Sampson: “I have not done a good enough job”

Indiana’s coaching staff watches the Hoosiers lose to Wisconsin.

At a small press gathering after practice today, Kelvin Sampson asked himself the first question of the day. He wanted to know why the Hoosiers haven’t played particularly well in their last two games.

He gave this answer.

“I thought that last year’s team got to a point where they just got better. But they played about as good as they are going to play most nights. I just haven’t seen this team do that. But, you know, when you get to that point, at some point the coach has to take responsibility. I have not done a good enough job with this team to get them to play the right way, whether it’s defense or offense. For me, and I speak for myself and the coaching staff, we have to do a better job coaching this team. That’s really what it comes down to.”

Sampson also had this to say today:

“D.J. White’s having a spectacular year. We have other guys who are doing some pretty good things individually. We’re not doing things as a team, and that’s going to be our focus here as we move forward. It’s not a shame, it’s not a crime, losing at Wisconsin. But you know what? We’re missing something. And as a coach, I’ve got to find it. That’s my job. Eric’s wrist is not an excuse, foul trouble is not an excuse, whistles going against us is not an excuse. We’ve gotta play better. That’s my responsibility.”

“I’ve gotta do a much, much, much better job of bringing this team together and getting them to play harder, play better together, compete harder.”

On the 17-2 run that cut Wisconsin’s lead to five in the second half on Thursday:

“Shows you what we’re capable of. Wisconsin’s a really good team, but they’re not 20 points better than us. But what contributes to us being down 20? That’s what coaches are for, trying to figure that out.”

On the difference between this team and last year’s team, defensively:

“We have nobody individually that does what Earl did (defending the point of attack). That’s not easy to teach.”

On his re-evaluation of the team:

“When things aren’t going good you’ve got to step back and evaluate. Hey, we can’t just keep going like this. Something’s gotta change. And if you’re going to start point fingers, you’ve got to start with yourself. I think that’s a coach’s main responsibility, to get his team to play better.”

When asked whether making a change means implementing a new offense:

“You know what, I don’t know how to explain that to you, son. I just don’t know how. I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’ve had a lot of teams that needed to play better. I don’t like the way we’re playing. I don’t like the way we’re headed with this thing. A new offense? Nothing wrong with our offense, it’s how we’re running it.

Other random quotes that stand on their own, for the most part:

“It’s a myriad of things (wrong) with our team. I don’t think it’s anything we can’t get better at. That’s the good thing.”

“There’s not one thing in the game right now that I can say, you know, here’s what we’re really good at. That’s unusual.

“To take advantage of your strength, you have t to impose your will on teams. That’s something all of our teams through the years have been good at, we’d impose our will. We haven’t done that this year.”

“We cannot be a grind it out, half-court team. This year’s team, we’re a little more coltish”

On facing Northwestern Saturday:

I think ball pressure is going to be important. We’ve gotta dictate the tempo.


  1. Like him manning up on his role….don’t like the response to the offense question….how much better can you run and stand around offense? KS it is not hard to include more movement, screening, and cuts….I am huge supporter, but I and a lot of others see what one problem is…

    Our offense is hard to watch and easy to guard.

  2. Sounds to me like Indiana is going to come out with some intensity against Northwestern.

    Kelvin is taking the blame publicly, but I bet he is all over those guys behind closed doors the next week. He will get this thing figured out.

  3. he isn’t making excuses. he is taking responsibility. and we as fans need to relax a little bit, we lost to two very good teams. uconn just beat yet another ranked team today and they might be the best team in the big east. yes, better than g-town. and we all know how hard it is to win at wisconsin. they need to play better obviously, but this team is good enough to recover. we can learn a lot from these loses and i expect this team to get better

  4. It isn’t that we “lost” to three decent, not great, teams.

    It’s that we looked like CRAP doing it.

    If we’re playing well, and we lose, I can handle that. Losses happen.

    But we’ve played three decent teams and have looked like garbage against all three of them.

    That’s unacceptable.

    Being out-hustled, which we have been, is unacceptable.

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