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March 5, 2011
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
Indiana State Ã‚â€“ 61
Wichita State - 54
THE MODERATOR: The victorious Sycamores are with us. They have a date tomorrow afternoon with the Bears of Missouri State. Coach Lansing will make a statement and then questions for the three student-athletes.
COACH LANSING: We're very, very happy that we beat a talented team that is definitely an NCAA Tournament team, whether other people think so or not. They're awfully talented. They are well-coached. They beat us twice. Last time we played us they beat us by 16 at our place. We had a heck of a game with them at their place.
But we're just awfully pleased and thankful to get the opportunity to play to go to the NCAA Tournament. We've kind of talked about since we had our losing stretch that we were going to compete and get better and we were going to fight for each other every day. I have an unbelievably unselfish group of guys in there, and it takes all of them to get where we are right now. It starts with these three right here.
Q. Jake, can you kind of compare what you thought this season could have in store for you and the team when you're preparing for the season, and compare it to the way the season has actually played out?
JAKE ODUM: When you start the season, your number one goal is to make it to this Sunday game and win. That's what our goal has been since day one. We started off a little slow this season. But during Conference we picked it up and got ourselves in a position to put ourselves to get to the NCAA Tournament tomorrow.
Q. Myles, can you talk about your effort not only on the offensive end, but also on the defensive end? Durley did have his points, but Wichita's bigs were somewhat limbed besides that. Talk about your overall effort?
MYLES WALKER: I felt when the guards gave me the ball on the side I felt comfortable shooting my hook shots. Like yesterday I was hitting my hook shots, so today I felt very confident. About their bigs, they have a 7-footer, and a 6'8", 6'8", don't get me wrong. They're very talented.
But still I feel I can overpower them and be a more powerful player than the rest of the bigs they have there. I give a lot of credit to my guards, my teammates, for feeding me the ball inside.
After getting inside, they collapsed on me and I get right back out. They shoot the three like J.T. and Odum, so I give respect to my teammates.
Q. Jordan and Jake, can you each talk about what that -- I think it was an 18-1 run you guys had. Can you talk about the way you guys just kind of steam rolled?
JAKE ODUM: We wanted to come out in the second half, have energy and set the tone. We were moving the ball well, getting each other open shots and I think it started on the defensive end. Really concentrating on blocking them out. They have a lot of talent, lot of athleticism, and we were just focusing on trying to get stops. And we were getting good shots in the end.
JORDAN PRINTY: It started with the defense, coming out of halftime, we started winning the first four minutes. We did that, and wanted to focus on the next four. We did that and put a good run together to give us the lead.
The guys really shot the ball well during the second half. And Myles Walker was huge down the stretch with those hook shots down low. It was a good team win here.
Q. Jordan, you came into this program I believe in '07 is when you recruited. You sat out a year. Last-place team at that stage of the game, and now you're playing for an NCAA Tournament bid. Can you just talk about the progression this program has made this your time here and what your feelings are about getting that opportunity to play?
JORDAN PRINTY: It's been great. We really tried to get better every year. We knew we had the coaches that had the right ideas for us. It's something that we've just been working on and trying to get better every year. Coaches stressed big time this year about just improving every day. I think that's what we've done all year. We've got a shot tomorrow to make something happen.
Q. Jake and Myles, did you feel like you kind of discouraged them from getting the ball inside that they'd give in and start shooting threes and that plays to your advantage?
JAKE ODUM: Definitely an advantage. If you can keep the ball in the paint, you can win games. If you can score more points in the paint with them. We wanted to focus on having them kick the ball out and shoot contest the threes instead of getting the easy buckets inside.
JORDAN PRINTY: Coach's philosophy is to get the ball inside and kick right back out. So that we did really great with that today. Also yesterday during practice we've just been working on that area every single day, in and out. We just had to work our way to perfection.
Q. Myles, can you talk about now being 40 minutes away from the NCAA Tournament at this point?
MYLES WALKER: Can you repeat that?
Q. Yeah, can you talk about the fact that now you guys right as the buzzer was sounding, you guys stuck your finger in the air and said one more. Your thoughts on now being 40 minutes away from the NCAA Tournament?
MYLES WALKER: When we first started out here, we had three games to go. A three and a half hour ride here we always had in our head that we had three games to go. We got one knocked out of the way on Friday against Evansville. They've whooped us twice in the conference, same as Wichita State. Now we're coming to get Missouri State right now.
They're a well talented team. They have less than probably 24 hours to play them, and I feel that we can overcome that and go to the big dance. I mean all the I S U fans want to see us there and they deserve it. That's how I feel.
Q. Jake, couple of your steals in the early run were getting into the passing lanes when Wichita State was trying to penetrate and get a ball in from the perimeter into the paint. Can you just -- I know you wanted to come out with a defensive mentality, but those are the kinds of defensive plays this that you kind of have to have instinct for. Can you talk about how important they were and giving you guys energy and maybe zapping a little energy from Wichita State?
JAKE ODUM: Yeah, I felt like I came out the gate slow in the first half, so I kind of wanted to get some spark early in the second half to get it going because we couldn't fall behind anymore against Wichita State. They're a very tough team. They handle the pressure very well.
So I tried to do the right thing and anticipate something to get the spark going. Happened to be in the right place at the right time and got a couple of steals there in the beginning of the half.
Q. You were down 30-22, what kind of changed at that point in the start of the second half?
JAKE ODUM: Like I just said, it was our defense stepped up. I think it was like 30-22, and next thing I looked up it was like 32-42. So it was our defense that got us going. That's what got us going all year. That's what wins championships.
So we're focusing on coming out tomorrow and playing really good defense. That helps translate us to the offensive end.
Q. For any of the three players, the team has been good this year, third place. But you guys have kind of had that mode where you've been want to go gain some respect as well. I know the prize you want to get is tomorrow, but how important is it that you guys got to this stage and are playing for the tournament in terms of how this program is perceived?
MYLES WALKER: I feel it's all mind control. It's all mental. We have the athleticism, the hype, the talent. It's all mind control. You can't think you're weak on the court, because you'll be weak. Think strong. Be strong.
Q. Jordan, I know you talked about the team, but for you personally to play such a big role in a game like this, I know you haven't been healthy for a lot of the year and getting healthy at just the right time, what did it mean for you to hit some really big shots in a really big game?
JORDAN PRINTY: It was nice. We ran a lot of motion there in the second half, and I got some good looks. But my teammates did a good job of finding me. It was a total team win. Everyone stepped up, and we needed everyone to get this win. It was a great team win, and I'm just proud of our guys.
Q. 55 turned out to be a really big shot. Take us through the thought process. Was it any hesitation? Looked like it was several steps behind the line.
JORDAN PRINTY: Yeah, the shot clock was winding down, and we had been running our motion. I kind of waved Myles out. He set a good screen on me, and I just kind of took it in rhythm and let it go and it went in.
Q. Just talk about coming out with a defensive mentality. Yes, it was an 18-1 run, but a lot of it fueled by defense. Talk about the importance of that in this game.
COACH LANSING: We've tried to do that all year, you know. And when we've been good, we've been flying around defensively and very active. We don't have a bunch of great one-on-one defenders, but as a team we're pretty solid. We learned a lot from playing a team like Evansville last night. There is nobody that helps each other more than them. We tried to do that too. We wanted to really make it tough for them to score around the basket, and jam it up in there. Everybody that wasn't up on the ball wanted to kick it out and beat us with contested threes. They settled for that some.
You have a player like J.T. Durley in there. He was still very good, he was 18-11. We trust Myles awfully well. We weren't going to double him. Off anybody else we were probably going to double him and let him kick it out. But we let Myles go one-on-one. We switched you up things too. With no prep, we tried to do a couple of different things and keep it simple and our guys were tremendous in following the game plan.
Q. There's been a lot of lean years for the program, and you had a front row seat as an assistant. Kind of observing how difficult it was to get that boulder up the hill. What was it about the Indiana State program in the situation that gave you hope and confidence that it could be turned around and start to have a season like this that was truly building towards something?
COACH LANSING: I was there at the start when it was being built and done the right way with Coach Waltman. There are three championship banners on the wall in the Holman Center and Coach Waltman coached two of those. And obviously Larry Bird was pretty involved with the other one.
It's a place that maybe we don't have the bells and whistles as everybody else does. Basketball's important. It's an unbelievable community. Our fans are terrific. It's only going to get better. I know it can get done, and it can get done in the right way because I was there before. It just takes hard work, takes hard work. To have a group of kids like I have there, if you have the chemistry and kid that's want to compete like that, you can win.
Q. Wichita State had a couple of threes at the end of the game, and it seemed momentum was switching. How did you keep your composure, and how was the mood of your team at that point?
COACH LANSING: I'm flipping out over there, and Coach Gudino has to keep me strong and remind us we're in the lead. He's yelling that to the guys to know I'm going to hear it and calm down a little bit. I'm a pretty passionate guy, and so are our guys.
We've been talking in the huddles during our last few regular season games I was talking about to win three in three days we have to be better. I tried to have those guys thinking about that. Sometimes that's too much for guys. But if you want to win championships, you've got to embrace that. And our guys have really done that. They're a hard working, good group of guys. You try to give them a game plan and work on it, and they carried it out very, very well, especially in the second half today.
Q. You have said all season long you trusted any player you put in, and that was one of the strengths of the team. Today it showed every player that you put in contributed. Talk about the way you put in and stepped up today?
COACH LANSING: We talk a lot about it. I like all of them. I wish I could play all of them more, even the guy that's don't play. But I've never hesitated when we had a sub or somebody was in foul trouble to put one of those guys in.
Now when Jake Odum is sitting on the sidelines by me, I get a little nervous, even for a red shirt freshman. And a guy like Myles sitting over are there, it makes me nervous as well.
I can trust all of them. One thing you can do is really know that they're going to try as good as they can, as much as they can. Even Dwayne, I thought Dwayne was terrific with that stuff today. He's come such a long way. I beat him down quite a bit, and tried to work him and get him to be tougher. He's going to make mistakes, but he wants to dot right thing just like everybody else.
The guys were tremendous keeping their composure in the second half. We turned it over a little bit with the press, but they knocked down a couple of threes and we hung in there doing what we needed to do to make free throws down the stretch.
Q. You talked about the belief in being able to build this program. But getting to this stage, what's it do as far as changing the perception of this program in the present?
COACH LANSING: Well, I want to recruit guys that want to win championships. With an athletic director like Ron Prettyman, and president like Dr. Bradley. We want to win championships. We're a proud school and have an unbelievable group of kids in there winning championships and competing nationally. We have to do our part. We have to compete, and I hope we're not done yet.
We're awfully happy to beat a very good Wichita State team and have a chance to play as the champions of the conference to go to the NCAA Tournament. But we came here to win three in three days and we're not done yet.
Q. Two terrific games with Missouri State this season. Can you talk about tomorrow's match-up and what you need to do well against the Bears?
COACH LANSING: You've got the ultimate competitor over there coaching them, the "Coach of the Year." Cuonzo Martin is a good friend of mine. I just love the way his team plays. Recruited Kyle Weems. We finished I don't know if it was a close second or distant second to those guys.
But a very, very good team, a veteran team. Starting four seniors and red shirt junior in Kyle Weems. The Larry Bird Player of the Year. They're going to be ready. They want to get there too. They're a championship team. They've proven that all year with what they got accomplished.
We had two great games with them. We had some good fortune at our place to get them, and then we had a really good game with them at their place that they got us in the end. I expect nothing less tomorrow.
Q. The question I asked Jake to compare what he thought this season could have in store to what has transpired. Same question for you in your first year as a head coach at this level. Compare what you thought the season could have to you guys for what's transpired?
COACH LANSING: Our goal is always going to be to win the con presence. Our goal will always be to get in the NCAA Tournament and win the every game. We're going to prepare as best we can, and give the guys a plan and try to make our guys as tough and competitive and hard working as possible. We have that.
Like I said, we're not done yet. This is just a step. We won the semifinal game, we're in the final. So we haven't done what we wanted to do. You go through some tough times, and everybody does that. You take losses pretty hard.
But it's what you do. It's the lessons that you learn while you're competing and having those tough times. It's all about chemistry and in that locker room, we have tremendous chemistry.
Q. You played 11 players today compared to Missouri State's 7. Do you think your depth is a major advantage you have over Missouri State?
COACH LANSING: I hope Cuonzo is practicing for two hours tomorrow morning. But they've shown they can handle that. That's a tough, physical group. Very well-coached, competitive, proud guys. I like watching them play. I hope I don't enjoy too much tomorrow.
But they're going to be ready doesn't matter if they're playing five or six or seven. We'll be ready too.
We'll try to keep our guys fresh. We'll get some rest tonight. I can't imagine them being too tired coming down the stretch tomorrow though.
Q. What did you learn in the first two meetings with Wichita State that turned out to be important tonight?
COACH LANSING: They're really, really good. They're so deep. Coach Marshall does such a good job with playing all those guys. To have that many talented guys and to keep them happy with the minutes is really difficult. Then they made the change later in the year to start Ragland at the point, I thought that was a tremendous move.
Our biggest thing is they're so good in transition, so you can't turn it over. And we did a little too much today. You can't let them get on a 7, 8, 9-0 run. We tried to limit that as much as possible. We talked about it a lot at halftime. Don't give them transition baskets and you'll like the results.
We're just very impressed with them. We knew it was going to be very, very difficult. And we deserve to win, we played well, and we deserved to win.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports