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March 21, 2010

JaJuan Johnson

Chris Kramer

E'Twaun Moore

Matt Painter


Purdue – 63
Texas A&M - 61 (OT)

THE MODERATOR: We'll go ahead and have an opening statement by Coach Painter and then take questions for the Purdue student-athletes.
COACH PAINTER: I thought we had a big time effort today. Especially in the second half. And then in the overtime I thought our guys really just hung in there and kept fighting and did some really good things on the defensive end.
I thought offensively we had some struggles, had some guys go in spurts where they were pretty good. But it was just a great team effort. I thought Byrd and Bade and Ryne Smith really gave us a lift, especially when we were in foul trouble in the first half. Our guys battled and you never want to get outrebounded by six and say it's an accomplishment, but it wasn't for a lack of effort. I thought our guys really just hung in there and tried to keep balls alive and tried to get loose balls and long rebounds the whole night.
But they're a good team. They're very physical, they have quickness, but I just thought that our ability to defend kept us in this basketball game and then our guys at the end made enough plays to get the victory.
THE MODERATOR: Take questions for the Purdue student-athletes.

Q. Chris, obviously walk us through that last play. Looked like you saw hole and put your head down and weren't going to get turned away.
CHRIS KRAMER: E'Twaun came off a screen and JaJuan didn't come off the right wing. I had the ball, went right, and then just crossed over left and kind of parted like the Red Sea. And then at that point just came down to finishing when Davis came over it try to block my shot.

Q. Chris, in the huddle before with 10.1 seconds to go did you have a Jimmy Chitwood moment from Hoosiers and turn to him and say coach I can make it, did you, or was it designed to go to you? Tell me about that. What was said in the huddle?
CHRIS KRAMER: When I walked in I said I wanted the ball. And just came down to just making a play. Our guys battled the whole game to get us in that position and it came down to one play and we were able to make that play and at this point just survive and advance. And we're going to Houston.

Q. JaJuan, obviously not the first half you had envisioned, but the second half, that was more what you wanted I'm sure. Tell me about your emotions at half time and then what you tried to correct or fix in the second half.
JAJUAN JOHNSON: I think that they did a good job the first half really just going at me. I got into foul trouble early and then the first half I did have some good looks they just didn't fall down for me. Mentally in the halftime I was -- like if the opportunity is there with those same shots I'm going to shoot it. I thought they were good shots. Just started to fall down for me a little bit and my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball.

Q. For any of you guys, given the circumstances, does getting to the Sweet 16 this time feel like more of an accomplishment? Does it feel more special because of what you've gone through and what we have all been saying about you?
E'TWAUN MOORE: I feel any time you make the Sweet 16 it's a great accomplishment. But it's still the same. It's just great to survive another round and go and play in Houston and get to play against Duke, they beat us the first time we played them, what was that, last year so, that will definitely be a great challenge going and playing them again in the Sweet 16.
JAJUAN JOHNSON: Yeah, I think it feels the same. This year we did have to deal with a lot of adversity but any time you're fortunate enough just to make it to the Sweet 16 you just got to cherish that moment. It's not guaranteed each year, so it feels the same and it's just real special for us.
CHRIS KRAMER: I agree with these guys, but we have been in that position we got there last year, and our team sure we might not be as good as the team as we are with Rob as we are without, but our guys come in and give it our all, and you just have to keep dreaming. That's what coach talked about in the locker room. And so getting to it, sure it's an accomplishment but you always got to want more, you can never be satisfied.

Q. For JaJuan, how were you able to make that block with about a minute to go on Sloan and is that the highest you've ever gone off to make a block?
JAJUAN JOHNSON: I just saw he kind of slid past one of our guys. I think the clock was going down, so pretty much all you had to do was have the opportunity to shoot it, really. And I just tried to make a play on him and I was just hoping that he didn't dish it to my man, so I mean that was, he was just fortunate enough to get the block, really.

Q. Chris, I don't know if you had a chance to see it, but Kalin Lucas also had a game winning shot at the buzzer. Did you get a chance to see his shot and which one did you think was better in your opinion, yours or his?
CHRIS KRAMER: I did see it. It was a great shot. After Vasquez just made a big time play on that end from Maryland, they came right back and Korie Lucious stepped right up and made that three. But I'm going to be biased and say that mine was better just because we're advancing, just like them. But two great shots. That's just what it comes down to.

Q. JaJuan, I think Davis and Loubeau combined for about seven or eight dunks inside and stuff like that but you were able to stay in the game and not get in foul trouble. How much discipline did it take to kind of survive in there with those two guys?
JAJUAN JOHNSON: Well, I did get into foul trouble in the first half, but the second half I just tried to stay straight up. That's all you really can do with those guys, just try to make it as tough on them as possible just because they're so strong and physical. Just do your best to try to make them catch it far away from the basket as you can, really.

Q. Chris, going back to the huddle before you guys came out, what exactly was the conversation? Did you say, give me the ball? Was there any conversation? Was there any debate? How did that all play out?
CHRIS KRAMER: I don't know I just kept on saying I want the ball. And I heard coach saying we got to use Kramer, get him using the bounce and coaches drew up something, he said if you have the lane, take it. If not, just got to make a play off of that. And I was fortunate enough for that. It seemed to open up and I was able to get to the basket.

Q. Can you guys just talk a little bit about the physicality of the game out there today? The diving for the loose balls, the plays with people going everywhere on the floor. What was that like for you guys and how did you get through it?
E'TWAUN MOORE: It definitely was a really physical game. They had a lot of big bodies and we are a scrappy team and that's something we're used to playing in the Big-10, kind of prepared for that. We thought that they were similar to Michigan State. They had a lot of size, and we knew it was going to be physical and that it was going to be a hard-fought game.
JAJUAN JOHNSON: It was definitely a physical game. It's nothing that we're not used to. Every day in practice we beat up on each other a lot. So it's something that our coaches definitely prepared us and just mentally we're just -- we're used to playing that way, really.

Q. E'Twaun, the last play of regulation, you were in the middle. You were trying to break them down. What happened on that play? Just how did it not materialize?
E'TWAUN MOORE: It was a one-four and they set ball screen and I should have passed out of it. I tried to take the trap man on. I should have just passed out of it and let somebody make a play on me, because, I mean, we had a 3-on-2 so it was just a misread and a bad read on my part. But that's all right. We still survived that and got the victory.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. We'll excuse the players and take questions for coach.

Q. I'll ask you the same question I asked the guys, is this any sweeter, is this Sweet 16 any sweeter, given the circumstances?
COACH PAINTER: I think that last year we weren't picked to win either, playing Washington then. And in front of their home crowd. A lot of people didn't pick to us win there. They had that sea of purple there.
Our guys stepped up and really played a great first half in that game. Today nobody picked to us win this game either. After a while I think it really sits with our guys. They really use it for motivation. But like JaJuan said and I said at the beginning of the year they just don't dropkick you back into the Sweet 16. You got to beat two real good teams. They're both great accomplishments. I don't look at them any differently than before.
When Rob went down we had to adjust. We had some growing pains with that but I think we have. The game has to go our way a little bit. Today it didn't go our way and we were able to still survive because our bench was productive. And our bench really helped, D.J. Byrd had a huge game. But no, both of them are great accomplishments and I don't think any one is over the other one, but we wish Rob was with us and it's too bad. He's worked real hard to get to this point but now he has to just channel his energy and focus and do rehab and get ready for next year so he can be sitting up here and hopefully making another long run.

Q. Your bench, obviously we talk about Kramer's play at the end. JaJuan's play at the end. Obviously all your horses made big plays but it would seem like you can look at it too like you kind of won the game with Bade, Byrd, Ryne Smith making big plays.
COACH PAINTER: There was some big plays on both teams, especially in that second half. But I thought the one stretch when we had Ryne Smith and D.J. Byrd in the second half and we made a nice run with a couple of our starters on the bench. That really helped us, gave us a shot in the arm and that's what you have to have. You have to have those guys and D.J. Byrd deserved to play down the stretch and in overtime. Just hasn't been in that opportunity, hasn't been in that situation a lot. So you don't want to put a guy into a tough spot and I wanted to keep Chris in the game defending and doing the things that he does. But just one of those games where you're going to need a total team effort and we were able to get it, especially defensively.

Q. You called a timeout with 10.1 seconds to go. Did you have a moment where you were you going to run it for somebody else? Tell me what was going on, were you going to run it for E'Twaun again or did he talk you out of it?
COACH PAINTER: I should have called a timeout in regulation when we were flat and we had them coming back and I thought even though we had a timeout we could play on and E'Twaun was saying it was his fault. It was actually my fault. But then in the overtime we wanted to bring E'Twaun off a screen and we were going to try to curl him through the lane. If we couldn't get him -- and they took that away. We were just going to try to jam it in. But with that action, we knew that their four was going to be on Chris. And Chris had done a good job of getting inside using his dribble and we just said if you can break him down, attack the rim. And he was able to do that. He crossed the guy over and got right to the rim. It was a great play. You got to give him credit for making the play.

Q. Kramer's known just as kind of the defensive specialist, for some of us who maybe don't watch your team all the time, to put the ball in his hands at the end like that, does he have some skills that sometimes don't get recognized?
COACH PAINTER: He's a very good speed dribbler with his right hand. The fact that he crossed over and went to his left and finished it with his right hand too, and he can get to the basket. But he plays a role for us, at times he's a faster now in that position and moves the ball, passes the basketball.
But this is what we're going to have to have for us to continue to win basketball games, Chris Kramer, and Keaton Grant both scored in the Siena game, and we win the game. Chris Kramer steps up and scores tonight, we're able to win the game. We need those next guys to score the third, fourth guys to score and so when Ryne Smith comes in and gets us a three or D.J. Byrd gets us 10 points, that's just huge.
But Chris Kramer can play. He can play a lot of sports. He's just a competitive kid that wants to win and he'll do whatever it takes. If we had Rob up here right now he wouldn't be taking as many shots and he would be fine with it. That's why he just continues to help us win.

Q. You didn't score the last four minutes of regulation and their defense picked up. Did you try to change anything going into overtime? Did you talk to the team about doing anything differently because you weren't even getting good shots really in the last four minutes?
COACH PAINTER: No, we didn't get good shots and I really think that's because of their defense. They did a good job. We tried to isolate a couple times, and they really just sunk their defense in and ran at our guy and did a good job with ball screen defense and Texas A&M is a very good defensive team and we should have just kept it spread and run motion like we were doing before and continued to get good shots through our motion and we're at our best in transition.
When we got steals and got in transition, we were able to push. That really helps us and so we got to get a good balance of transition and doing a better job in the half court, but I was proud of our guys. It was one of those games where whoever was going to get the most stops was going to win and we were fortunate enough to get one more stop.

Q. With your 0-5 record in overtime, before today...
COACH PAINTER: Man, you guys do some homework.

Q. He did, not me. What was the message to the team before overtime started?
COACH PAINTER: Nothing. You get that look. We had kind of a dejected look at halftime a little bit. You got to get your guys up and we messed up at the end of regulation. And when you mess up and you have the ball and you don't make the play, that always gets momentum for the opposition. So I felt they had a little bit of momentum right there just trying to get your guys up and the only way you can do that is by making a couple plays, making a couple baskets and we were able to just hang in there at that time. And just trying to get them to move the basketball and quit trying to make one-on-one plays, every time we failed to make a one-on-one play outside of Chris's and really in the last 10 minutes of the game, counting overtime, we struggled.
And we got to do a better job of sharing the basketball, penetrating, pitching and setting screens for each other. That was just -- that was the message. Especially offensively because defensively our guys played hard and they did the best they could at times, especially on Sloan. I thought we did a good job on Sloan.

Q. Can you also talk about the physicality of the game and the way Kramer played on defense as well, and losing a shoe in overtime and all that the little things that kind of happened with him?
COACH PAINTER: In the first half I thought both teams were physical. They got called for twice as many fouls as us. The one thing you try to do as a coach is get your players to adjust to the officials. And that was a hard thing to do. In the second half they had a couple guys in foul trouble and I thought there was some inconsistent calls at the time, so the game's going to be physical and there's nothing wrong with it being physical. Losing shoes, bodies are flying all over the place, you just want it the same as you go on but you can't mess with the shooter. You can't hit guys that's what we always tell the guys, you can be physical, you can play, you got to move your feet, but when a guy shoots the basketball you can't mess with him. Because they're always going to call that and that's important not to jump over the fight and you don't want to get beat on the free throw line.

Q. JaJuan talked about all the dunks and stuff and they did have a lot -- a lot of passes got intercepted going in there. Was that one of the strategies was to take a few chances there?
COACH PAINTER: We did a couple things, at times we did and at times we didn't. We wanted help from different places against them. We're very concerned with JaJuan sometimes when he doesn't have fouls he's very good defensively. At times when he gets fouls, he struggles. He gets passive because he doesn't want to get another foul, well you can't just let them keep scoring the basketball.
I think it's a combination of their post play and their guards' ability to dribble penetrate and get through. You can't help up at top. We had to stay flat and make them shoot pull ups but in the post we tried to give them different looks where we were helping and then at times we were just trying to make Bryan Davis make plays over us and obviously he did. He had a great night.

Q. Certainly it seemed to have a feel of a conference game between familiar conference foes, grinding out defense, didn't it?
COACH PAINTER: Yes. We had to make it a game. They had a good start to the second half and I thought that if we could make it a grind-it-out game where it had to be possession basketball and it was close that we could have some success. We have had success in games like this the whole year, when we have been able to get stops late. But there's no doubt it was like a conference game. A good Big-12/Big-10 battle.
THE MODERATOR: Okay coach. Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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