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March 15, 2019

Matt Painter

United Center - Chicago, Illinois

Minnesota - 75, Purdue - 73

MATT PAINTER: Well, obviously going to the Big Ten Tournament and getting to the quarterfinals and getting a double bye helps you, but you've got to be able to win games.

Today was a tough one for us. We just couldn't make enough plays down the stretch to either get a little bit of a lead or to get them away from us.

But you've got to give Minnesota credit; I thought they played well. They did some really good things. They obviously shot the ball extremely well in the first half, and we hung in there and we battled back and put ourselves in a good position. We just -- they made a couple more plays than we did.

Q. When you win a conference tournament, is the focus there coming into this tournament, or when you win the conference is the focus not there? Do you tend to relax a little bit because you've already kind of got it?
MATT PAINTER: No, I think those are kind of thoughts by a fan or somebody who's writing an article. I think as a player you just compete. Minnesota beat us last week; we want to beat Minnesota. So for our guys, for nothing else, Minnesota got the best of them, and now they want to beat Minnesota. I don't look at it that way, and I know they don't look at it that way, but Minnesota obviously was better than us, and they deserved to win.

Q. Carson has struggled in February and he also struggles at the barn. What was his deal tonight?
MATT PAINTER: Just getting in rhythm. I think for him, when you've played a lot of games like he has and got into your junior year in college and you've seen a lot of different defenses and different people guarding you, for him it's kind of settling into a game, and sometimes when he can't settle into a game and somebody makes it really hard on him, now he doesn't get into that rhythm, now he never really kind of gets it going.

He needs to get to the free-throw line, get some lay-ups and kind of have a mix, not just threes, have some pull-ups, have some lay-ups, get to the free-throw line. And they never really allowed that. I thought Minnesota did a really good job defending him, not just in this game but also at the barn.

Q. Coach, early exit; it can be a blessing in disguise, give you guys some rest, get you guys ready for the tournament.
MATT PAINTER: Yeah, when you've done it a while -- when you first start doing it and you start getting into conference tournaments, you kind of talk about your first question, like you want to win it all, you want to win the conference tournament, but you really get judged on how you do in the NCAA Tournament.

We've done it before and won a couple games, and then you get to that quick Thursday game, and it's a little bit harder. It just depends on the team that you have and the depth that you have. I think that's also -- and the mental toughness. If you have a team with a lot of mental toughness, I don't think a lot of that matters. You're going to run into tough teams no matter who you play.

But there's only one way to look at it after you get beat. Get some rest and try to keep your focus on the NCAA Tournament and find out that first opponent and start to do your homework and figure some things out.

But as a competitor, you'd rather keep playing.

Q. How difficult is it to defend Jordan Murphy when he just makes all those high-emergency plays all night?
MATT PAINTER: Yeah, he's a tough guard. For us, we put our center on him and tried to make it hard. If we can't get to a double-team and it's too far away from us, we want to put Matt Haarms on him as much as possible. Trevion Williams has really long arms, and we want to try to contest him.

The thing that he does so well that he really didn't do until the end of the game was that he can kind of shoot shots, and he knows where they're going and he can get those balls back, whether he gets fouled or dunks it or makes a lay-up. He's a really good player. I'm happy to see him leave. And so hopefully we don't play them in the NCAA Tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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