Sampson, White and Bassett react to win over Iowa

  • 01/24/2008 12:03 am in

Kelvin SampsonKelvin Sampson, D.J. White and Armon Bassett met with the media following Indiana’s 65-43 win over Iowa on Wednesday night at Assembly Hall. Here’s a transcript of the press conference:

Opening Statement – Kelvin Sampson:

We have a lot of respect for Iowa. They’ve continued to get better. Beating Michigan State, winning at Michigan, losing a tough one to Purdue, so we had a lot of respect for them.

I just think our kids are getting better. Our defense was better tonight, thought our ball movement was better. If you keep working at things and have good kids, you usually improve. This is a good win. Our scouting report and how we defended them was good. We’re getting better in that area.

D.J. White – On guarding the perimeter:

We knew that coming in, they set a lot of ball screens. We knew that was going to happen. Both post players were out there hedging trying to stop Freeman from getting into the lane.

D.J. White – On how the team has improved since the first Iowa game:

We were just aware of the ball screens. That was a point of emphasis this week. We watched film of our mistakes that we made when we played Iowa the first time. We just eliminated those mistakes and hedged when we needed to.

Armon Bassett – On the defensive point of attack:

It was a little bit better today. EJ (Eric Gordon) played good on the ball defense. I thought everybody tried to make an effort to whoever was guarding the ball and that’s what sparked us in the second half.

Armon Bassett – On how he’s feeling physically
:

I don’t know. I’m going to play.

Kelvin Sampson – On the best start since the 1975-1976 season and what it says about how far the program has come
:

I don’t know about the program. I’ve only been here parts of two years, but I just focus on getting this team better in areas we need to get better in. I was talking to Todd (Lickliter) before the game and you take over a new program, the first thing you have to do is establish your culture, how it is you want your team to be. Todd’s doing the same thing over at Iowa. The thing that makes this program so special, and I keep saying it because I mean it, is the fans. There’s not a lot of places that on a Wednesday night and you look up and there’s 16,000 or 17,000 people here every game, every game it’s like that. It’s a special place because of the fans.

Kelvin Sampson – On what the team needs to work on:

Just get better, that’s what we’re doing. Defense, decision making, shot selection. There’s not an area that we haven’t improved in. The way we run our offense now, it’s familiarity. When you have a lot of kids who are accustomed to being the go-to-guy, it takes them a while to filter into a role. We play our roles better now than we did earlier. You just have to be patient as teams develop. But I still think this team’s going to continue to improve.

Kelvin Sampson – On Lance Stemler’s effort:

He played hard. That’s all we require of Lance: just play hard. That’s all we require of Dre (DeAndre Thomas), I thought Dre played hard tonight.

Kelvin Sampson – On getting Iowa down and keeping them down
:

I thought our defense was a lot better. Whatever happens as a by product, is because of our defense and rebounding. I’m just looking at the stat sheet, I didn’t realize that we held them to 17 points and 21 percent in the second half. This team has been playing well. I’m just proud of our defensive effort tonight. We’ve got Thursday and Friday to get ready for our next game.

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  • I hate disqus!!!!! Ye' ol'e work thing won't let me post!!! it sucks! good game though and DJ is money 15' and in…..money.

    fuque disqus! if i hadn't already mentioned that.

  • Andy

    Excellent Blog. I've been trying to find a pure Hoosier basketball blog and I've finally found it. I found out about this site through the yardbarker network, which I just joined. My two friends and I graduated from IU in May and decided to start up a sports blog a month ago. It's called Gimme Dat Brew. It's not just relegated to Hoosier basketball, but there's a post related to DJ and Co. pretty much every day. Check it out if you want… gimmedatbrew.blogspot.com
    Either way, this is now on my favorites page.

  • HoosierSmitty

    I continue to be impressed with the fact that Gordon lets the game come to him – almost too much. He only shot 11 times and it felt like only one of those shots was actually forced. It's refreshing to be able to play team basketball, even with a “superstar” on our team. Gone are the days of “The Bracey Save Us Stand Around Offense”

    It's amazing that he can block 3 shots, have 4 steals, 4 rebounds, score 17 points, and throw down two amazing dunks – and it still can be considered an off night.

    On another note…what has happened with DJ? Two straight games without a solid rebounding performance…balls seem to be slipping through his fingers. Hopefully that's not going to be a frequent occurance.

    Go Hoosiers.

  • tsell

    A theory from the box score:

    HOME TEAM: Indiana 17-1 (6-0)
    ## Player Name MIN
    02 Thomas, DeAndre……19
    03 White, D.J…………………34
    01 Bassett, Armon…………31
    13 Ellis, Jamarcus………..33
    23 Gordon, Eric……………..32
    05 Crawford, Jordan………21
    20 Ratliff, A.J…………………..6
    22 Stemler, Lance………….19

    My theory: the defense is better because Sampson (and the team) has found out how they play together in terms of roles on the court and how many minutes each player should get and when they should get those minutes. The minutes for this game are similar to the MN minutes (EJ, DJ, Ellis, and Bassett 30+ minutes plus a Lance/De/Mike mix and some Crawford and Ratliff spelling the guards) and different than the pre-conference minutes (more time for Lance/De/Mike/Crawford/Ratliff, less for the 30+ guys).

    Do you agree with my theory that the difference in the time on the floor for different players equals better defense?

  • T

    Good call Tsell:

    Although I think if Basset can stay as healthy as he is it's pretty obvious that him, Gordon, White and Ellis need to be on the court as much as possible. They cleary have emerged as the four best players on this team and all do different things that make this team flow.

    Basset runs the offense and in my opinion is the best shooter on the team. Gordon is the main scoring threat on the perimeter, White is the man in the middle, and Ellis does a little of everything.

    That #4 position is going to be the achilies heel of this team all year. Hopefully it doesn't burn them too bad this Saturday against UConn, a team with a couple of decent big men.

  • You're silly if you think Bassett is a better shooter than EJ.

  • ZachH

    We were actually talking this very same subject at the game last night. It's really not that silly, when you look at the numbers.

    Gordon's clearly the better player/athlete, but Bassett one-ups him with his shot. There definitely is a difference.

  • Were you getting an error message? Anyone else having problems?

  • b_side

    Disagree Zach. Bassett is the benefactor of the enormous amount of attention paid to Gordon on the defensive end. If EJ had as many open looks as Bassy, we wouldn't be having this debate.

  • T

    Good call Tsell:

    Although I think if Basset can stay as healthy as he is it's pretty obvious that him, Gordon, White and Ellis need to be on the court as much as possible. They cleary have emerged as the four best players on this team and all do different things that make this team flow.

    Basset runs the offense and in my opinion is the best shooter on the team. Gordon is the main scoring threat on the perimeter, White is the man in the middle, and Ellis does a little of everything.

    That #4 position is going to be the achilies heel of this team all year. Hopefully it doesn't burn them too bad this Saturday against UConn, a team with a couple of decent big men.

  • You're silly if you think Bassett is a better shooter than EJ.

  • ZachH

    We were actually talking this very same subject at the game last night. It's really not that silly, when you look at the numbers.

    Gordon's clearly the better player/athlete, but Bassett one-ups him with his shot. There definitely is a difference.

  • Were you getting an error message? Anyone else having problems?

  • b_side

    Disagree Zach. Bassett is the benefactor of the enormous amount of attention paid to Gordon on the defensive end. If EJ had as many open looks as Bassy, we wouldn't be having this debate.