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March 23, 2019

Matt Painter

Ryan Cline

Carsen Edwards

Hartford, Connecticut

Purdue - 87, Villanova - 61

MATT PAINTER: Obviously, you know, we're excited about moving on. I thought we played the best game of the year, and you know, you want to be playing your best basketball at this time. I thought our defense was really good. It's a little bit easier sometimes to play defense, and be detailed when the ball's going in for you. So we got into such a good rhythm offensively but we also got good balance, rhythm threes and getting the ball to the rim on some slips and getting lay-ups.

I thought our guys were really good on both ends of the court and excited about being able to move on. We beat obviously a very good team, Big East champs, the defending National Champs. We bragged on Villanova, and the closest thing we have to that is probably Michigan State. Just talked about how tough they were, how disciplined they were, and that we were going to have to be able to have both of those qualities ourselves if we're going to put ourself in a position to win this game.

Just proud of our guys for battling tonight and being hooked up and being ready to play.

Q. Carsen, obviously, there's like 7 for 23 the last game. You started off so hot in this one. How important was that, and when did you know you were having a career night?
CARSEN EDWARDS: Honestly, I wouldn't say I knew I had a career night until the game was over. I was just so focused on trying to get the win, especially in games like this where you value every possession. I was out there fighting with my brothers, and was able to get the win and I was able to have some shots fall for me.

Q. Carsen, how tired have you been of people asking you about not shooting well and kind of what a statement this performance makes?
CARSEN EDWARDS: If we're being really honest, I'm very tired of it, but I understand. I just have to keep working even after being able to have a game like this, I still have to stay in the gym, continue to work, and continue to prepare for the next game. I'm really tired of it, but I'm thankful to be able to have some shots fall for me today.

Q. Ryan, coming into this game could you have imagined having a performance like that where you beat the defending champions by about 30 points?
RYAN CLINE: Obviously, coming out hot and playing really well defensively was big-time for us. We were able to maintain that lead and basketball is a game of runs. And we stopped them from getting that big run.

Q. Carsen, you probably don't know this, but you now have the record for three-pointers for a game in this building. You beat Ray Allen. He had 8 against Miami in 1995. Does that make this performance tonight even more special to you?
CARSEN EDWARDS: Well, that's crazy. I didn't know that. That's crazy, and I'm blessed to be able to shoot the ball like that and be able to make threes like that. But I feel like the most memorable thing is just being able to make it back to the Sweet 16 and beating a good team like this, and I guess just playing well individually. But I'm just happy for my team, we still have a game to play for the season.

Q. Both of you, can you just address how important it was to have Matt do what he did early in the paint, and what that did for you guys on the outside?
RYAN CLINE: Yeah, I was obviously very impressed with Matt. He's already shown that he can do that, but he was rebounding the ball really well tonight. He was there on a lot of slips offensively. He was at the right place at the right time.

CARSEN EDWARDS: Yeah. Basically the same thing he said. Matt played well on both ends. To be able to protect the rim, but also rebound the ball, get some slips and get some easy baskets for us. Just playing hard and bringing energy was big-time for us.

Q. Coach, can you talk a little about the job Nojel, especially on his ankle, did and Eric Hunter on Booth?
MATT PAINTER: Phil Booth is obviously a very good player. We wanted to keep him out of the paint, and we also wanted to stop him from getting rhythm threes. He obviously got away from us a couple times. Nojel did a really good job. He's played well for us all season and has done a good job defensively.

And I was very impressed with Eric Hunter in these two games, to be able to play 12 minutes tonight, got close to 13 minutes, so really playing almost a full game and not turning the basketball over at all. That's pretty impressive in an NCAA Tournament game. Both of those guys played really well and played a great role for us.

Q. Matt, kind of the same question I asked Carsen about the frustrations of hearing about bad shooting nights and finally putting on a show like this. What's that like as a coach, and how do you see that in him and to see what he did tonight?
MATT PAINTER: You know, he's a very dynamic player. But he sometimes tries to find his way into a game by being a volume shooter. That's where he gets into trouble at times instead of letting things come to you. They're obviously very aggressive. They switch a lot of things. And so just trying to get into a rhythm and break people down when he has some mismatches.

I thought tonight with some of the size they put on him, he was able to get by them, but also dribble to where he can make some space and make some pull-up threes also. I thought he had a good balance tonight. Him coming in and out of a game a lot of times, he'll get into a rhythm, he'll get out of a rhythm. Tonight he really stayed into it and stayed on the hunt and really made some good decisions. I don't look at him in terms of his percentage and stuff.

I look at him more as just the decisions. He shoots a low percentage normally when he makes good decisions. When he makes good decisions, it takes cares of himself. He will have a couple outlier games, but for the most part it worked itself out. He's played a lot of basketball. You don't get really talented guys like him that stay for three years. He's got a lot of experience and he's going to his third straight Sweet 16.

Q. Matt, coming out of the halftime you had to figure they'd be ready to try to make some runs. You played greet defense. It was a 13-0 run coming out of halftime. What was the discussion at halftime, and what was the reaction to that.
MATT PAINTER: I think any time you start a half, whether it's the first or second half, it's that first five minutes. But now when you're up 19 points and it's so unexpected, there's no way you're thinking in your mind, like hey, this is going to happen against Villanova.

So we just thought they would be really aggressive, and try to double some things, double some ball screens, trap. We knew they'd pick up into their zone press, and we just wanted to execute. We were fortunate. I thought we played pretty good defense in that run, but they also pressed a little bit and had a couple good looks. It just didn't go down for them. We knew they would be aggressive and our guys were ready to play.

Q. Coach, can you just talk about what it means for this program and where you are on the map after three straight Sweet 16s?
MATT PAINTER: You know, it's hard to be consistent. Just trying to get better from an individual standpoint and develop guys and also understand kind of that role definition with your team. It's a hard thing to do as a coach to get everybody to buy in. It kind of just shows the character of our guys. They've really bought in this year. Everybody's played their role. To be able to have the consistency we've had within our league and also in the NCAA Tournament. You know you're greedy, as a coach, you never look at it that way. You look at it like you didn't advance further, you should have played better in conference play.

We're excited about going to the Sweet 16, but we want to do better. We want to do better for ourselves and for our fans.

Q. Matt, you said in your opening statement that this was the best game you guys have played this year.

Q. And I'm wondering offensively or defensively, this is what offense can look like when it's firing on all cylinders.
MATT PAINTER: It's the balance. We have a lot of guys who can shoot the three, and sometimes we fall in love with the three. I thought tonight we had a really good balance. Not just Matt getting slips to the rim, but Carsen also driving the basketball. I think that's going to be important for us if we want to continue to advance.

If you get into a rhythm, that's one thing, to be able to continue to shoot the basketball. But if you struggle a little bit or the shots aren't falling, you got to find a way to the free-throw line. You got to find a way to the rim.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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