The postgame press conference included coach Painter along with Jon Octeus and Rapheal Davis. Here is what they had to say:
Matt Painter: I think we got what we deserved. Our shot selection when down two was poor. We talked about the tempo and if you make mistakes or take bad shots they will convert. We had four ill-advised jumpers to start even when we were up 16-8. We should have been in a better position at that point. It just snowballed after the dunks in the second half and our guys gave in. We missed 3-4 point break layups so even doing something positive we couldn't execute.
We had some issues with keeping the basketball in front of us. You'll have that with them. We wanted to keep them out of transition. The game was lost with our decision making and shot selection. For us, we had a good win against NC State, got up in the North Florida game and they came back. Shot selection was the issue in that game there too. You have that with a young team. We have a lot of guys trying to find themselves. We can't be fighting ourselves in terms of what we're good at and what we struggle with. Our effort should be a strength and I didn't see that tonight because we're not playing hard enough. You have to find guys that are trying to do the right things. We do the same thing over and over again. They aren't playing the game and feeling the game. In reality, you have to shoot it when you're open and in a rhythm.W hen you play well at one end it feeds on the other.
Rapheal Davis: We just have to play harder and finish a game. When we get down we can't stop playing. We have to focus on the details at the defensive end and play hard. You can't forget a game like this. This one is over with, but we can learn from it. Last year we had a loss at Northwestern that lingered around, but we know we have a quick turnaround. We have a good group that will be ready to play on Monday.
Jon Octeus: We just didn't handle it. A couple of the leaders on the team need to step up vocally when we get down like that. When there is 13 minutes left and we're down there is a lot of time left. We had a lack of effort getting back. Quick shots and turnovers caused those dunks and the big second half run. Connaughton got his head up early and started making shots. They got us in foul trouble because we didn't play well enough ball screen defense. That's the guard's fault as far as the fouls our bigs took tonight.
That is what they had to say. Their body language had a lot more to say. Octeus and Davis both looked terribly distraught. They new today was an effort issue and they felt it. You could tell they hated to lose, but at the same time they didn't quite know what to do to change things.
Painter was very similar. I am still a Painter supporter and I don't think he has forgotten how to coach. Unfortunately, Purdue-style basketball is an effort thing. When the effort is there, it looks great. That is what coach Painter learned to do as a player and he expects as a coach. When it is not there, you have a result like today.
If anything, I think Painter is openly wondering how and why he cannot get the same effort level that he exhibited as a player and the Baby Boilers teams had. What's even more confusing is that this team was looking very different through the NC State game, but reverted tot he team of the last two years from North Florida on. I don't have an answer, either. It is one thing to say that we need to play harder. That much is obvious. Actually doing it is something different, and I think the effort struggles of the last two seasons are taking their toll on Painter.
There is still time to do something and we can have a good year with as down as the Big Ten looks, but at this point we're asking for drastic change that I honestly don't know if it can happen.