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March 20, 2008

Keaton Grant

JaJuan Johnson

Chris Kramer

Matt Painter


COACH PAINTER: I thought it was a great team win for us. We had a lot of different guys contribute in the game. I thought we did a very good job defensively for a period of time. The one thing I talked to our guys about is Baylor makes tough shots and they normally have a guy or two who gets hot, who once he gets hot you can't stop him. Tonight it was Curtis Jerrells.
I thought our guys did a good job on him, even though he had 27 points. Once he gets going, he's difficult to stop. I thought our guys were ready to play. I thought our bench was good. We had guys step up to make the 3's. We knew it was going to be a high scoring game against Baylor. It's great to see our bench play well. It's great to get contributions from everybody.
In terms of the style of play, I think that was a big issue, and we really don't worry about it, we don't talk about it. If somebody wants to run up and down the court, we'll run up and down with them. If they want to play in the half court, we'll play with them in the half court.
It was more fast-paced and our guys did a good job knowing when to go and when not to. Even though it got sloppy in the second half.

Q. After facing 19 consecutive Big Ten opponents, and if you would, think about the way Wisconsin, Michigan State and Illinois defend, was it like your eyes got great big, did you think we can go right to the basket?
KEATON GRANT: Definitely. We knew that they were very poor in transition. I really realized that in about the first two or three minutes in the game, when I came down and wasn't no one guarding me for about ten seconds and I realized I could hit some open shots. I'm glad my teammates looked out for me.

Q. Can you talk about your performance tonight? Coach talked about the bench play. You came off the bench and had 10 and 8 in 20 minutes tonight.
JaJUAN JOHNSON: I tried to make the best out of the opportunities I had. I tried to crash the boards all the time and I tried to do the best I could.

Q. What about that block? You had a couple of blocks and a dunk over a couple of defenders. It looked like you were having fun out there.
JaJUAN JOHNSON: It was definitely fun. Like I said, make the best out of the opportunities you get and try to do your best.

Q. Did you guys do anything defensively in the first half there to kind of throw off their -- we talked yesterday about tempo and whatnot. Did you almost make them go too fast? What kind of things did you do to sort of hold them back?
CHRIS KRAMER: You know, we just really tried to stay in front of them the best we could, get a little help here and there. All their guards can shoot it, so it's kind of hard. We slowed them down a little bit in the first half. Some of the shots they hit in the second half they missed in the first half. We tried to make them take tough shots.

Q. Coach Painter talks frequently about you guys seem to be better when you take fewer three pointers. You took 20 today, hit 9, I believe. You didn't force any 3's, did you? Talk about that.
KEATON GRANT: I think we took what was given to us. Our shot selection was pretty good for the most part, I think. I have to agree with Coach Painter, we're better when we take fewer 3 pointers.
CHRIS KRAMER: I completely agree with Keaton. We gave what the defense gave them. If it was there we stepped up and knocked it down. If not, we just kept on passing the ball until we got a lot of looks.

Q. What does this say about your team that you're able to go out there and put this many points on the board if you have to, if it comes down to it?
CHRIS KRAMER: Just says that our team is very versatile. We can play in a variety of styles. Like Coach Painter said we'll play whatever pace you want. We've just got to pick our spots, there's chances to run, there's time to slow it down and you'll get possession. We have to value the basketball and the possessions we have during the course of the game.

Q. How different stylistically do you expect the game with Xavier will be?
CHRIS KRAMER: I really have no idea. We watched them a little bit today. The commentator said they were first in the A-10 on the defense. It's going to be a real grind out there in terms of defense. It's a defensive battle. We have to really take care of the basketball and take good shots and try to keep Drew Lavender out of transition, and not let their big guys get the ball in the post.
KEATON GRANT: I agree with Kramer. I haven't seen too much of them. I saw a little bit today. If it's a good defensive team, we just have to grind it out with them, like Big Ten basketball.

Q. Can you guys talk about, JaJuan, is this something you guys have seen in practice, just kind of expecting or a kind of come out game for him?
KEATON GRANT: We were waiting for him to explode. We know he can do it. He shows it in practice. We asked him why he couldn't do it in the game. We hope he continues in the tournament, and we know he can do it.
CHRIS KRAMER: Like Keaton said, we see the glimpses he potentially has in practice every single day. For him to come out and do it in such a big stage and such a big game for our team really shows a lot about him. He was ready to play.
He was my roommate today and that's the first thing he said when we were getting ready to leave, I'm ready to play. He got going early and got that dunk and a few blocks, you could tell he was having fun out there. Once he was doing that, everything was going well for him.

Q. You played all through the Big Ten season. You had some good games, you had some struggles. It was very physical. Were their interior guys more to your liking today and did you feel like, Hey, I can take the ball right to the goal against them?
JaJUAN JOHNSON: Let me see, I mean, they're more of a guard-oriented team. I figured I had to play more to the outside of anything, just ready to make plays and block, so that's about it.

Q. I want to ask you the same thing I asked Chris and Keaton, 19 consecutive Big Ten wars, you listen to the talking heads, sometimes they kind of downplay the Big Ten, not very good. But defensively, given the way people played you like Wisconsin, Michigan State, how much does that prepare you to get ready to play a tournament like this and did it help you today?
COACH PAINTER: I don't know if it helped us today. I think your experience obviously always helps you. But this was a different game. It was more of a loose game, a lot of possessions. We've been able to play that way. We've been able to play different styles, especially when you go on the road in the Big Ten, for whatever reason we've been able to score more points.
This team has proven that it can win at Wisconsin, against a Louisville team on a neutral court and we went 15-3 in our conference. We don't think we need to sit around and defend ourselves. Whatever the talking heads say, you still have to go out there and play and be competitive and really just stick with what you do.
A lot of the talk gets to be, you're going to ask me questions about Xavier, and I've barely seen Xavier play. I can't comment on them or anybody else. You have to be consumed with what you do well and stick with it.

Q. Could you talk about JaJuan's play. Was it any element of a surprise to you? You obviously left him in there longer than you normally do because he was going so well.
COACH PAINTER: Part of his development, really a lot of our big guys' development has kind of been halted at times because we have some depth. And so I have options where to go and a lot of it has to do with who we play, if they want to go small or I want to go small and play, sometimes they won't get as many minutes. I want to put Hummel and Martin out there together and just spread the defense. This was probably his best game of the year, and he picked a great time. He took the first charge of his life, and I thought that was a positive and that wasn't a joke. But getting 10 and 8 with two blocks in 20 minutes.
I thought Calasan really got a start in the game, and the way the game unfolded. If you can have your two bigs play 33 minutes and be that productive and get 18 points and 12 rebounds, that's a good night at the five slot with seven minutes to spare.

Q. We've obviously talked about JaJuan, but what about Scott and Tarrance's play off the bench?
COACH PAINTER: I thought Scott Martin did a good job for us. I think Scott just puts people in binds, especially when they go in the zone, you can get him the ball in the high zone and maneuver. He did some very good things for us.
And then I thought Tarrance was very good, especially at the end when they're pressing and they're running up the dribble and doing some different things, it's good to have another ball handler in there. He was able to step up and take care of the basketball and make his free throws, which was huge.

Q. Different teams, different areas, different people. But how significant is it to you now that the Purdue basketball program, 10 consecutive first-round victories in the NCAA, you obviously have a lot more ball to play, hopefully. Is that significant to you, that Purdue has had that kind of staying power in the tournament?
COACH PAINTER: It's just a little bit of consistency, which is important, because you have to start somewhere. I thought last year was a great step for our program and being able to beat Arizona and then being competitive with Florida.
And now we felt like we put ourselves in a pretty good position coming into the tournament, even though we slipped a little bit there at the end with a couple of overtime losses, we were still pretty competitive. Those things happen and hopefully you can learn from it.
Yeah, I think it's important to remain consistent and keep going, but our guys want to keep making improvements. We're in the same position we were last year, so hopefully we can play a little better, make one more play and be able to be competitive against Xavier.

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