We can’t fit it all into next day’s edition, so here are some quotes that stood out during last night’s post game press conference.
“He just made some tough shots, he is a good player, probably by far the best that I have guarded. He just made good shots and hit the ones he was open on.” – Earl Calloway on Southern Illinois’s Jamaal Tatum
Translation: It was fun to watch Calloway and Tatum go at it Sunday night. Calloway’s comment has some depth, considering Indiana has played Butler, Duke and Kentucky this season.
“From what I have seen from A.J. he is pretty good one night and then he’s in the witness protection program the next night. We’ll see if he shows up Wednesday or if we need to get hounds out after him.” – Kelvin Sampson on A.J. Ratliff
Translation: This was by far the most awkward moment of the night. Sampson said this with Ratliff right next to him. Ratliff just stared into space though taking it all in, instead of showing any reaction. I think it’s good that Sampson is communicating openly to his players, but it’s interesting he singled out Ratliff. He could have easily said the same thing for D.J. White, Rod Wilmont, or a myriad of other players.
“Both teams were competing. It wasn’t bad offense as much as it was good defense.” – Kelvin Sampson
Translation: I’ll give Sampson the fact that the teams were playing good defense, but that WAS bad offense. Nobody is playing defense on free throws (except for the fans waving their hands, which can’t be that effective). The Hoosier offense stalled in the first half more times than it did not. Southern Illinois did come into the game allowing the second least amount of points a game in the country, but the Hoosier’s need to look internally to fix some of their offensive woes.
“Where weâ€™ve gotten better as the season goes on is defending through some adversity. We had a lot of shots that probably can go in for us, hopefully they can, we missed some free throwsâ€¦but we never stopped defending. We competed. We played hard. “ – Kelvin Sampson
Translation: This quote came from Sampson’s opening statements, before the press asked any questions. I think this shows that Sampson has a great deal of optimism regarding his team this season. They’ve had some obvious speed bumps towards success this year, but I think its clear Sampson isn’t thinking at all about Eric Gordon and JaMarcus Ellis next season. It’s his first year, and they aren’t all his players, but Sampson has continued to praise his team’s attitude all year. In one form or another, Sampson has said he really likes coaching these players because of their strong character.