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PURDUE TALKS ABOUT LOSS TO OHIO STATE

March 14, 2014
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



A.J. Hammons

Terone Johnson

Matt Painter


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

Ohio State – 63
Purdue – 61


COACH PAINTER:  Obviously I thought it was a disappointing loss for us.  It was a well fought game.  I thought we did some really good things in the first half defensively but simply couldn't rebound the basketball.  And they dominated us on the glass in the second half.  We challenged them at halftime to flip it on them.  And our guys did that.
We rebounded them by 11 in the second half and really made some good plays.
I think for us I thought our effort was pretty good and this has kind of been what we've been able to do at times is we've been able to play hard.  And when we play really hard, we don't play smart.  You're not going to beat Ohio State with 17 turnovers.  So at the end of it, you would like to have a handful or more possessions than we had.
And we had some unforced errors that got us.  But I don't doubt our guys.  I thought our effort was good tonight.
We weren't able to consistently this year play hard and play smart at the same time and those are two constants in the game you have to do if you're going to have a good team.

Q.  Terone, I know your career wasn't as great as you like.  Do you think with the new guys coming in you can get it going in the right direction?  And what's it going to have to take?
TERONE JOHNSON:  Yeah, I definitely think we can.  We've said that after each loss each time we talked to the media the talent was there in the room.  Those guys are going to have to be consistent with listening to Coach, listening to the leaders and just putting together runs and playing hard all of the time.  I think that's something that Coach is going to get them to do, get them rounded up to do.

Q.  Terone, just take me through that last shot and then, kind of what sunk in afterwards?
TERONE JOHNSON:  We just called the play.  We ran the play a couple of times during the game.  But basically I just come out the down screen from AJ.  We knew it was one second on the clock, so I could have a dribble.  But I thought I had enough space to get the shot off to win the game.  You know, it looked good when it was going up.  I really couldn't see if it went in or not, but it missed.

Q.  AJ, you played a career high 38minutes tonight, you didn't foul out.  You had four fouls throughout the end of the game.  How was that playing so much and just making such a big impact?
A.J. HAMMONS:  It was just trying to get my men on the boards really, but I just need to play a little bit harder and after the four fouls I just had to play smart because Coach was telling me sometimes you got to give some stuff up so I gave up a couple shots, but really just tried to alter shots.

Q.  Matt, in each of the three games against Ohio State, within, you know, ten, nine, eight?minute marks each time, the game was there to be won.  A little different in each scenario.  You had a chance at the end of the game.  What has it been about these three games just finishing?  Is it their experience?
COACH PAINTER:  Well, I thought the first two games, it was our turnovers led to a lot of fast break points.  Here we had the turnovers, but they didn't get fast break points.  I'd have to go back and look maybe at the type of turnover we were having.  Sometimes we just don't throw it directly to them, you double dribble or you travel and you throw it in the stands.
The score doesn't change.  It's not a good thing but the score still doesn't change.  They were converting the turnovers and the points.  Tonight we had the turnovers.  They weren't converting them into points.  They only had six points off of 17 turnovers.  Which is really really low for 17 turnovers.  So we were fortunate in that regard.  I really thought if we would have had 17 turnovers we would not be in the game.
So, you know, they didn't shoot well from the field.  Some guys on their team had high scoring nights, but they had to take 21shots to get 19points.  They had to take 16shots to get 16points.  So I thought our defense was pretty good, but I just thought the difference at the end of the day is we turned the ball over too much.
I don't like talking about what other people did when we don't do some basic things.  You leave this game and you have eight turnovers and you lose the game to make you feel better about yourself.  But when you have 17 turnovers you feel like you beat yourself.  That's how I always feel when we turn it over too much.

Q.  Coach, do you have any thoughts on that last play, go inside for AJ for two or were you going for the win?
COACH PAINTER:  The thing that they do if you watched Ohio State is they put their center on the ball so it's very difficult to go over the top of Amir Williams and then you got to put some size taking it out.  So we did the best we could with Kendall Stephens there.
We were going to set a simple screen.  A lot of times when you get in those situations with one second you can overthink yourself and it gets away from you and all of a sudden you don't get a shot at all.  The worst thing you can do in that situation is not get a shot.
We were going to set a simple screen with them.  If they wanted to switch, then we were going to go over the top.  That was our second option.  But if they weren't, we were going to take our rhythm three to win the game.

Q.  Matt, you talked about how seldom it was that you could get this team to play smart and hard at the same time.  For a coach, how frustrating is that and what can you try to do to change that?
COACH PAINTER:  Get better decision makers.  You got to take the guys that you already have and get them to make better decisions, keeping working with them.  It's a game of repetition.  We got to do a better job of playing fast and under control.  Then you got to recruit guys, you know, that can make a better decision.
Two years ago we were the number one team in the country with the fewest turnovers.  So this is a big changing of the guard for us from a personnel standpoint.  I don't care who you are, but if you don't give yourself a chance, you're going to end up losing basketball games.  We simply didn't give ourselves a chance this year because we turned the ball over too much.

Q.  Matt, I know you have been reluctant to talk about, with the regular season still going on, the Big Ten Tournament, but just for the record would you??
COACH PAINTER:  No.

Q.  This was it?  You're done?

Q.  Coach, Kendall on one of two threes made today, Kendall making one and tying it at 54 all, a big play for the Boilermakers, then Ronnie right before halftime, I think about a minute and a half or so you pulled him off of the bench, he made a couple of big plays.  And then also Ronnie getting that ball and taking the full length of the court.  About a minute and a half to go in the ball game and cutting the lead down to one.  So good moments in the ball game and some bright spots for the Boilermakers.  Just your comments on that?
COACH PAINTER:  We were able to make some plays and be able to do some things today.  I told our guys I didn't doubt their efforts, and our last game of the season I did doubt their effort.  I didn't think we played hard as a group.  We had a couple of individuals play hard, but as a group I didn't think we played very hard.
But, you know, it's not good enough.  Basketball games, it's one of those threes you're talking about we banked in, so we must be living right somewhat.  But we just have to be more consistent.  We got to take care of the basketball.
I know I keep getting back to it, but that's the game.  That is a constant in the game that you have to be able to do.  We got to make improvements next year on that.

Q.  You mentioned the turnovers a couple of times, but Ronnie had seven turnovers, 12points, three assists, he got it in the paint, found AJ a few times.  You know, it comes back to the turnovers again.  What did you think of his day overall?
COACH PAINTER:  I thought, you know, he did some good things for us.  He has the ability with his speed to break people down and to put us in situations that others can't.  But he has to be able to take care of the basketball as your point guard.


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