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March 28, 2019
THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the Boilermakers are on their way. We'll ask for opening comments from Coach and then go to questions for the student-athletes first. Then we'll come back to Coach for some more questions.
COACH PAINTER: Thank you. Man, that was obviously a great game. And proud of our guys. You knew if you watch Tennessee on film, they have unbelievable runs. And we were very fortunate to be up 12 at the half because they were 4 for 13 at the free throw line.
But the free throws ended up balancing up. Both teams really shot 50 percent from 3 and 50 percent from the free throw line. It's an odd box score. Normally, you get people that can make that many 3s are normally going to make their free throws. Both teams struggled in that area. We shot the 3 well. They shot the 3 well.
It seemed like a stretch in the game in the second half, we couldn't stop them and couldn't get a rebound. When you look at the box score, we out-rebounded them for the game.
They're a good team. They have those interchangeable pieces with Schofield and Williams, and they cause a lot of problems. And those guards are athletic and talented and they can shoot the basketball. They can create shots for themselves.
Our guys hung in there. It was one of those games where, you know, getting key stops was important and I know it was a high scoring game. But it was tough to get them and I thought at the very end, especially in overtime, we got key loose balls, long rebounds and ended up being the difference in the game.
Just proud of our guys. They made that run and Carsen got to the basket a couple times. Ryan made about three or four really tough shots, and that was important. Because they were on a roll.
And they're trying to put us away and get the game to two possessions and such a different game when you lead by 17 and somebody can take the lead and get it to two possessions. And they never really were able to get to get to that point where it's four or five points. We managed it and made a couple tough shots and were able to get the game into overtime.
Carsen knocked down the two free throws to get it to overtime. That was huge and our guys were very resilient and played hard and pulled out the victory.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach. Questions for Carsen and Ryan here.
Q. Ryan, obviously, you're a shooter. You've had some great shooting games, but have you had one like this in a setting like this?
RYAN CLINE: I would say no. There were times in the second half I was coming off and I knew I was going to shoot it. So my teammates did a really good job of getting me open and giving me an opportunity.
Q. Carsen, when Tennessee was making the run in the second half, what was going through your mind? And how were you guys able to weather that and force overtime?
CARSEN EDWARDS: Well, yeah. I mean, obviously, like, when you're going through that run and they get the lead, you're just thinking like, well, I want to win, obviously. But we just wanted to -- I just keep thinking we got to get -- to try to get some stops and get to the foul line or something, even though we weren't able to make free throws.
We were just able to battle it out, have guys that battle it out. Ryan made huge shots for us. We were just able to pull it out.
Q. Carsen, if you could walk us through the in-bounds play there at the end of regulation, about that. And then were you fouled. And, thirdly, what was the pressure like at the line there?
CARSEN EDWARDS: Well, I'll start with yeah, I was fouled. But just through that play, I mean, just we've drawn that play up and ran it before. The first option wasn't there. At that point, I was just trying to get open and trying to get the ball. The first option wasn't given to me. But being able to get the ball, I felt that I could make the shot. Then he fouled me so, then, I don't know. And then when I got to the free throw line, I was struggling all game. Being able to hit the last two, just a blessing. Just an opportunity, stepped up to get us some more time to play.
Q. Carsen, on those last two free throws, after you missed the first one, was there anything you did differently to -- was there anything you did differently mechanically or anything like that?
CARSEN EDWARDS: I don't think I did. I just continued to focus. I mean, going into the free throw, I just focused and shoot a free throw every time how I always shoot it. After that, just did the same thing. Nothing changed.
Q. Carsen, so how does it feel or did you even know that now you're the first player to have four consecutive 25-point tournament games since Steph Curry.
CARSEN EDWARDS: Ooh! (Laughter.)
Oh, man. That's pretty dope. I didn't know that. It's a blessing to be here and have an opportunity to play at this level and play with a bunch of good guys and a good staff that believes in me. I'm just happy to be here, man. I just want to continue to play. When it comes down to it, I don't even really care about the points, man. I just want to win.
Q. Carsen, there's a famous clip of you staring at your teammate last year, telling him to relax with the side eye. Was there anything in the huddle when Tennessee was making their comeback tonight?
CARSEN EDWARDS: No. We all kind of understand. It's none of that, really. We all were in the huddle saying the same things. Just get stops and we'll be okay. It's a game of runs. Weather the storm. That's mainly what it is. I didn't do anything similar to that.
Q. Carsen and Ryan, how big was this for both you guys, considering how the last two years went? You're at the Sweet 16.
RYAN CLINE: Obviously, considering we haven't been able to get over that hump, per se. But for the first time getting back to the Elite Eight since 2000. I'm happy for myself, happy for my guys and happy for Coach Paint, and it's something we definitely worked hard. A lot of people counted us out at the beginning of the year. I just keep preaching that, and we're just going out and playing free.
CARSEN EDWARDS: Yeah, I just agree with him, man. I continue say the same thing over and over. It's a blessing to be here, just have the opportunity to play at this level and compete like this. I'm just happy to be able to get to the next round. Especially I'm happy for the seniors especially to be able to get this opportunity.
Ryan stepped up and made some big plays. We were able to come out with a win.
THE MODERATOR: Anything else for the Purdue student-athletes? Guys, thank you very much.
Now we'll go to the floor for questions for Coach Painter.
Q. Coach, I know Ryan Cline's career didn't get off to the best start in West Lafayette. To see it kind of come full circle like this, with a performance like this that Purdue fans will talk about for a long time, what's it mean to you to see the growth and the maturation from your senior?
COACH PAINTER: Obviously, when you get into these moments, especially when you're a jump shooter, it's hard. It's hard to get on the road, play neutral sites. Sometimes your jump shot doesn't go down. But he's always been a guy that just helps you win.
If you look at his assist/turnover ratio, look at the game tonight, he has four assists, zero turnovers. He's just steady and he's really come a long way on the defensive end and really worked at that.
It's hard sometimes in college basketball, about getting into a rotation and staying in a rotation, and then becoming a primary player. He was always a guy that I always talked about as a starter, when he didn't start, but then he wouldn't do anything wrong and I'd take him out. Carsen Edwards and Dakota Mathias and Rapheal Davis. We had a lot of good players with him. It was simply why I thought he needed to redshirt his first year, even though we ended up not doing that, is because we felt that he was going to be a really good player.
To be able to do this and shoot like that, we were up against it tonight. They made that run, and that momentum is moving if he doesn't make a couple of those shots. He stepped up and made some really tough shots. Especially the one, because it seemed like he changed his mind about four times while he was dribbling the basketball, but he got that switch and he knew the guy sooner or later was going to get off him just because he was a bigger guy and was able to knock it down.
I'm happy for him. It's what it's all about. You start your career and make a couple mistakes. The world loves it when you get things figured out and you make the most out of it, and I think he's done that.
Q. Coach, your initial thoughts on after spending that much energy in the overtime, if it changes anything in how you're going to approach tomorrow and having the guys physically ready for another one.
COACH PAINTER: We'll do the same thing no matter if it was a regular game and you scored in the 50s. So just trying to get them off their feet. We probably should shoot some free throws. I think that's the genius coming out in me there.
But no, no matter who wins this next game, it's going to be a really good basketball team. But a lot of it, I think, has to do with not beating yourself, and you look at the stat sheet on tonight, and neither team turned the basketball over. Both teams played hard. They scrapped, and that's what you want. You want to be able to get in games and not beat yourself. And then if you have enough shotmakers that really helps.
But we'll just stay with the regular kind of format and go through some things, talk about some things, watch film, get ready for our next opponent. But really just focus on ourselves.
Q. Coach, speaking of your next opponent, have you looked at film on UVA or Oregon, anticipate who may win tonight's match?
COACH PAINTER: I have not. I watch Oregon more, just because of late night, after you get done with everything. I watched Oregon play at Washington at the end of the year. I watched Oregon play Washington in the conference tournament. So that's about it. But I've watched them a handful of times throughout the course because that's kind of when my day gets over, sometimes the late games you're able to watch them.
And prime time and 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., you normally have Big Ten games, so you watch them. The late night games are the west coast games.
Q. Coach, with all of the foul trouble that you guys had today, you had to go and depend on your bench a lot. How productive do you feel your bench was today and how important was that?
COACH PAINTER: I thought it was great. I thought Trevion Williams, the first time he subbed in was really good. Aaron Wheeler made a couple plays for us, knocked down a couple threes. Eric Hunter, the experience he had in the first game against Old Dominion really helped him. So when Nojel got in trouble, he came in and ran the offense and did good things. Sasha didn't get many opportunities to shoot tonight when he was out there, but I thought he did good things, especially on the defensive end.
But those guys are obviously all freshmen, and it's been great. It's been great to see them grow and it's been hard for them too. Sometimes I don't play them as much as they'd like. They've really grown. When they get their opportunity, they've made the most of it.
Q. Matt, talk to us about that overtime and how you were able to rally your guys. Normally we've seen in a lead dissipates, the team that loses the lead has a lots of trouble in the O. T. Your guys seemed to have a bounce, got loose balls, made a couple stops. Talk about that.
COACH PAINTER: I think it swung and it changed just because they had the momentum, and then we were able to find a way out of it. They had the momentum, they had the game. We're the ones that have the ball down 2 with three seconds to go. And when you're in that position, you know, hey, like we can't allow someone to shoot a 3 and beat us right here. It's difficult. It's really difficult.
But we were able to get out of that, get to overtime, and I think we had that relief. Our guys did such a good job of competing in overtime. You know how it goes. Like the ball bounced our way a couple times. I thought in regulation, there was a couple bounces we didn't get. But it did in overtime.
They started the foul game really early. They went after Nojel with 1:20. We were trying to run and execute a play there. I totally get it, the way everybody shot free throws, I think it made sense to do what they did.
Q. Matt, Carsen was talking about how he was struggling shooting a little bit when he got to the line. After he misses the first, what are you thinking there?
COACH PAINTER: If he's going to miss the second one, you're going to have to miss the last one on purpose. That was what I was thinking after he missed the first one. Then if he makes the second one, obviously you're going to try to make the last one.
So, you know, you just want a guy to do his routine, but he's shooting free throws, so you don't mess with him. You sometimes talk to guys that struggle in general. He's an 80 percent free throw shooter. Even though he missed one, he has to get set, get back to his routine. Sometimes you get guys up there that shoot 50 percent from the line, and you know you're just trying to help them gather their thoughts and get through their routine and just stick with it.
Q. Him now joining some pretty good company with the four straight games with 25 points or more, what does he do that allows him to score that prodigiously at this point and this stage?
COACH PAINTER: I think his ability to drive the basketball and also shoot to 25 feet. He's got a quick release. He's aggressive. So if you get up into him, he's going to drive the basketball. If you give him space, he's going to shoot. Just a dynamic scorer.
He's very confident. He's got a short memory. I think that really helps him in situations like this, where he can miss three, four, five, six shots in a row and he's going to keep coming back at you and keep getting there.
So he's at his best when he has balance. So when he's driving the ball and getting layups, drawing a crowd, passing the basketball, getting to the free throw line, and then they blends his 3s in, sometimes when he gets three-dominant and just shoots 3s, that's not a good recipe. When he gets a little bit of everything, that's when he's at his best.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks for your time tonight.
COACH PAINTER: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports