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March 10, 2011

Talor Battle

Jeff Brooks

Ed DeChellis


Penn State – 61
Indiana - 55

COACH DECHELLIS: We're really, really proud of our guys. We knew this would be a tough game for us, and I thought our kids second half played much better than the first half. I thought we played very tight at the start of the game. I thought we played tight for most of the whole first half and loosened up a little bit offensively in the second half.
But Indiana we knew would give us a great effort and a great atmosphere here, and we're just happy to move on and have another opportunity tomorrow night.

Q. Jeff, at some point late in the first half, you started getting the ball a little more, posting up, but previous to that it was a little less structure I guess you could say. Had you been calling for it? Did you see what you could do?
JEFF BROOKS: Actually we were just trying to run our offense. You know, we weren't trying to force anything to any player out there. We were just trying to get ourselves moving the ball a little bit, trying to get guys open, trying to get some easy baskets. Me personally, just in the first half, I wasn't taking smart shots and I wasn't being aggressive enough, either, but in the second half I think we all banded together and started playing together on the offensive end and got some big buckets.

Q. Jeff, no doubt that was a halftime talk to get the ball to yourself and Jones and also Jackson?
JEFF BROOKS: That was a key, but also something that coach just said earlier when he first stepped up here was guys were playing a little tight, so he told us all just be relaxed when we go back out on the floor and do what we do, and that's what we did in the second half, and we came out with that win.

Q. Talor, 3 for 12 tonight. Basically did you feel like you were starting to press a little bit?
TALOR BATTLE: I never got a rhythm. Coach Crean is a really good coach and Coach D and Coach K and everyone, we worked on junk defenses all week and they did a really great job taking me away, but Jeff played really well.
Jermaine Marshall came off the bench and gave us a little boost in the first half, then Drew and D.J. played really well in the second half. They Xed me out of the game. That's what good coaches do, and my guys stepped it up and they won the game.

Q. Jeff, just what was the key on the glass?
JEFF BROOKS: Basically just attack. You know, at halftime we were tied actually 16 to 16, I think, in rebounds, and then Coach K came into us and told the bigs just get back on the glass, get back to doing what we do. What's been helping us all season is when we win the rebounding war we win games, so that's something me, Drew, and D.J. wanted to do in the second half, and we did that. I think we did a better job in the second half of hitting the boards.

Q. Once your guys got the ball inside, everything changed in the middle of the second half. Did you want them to do that before that, before they started doing it?
COACH DECHELLIS: Yeah, well, they were switches defenses. They were playing a little triangle and two and then they were playing a little one three and a chaser so it was hard at times to get the ball inside because they're taking Bubby (Talor) out and the open area is both elbows, and they had three guys along the baseline.
I didn't think we were posting up hard enough in the first half and really digging in and posting up and wanting the ball. I thought we did a much better job the second half of that. But again, I thought the one-three and the chaser in the first half, we thought -- like Bubby (Talor) said, we worked on junk defenses all week as we thought that might happen. We just didn't execute as well as we needed to.

Q. You must be pretty pleased with your defense, also. I know we've been talking a lot of offense, getting the ball inside and all that, but with the rebounding and also holding the Hoosiers to 55 points.
COACH DECHELLIS: Yeah, I thought we rebounded better the second half. We told the kids at half we're 16-16 rebounding; we got to get on the glass. We have to get some offensive rebounds; we have to control the glass. When we rebound the ball for us, it's really been a key to winning games, and I thought that was really important.
I thought that they shot 54 percent the second half, and that wasn't very good. We gave them some open shots. But I thought our rebounding was really kind of what pulled us through this thing, and then Brooks making some plays around the basket the second half.

Q. Talk about the short turnaround in preparation for Wisconsin.
COACH DECHELLIS: Yeah, we're going to go back. It's almost 10:00 and get them to bed, get them something to eat here and have some food back there, get them to bed. We're going to let them sleep in tomorrow morning and walk through some stuff. Get them off their feet and go play tomorrow night at 9:00 or whatever we tip off. That's not changing, so you can either embrace it or you can say, oh, we've got a quick turnaround. I think sometimes it's an advantage to play a game and to get all the jitters out and go ahead and play. So that's the way we're going to approach it tonight, later on. When we meet and tomorrow morning, and I'll be telling them how fresh they are from now until tipoff.

Q. Do you feel like this is a game that you have to win to give yourselves the best chance --
COACH DECHELLIS: Oh, Jesus. We've had to win like five or six here the last two weeks, and that hasn't changed. I mean, we had to beat Northwestern at home, we had to beat Northwestern on the road, we had to beat Minnesota at home, we had to beat Minnesota on the road, and we had to win here. This is March; you've got to win. You've got to continue to build year résumé. Our time is now.
I told our kids, our seniors, this is the time when you make dreams in March. You can make a lifetime of memories here in four days. So let's go have some fun and just told them that again.
You know, is it a must-win? Yeah, they're all must-wins. It's not just pressure coming into a tournament. We've had that same deal for the last few weeks. We've been playing this thing since December 27th. I think we kicked off the Big Ten season, and they're all must-wins, so I don't think that's changed.

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