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March 21, 2019

Carsen Edwards

Matt Haarms

Matt Painter

Hartford, Connecticut

Purdue - 61, Old Dominion - 48

MATT PAINTER: I thought our guys were ready to play tonight. More than anything, I thought they were ready to defend. I thought our guys did an excellent job in the first half. You knew sooner or later that Old Dominion was going to get going and get on a run. Just so many offensive players. I think our guys hung in there and got late plays in the game. It's difficult. They never let us get in a rhythm even though we were up by 20 at one time. It was hard getting in there and getting down the key stretch and making key stops.

Q. Carsen, maybe you can address this. The coach said you expect them to make a run and they did. You got it in single digits, I guess. What did you guys talk amongst yourselves about, how to kind of fend that off, once it did happen?
CARSEN EDWARDS: We just focus on getting stops. We just focus on getting stops and kind of pull it back out.

Q. Carsen, first of all, how does your back feel? And second, you were in a bit of a shooting slump. How did it feel in the first half to see some of those go in?
CARSEN EDWARDS: I'm just glad our team won. We don't talk about having a slump or things like that. I'm just focused on helping my team win, if I'm able to hit shots and help my team get a win. I'm focused on helping my team win.

Q. I just got a quick question for you. This is a late tip. I don't know how often in your coaching career you had a late tip on a Thursday or Friday. What goes into the prep for you and how do you keep your guys loose? You're waiting the whole day to start this tournament game.
MATT PAINTER: It's difficult. I think it's different for each player. I don't think as a whole -- there's a few guys, they're so antsy, you get them going. You wake up and have breakfast at 8:30. We went and had a shoot-around at 11:00 to 12:30. We went and had lunch, and they take a four-hour nap and then you have pregame. There's not a whole lot you can do. You just want them to get off their feet.

But I don't know why the first game can't start, you know, 45 minutes to an hour before, and this is a 9:20 tip, you know, or a 9:10. I just don't understand. Like maybe there's an explanation to that. But I am kind of bewildered why they do that. It really, to me, doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you're talking about student-athletes. You can still get the games in, it's not impossible. You just got to start it a little bit earlier.

Q. Matt, obviously a big blow losing Nojel for the first half. What are your thoughts on his limited performance in the second half?
MATT PAINTER: I think when you come out and have the starting five and started them the whole season especially the guy that started the whole game. Now he slips, and hurts himself, now he can't go. You can't make an adjustment at that time. It's just the next man up. I thought Eric Hunter was great. Even though he didn't score a lot of points, he didn't turn the ball over. He had the best plus-minus on our team. He did a really good job for us. I think that was huge. Some other guys got some extended minutes.

Getting Nojel in there wasn't as much for this game as it was for the next game. He said he could go, but he needed to get in there and play a little bit and hopefully get a little bit of confidence and feel better and hopefully be able to go, full go against Villanova.

Q. Matt, there's been a lot of talk about Carsen being in a slump. Do you think he's in a slump?
MATT PAINTER: I think any time you've played a lot and you've been in a lot of games, it's the other things you have to be able to do to help your team win. I think you kind of touched on that. He hasn't shot a high percentage this year. He hasn't shot -- his percentages haven't been as good as it was in the past year. Yet we won the Big Ten and we got a 3-seed. Ultimately that's what your goal is. I think he's done a better job on the defensive end.

Each team is a little different in terms of how they throw people at them, how they handle the ball screens how they handle him in general. I think he's done a good job. It's hard when you're a perimeter guy and sometimes you get in some of those results. He's one of those guys you feel he can get out of it. For us, he's had struggles and we've still won. He obviously touched on that. That's what the most important thing is, you know, he's still helping us win games.

Q. Matt, I just wondered what your procedures and processes are for preparing for the second game on the weekend when you don't have four days to put into it, and also your thoughts on it's a totally different team with Villanova but playing the defending champs?
MATT PAINTER: We were obviously in the same bracket as they were last year and we played them last year. And I don't really look -- I haven't watched them play besides just during the year randomly. I always just keep the focus on the opponent in front of you, so now we'll go back and wake up early tomorrow and start getting ready for them, but they're very efficient. You know, they play very hard. They don't beat themselves.

Obviously the success they've had speaks for itself. So I think more than anything, your preparation in that second day is more about you. Don't turn the basketball over, make it hard on your opponent. But that's easier said than done as you start to advance and get to that second round and try to get to the Sweet 16. It's pretty difficult, especially when you're competing against the National Champs.

Q. Coach, what was the exact injury for Nojel and do you expect him to be 100 percent Saturday?
MATT PAINTER: They said he sprained his ankle. I have no idea. You would have to ask those guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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