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March 11, 2011

JaJuan Johnson

E'Twaun Moore

Matt Painter


Michigan State – 74
Purdue - 56

COACH PAINTER: Well, obviously we're disappointed. We thought this was a great opportunity after our loss against Iowa to come out and redeem ourselves and lay it on the line and play hard and really compete.
We've got a lot of respect for Michigan State's program and what they've been able to accomplish through the years. You know, they're a program that prides themselves on playing hard, playing defense and rebounding, and tonight they dominated us in those three areas. There's no doubt about it. We're going to have to use this as a learning tool to hopefully improve and get better going into the NCAA Tournament.
I do think that the game of basketball you've got to relearn some things at times. You think you've got it figured out, and I think you just flat fool yourself. And tonight the one thing that I felt good about going into this game after our loss against Iowa was us competing, and that didn't happen tonight, or maybe Kalin Lucas was just special, which in my opinion he was. He put them on their back and got them going and made some huge plays and some huge shots. I think they really fed off of that, then I thought Michigan State had a great effort on the glass. They had three or four guys that really got the rebounds, got the loose balls and did a great job. So give them credit. Any time you sweep somebody during the year, I think it's hard to beat somebody three times, and I think you saw that tonight because Michigan State, they played very hard and they were very determined.

Q. Coach just talked about how tough Michigan State plays. One of the things they talked about when they were in here was taking Ryne, Lewis, and D.J. out of the offense. How tough is it to get those guys involved with the offense when another team is trying to take them out?
JAJUAN JOHNSON: I just think that really we just -- tonight we just did a pretty bad job really of moving the ball around. But I mean, it happens sometimes, but we've just got to do a better job of just moving the ball in the offense, and I think those guys will definitely get opportunities. But it just came down to really just moving the ball.

Q. JaJuan, can you talk about the mental state of your team at this point with the loss to Iowa and the loss today? It seems like these aren't good losses to have going into an NCAA Tournament. Do you feel like you can put this out of your mind and move forward in a confident manner?
JAJUAN JOHNSON: I definitely think so. Last year we definitely had a good showing here, but we kind of used that to help our -- in the tournament. We went to the Sweet 16, and I think this year we have a better team than we did last year. We still are capable of doing some special things, we've just got to really come together as a team and move forward.

Q. E'Twaun, in the first two meetings with them, you guys were able to get on some really nice runs and were making a lot of shots. It seemed tonight like defensively they closed out on shooters better than they did in the first two games. Did you notice their defensive effort was better tonight than it was in either the game in Mackey or in East Lansing?
E'TWAUN MOORE: I think one thing that we should have done better is get stops on the defensive end, and that's what we did when we was at Michigan State when we played there, and that led us into transition buckets and just getting the ball moving and getting everyone involved just from that standpoint. We didn't get a lot of stops, so that didn't feed into our offense.

Q. JaJuan, could you talk about obviously you were the Big Ten Player of the Year, you take a lot of pride in that, but did you want to come here and really show it? Was it important for you personally to lead this team all the way?
JAJUAN JOHNSON: I mean, as a senior, I don't know if E'Twaun feels the same way, we definitely always want to come out and play our best. We don't have another Big Ten Tournament next year, so with that said, I think, yeah, I definitely did, and I know E'Twaun definitely feels the same way. This is our last Big Ten Tournament and it isn't the way we wanted it to end, but we've still got basketball to play.

Q. JaJuan, their bigs, well, their whole team, they crashed the boards pretty well, out-rebounded you by 13. Was it just not blocking out or what led to your dominance on the boards tonight?
JAJUAN JOHNSON: You could say blocking out, pursuing the ball. It was a lot of things. You know, they definitely had some -- I don't know, they just wanted the ball more tonight, and it just wasn't Purdue basketball. But we definitely have the opportunity to correct some things in practice and move forward with that.

Q. How much do you think these two losses back to back are going to hurt you come Selection Sunday seed-wise?
E'TWAUN MOORE: I mean, I'm not really sure. I don't know what those guys go off of for anything. All I know is we've got to be ready to play come tournament time, and we've got to find a way to get wins.

Q. Matt, I asked Tom Izzo the same question. Obviously the officiating had nothing to do with the outcome, but did you take any issue at all that Earl Walton worked this game? You've talked about officials and being overworked and all that. Is it symptomatic of a larger problem within officiating?
COACH PAINTER: I didn't take any issue to it. I thought he did a good job. We haven't had him this year but we've had him before and he's always done a good job. Like a lot of coaches have talked about, about that one situation, they made a mistake. You move on. You know, it's part of it. Good officials make mistakes. Good players struggle at times.
But no, it's -- and I understand I think some people are jumping on the bandwagon about the officials being overworked, and I think that is something to think on a little bit. But I like those guys, those quality officials, the guys that are seasoned that have been through the wars before, especially in crucial games. But I think it's in the eye of the beholder. I think each coach would probably argue their point. I like experienced guys that have been there and been through it, and even if they are a little bit overworked, they're still quality officials.

Q. You talked about after the Iowa game that you don't mind three-pointers if they're squared up in the rhythm, so forth. Tonight 3 of 16, that's I think 8 of 41 in the last two games. Is that too many, or was tonight a completely different entity?
COACH PAINTER: Well, I think obviously I could answer it better after I watch film, but the fact that we had a couple threes blocked in the middle of the shot clock to start the game, first five, six minutes of game, it wasn't a good sign. I think it's hard for a young guy, it's hard for kids in general. We've had some success here, and we've had a good season. With that as you go on, I think success will mess with you a little bit, and we have to be patient. We have to probe the defense, and we have to generate, manufacture, whatever word you want to use, a good shot, and tonight we had to be more patient at times, and we weren't.
I'm not talking about the second half. The second half we were just trying to stay alive in the fight, in the battle, in the press, in the run at them. You dug yourself a hole and it's hard. I'm talking the first half we just didn't stay with it and make the extra pass, do the little things that help you get a better shot out there.
With our team in general through the years, we seem to be more efficient shooting threes when we shoot less of them, and tonight even though it wasn't a high number, I didn't think we had a lot of rhythm shots. But you've got to give Michigan State credit. We weren't open a lot. I think part of that is us and part of that is their defense.

Q. In a general sense can you just talk about JaJuan and his progression and what he's meant to your team over the years, and this year for him to be conference player of the year, first one since Glenn Robinson, what has he meant to you guys?
COACH PAINTER: He's been great. He's been a player that's gotten better every single year. He's gotten physically stronger, that's helped him, he's added weight, added strength. This year he's a more confident player, he's got some other dimensions to his game. He gives you a shot blocker down low. But he's been great. He's one of the best players in school history.

Q. Coming off the two losses, how do you as a coach regroup your ballclub to make them so they want those rebounds? How do you turn your ballclub around?
COACH PAINTER: Well, I think we've lost two games in a row before, and we've been able to respond to that. The only way I know how to handle it is just by working and trying to get everybody on the same page. A sign of a really good team is a team that struggles to shoot and still wins, and tonight should have been a grinder for us. You know, this should have been in the 50s, because we didn't shoot the ball well, Michigan State defended well, but we didn't have an answer for Kalin Lucas, and you cannot let a great player get going, and when he got going, I think that was really contagious for his teammates, and he really carried them on his back.
We're just going to go back and work and try to get it figured out, and I think it's simple, I think it's basic, but also it's definitely because you've got an opponent and you've got somebody else -- any team you play in the NCAA Tournament is going to be a good team. Any team you play in the Big Ten Tournament is going to be a good team for that matter, and I think everybody has proven that.

Q. You always talk about the game can humble you. These last two games, have they sort of blind-sided you? You could have never envisioned these going to Iowa when you were riding so high.
COACH PAINTER: Yeah, well, you prepare your team. You're always trying to figure out how somebody is going to beat you when you watch film and you try to dissect that part of it. There's a lot of different ways to approach a game or to approach an opponent, you can go back and forth. The one thing that I felt after the Iowa game was that we would compete. I knew we would play a quality opponent, whether it was Michigan State or Iowa again, but I thought from that game we competed, and I didn't think tonight we did that. Obviously Michigan State was better in that department.
So for many years that's what Purdue has hung their hat on. We've just got to do a better job of that, and every guy on our team understands it's our identity and how we're going to move forward and win games.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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