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March 18, 2012

Transcript: Painter press conference

Purdue's season ended on Sunday with a 63-60 loss to No. 2 seed Kansas at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

Below is the unedited transcript of Coach Matt Painter's post-game press conference, as provided by the NCAA and ASAP Sports.

Opening statement.
Painter:
"I'm very proud of our guys, especially our seniors. I thought they were unbelievable this season. I thought they were unbelievable tonight. We talked about fighting to get ourselves back in position like we were against Saint Mary's, and we did. We fought, we played better and we had some things go against us in the end, but Kansas capitalized.
Brought of these two guys. They fought with everything in their power and helped us win in a first‑class fashion over the last four or five years. Can't say enough about Ryne Smith, Robbie Hummel and Lewis Jackson. Losing stinks. Congratulations to Kansas, they're a great team. "

Q: Coach, your season is on the line, Robbie Hummel comes out and hits seven of eight in the first half. Talk about him and that performance, really, throughout the game?
Painter:
"He was great tonight. He came out in a rhythm. A lot of people have been putting their biggest guy on Terone Johnson so you have seen him be aggressive. You were able to see that in the second half they ended up doing that with Thomas Robinson and putting him on Terone. We thought the mismatch then was with Rob and we tried to get him some free looks and screen for him.
Obviously they switched up and put Travis Releford on him. He got into a rhythm shooting the basketball. Our guys did a good job of finding him. He did a good job of moving. Hopefully it will continue. It's one of those things where Travis Releford is a great defender and he has to stick with him. I was happy with things, obviously the turnover, we didn't do a great job, and we had a lot of shots at the rim that didn't go down and they were good shots and that's all you can ask for."

Q: What was the goal of the possession where Lewis Jackson turned the ball over?
Painter:
"We ran something to get to the rim and he was there, then like he said he didn't feel comfortable taking that but he had a good angle to get there. We had him isolated at the end, so sometimes I will go to a time‑out at that time. We had the ball in our point guard's hands, and the play broke down. We ran the next one for Rob and they over played it so he back cut off it or slid to the side, faded, and he ended up gettin' that shot from it. But the first one we were trying to get Lew to the rim, second one we were getting it to Rob, if Lew couldn't get to the rim bringing it off that pin down."

Q: Coach, I mean this in the most positive sense. Purdue probably isn't capable of recruiting the amount of talent that Kansas, Duke, and Carolina can get on a year in, year out basis. Talk about your philosophy and how difficult it must be to get your kids to play with max effort every single possession of every single game just so you can be in a game like this?
Painter:
"They play hard, too. Obviously they have won eight straight Big 12 championships. I don't think he has an McDonald's All‑American on his team. You've got to give Bill Self credit. They have guys that have developed into NBA prospects. You've got to give them credit for that, too. I think our staff has done a great job of recruiting guys that fit at Purdue. As long as it's a team sport, sometimes the individual talent doesn't match up. Sometimes you can get guys that help others‑‑ I think Rob makes others better. I think that's a true test. I think Cody Zeller makes people better and Lewis Jackson makes other people better. Certain guys might not have the abilities of other guys but thinking and passing and making open shots, being coachable, those things are important. You might not be able to get the most athletic guy in the world but you can get a coachable guy, a skill guy and somebody who wants to be at Purdue.
If you're going to get somebody that really wants to be at your place it normally works for you."

Q: Coach, perspective can be tough, but what would you like to see your players take out of a game like this? Hard fought, could have gone either way?
Painter:
"I think it's important, and I talked about it. I thought we did some things at the end of the St. Mary's game, we had some breakdown and turned the ball over. I talked about gettin' back in the same position and makin' some plays. We did make some at the end, we just didn't have enough. We didn't get the shot we wanted at the end and we had the turnover, but I think you learn from it. You should want to work harder in the summer because there is nothing guaranteed that you're going to get back here. You've got to fight to get back here then get back into a situation like that in a game and hopefully pull out a victory. I'm proud of our guys and they did everything they could."

Q: Talk about the impact that Robbie has had on Purdue basketball. Seemed for a while he didn't want his own career to end tonight.
Painter:
"He's one of the best I've been around. He's a great person. He works very hard. He's made a huge impact on our program. Just by doing the right thing, comin' early, stayin' late, workin' hard, not making excuses, not feeling sorry for himself. He has a lot of qualities that you would want in your own kids. There is nothing fake about it. He just wants Purdue to win. When he came to Purdue I was first‑team All Big 10, the end of year and he said "if I could have played 10 minutes I would have been excited. I just wanted to get to play. That's how he is. "

Q: Kansas had a lot of support in the building tonight. How much impact do you think that had in the end?
Painter:
"You know what? I don't think it had any affect. We have been in different venues. We treat it as a road game. Anytime we get on the road and it gets loud like that. I think playing in the Big 10 helps in you these situations. I don't think it had any affect. Rob's sophomore year we played Washington in Portland and were able to beat 'em in this round. You got to make shots, make plays but I don't think it had any affect on the out come of the game."

Q: Sandi played 16 minutes, six rebounds tonight. He has played in some big games and not on this stage. Talk about what you got from him tonight.
Painter:
"I thought he was great. We brought him in to have a big body in this game when we thought we needed to establish that inside presence on the defensive end and rebound the basketball.
They still out rebounded us but he had a key rebound late in the game. Could have been crucial for us if we could have made a couple more plays, but he did a great job."



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