For us to play four road games in nonconference play, hopefully that can help us going into Big Ten play. It definitely helped us out tonight because we got out on a shaky start. In the three road games prior I thought we settled down and (Robert) Vaden played his basketball and carried us in the first half and I thought (Marshall) Strickland did a good job in the second half with his 18 points. Then we had D.J. (White) make some plays for us.
Talk about Robert Vaden's play. He's made ten 3-pointers in a row…
I've said it from day one that Vaden is too unselfish and I think he is finally listening to us. He passes the ball and passes up shots, but over the last three or four games he has been very aggressive offensively. Last year he didn't shoot as well because we played him out of position and him being unselfish, he wait for other people to make plays. This is the way that we expect him to play and he's playing some great basketball.
When Marco went out, did that change the team's dynamic?
We're a deep basketball team and the last game it was Marco and Vaden. Tonight if you would have told me that Marco was going to score seven points, last year, and be our go to guy I would have worried about it. We have guys that can step up now and make plays. When he was out, we missed him for sure, but we had some guys that could step in and make some plays. I thought D.J. did a great job of doing that.
The thing that really impressed me about DJ tonight was he tore a ligament in his shooting hand Thursday, and we didn't know he could play tonight. But he practiced yesterday, and tonight he played well.
Lewis (Monroe) had ice on his knee…
He banged his knee in the first half and he came in at halftime and said he couldn't go. So we started Earl (Calloway) and played Errek Suhr there some. Probably during conference play I probably would have played Vaden at the point some. We worked him out at the point last week some, so we'll probably play him some.
We have interchangeable spots.
Talk about the matchup problems Robert can create
Last year we played him at the four but he was just too unselfish. We talked about him just making plays. It's tough for big guys to guard him and it's tough for anyone to guard him because the way he can shoot the basketball and he has the highest basketball I.Q. of anyone on our team. A lot of his turnovers early in the season came from him trying to make the extra pass when he should be taking the shot. Now he's not doing that. He's taking the shot and being aggressive. When he plays that way he's tough for anyone to defend. He's leading us in assists with five a game, and if he can continue to be aggressive with the basketball it's going to make us such a better basketball team.
Talk about your defense on Skip Mills
I just thought our defense overall was pretty good. Mills just missed some shots. I thought he was open on some shots and he just missed them. I think in a game like this when an in-state school comes in and it's a sellout crowd you try to press the leading scorer and make him miss some shots. I don't think it was anything we defensively against him. He just missed shots and started rushing shots. He is a very good basketball player.
Are you happy where you are as a team?
Yes I'm happy where we are. I don't want to talk about old stuff but we played four road games and when the season is all said and done we may be the only team on this level that has had more road games than home games. We have 16 games left, eight at home and eight on the road. I'm happy because our guys understand our system and we're playing so well together. For us to lead the country in three-point field goal percentage and field goal percentage and to be second in assists it tells you that our guys are unselfish and making the extra passes. I thought tonight we got off to a poor start because we tried to force some shots. To be 8-2 is the best we've been since I've been here. I was able to celebrate Christmas, and now I'm able to bring in the New Year.
My confidence is higher than it's ever been. I'm going out there and playing more aggressive and looking to make plays for me and my teammates. I had 22 points but I also had six assists. I just played my game.
Have you always been a good 3-point shooter?
In high school, AAU and in prep school I shot the three well. I really don't think I've ever taken a lot of three's but I don't ever remember shooting as well as I am right now. I'm shooting 47 or 48 percent and last year I was in the 30's. I've been working with Coach (Sidney) Green a lot on my shooting, and I think that's helped me a lot. My confidence is real high right now.
Does it seems guys are looking for you now?
I think so, because coach told us in practice if somebody is hot you have to look for them, and he runs plays for guys that have the hot hand. I think that's the story. If Strick is hot I look for him, if Marco is hot in the post, if DJ is hot in the post, we all look for each other. I think that's the sign of a good basketball team.
You scored a lot after Marco went out in the first half. Were you taking it on your shoulders?
I wouldn't say I took the game on my shoulders but I knew I had to make a play because we lose a lot of scoring when Marco is on the bench. I think at one point even D.J. was out of the game and we had Ben (Allen) in the post so I knew I had to take some of the scoring slack up, and I did that.
When you're shooting like that, what's the basket seem like?
It seems like the basket is as big as the ocean. I'm just throwing it up and it's going in. I just felt real good.
Indiana-Ball State Postgame Quotes
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