As a coach do you kind of relish this challenge that is in front of your team right now having to make up a game?
"Last year at this time, or two years ago at this time when maybe we weren't in first, I am not doing anything different. I didn't do anything different at the other places I coached so I don't plan on doing anything different now. We are just preparing for Penn State. It might shock you people to think, now look guys just because we are one game behind that means we have to do this better. That is not the way people do it in our profession. We have to do what is right for the next game. Believe me I have always wondered what makes people write or say what people do in your profession (the media) too. So you are probably scratching your heads thinking I can't believe that guy. I can't believe he is not saying he does this, this and this. I am just going to get them ready for Penn State. Where we are in the standings or anything else isn't going to change how we get ready for Penn State. Where we are in the standings or anything else isn't going to change how we get ready for Penn State. There is not anything different that we are going to do."
(Clarification) I didn't mean anything different, I was just wondering as a coach if this energized you in more in terms of meeting the challenge that is in front of you?
"As a competitor you can have 22 straight wins, and I was in the same mood the two seasons we were 22-0 that I'm in if we were 6-20. Nothing changes for me. If the players are waiting for something to get them mad in order to play, then we are not where we need to be. There is nothing different. I keep saying that all of the time and obviously I am not doing a good job in communicating about the way we compete. Whether we are in fifth, first second . . . we only have them for two to three hours(a day) so we are going to do what we need to do to prepare them for the next game."
With Boo's shot do you sense that in games, especially since he has struggle from three-point range. Do you sense that second guesses himself or he is a little tentative when he gets opportunities for that shot?
"He raised his average Sunday. Three points on three shots. If you can get a point for every shot, that is pretty good. He has a slow release anyways, that is Boo. He is better at some other things number wise. It is easy to look at his statistics and say this guy can't shoot. But he keeps working at it and that is what I like. He keeps working at getting better. How else do we ever get anywhere? He was one for three from three (point range). That is three points on three possessions. If you can shoot 33 percent from three-point range that is pretty good. He wasn't shooting 33 percent coming into the game, but he was wide open. A lot of people are scratching their heads saying how can you replace Kirk Penney with a guy that shoots the way Boo does and still have a "X" of games on the left hand side. I know people are scratching their heads because people have asked me. Well what else can you add, what else can you do as a player to make the team better."
What kind of challenges does Penn State present?
"Just playing right now with the mode that we're coming after you, we are loose. Freshman guards that have some great nights and have some other nights that maybe it gets away some. They just play. (Aaron) Johnson, (Jan) Jagla they all just compete. They had a great chance at getting Illinois for those who saw the game. It wasn't like Illinois didn't come ready to play. Illinois played hard and Dee Brown made some tough shots down the stretch. Ed (DeChellis) knows what he is doing and he's got a plan."
Monday Press Conference Participants
Mike Eaves - men's hockey
Ed Nuttycombe - men's track and field
Lisa Stone - women's hockey
Bo Ryan - men's basketball