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March 16, 2018

Matt Painter

Carsen Edwards

Vincent Edwards

Detroit, Michigan

Purdue - 74, Cal State Fullerton - 48

THE MODERATOR: We'll start with an opening statement from Coach Painter and then we'll open the floor to questions for the student-athletes.

COACH PAINTER: I thought we did a really good job all around from a defensive standpoint. We knew what they wanted to do in their isolations and some of the things they run for Allman and Ahmad, two very good players. And I thought we did a good job of being in help and just making it hard on them.

Allman still had a really good game for them, getting 21 points. But I really like the effort that we had. We had a tough time settling into the game from an offensive standpoint. And as we started to make a few more, I thought we had a really good run to start the second half, and our guys did a good job of finding each other and we got into a good rhythm offensively.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. You had that crowd-pleasing block in the second half. What was that like with the crowd behind you, the Purdue faithful, how did that make you feel?
VINCENT EDWARDS: First, I was upset I turned the ball over. But secondly it was just hustling, making that hustle play and just not giving up. It doesn't matter what you're up in this tournament; you've always got to play hard from the time of the tip-off to zero.

Just trying to keep playing hard and fortunate enough to get the block. It's the risk of getting dunked on or it's the risk of getting the block. So I took that risk.

Q. Vince, how thankful were you that Carsen was making shots when it seemed like nobody else on your team was during that cold start?
VINCENT EDWARDS: I mean, it's what he's been doing for us all year. He's always that guy that we can count on, it seems like, down the stretch to make a shot when we need it or be able to get his shot. That's been big for us all year. And he's been consistent on doing it.

Q. Seemed like you guys came out with a ton of energy early in the second half. What was Coach's message for you in the locker room at halftime?
VINCENT EDWARDS: Just to -- our defense was good. He thought our defense was really good in the first half. Like you said, we got out to a slow start. He said don't worry about offense, just share the ball, move the ball, we'll be fine. Our offense will continue to do what we did on defense in the first half and tying up some things, and just don't let them get going. They have really good guard play. Rowe's a really good player. We couldn't let those guys get going. I thought we did a good job overall.

Q. Carsen, in that first half, when you pulled away, what were you trying to do, what was working for you? Did you feel like during that stretch when Purdue kind of made that run, that sealed it?
CARSEN EDWARDS: First half or second half?

Q. First half.
CARSEN EDWARDS: We came down, we just focused on getting stops. It's been a while since we played a game. We was just getting our legs under us. We were just focused on getting stops and we was able to hit some shots in the first half, but as we focused on getting stops, hopefully turn it into offense.

Q. Vincent, this is now about your third tournament counting World Games, Big Ten Tournament, Battle 4 Atlantis. Does that experience really help coming into the NCAAs now?
VINCENT EDWARDS: Of course. I feel like getting that experience to go represent your country is always special in Taipei, and being able to go out in the Bahamas, and of course we didn't start the way we wanted, but we finished strong and that carried us momentum.

We ended up going on a 19-game winning streak which is really good for us. The Big Ten Tournament didn't go the way we wanted it to, but the regular season didn't either. We just gotta responded by giving ourselves a chance, keep playing hard and we'll be fine.

Q. A lot has been made about the Big Ten Tournament, the lay-off you guys had. Now you're in the first game this morning. Is that playing in any of the sluggishness to start? Carsen, you said finding your legs?
CARSEN EDWARDS: Yeah, I was speaking for myself, I believe, just kind of little winded for that first media timeout. But we also kind of look at that break as a positive thing. Everybody get back healthy.

But I felt -- I felt fine later into the game. I started getting back into a groove, and I believe a lot of us did too coming into the second half as well. So, yeah.

Q. You and your coach have both talked about what you liked on defense. Moving forward, after this game, what's an area that you see you guys could improve on?
VINCENT EDWARDS: Definitely just communicating as a team. During ball screen or being help side wherever that may be, our communication has to be better for us. Our coaches can't do all the talking all the time, so as seniors, and Carsen being experienced with us as well, we've all got to do a better job talking.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. What's the latest on Isaac's right elbow?
COACH PAINTER: I have no idea. He obviously fell on it and he hurt it. So then he was going back. He kept holding it. I don't know if it was his elbow or his wrist, I don't know exactly what it was. But he kept holding it, and that's the reason I took him out there at the end of the game.

Q. You played all manner of games, early games, late games, all of that. What is different about playing the first game on a Friday morning?
COACH PAINTER: We've actually been good this year in noon games. As a coach you always worry about that. We played Butler in a noon game. We played at Minnesota, at Iowa, noon games, played well in all three of them.

So just kind of being ready. It's the same for both teams, obviously, but just trying to be ready. I think, going into the NCAA Tournament you can look at a little bit of a lay-off, you can look at a lot of different things. It's hard to quantify what it actually is when you don't shoot as well.

But a lot of times you can't forget about giving credit to the defense. I thought they played pretty well and did some good things, too. But you just gotta get yourself ready, gotta get yourself mentally up and get the guys going.

Obviously we don't have shoot-arounds on noon games. So sometimes we do when it gets kind of pushed down -- 2:30, 3:00, 4 o'clock, in that mid-afternoon we'll have a shootaround. It just depends on your team, how they play and what they do.

Q. You wanted your guys to keep playing even though you're up huge. You got that block that was referenced earlier. That pleased you and also seemed like Vince is back. Do you feel Vince is back with his ankle?
COACH PAINTER: Yeah, I thought he played well. I thought he did some good things for us. He's a versatile guy. So a lot of times rebounding the basketball, passing the basketball, defending, doing a lot of different things for us.

He obviously sprained his ankle a month ago. So any time you can have those type of experiences and positive experiences I think it just builds confidence.

Q. And the block?
COACH PAINTER: The block was a great play. They tried to jump switch at the play before. And we were trying to yell out, watch for that. And they did it again and got the steal. I thought that was just a great play. You kind of stayed with it. And anytime you can give one up you want to get it back and he was able to do that.

Q. You had P.J. picking up full court in the second half. Why did you -- and Nojel, too -- why did you both of them picking up full court there in the second half?
COACH PAINTER: We always do. Since I've been at Purdue, we've always picked up and we go pick up the ball and pressure the ball. We always try to, just try to take them out of rhythm, take some time. It's no different than the philosophy if someone did a 2-2-1 zone press, just to take some time off the clock. Just try to push them out a little bit when they start their offense just a little bit more, so they're not in that sweet spot.

A lot of people do ball screen motion stuff, and then if they can get out a little bit, you can get under ball screens to keep the ball out of the paint. Just kind of little things help. But that's how we play. We've always done that.

Q. 3-point shooting has been a strength all year and was in the second half. The first half, do you just chalk that up to rust?
COACH PAINTER: I chalk a couple of them up to decisions. I thought we took a couple of ill-advised ones, but for the most part I thought others ones were good shots, just didn't go down. And you'll have that. We always try to focus on our decision-making and taking good shots.

Whether that goes in or not, you know, sometimes guys will hang their head. You've just got to stay positive when you're doing good things because the law of averages, they're going to balance out.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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