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March 19, 2010

Keaton Grant

Lewis Jackson

JaJuan Johnson

Matt Painter


Purdue – 72
Siena - 64

THE MODERATOR: We'll have an opening statement from Coach Painter and then we'll take questions for the student-athletes.
COACH PAINTER: I thought the key to the game was how we came out in the second half, the first five minutes. Keaton Grant made some huge 3's for us to get us going. We got stops, we got steals that led to points on the offensive end and really just had a lot of energy. That's what we have talked about starting games and starting the second half if we can come out with energy and let our defense kind of establish the tempo of the game, it's really helped us this year.
And I was proud of our guys and we have been through it in very similar to Siena in terms of losing a very good player. They lost a very good player and they're a little bit short handed, but obviously that's part of the game. But they're a good team. They are a very good team.
I'm just proud of our guys being able to get this first round win.
THE MODERATOR: Take questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Lewis, you're hurt, right?
LEWIS JACKSON: I'm all right.

Q. Can you just talk about it? Obviously you seemed like you were really the difference maker there. The zone defense you did what you wanted and you really got the guys going.
LEWIS JACKSON: Coach told me to be aggressive. My teammates trusted me. I knocked down a jump shot and opened up some gaps JaJuan to get the ball and he hit some open shots. Keaton made some open shots. And everybody on the team just stepped up when it was time.

Q. Coach, what adjustments was Chris Kramer able to do in the second half especially against Alex Franklin?
COACH PAINTER: Obviously we were concerned with Franklin with his size and his ability to play at the rim. We thought in the first half we didn't do a good job with him when he had the ball in the perimeter. We really wanted to pressure him and make him handle the basketball and try to beat one of our guards. Keaton guarded him at times, beat him off the bounce. But just try to get into him and pressure him because we knew we had a mismatch at certain times when he got the ball off the rim with his strength and his ability to score. So we wanted to make sure we had a mismatch when he was on the perimeter and then just trying to pressure him into going a little bit faster and we thought we did a good job of that.

Q. For all three, as you guys look back at that run the start of the second half, I think KG you had 11 points in that run, would you all briefly describe it as you saw it through your eyes what happened to make that run happen, to start the second half?
KEATON GRANT: I think that was really big for us coming out with energy, one thing that coach told us in the locker room in the first five minutes. Also we come out with the first five minutes and play defense and get some stops and be smart on offense and we'll be fine.
LEWIS JACKSON: I think that it was really on the defensive end just pressuring more and we only allowed them one shot. Kramer got a lot of rebounds, JaJuan did, Keaton, we stepped up and got rebounds which really led to our transition offense and allowed us to just go out there and have fun and make plays.
JAJUAN JOHNSON: Defense was the key. We got some easy stops early on in that first five minutes and it translated over to some easy about buckets on the offensive end and we also got out in transition which definitely helped us get some easy buckets.

Q. Guys, obviously it's important early on to get the ball inside to JaJuan, that seemed like a pretty favorable matchup. Talk about exploiting that and how important that was to what you guys wanted to do offensively.
KEATON GRANT: We feed him first. If they come and double team him he has good vision and can pass the ball if they stay one-on-one. Just let him play basketball, let him be one-on-one with them. He's so tall and long that he can just shoot over them. And I just thought that was great.
LEWIS JACKSON: He's a great player inside and outside and his presence on the inside makes teams maybe want to double team him and that leaves guys open to open shots. So that really helps our offense tremendously to establish him early.
JAJUAN JOHNSON: These guys, they make it easy for me, pretty much all I got to do is post up and they always try to find me, they try to double, I try to kick it out to them. So these guys are the ones that really do a really good job of looking for me and getting me some good looks.

Q. You guys scored more points against Indiana but is this the best the offense has flowed since the Hummel injury, at least in the second half?
JAJUAN JOHNSON: Yeah, our defense looking pretty good today. Especially that second half. And it all started with the defensive end. We got those stops early on and it's just like the momentum kind of just shifted our way and when we play good defense, it usually turns over to some good offense.
LEWIS JACKSON: Starts with the defense. I think our offense was much better from what you seen the last team we played against Minnesota it wasn't stagnant and guys weren't just watching each other play one-on-one, it was more of a team offense, motion offense that we screen and got guys easier shots instead of allowing guys to play one-on-one instead of allowing the defense to sink and make good plays.
KEATON GRANT: Also we kept moving in motion we'll be successful. A lot of times when we're stagnant on offense and looking at each other playing one-on-one basketball that's when we get in trouble so we were moving well with the motion and just playing good on defense too.

Q. How aware were you guys that you guys were a popular pick to be upset in the first round because everybody was saying, well since the Hummel injury they got no shot.
KEATON GRANT: We were very aware. You can't help to see other games especially on ESPN and them when they do the bracketology on CBS and other teams picking against you and the analysts picking against you and you got the President picking against you, so it's a different thing, but we were very aware. So we just use that as motivation.
LEWIS JACKSON: I think the biggest thing was for me when President Obama just said he kind of felt sorry for us, just everything we been through and with this team and the adversity we face. Guys don't want people to feel sorry for us, we want to prove that we still have a lot of talent and can make a big run in the tournament. I think that was the biggest thing for me.
JAJUAN JOHNSON: We were definitely aware of all the different picks and all that. But it's pretty much nothing you can really do about it, just go out there and play and that's what we did tonight. And we were fortunate enough to get the win.

Q. Keaton, in the first half you guys were 1-9 from three and they were giving you the 3-point shot. Did you feel it was going to come along in the second half that you needed to keep going to shoot out of that?
KEATON GRANT: Yeah, we were getting a lot of open looks, great looks at shots that we usually make. The coaches and the players on the bench telling me to stay with it, stay with it they're going to fall and that's exactly what I did, just make sure I stay and do the basics: Follow through, deep keep my offhand on the ball and everything and everything will fall and handle itself.

Q. Lewis, I know you hadn't probably shot as many free throws this year as you wanted to. You stepped up there with a little more than a minute to go and miss the first and you went back with 49 seconds to go. That was an ugly one but they all count don't they? Talk to me about those two free throws you had.
LEWIS JACKSON: Like you said, the first one it was ugly but I mean no matter how it drops, it drops. It's March Madness time and crazy things happen. So I'm just glad it went in. Once you see the first one go through the net, the second one I stepped up there with confidence the whole time the coaching staff and my teammates had confidence and told me to be ready because they would probably foul me again and so just knock it down.
THE MODERATOR: We'll dismiss the student-athletes and take questions to Coach Painter.

Q. You always talk about guys who impact the game without scoring. It seemed like early in the second half Kramer did that and obviously you got a lot of that from Lewis Jackson. Can you talk about those two guys kind of doing that scoring, kind of getting everybody else going?
COACH PAINTER: They have very good players at Siena. But we wanted to pressure them and I thought in the first half we didn't do a very good job of that. We really wanted Lewis to get up and make Ronald Moore work for everything. We knew how talented and quick he was but we wanted him to work for about three minutes at the start of the half and bring Barlow in and keep rotating those guys on him and try our best to wear him down. I thought Chris did a good job of guarding Franklin and just seeing the basketball, making screens away from the basketball, and really just being a pest. And that's what he's got to do for us to be successful.

Q. Often this year you talked about how it all looks pretty when the ball goes in the hole. To start the second half it did, but many of your game turning runs have started right at the beginning of the half. Did you see it coming and how was this one achieved maybe like some of the others were?
COACH PAINTER: Any time you make a couple you get more energy. But you have to be able to have energy when you miss shots and that's a hard thing to do. But today right as we said the first five minutes was going to dictate the game. And we were able to dictate the game with our play on both ends of the court. Which was important. And we just happened to get some made field goals at the same time as we were getting steals and generating points on the offensive end through our defense and that was very important. Because then they had to play catch up the rest of the game.

Q. Has Chris always been that scrappy? A lot of star players aren't scrappy. Was he always like that?
COACH PAINTER: He was always a hard-nosed player that could really defend. If you watch guys like Kramer play you can see how there's an advantage if you recruit football players. Especially guys that play on the defensive backfield, they close down on angles, they do a very good job of pursuing the basketball. And I think it really helps guys who play on the football field to come and play on the basketball court. He's got good speed, good quickness, but more than anything he's just a winner. He has some deficiencies, but when he steps out there on the court, competing isn't one of those deficiencies.

Q. To spin this ahead we won't have availability to you until tomorrow. Can you look ahead to either Texas A&M or Utah State just what you see in those two teams and we'll use the quotes that are applicable.
COACH PAINTER: I haven't seen Utah State play this year. And I saw Texas A&M for a half, so I really couldn't tell you much about either one of those teams. I think that's an important thing for your team to understand that we we're worried about Siena and that's it. And now once if you're fortunate to move on, you start to worry about the other teams. We assign the scouting responsibilities to the three assistants. Obviously one of them had Siena, then the other two had Utah State and Texas A&M so they're prepared now they got to get me prepared, but any time you're able to watch a live basketball game two days before you're able to play, guys aren't going to change a whole lot. You go back and watch a handful of games that they have played here recently, but you are who you are at this time of the year. You just got to play better than somebody at that given time.

Q. Different teams, different players, but Purdue's now won 12 consecutive first round games. A lot of people didn't think you were going to do it this time. Four in a row, that's pretty significant. Talk about winning 12 in a row. Is it amazing?
COACH PAINTER: I think it's great for our program. It just says how consistent Purdue's men's basketball program has been over the years and it's not 12 straight years but it is once you get in the tournament from '94 to 2010, those 12 opportunities that Purdue's had they have stepped up and been ready to play in that first round. I think that's important. I think it really says a lot about the players and the coaches that have come through this program that have been able to get into the program and be able to go somewhere and focus and be able to play that first day.

Q. Was there ever a flicker of doubt that your team would kind of pick up when Hummel went down and still have confidence they could win a game like this or did they just pretty much from the get go regroup?
COACH PAINTER: We had some tough days. You have to adjust. Just like Siena today. That's hard. Siena's got a bunch of good players but you pull Clarence Jackson out that have lineup and no, that's a tough adjustment for them. We had it happen three weeks ago and Rob's a great player. And so we had stubbed our toe a couple times against some very good teams. But it wakes our guys up and they have to understand what we have to do and how we have to play to be successful against good teams. And you got to take care of the basketball, you got to rebound, obviously making shots helps.
When we have been in a couple games where we didn't make shots it's, the outcome hasn't been very good. But you can't feel sorry for your self of the you got to go out there and play. This isn't the time of the year to say well since we don't have a guy, now we're just going to cash our chips in and go home. That's not the way it works.

Q. When did your guys become so interested in presidential politics? Did they tell you anything about the health care bill or that they know what Obama's bracket looks like?
COACH PAINTER: It's a little bit different now, everybody has an opinion, everybody's predicting instead of just calling the game or talking about the matchup. Every single person whether it's the print media, you're on Internet, you're on television, everybody has an opinion about their prediction instead of just talking about the teams and letting it happen. So you can use it for motivation, obviously with our guys they listened to it. And they use it for motivation to go out there and try to prove people, prove them wrong when they pick against us.
THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you coach.

End of FastScripts

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