Post game press conference, live updates

Kelvin Sampson embraces his wife Karen after the game.

Gordon says Sampson has been the same every day in practice.

“Not a change at all.”

Now he’s asked what it would mean if it is Sampson’s last game.

“I really don’t think about it,” Taber said.

“I’ll have to say the same thing,” Gordon replied. “We don’t expect him to leave us at any time.”

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Eric Gordon and Kyle Taber have joined us.

Taber says it took a little while to adjust to the playing time he’s been receiving lately.

He says that he thinks Armon Bassett’s progression at the point guard position has really set the tone for the Hoosiers this season.

Like the others, he says that he hasn’t given it any thought to tonight being the last game at IU for Kelvin Sampson.

“I think it’s not in our hands, we’re just going to go out there and play for him.”

Gordon is now facing questions.

“Their defense likes to overplay a lot, and I figured to get to the line and score there a lot.”

He says with a smile that he doesn’t think he’s ever missed two consecutive free throws in a row.

“Our coach told us we had to play our best basketball through this three-game stretch. We’re getting better in a lot of different areas, especially in defense. We’re really getting after it now.”

He’s now asked if it’s a challenge to face the outside distractions.

“These teams are good that we’re playing against. Down the stretch we’re just going to have to win all of our games.”

He says that he’s only using the wrap on his wrist for contact purposes in case he gets hit.

Taber says that he thinks Coach Sampson is different from other coaches because of the intensity he demands in practice.

Gordon agrees. “He keeps us going.”

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He says that he thinks Purdue, Indiana and Wisconsin are the teams he thinks that are capable of winning the Big Ten.

He’s also continuing to praise D.J. White.

“You learn to never underestimate a kid like that,” he said. “I think the key for him was the Pan-Am games this summer. He deserves the credit. He and Coach Watkinson worked out for a month before those games. He was the leading scorer and the leading rebounder. There’s some guys that have better games than others, but D.J. White, and I think everyone in here will agree with me, is the Big Ten Player of the Year.

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“We’ve been pretty good in this arena over the past two years, and I expect to be back in here next Tuesday (against Ohio State).”

Pat Forde asked him if he’s thought at all about this maybe being his last game.

“I don’t think about that. I’ve really been focusing on this team.”

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Sampson’s all alone now. He was asked what these two wins say about his team, considering everything that’s swirling around this program.

“That’s five games in ten days,” he says, speaking of the Hoosiers’ stretch dating back to the Illinois win on Jan. 13. “I knew this was going to be a really tough stretch. We came within a 3-point bank shot of doing that. But, we have a lot of basketball left.”

He was asked if he has any sense of what his future holds.

“No.”

“I think the team is playing answers all the questions. I think the play answers itself. I think the people that know me, know me.”

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Now the tough questions. A reporter asked D.J. if he ever thinks about his coach “being on the spot.”

He said that he never thinks about it, and every time he steps on the court at Assembly Hall he’s simply focused on winning a Big Ten championship.

“That’s the last thing on our mind right now,” he says. “There’s no distractions that can bother us.”

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White added that he thought Kyle Taber was big for the Hoosiers tonight.

“He’s always there doing the little things out there to help us win,” White said.

Bassett is now discussing his role on this team.

“I just try and be a leader out there, trying to be Coach Sampson out there on the court.”

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Armon Bassett and D.J. White have joined him.

Sampson opens by saying there were two things his team wanted to focus on tonight.

“We tried to get to the boards, and we wanted to get to the 1-and-1 as soon as possible. We wanted to play through D.J. as much as we could but we also wanted E.J. and Jamarcus to drive as much as they could.”

He says that Indiana was really solid in the rebounding category, but not so much in the turnover category.

“I don’t think we made any mistakes because we weren’t trying. But you have to give Purdue credit. They’re not an easy team to play against.”

He’s now discussing D.J. White’s 19 points and 15 rebounds, saying you can’t take a kid like that for granted.

D.J. is now fielding questions.

“As the game went on I just got more comfortable out there, and I was able to be more aggressive. I play with a lot of emotion. That’s just how I play. I feed off my teammates and they feed off me. I just try to have fun out there, and we did that tonight.”

__Painter’s press conference has completed, and now we’re just waiting for Sampson and Co.

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He continued praising White.

“He’s obviously the best post-guy in the conference. And those two (along with Eric Gordon) have to be the best one-two punch in the country.”

Painter said his Purdue team is going to take the eight days off to regroup and start working for their next game against Minnesota.

He also gave Indiana’s defense credit for Purdue’s offensive struggles.

He was just asked if it would be weird if this was the last Purdue-Indiana game with Kelvin Sampson on the IU sideline.

“I don’t think so, because he’s only been here for two years. Growing up in Indiana, I was one of the kids that always thought Coach Keady and Coach Knight would coach these two schools forever.”

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“I thought our guys gave a pretty good effort, but obviously we couldn’t make our free throws. We are not a good rebounding team,” he begins with.

“They’re tough to stop. D.J. White is a tremendous leader.”

He says that because his team was so aggressive on the defensive end, that’s why the Hoosiers went to the free throw so many times.

Terry Hutchens asked him if he thought D.J. White would play so well.

“He’s an emotional guy, and he makes plays and he’s into it. I thought that if he got out there and played, he would be productive. And he was.”

“Indiana was pretty damn good against Michigan State without D.J.”

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Could this be the last press conference of Kelvin Sampson’s career at Indiana?

Very possibly. We’re in the media room waiting for Purdue coach Matt Painter to arrive, then Sampson will speak with a few Indiana players.

4 comments

  1. “I don’t think so, because he’s only been here for two years. Growing up in Indiana, I was one of the kids that always thought Coach Keady and Coach Knight would coach these two schools forever.”

  2. I hope cooler heads will prevail, Kravitz will stay out of it (He’s not
    even a Hoosier) and Sampson will be given the opportunity to
    defend himself.

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