Kelvin Sampson press conference

Click here for our multimedia coverage of today’s press conference. 

Chris Howell shot this photo.

A few basketball-related tidbits:

  • Sampson said that the bulk of practice, as expected, has been spent working on defense and effort. “You pick and choose what you want to be good at early in the year,” he said. He acknowledged that last year offensive execution was poor early because he didn’t work on that, but that he didn’t think that strategy was a mistake.
  • Of course this year he has guys who will score even when the offensive fails to execute. “We have more guys who can break a team down and get the ball into the paint.
  • Freshman Eric Gordon’s best plays, so far according to Sampson, have been passes into the post players. He’s also learning to play defense. “He has great defensive strength, really gets in his stance, moves his feet and guard his man,” Sampson said. “Getting him to understand that and repeat that and be consistent every day is our challenge.”
  • Samspon says that junior DeAndre Thomas, the 298-pound forward, has taken over part of Rod Wilmont’s role. “He’s gives us a little spirit in practice,” he said. “He’s vocal in a good way.”
  • Freshman center Eli Holman has been getting extra practice everyday. He’s still raw at this point, and doesn’t play physically enough for Sampson’s liking.
  • Earl Calloway, the point guard last season, has signed with the East Kentucky Miners of the CBA, Sampson said. Wilmont, who was cut by the Knicks a few days ago, may sign there too.


Interesting thing is that Sampson is somewhat jovial:

Terry Hutchens asked him about the new NCAA rule on bench decorum, and Sampson pointed out that he didn’t get a technical last year.

“Finally some good news,” Sampson said. “Somebody find a way to get that in the report.”

Then, someone’s cell phone rang.

“That’s the last thing we need,” he said.


Sampson had an opening statement and said that he wouldn’t discuss the violations because the review by the NCAA is pending.

He was then asked if the news has been a distraction. He said it has not been. He told the team Sunday what was happening. Since then, they have only been practicing and concentrating on getting better.

“My responsibility is to coach this team,” he said.

I then asked why he was able to discuss the violations on Sunday but not today and he said that we were getting off topic.


We’re in the media room at Assembly Hall getting ready for today’s press conference.


  1. Well, I’m glad HE’S jovial. Personally, I have this sickening empty feeling in my stomach to go along with a numbing sensation in my brain that has happened every time I have thought about IU basketball this week.

  2. Chris is still at the press conference where D.J. White is now talking with reporters. I left after Sampson was done.

    There were about 30 reporters at the press conference, including the Indianapolis TV stations. Typically, we might see about 10 reporters at a Sampson press conference, other than those held after games.

    An interesting moment, I thought, came when athletics media relations director J.D. Campbell went up to one of the TV reporters before the press conference to tell him Sampson would not answer questions about the sanctions. The reporter responded that would be like Mitch Daniels raising taxes and then announcing he was holding a press conference but wouldn’t answer any questions about the tax increase.

  3. If we pool together our cell minutes and give them to Coach, can we get two top 10 players for the next class instead of just one?

    Another terrible part of ths situation that will be annoying: we’re going to have to hear this re-hashed for years at the end of every article a la Coach Knight articles.

  4. You honestly thought he’d discuss the sanctions today????? Of course he just wants to talk about the team and practice. We can debate whether its right or wrong of him, but it shouldn’t be unexpected from a coach in his situation by any means.

  5. Why not discuss them Jeff? He has nothing to hide does he? He’s always been honest with us Hoosiers. It’s not like he’s a liar or a cheater or something.

  6. Have you watched sports before? Of course a coach in his situaiton, who already came out with a statement, isn’t going to talk any more about it. I didn’t say it was right or wrong, just saying its to be expected that he’d avoid the sanctions and just want to talk about the squad.

  7. Doug/Chris – quit trying to hi-jack Coach’s press conference and get him off topic. I love how some people think IU athletics has always been a paragon of virtue. Good grief.

  8. Kenny, our job is to tackle the questions the public wants answers to, not to follow Sampson’s agenda. Maybe you don’t want to know what exactly happened with the phone calls, how and why it happened, and how Sampson feels about it, but a lot of people do. We have not had an opportunity to pursue those questions at any depth so what you’re seeing as reporting on this either lacks specifics or has speculation about what really happened and whether the violations were intentional or inadvertent. No decent reporter would go into that press conference without trying to ask questions about this.

    A couple of other things from the press conference. Sampson said a concern about this year’s team is that its outside shooting won’t be as good as last year’s team. But he still said the offense will be better because of the skill of some of the new players, as long as the team is unselfish.

    He also said the team should be able to run more defenses this year because the team’s basketball IQ is a little higher.

  9. Isn’t anyone else as pumped as they’ve ever begin to start an IU basketball season?? The whole Sampson thing is up to the NCAA now, and completely out of everyone’s hands. So why sit around and think negatively? I’d rather think about how we still have a top 10 team and 2 potential all americans. Wake up people! Basketball season is about to begin!!

  10. Steve O said, “I’d rather think about how we still have a top 10 team and 2 potential all americans.”

    That’s the rub. How can you feel good about a team that has a leader that has circumvented the rules to assemble the team? We now know he has cheated nearly 600 times while at OU and at least 35-100 times at IU — just on the phone.

    Are you so naive to think that the phone is the only format of cheating that Sampson is doing? If the NCAA conducts a thorough investigation IU could be headed for some very troubled times.

  11. Does anybody realize just how incredibly hypocritical and disgusting all this is? Greenspan claims to demand full compliance with NCAA rules as a top priority, yet he hires a guy who made 577 illegal phone calls. Sampson says he learned a lesson, only to go back to the same sort of illegal behavior in his first 12 months as coach. Greenspan says he’s imposing “penalties” that actually don’t affect the coach’s fundamental remuneration (how in the world did he earn a $500000 “bonus”, anyway?), and that save the athletic department over $600,000 ($500000 + a scholarship). This stuff is so, so ugly. Its’ all a just a corrupt big business. And to those of you who say, “Well, this goes on everywhere” — well, why aren’t we hearing about it “everywhere”? Why isn’t Mike Kryzsceski or Billy Donovan getting sanctioned? See, some people can win cleanly. IU is now a joke. As long as Samsung is coach, anyone who supports this team lacks moral sensibility.

  12. You’re right, IU is a joke now, in the same class as UNLV and Cincinnati. For my part I think fans should boycott the games and demand that this team be led by an ethical person. How can anyone get excited about a team that is put together by an unconscionable cheater? It made me laugh to read that Sampson said he didn’t know about 3-way calls. Like Senderoff — or is it Sendthecall? — was totally breathless on the 3rd line? I agree, it’s pretty disgusting. Not my team anymore, sorry supporters. And I can’t root for any player who decides to play for a cheat.

  13. Somebody help me here. Did KS ever actually say he was sorry for causing all this mess again? Or is the best we have heard is that he didn’t mean to, and that he takes responsibility? This is just sickening and it is only going to get worse. Surely somewhere in the land there is a qualified coach who would like to help restore a clean, prominent program. Too many folks seem to think otherwise. Expectations for this season are sky-high, and what if they don’t win? Sanctions on the program? Things could get so much uglier.

  14. You’ve got it, Kevin, that’s what’s so sickening — IU bypassed all kinds of coaches to get this creep, just because he was the WINNINGEST one. The pickle IU is in, is that if Samsung really follows the rules, then his recruiting would be severely hampered for a year (now for another year since Senderoff can’t recruit), meaning the program will not be as successful.
    Look at Iowa — they found a great coach from the mid-majors, a guy who’s never cheated.
    In my opinion Greenspan should be tossed out the door with Samsung.

  15. hopefully the calls won’t affect or team this year. why would he do that again he knew he was going to get caught

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