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March 14, 2009

Calvin Brock

Trent Meacham

Bruce Weber


Purdue – 66
Illinois - 56

THE MODERATOR: We'll go with our same format. Coach, if you'd open us up.
COACH WEBER: Credit to Purdue. They came out very ready to play. Obviously we've had some pretty good games against them. The overtime win here last year in the tournament and the last two times beating them this year.
So I think they probably had something to prove. They played like it. They played very aggressive, very strong, very just took the game to us, I think.
And then when they shoot the ball from 3 that well, it really puts you in a bind. So we had an emotional game yesterday. I've been proud of our guys all year. I was very proud of them yesterday. Probably didn't have the emotion to get through today.
But we at least in the second half we didn't quit and it gave an opportunity for some guys off the bench without Chester to get some minutes and a little bit of confidence, and hopefully in the long haul it's going to help us as we get into the tournament.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jeff, Calvin or Trent.

Q. Trent, you guys had a big win yesterday and a loss today was kind of hard. How do you regroup now to head into the post-season do you think after coming off of this?
TRENT MEACHAM: We've got no choice but to regroup. Here we are, going to the NCAA Tournament, and it will be a great opportunity for this team. And wherever we're at, we're excited and we've got to have a good week of practice and this is the biggest time of the year. So there's no question we're going to regroup fine and be ready to go.

Q. Calvin, how different was this Purdue team from the team that you beat twice during the regular season?
CALVIN BROCK: I mean, they came out with a chip on their shoulder because we beat them twice both times early this year. But they just had more motivation because there was a lot more on the line. It was a hard-fought game. I don't think there was a difference. They played tough all the games we played them and they made shots and made plays down the stretch when they needed it.

Q. Trent, you came out and hit two early 3-pointers first couple of shots and then really didn't get any good looks after that. Was it something they did defensively, were they not looking for you? What happened there?
TRENT MEACHAM: I think they may have picked up their defense a little bit. But the team we didn't get many good looks. Especially for the stretch there in the first half, it was one shot and done. Just couldn't get a whole lot after that. And we just didn't -- they pushed us out to half court on defense, for our offense, and really we had a hard time doing anything offensively for a good portion of that game.

Q. Calvin, these last two games you've gotten your feet wet a little more than you have in a long time. How do you feel going into the post-season with what looks like your new role?
CALVIN BROCK: I'm pretty confident. I think I've been confident all year. I know my role bringing energy off the bench, do the small things and just do whatever it takes to help my team win, so that's what I'm going to do from here on out.
JEFF JORDAN: I think it's a confidence builder, just coming in to the tournament. We knew Chester wasn't going to be here. We knew we had to pick it up along with the other bench players and just give a little spark. So hopefully we can carry that into the tournament and get some more wins.

Q. Calvin, to follow that up, how is it different starting?
CALVIN BROCK: It's not really that much different. I probably have to say it's a little more pressure on you if you start, but for the most part it's all the same basketball game. You have to do whatever it takes to help your team win, as we have to do from here on out.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach Weber.

Q. Bruce, when you play against Matt, is it like playing a mirror image, as far as the team goes and the coaching?
COACH WEBER: I think Matt talked yesterday a lot that the first two times we out-toughed them. Today they probably out-toughed us. And when you play somebody, timing, I said we caught them -- I think we maybe caught them off guard probably the first time. Maybe they didn't respect us enough at their place. We gutted out a game in overtime. They came to our place, we caught them without Hummel and we win a game by a good margin.
So now we catch them when they had a tough week last week, as we did, but I think Matt -- they had the scoring drought last week at Michigan State. So I think he got after them this week at practice. They rose up. Played like I thought they would all year. But it is similar. And they take away a lot of the stuff you do, and if they're playing good on defense like they were in the first half, it makes it tough for any team in the country.

Q. Bruce, Demetri didn't play that much after he didn't do too much. Can you talk about him heading into the post-season? Was his leg all right from yesterday?
COACH WEBER: He wasn't very aggressive. And Jeffrey was playing good, gave us minutes. Trent, Calvin. So you play the guys that are playing well, playing with emotion and energy. And it is just one of those games. I didn't do it on purpose or whatever.
Demetri has been a key for our success. Probably didn't get going today like we needed to. So, again, you give credit to Purdue's defense. They get up on them. He has to learn to do things without the ball, because now Lewis is getting after him or Kramer or whoever it is. And now he's got to learn to move without the ball. And that's his next step, to be able to deal with different defenses and still stay involved with the game, even though he can't do anything just with the ball.

Q. I was wondering, how big of an impact did you think this last impression against Purdue is going to play on the tournament committee and what kinds of things do you want the committee to look at besides this loss, what kinds of things do you think they should take into account when recording your seed for the tournament?
COACH WEBER: Well, again, I think we've had a pretty good season. They talk about the total package. We had good wins in non-conference, on the road, neutral sites, played a lot of deep people from different leagues. We've won games in the league on the road. And beat Purdue, as we said, twice. One at Ohio State. So we've played good basketball all year.
And there's a lot of people in the country that lost, that some of them didn't even, Kansas didn't win their first game. You go on, Washington, UCLA go on down the line every league. North Carolina lost today. So we didn't play well. But that's not -- we're not the only team in the country that got beat today or yesterday.
And, again, I would think they're well educated. They keep talking about the whole season. I think we've given them a pretty good resume. Whatever happens happens. I don't know if we're four, five, six, seven, eight, whatever, I have no idea, doesn't matter where we go, just have to be ready to play with a desire to make, to make the NCAA Tournament go a while for us, and your mental approach is I think so important.

Q. In the first half when Purdue went on the run and really broke the game open, you seemed to have a hard time getting shots inside. Everything you took was a jump shot from perimeter. Is that a guard or big man issue?
COACH WEBER: I think it's both. Tis has to get stronger where he can seal. But that's where Chester would get his stability in. If you remember back, both games he was the one that got into the paint, dished it to people. The first time at their place I think we were 24 assists, 25 assists to six turnovers for the whole game. And tonight we have six turnovers in the first 10 minutes. So that's where he's a stabilizing factor. And we needed to get some touches inside. I thought we panicked a little bit. I'd say make a play, they'd jack up a 3. Not a good 3 either.
So you have to learn from it. Hopefully we won't have this situation again, but I think in the long haul going through this we haven't had a game really to get kicked, butts kicked in the first half like this really all year.
I hope maybe it gives us a little mental edge going into the tournament. And also, as I said, it allows us to play the bench and give me a little more confidence in them and they hopefully will have confidence.

Q. Bruce, I know you're disappointed, but at the same time how proud are you of Matt leading his team to the Big Ten Tournament championship game as well as turning the Purdue program around?
COACH WEBER: Well, Matt's done a great job. He's got a great group of kids. They're young. That's the scary thing. I said before, I've thought maybe they were the best team all year. They've had some setbacks, maybe some chemistry issues, I don't know. A lot of different things. Now they seem to be playing good at the right time. Yesterday was pretty impressive.
Think about it a week ago they were really -- but that's basketball. That's life. You know, your mental approach. They played with a sense of urgency today and yesterday. Hopefully they can continue that into tomorrow and then into the NCAA Tournament.
They have the ability to make some noise and to dance. I don't think there's any doubt. Especially if guys like Hummel and that shoot the ball so well.

Q. Coach, you've played now 20 games, similar styles for 20 games, the same teams that know you so well. How much have you looked forward to playing a different style, a different league?
COACH WEBER: I hope it gives us an advantage. One, we've got to keep guarding like we always do. And I hope that's -- we take a lot of pride in that. Our whole league takes pride in it, preparation, defending, playing hard.
We probably didn't play as hard as we needed to in the first half. Our play-hard chart was way down, especially picked up in the second half, but too late, too little too late.
But I hope it's different. We'll have to see. And NCAA success a lot of times is matchups, how you match up with people. And but we just have to see what happens and go in with a good framework. I'm very proud of our guys and what they've done. 24 wins, I gave them that goal. They reached it. Now hopefully they got a little bit of greed inside and a positive way to keep making this season go for a while, maybe get 26, 27, whatever.

Q. What do you think has got more Gene Keady with him, you or Matt?
COACH WEBER: I was with him longer, so probably me. I'm more mean and grumpy. Matt is still young. I think probably Matt in practice, he's pretty tough. Obviously he was with me and he's pretty tough. He's a little more calm on the bench. I'm a little more emotional probably on the bench. In practice I sit back, but when I do go crazy I do go a little too crazy. So a little of the family history in both of us.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

End of FastScripts

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