Update on a week without games…

Indiana basketball coach Kelvin Sampson met with the media today. He was his usual self, bristling at some questions and joking about others.

A quick-hit list of topics discussed:

— After seeing his team come up with a -17 rebounding margin at Iowa, Sampson decided that rebounding hasn’t yet become a habit for his team. So they’ve worked on that in practice.

– Sampson said Tuesday’s practice went very well. He liked the energy from the team and felt they kept getting better. That’s the key now, he says: keep improving, even though it’s so hard to do at this point in the year.

— For the “first time all year,” Indiana’s players and coaches got to sit down together and watch a lot of film on Monday. Sampson wanted to take it slowly and point things out. He emphasized how imortant each possession is, especially on the road.

— Sampson said he believes every team must learn to deal with losing on the road. When he returned home from Iowa City on Saturday, he learned that No. 3 North Carolina had lost at North Carolina State. “Misery loves company,” he said. “I was glad to see it.”

— About Lance Stemler, who has been inconsistent at times and missed two early, wide-open 3-pointers against Iowa: “No one works any harder than Lance.” He believes Stemler’s whole  game is suffering because of his poor shooting. “Ultimately, it does affect other areas,” Sampson said.

— The team had off on Wednesday, but was required to get into the gym and lift weights, Sampson said.

— And, finally, Sampson’s deep thought of the day: “Age has nothing to do with maturity. It has a lot to do with who you are inside.” Think it over, then discuss.

And a few tidbits from Errek Suhr:

— Suhr learned how to take a charge early in his career. “It’s always something I’ve had to do, so I’m used to it,” he said.

— He said it’s not tough mentally to jump into a game late, as he did against Iowa, but that it can be hard physically because he becomes stiff from sitting.

— As the team flew home from Iowa Saturday following the loss, Suhr warned the younger players to be ready for anything during the next practice. “This being my fourth year, I knew what to expect,” he said.

And here’s a small sample of what D.J. White had to say:

— White said he’s aware of several plans currently being hatched by students for the upcoming game. Illinois fans had a coordinated game plan to taunt Sampson at their Assembly Hall, and it looks like Indiana fans will return the favor this weekend. There’s already a push being made for students to dress as babies to taunt Illini coach Bruce Weber over what they perceive as whining over the Eric Gordon situation. White’s ready for the wild atmosphere: “I’m looking forward to what they have in store.”