, it really doesn't -- it's
not good on your end really. So credit to them.
They really played hard. They played with a sense
of urgency, and unfortunately we didn't come out
Q. Chris, obviously without Robbie,
some people have questioned what your
seeding will be in the NCAA Tournament,
maybe a 2, 3. That coupled with this loss, can
that really affect your seeding or do you guys
think you are pretty solid at a 2 or 3?
Chris Kramer: Basically none of that is
in our hands. The only thing we can do is -- we've
got to win basketball games, and today we didn't
have the effort we needed to. We didn't play as
well as we'd like. So everything, the seeding and
where we're going to go is in the selection
committee's hands, so we've got to take that.
Whatever they put us, whatever seed we are,
we've just got to take that and learn as much about
it, have as much fun as we can, have a great week
of practice and then come out and lay it on the line.
Q. Coach talked about not having
much in the tank. The game yesterday was
physical and taxing. Did that have something
to do with this?
Chris Kramer: That game was very
physical, but when it all comes down to it, you have
to prepare yourself to play three games in three
days. I just think mentally we weren't ready to play
three games in three days, so we've got to do that.
Now we've got to move forward from this,
keep this in the back of our mind, remember how
this felt, that solid taste in our mouths, and use that
as motivation this next week in practice and try to
flip -- everything that Minnesota did today against
us, rebounding teams, just flat out playing harder,
we've got to try to flip that and put it on somebody
JaJuan Johnson: Yeah, like Chris
said, a lot of teams going in, we expect that we're
going to play three games, so mentally we should
have been ready to come out and have something
in our tank really.
In the NCAA Tournament, it doesn't get
any better. You might have a couple days off, but
if you keep advancing it's going to be like that. It's
like that for every team.
Q. How do you bounce back from this?
What do you as one of the two seniors, what
can you do to help this team bounce back from
Chris Kramer: I mean, we're 27-5, so
we've had a great season. We had some adversity
today. We've just got to come out and just stay
together. Everyone is doubting us. The only
people that really believe in our team are the
people in our locker room. We've just got to come
together and have a big-time effort every time we
step on the court from here on now because at this
point in the season it's win or go home.
Q. JaJuan, a bucket right before
halftime, which cut the lead down to 26. But
shortly into the second half, back-to-back field
goals for you, a couple free throws, a tech was
called and a couple more free throws knocked
down, and then you got the crowd into it, got it
within 18. Your thoughts at that point of the
JaJuan Johnson: Pretty much just
tried to just keep chipping away at that lead really
was our main focus. That's all we really had to do
at that point. When you dig yourself that deep of a
hole, you've just got to take each possession at a
time really and just make progress from there.
Q. Unfortunately at this point, you guys
are kind of used to seeing players go down.
That means something. I don't know how
much you know about Lewis. Can you speak
to what you guys need to do in case he is out
and the mentality going forward with that?
Chris Kramer: We played the first half
of the season without Lew. Optimistic, I think Lew
is going to be back. Lew is a competitor. But
we've just got to have everybody else step up if
Lew is not out there, which at this point we don't
know anything about that. So I mean, everyone
else has got to be more efficient and everyone else
has got to play harder but it comes down to getting
stops on the basketball for our team.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach
Q. Take us through halftime. Stat-wise
I'm not going to give you any stats, but the
number, the worst half Purdue basketball has
had since 1950. What in the world do you tell
any of these kids at that point?
COACH PAINTER: Well, you know, I
talked to them about being 2-3 in the Big Ten when
we were in Evanston, and I told them I thought we
could still win the Big Ten. I also told them I was
crazy, and they understand that.
But I did believe we could win the Big Ten.
We were 2-3, and I told them at that time. That's
what's great about competitive sports. You get
ultimate challenges, and people already had a
question, where do you turn from here, and you've
got to dig deep. You've got to play within yourself.
I just told them, you've got to -- I tried to
get them to believe they could win the game. It's
26 points. They said, hey, has this ever been
done, has anyone ever come back from 26 points?
And the answer is yes. Very rarely, but it has
happened. I think LSU came back from 29 points
against Kentucky about 15 years ago. I just tried
to get them to believe. If you can do that, why
can't you come back in this game and battle?
So we did it at a point, and they framed the
question -- we had a good fight. But our fight
came from guys that did not start for us. Our fight
came from D.J. Byrd, from Ryne Smith, Barlow had
a little bit right there. Why we didn't play well or
why we didn't have it, it's one thing to miss shots,
but when you get out-rebounded by 24 and you
have as many misses as we had tonight you are
going to get out rebounded by not by 24. Our guys
have done a great job rebounding. It's not our
strength, but still, it's an effort. The ball is going to
go in for us a lot better than it did tonight, and it is
one of these games you have to learn from.
Hopefully it doesn't happen again.
Like I said in my opening comments, the
game will humble you, and obviously today we
Q. Two things: First, any immediate
prognosis on Lewis Jackson and E'Twaun?
And secondly, are you concerned you may
have played your way into a 3 seed?
COACH PAINTER: Well, you know, I think
a 2 or a 3, it's really not that big of a deal. Just like
a 1 or a 2, some people can argue that. The
percentages say the better seed you have, the
more you're going to advantage. It's small, but it's
still -- so you're fighting to get the best seeds you
can. But it still comes to us, especially as a
matchup. The matchups are very important every
year, but they're going to be very important to us
with our group.
E'Twaun got hit a little bit. He was able to
go back in the game. When I put him back in the
game, I didn't think it made a whole lot of sense for
him to go back in. I didn't take him out because of
his injury, I took him out because the game was
over. Those other guys needed to play.
Lewis, the guy said he stepped on top of
his foot, but they thought it would be okay. They
didn't think it was something where he couldn't
come back and play here this week. But I really
don't know the answer to those questions, I'm just
taking what the trainer said during the game.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about what
you saw from the Minnesota defense,
especially in that first 15 minutes?
COACH PAINTER: I thought Minnesota
was great today. You know, silver lining to us,
playing so poorly. Just kind of the Big Ten
Tournament, I think we've got six teams in the
tournament now, and that's great.
I thought their size, they do a good job with
their size. They zoned us the time before. We had
some success against them man to man. We
actually had some success against them to start
the game against the zone in Minneapolis. So we
just had some good looks at the basket, and the
ball just didn't go down for us. But they have good
size, good athleticism, good quickness, very good
balance. At times the guys he brings off the
bench, they're just as productive as the starters.
So he's got a good group.
Q. You know, Moore goes down and
Jackson goes down. Do you get to a point as a
coach, what's next?
COACH PAINTER: Well, you can't feel
sorry for yourself. You have to play. We have to
play better than we did today. We have to rebound
better. But I'm proud of our guys. We're 27-5.
We've had a great season. We've just got to regroup,
come out and play better and play smarter.
When you get down, you can't get frustrated.
You've got to chip away at it one possession at a
time, and you could see where our frustration
Injuries are part of the game, and you've
got to take it in stride. When other teams have
injuries and we beat them, we don't have any
sympathy for them, so we know people aren't
going to have sympathy for us.
Q. What's your thoughts about, they're
thinking about expanding the tournament from
64 to 96. What's your thoughts about
COACH PAINTER: Well, it's one of those
things in theory, right now, it makes for good
conversation. A part of me likes it, a part of me
doesn't. I think there's some rules that have
happened in college basketball from the
three-point line to the 45-second clock and the
35-second clock that everybody said don't do it,
don't do it, it's a great game, and it was better for
This is obviously expanding it and getting
more teams in. But it'll be interesting, the criteria
of the expansion in terms of who now is going to
be the next teams that come in, and will it water it
down a little bit.
I like it. The teams keep adding Division I
since they started in 1985, '86, whenever it was. It
went to 64 and it eventually got to 65. There's
been a lot of teams jump into Division I. Are those
teams going to the NCAA Tournament now? No,
they're not, but are they going to work towards it,
or is it going to be more towards major schools.
It's interesting to see. You can't really have an
opinion about something you haven't been through
yet, so it's hard to say.
Q. Between the 27-5 record but then
Robbie's injury and then the game today,
whether it's from the committee's perspective
or even just fans looking at you guys, what's
the most fair way to look at Purdue right now?
How should people be evaluating you guys,
where you are right now?
COACH PAINTER: Well, they have to
evaluate us really for where we are in terms of the
guys on our roster and the guys that are currently
playing in my opinion. I think we're 4-2 without
Rob. I think we're a good basketball team.
Obviously we're not better at this point than when
Rob Hummel was playing. I think that is a pretty
profound statement. But we can't control a part of
that. We've got to go out and play and not make
excuses, and we've got to figure a way -- our guys
figured a way to win the Big Ten without him.
We had a tough loss against Michigan
State and then going on the road, played Penn
State on the road versus Indiana, and then winning
the first round against Northwestern. And so guys
are familiar in your league because I think it's
tough because we're now making an adjustment,
and we've had some games under our belt.
They have to evaluate us in our current
state, and we understand that. We're just going to
find out tomorrow where we play, and then we're
going to watch some film and go out there and try
Q. You've often said some coaches in
this situation will say, you know, forget that, go
on, play a new day. But you've always kind of
talked about you've got to sit in it a little bit,
there's not a lot of days before your next game.
I want to ask you that, to respond to that, given
that the NCAA is right around the corner. And
then the other thing I wanted to ask you, I
noticed because you put all the other guys in
the game and I noticed Stevie Loveless wasn't
there. Is he with you?
COACH PAINTER: Yeah, we had a travel
roster of 15, and I wanted to leave that open in
case Rob wanted to come to the game. So with
that -- you know, I talked about the comment -- the
comment comes from us when we lost that first
year and we were 9-19 and haven't forgotten about
There's also particular games that happen
when the wheels fall off and you have a bad day,
and they had a great day and we had a bad day,
and I look at it as we need to burn that tape, forget
about it, because we had 27 great wins this year
and we need to play to our strengths and go out
and just prepare for our first round opponent.