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March 14, 2019

Patrick Chambers

Madison Square Garden - New York, New York

Minnesota - 77, Penn State - 72 (OT)

PATRICK CHAMBERS: You know what, I'm really proud of my team. I'm disappointed it ended today. I felt like we were just starting to figure some things out. We were just getting better.

Man, February and March were a lot of fun for us, and we had to grow in November and December and January, one of the hardest schedules in the country. Couldn't be more proud of a group.

Man, did I enjoy coaching them. I enjoyed coaching these guys when it was 0-10, 0-8, 0-5, it didn't matter. They showed up. They showed up. They gave great effort in practice, and then I think that's why you saw it flip for us, And I think that's why you saw us play so well down the stretch.

Our seniors, Josh Reaves, just unbelievable. He played his heart out today, but he gave -- for four years that kid gave us everything. Deivis Zemgulis, what he's meant to this program, what he's done on and off the floor for us, his leadership, just amazing. Again, it's unfortunate.

Give Minnesota credit, give Richard credit. Coffey made some big plays down the stretch, made a big three there in the overtime where we were reeling a little bit.

But again, I think this was such a great experience for our younger guys. Our freshmen struggled a little bit today. It's a big stage. It's a big stage for them, and they'll learn from that.

So our freshmen become sophomores, that's a great thing, sophomores become juniors and juniors become seniors. I really like the direction of where this program is headed.

And I'd be remiss not to thank our athletic director, Sandy Barbour, for all her support when things weren't going our way. She did not waver. She believed in me, and she believed in this group, and I think that's why we finished so well. I don't know many teams that started out 0-10 and finished the way we did and get a bye. I was very positive with my team in there, and I'll continue to be positive.

Q. This was a game where in the first half, especially, Minnesota kind of stayed in it. There were some questionable calls. How do you and the players stay within yourselves when frustration is building?
PATRICK CHAMBERS: Yeah, we've just got to keep the same attitude. We're built on attitude. I keep saying that. I tried to calm my emotions, too. Again, the refs are good officials. They're Big Ten officials, so we have to do a better job of developing those great habits. I agree, I thought if we let them get to the free-throw line 25 plus times, we were going to be in trouble because that's where they scored the majority of our points.

Now, we did foul at the end there. So you take those fouls away, they still were getting to the free-throw line. I thought Lamar could have got there a few more times, but they didn't think so.

Q. We talk a lot about Mike finally having his breakout game. We saw it a little bit against Rutgers, but today I think was his best offensive output. How important is that to the team as a whole when Mike really has it going?
PATRICK CHAMBERS: I think it was a critical stage, too, when maybe Lamar was struggling to score and they were really loading up on him and confusing him a little bit, and then we started to call some plays for Mike and got some rebounds. That was big. That was big.

So it was nice to see Mike, and I know he played a lot of minutes. But we're going to ask a lot more of him.

Q. Your freshmen guards, Myreon, Myles, and Rasir, I believe had a combined three points tonight. Can you talk about how it's a big stage, their first Big Ten Tournament. Can you attribute their struggles to anything besides the fact that it was a big stage?
PATRICK CHAMBERS: You know what, they're young. Again, this is the first time. Everything is new. These experiences are all new for these freshmen. I think these freshmen are going to be really, really good, and they've shown that. They showed it especially in the month of February and March. Another great experience, another great learning lesson, another growth opportunity, and that's the way I'm going to present it.

Q. We've talked a few times this season where you go through these dry spells at crucial points in the game, and that did happen again at the end of regulation tonight. Do you find again this game was kind of a microcosm of the season?
PATRICK CHAMBERS: I wouldn't say the season, I would say December and January, a little bit like that. I thought we got really good shots off, I really did. I thought Lamar had some good ones, I thought Josh had a good one. We executed exactly what we needed to execute to put guys in position to be successful, and it just didn't go our way.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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