Sampson at the mic

Eric Gordon has changed this program simply by being here.

“Other than his numbers, just his presence,” Sampson says when asked what he’s brought to the team.

Sampson’s seeing Gordon develop right before his eyes. No surprisingly, he does that at a faster rate than most of his peers.

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A.J. Ratliff is still trying to find his niche. It’s difficult for him to do against better opponents because he doesn’t get enough playing time to really gain confidence. So says Sampson.—–

Mike White didn’t play much last night because Sampson hasn’t liked his energy recently.

“Over the course of the season sometimes you have to pull a string here or there,” Sampson says. “I like doing that.”

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Sampson goes back and forth on whether or not he likes playing non-conference games during the conference season. This is actually the sixth season in a row that his program has played Connecticut, and most of the games were during the conference year.

But Sampson doesn’t prepare any differently for a non-conference game right now. “If they keep score you should prepare to win,” he says.

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Indiana’s going to have trouble getting shots around the rim with Hasheem Thabeet waiting around the rim. Connecticut leads the nation in blocks.

“If we had Thabeet we’d lead the nation in blocks,” Sampson says. “He’s a 7-3 center who is good at blocking shots.”

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Coach Sampson has joined us. What’s the topic of discussion today?

His concerns with UConn: Speed, rebounding, their size.

“They’re just a much more mature team than they were a year ago,” he says.

——–

K-Sam should be here in 15 minutes or so.

4 comments

  1. Mark,

    Sampson spoke for about 30 minutes, as usual. He spent the latter part of this press conference discussing his family (Ken Bikoff of Inside Indiana is working on a story about his son and current IU graduate assistant Kellen) and I didn’t feel right giving you the dish on that sort of information, which is meant more for a feature story.

    Needless to say, Kelvin is proud of his son (and his daughter Lauren; let’s include her while we’re at it). Thinks they’re both smart and independent and mature. He gives all the credit to his wife Karen for raising them up right. Even went as far as to say that Division I basketball coaches tend to be absentee fathers because of their jobs.

  2. Did he make or take any calls during the conf?

    I like “pulling a kid’s strings? What’s up with that?

  3. Imagine that is a motivation statement. Could have been stated better but KSam can say anything he wants. No rules for high paid coaches.

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