Sampson, Thomas and Ellis address media

  • 12/20/2007 4:40 pm in

jamarcus1.jpgIndiana coach Kelvin Sampson and juniors DeAndre Thomas and Jamarcus Ellis addressed the media this afternoon. Here are some highlights from the press conference, courtesy of IU Media Relations. A full transcript is available here.

Kelvin Sampson

On the status of the five guards:

“I was really hoping at least four could play. But you guys are going to have to talk to (athletic trainer) Tim Garl about this. We practiced twice on Monday, we practice twice on Tuesday. And actually I am not sure that our Tuesday afternoon practice wasn’t our…I really enjoyed Tuesday afternoon’s practice because we really got after it. There was a lot of intensity, a lot of scrapping. But A.J. (Ratliff) came down on the inside of his right ankle. And that thing went up like a lemon. I don’t think that he will play Saturday. The good news is, his grades did get turned in.”

On the status of Eli Holman and potential surgery on his left wrist:

“You can talk to Tim (Garl) about these things, but as far as I know he is not going to have surgery. As far as I know there is no surgery, never was.”

On whether or not this is a season-ending injury:

“I don’t know. It just depends on how long he is out. If it was his right hand, I think he could play. You know that is probably a 3-4 week deal he is in with those ligaments. The problem is that it is his left hand. That concerns us a little bit. But there has been no decision made on that. We are just going to rehab him and get him back as soon as we can. It just depends. I think it was a week a go it happened. So if it is a three-week deal, it is only a three-week deal. But look at A.J. (Ratliff) last year. I think he hurt his wrist, it seemed like it was right before conference season and that thing bothered him all year. But the thing he had going for him was it was his left one. I am not a doctor, but I trust our doctors and whatever they decide.”

DeAndre Thomas

On his current playing weight:

“About 290, no not 290 but 296, 298, something like that. I want to get down some more. Probably by next year I want to be at least 275, 270. It has been hard (continuing the weight loss) because of the season going on right now and you really don’t have time to do anything extra because you have film and individual workouts, then you have practice. So it has been kind of hard but I have been trying to get 30 minutes in on the elliptical every day.”

On the difference between Indiana and junior college basketball:

“You have to feel the intensity every day. In junior college, my team, we were so much better than so many teams because we had so much talent and we just went in to play sometimes. We prepare a little different. We probably prepared on the other day once and week in junior college unless it was a really big game because we knew we were going to beat everyone. But here it is so much different because everyone comes to play every day. Everyone is good so you have to come ready to play every night. There is a big difference.”

Jamarcus Ellis

On his rebounding:

“That is something that coach Sampson pushes us to do in practice. He says you can’t win a game without defensive rebounding. Me just being on the offensive and defensive glass is a big part of my game. I have been playing guard a lot but I used to play center when I was younger, so rebounding to me, I just like getting the ball and going and I can’t do that if I don’t rebound. It is just something that I really love doing because coach Sampson has this thing called the bubble that we use to work on offensive and defensive rebounding and that is what really got me attacking was just being all over the floor and getting every rebound I can. We get a chance to sign the bubble if we get 10 rebounds so trying to keep up with D.J. (White) is a hard job. That is just something I have to do and I love doing it.”

On his solid academic performance this semester:

“It is big for me because I had to get 14 hours for me to be eligible so I had to work really hard in the classroom to maintain a 3.0. So I really think that is a big part of me playing basketball because if I didn’t do that I wouldn’t be playing this semester.”

On the adjustment from junior college to Indiana:

“The junior college level you have more experience on that level than the high school kids but I still have a lot to learn on the Division I level. Players like Armon Bassett, D.J. White and all the seniors have been through this and they know how it feels to play in the Big 10 tournament, to go to the NCAA Tournament, but I have never had that feeling at junior college. It has been a big a jump for me to move on to the Division I level.”

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