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March 19, 2008

Keaton Grant

Robbie Hummel

Chris Kramer

E'Twaun Moore

Matt Painter


Q. KG and Chris, if you both would talk briefly, now that you've had some time to watch Baylor film, what scares you about their three-point shooting and do they remind either of you of anyone you played this year?
KEATON GRANT: Well, they can shoot the ball. They really don't pass to open man, they make you guard your man, I think that's the biggest thing. We had a lot of trouble this year containing the dribble. We have to be conscious of that when we go into tomorrow is to contain the dribble.

Q. Do they remind you of anybody?
KEATON GRANT: Not necessarily.

Q. Chris?
CHRIS KRAMER: I think there's a couple similarities to a team like Louisville, they're perimeter oriented. A lot of guys can do a lot of things on the perimeter. A lot of guys tackle the basket. So we've really got to bring our defense. We've really got to guard them pretty much as soon as they get off the bus, because they can shoot from anywhere.

Q. You guys were in last place in the Big Ten a couple of years ago. Could you talk about what it's been like to come back and make it a feel good story here?
CHRIS KRAMER: Well, none of us were around when that happened. The only thing we've been around, me and Keaton were here last year. I did talk to like David Teague about it and how it was being on some of those losing teams. It just felt great for him. It's great for us to be a part of it to get back to where Purdue was and playing in the NCAA tournament.
This is a great opportunity for us, especially being so young to get in here and try to make a great run in this tournament.

Q. Can you just talk about this experience so far? Obviously it's early on, but how you guys are feeling. Maybe a little overwhelmed with all these lights and people?
ROBBIE HUMMEL: I don't think we're overwhelmed. We've been in big games like the Wooden Tradition, Big Ten tournament. I think we're pretty well accustomed to the lights. So, no, I wouldn't say that we've been overwhelmed.
E'TWAUN MOORE: As far as being in the NCAA tournament, I mean just very happy, new experience. Like Robbie said, we've had big games before that helped us prepare for the tournament and hopefully just go in and do good.

Q. Have you guys said anything to the younger guys? You're young, too, but having at least been here before, have you said, hey, watch this, watch that, don't get too overwhelmed?
CHRIS KRAMER: No, we really haven't said anything to them. They've been in a lot of big games, like Rob said, like being in high school or AAU or going through this season. These guys are really poised, they're really great basketball players. And I think they'll get everything going well and really help us out tomorrow.
KEATON GRANT: I haven't said too much to them, either. I think I was just telling them outside, The NCAA tournament is a great experience, go and enjoy it.

Q. Baylor scores in the 80s, you guys score in the 60s. How much of this year is tempo for tomorrow's game, playing at the pace you want to play at?
E'TWAUN MOORE: Yeah, that's one thing they do very well. They were No. 1 in conference scoring. It would be very important for us to make them slow down their tempo and make them play at our pace. Just hopefully go and be aggressive with them, especially the guards, because they're not used to getting pressured and things like that, so that will be to our advantage.
ROBBIE HUMMEL: It's very important for us to kind of control the tempo of the game. I think that they might not have seen pressure like our guards will apply tomorrow, because we do jam the ball, unlike a lot of teams.
So we've just got to take advantage of what we do well and maybe try to exploit some things they don't. But we'll see what that is tomorrow.

Q. Obviously you guys play defense unlike a lot of other schools out there. In the NCAA tournament you don't have the same officiating CREWS. You went through the course of the Big Ten, and how important is it the first ten minutes to figure out how things are going, officiating-wise and adjusting?
CHRIS KRAMER: The first ten minutes are huge. You have to figure out how the refs are going to call the game. If you play physical, or you adjust, so we can stay out of foul trouble, to keep as many of us on the court. If we do get in foul trouble, then our bench is going to step up and make plays when we have to.
COACH PAINTER: Obviously we're excited to be here in Washington, D.C. We felt like we've had a very good year this year. I think we've been very consistent. One thing we've been able to hang our hat on is every night be able to play hard and guard in the half court. I think our guys have done a very good job on the defensive end. We've been in every game we played this year.
We had tough losses early in the year that have helped us improve throughout the year and enabled us to be 15-3 in the Big Ten conference, which we feel prepares us for the NCAA tournament. We stubbed our toe in the Big Ten tournament, we ran into a hot Illinois team, so hopefully that can help us get some things corrected and play better in the NCAA tournament.
I know our guys are ready to play and very anxious to go up against Baylor. We feel Baylor is a very, very talented team. A lot of quickness, a lot of athleticism, maybe the best group of guards we faced all year; five guards that can dribble, pass and shoot and break you down off the dribble and create for themselves and the teammates. They lead the Big 12 in scoring for a reason.
We're going to have our hands full with those guys and we have to do a good job of taking them out of rhythm and keeping them in front of us.

Q. When coaches get ready to play a game and you're thinking about tempo and how the game might be played, you and I are old enough to remember this, in 1987 Bob Knight was talking about the UNLV game and he said his assistants are telling him we have to play in the 60s. He said, If we play in the 60s, we'll get beat 80 to 60. You're going to play great defense, I know that. Would you be comfortable playing a little bit higher game with them?
COACH PAINTER: Yeah, that's fine. We're comfortable playing half court basketball. We're comfortable pushing the basketball up. I think we're at our best when there's a mix of that. When we're being efficient in the half court, and also taking our opportunities from turnovers and long rebounds and pushing it when we have angles and numbers and trying to score the basketball.
We're not talking about dictating tempo with our guys, we're talking about not turning the basketball over and valuing the ball. A bad shot is like a turnover. Take good shots, take care of the basketball, and don't give them anymore opportunities than they create on their own with their athleticism and their ability to push it.

Q. I think you know a little bit about the history of Baylor, it seems like both of you, you and Baylor, have resurrected your programs. Can you make a comparison between these two programs and that they've come from far back?
COACH PAINTER: Yeah, obviously their situation was very extreme and unfortunate. But he's done a very good job with his team. They have a little bit more experience, I would say, than we do in terms of the number of years they've played college basketball. I think we've gained a lot of experience ourselves this year through the games that we've played.
Trying to get guys to come to your school while you're struggling is a difficult task, it really is. But I think when you do get guys that are McDonald's All Americans or very close to that, which we feel we have guys that are very close to that label, is the opportunity. And they're not scared. They're not going somewhere because everybody else is going to that school. They're going there to really put their prints on that program.
I think that's what Scott has right now. He has some guys that are very hungry. He had some guys that wanted to go to Baylor and they believed his vision and they wanted to get it done there and wanted to get that program done there.
I think we're in the same way. Our basketball tradition is very, very good. We were trying to get those guys to understand, We're not asking you to do something that's never been done. We're asking you to get back here and get this thing going again so we can get it back to the top of the Big Ten where Coach Keady had it many years.

Q. Obviously you had success last year in the tournament, but the team is much younger this year. Does your preparation change from last year to this year because of the youth of your team?
COACH PAINTER: Well, I think when you talk experience you talk experience of playing the NCAA tournament. There wasn't a guy on our team last year that had played a tournament game except for David Teague. We had one guy that had experience last year, able to win that game, and played Florida close. Now we have four guys returning that played in those two games. It's not something we're going to lean on those two guys any more than we leaned on them the whole year.
We think the experiences we've had in the Las Vegas Invitational, through the Big Ten conference, through our total non-conference package, playing Louisville and Conseco, you hope those experiences keep you sharp and you're able to play well in the NCAA.

Q. You talked about Baylor having really good guards, obviously, and being able to take you off the dribble. I know that's something you've been a little bit concerned about with your defense, being able to handle that kind of athleticism, what do you think specifically about that match-up?
COACH PAINTER: I think if we had to deal with a guy or two we'd be fine. You have to deal with four or five guys. They're very deep. Their guard position -- they'll go very small and play four of those five guys at the same time, then they'll put Rogers at the five. And then they're very dangerous when they do that. They're not going to be as good as a rebounding team.
We just have to do a good job of being there on the catch, not allowing them to get angles and transition. When they do, showing that early help, and just swarming the basketball. They are going to beat us off the dribble, that's been proven. They beat Kansas off the dribble. They're a very good team. They have athleticism. They're able to score 90 points at Kansas. If you watch them on tape they're very, very impressive. We just have to do the best job of keeping on playing, and continue to playing the game, and continue to try to make the next play.

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