Purdue Falls to Michigan: Matt Painter’s Post Game Press Conference

Purdue Head Coach Matt Painter spoke to the media after losing to the Michigan Wolverines 75-66 in the Big 10 tournament at Madison Square Garden.

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement.

COACH PAINTER: Congratulations obviously goes out to Michigan. I thought they played a very good game. A very tough matchup for anybody in the country, well-coached. Have really kind of scrapped their offense and just tried to spread people out and break people down within our league, especially us because of our size.

And I thought they did a really good job of moving the basketball, kind of finding the matchups they want, breaking us down off the dribble. We were fortunate I felt to be down five at half. They missed some open shots and I thought we could make a little run there.

In the beginning of the second half, we’d get two or three stops, about three stops in a row, but we couldn’t get an offensive rebound. Then when we would go to the matchup, to try to switch and then they had a size advantage down low on a couple of rebounds. We got a foul called against us we couldn’t get a couple of balls.

I thought that was a real important time in the game. They gained momentum will, never looked back. I thought the guys at the end we gave some energy and we played hard but that happens after you get down at that time. But hats off to Michigan for winning the Big Ten Tournament.

Q. Isaac, if you can assess just what you thought of your team’s effort in this game?
ISAAC HAAS: I thought that at the beginning that we didn’t give our best effort. And I think that showed. And then towards the end of the second half we showed pretty well, pretty good effort. But it was too late by that time.

Q. Isaac, with Jon Teske in the game instead of Wagner what are the differences between those two? And what were the challenges of Teske today?
ISAAC HAAS: I think he hit a few crucial shots for them. He played well. So you’ve got to give him credit. Wagner obviously is a guy, he can pick and pop and do a lot of things. So you’ve got to respect them on that. And he did his thing. And we just let Teske be a part of the game.

Q. Isaac, I know it’s obviously not the result you will vote for, but how much has Carsen grown in meaning to you guys in these last couple of months, in particular in a tournament setting? He had such a strong setting here.
ISAAC HAAS: I think he’s a great player. He does good things for us. He’s able to go get a bucket if we need one. He’s an elite scorer and people don’t respect him as such, I feel like sometimes. And I think he does a great job creating opportunities for others as well.

I think he’s done a really good job maturing this year and I think he’s a huge part of this team.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you. Questions for Coach.

Q. Basically the same question. I know it’s not the game you wanted to have, but not just tonight but this weekend and just these last couple of months how much has Carsen grown in meaning to you guys?
COACH PAINTER: Well, Carsen is a very dynamic player. And he can really get on — he can get into runs where he scores the basketball.

Just kind of finding that rhythm in a game, like getting those rhythm, pull-up 3s and getting to the rim. Whenever he’s driving the basketball and getting his layups and getting to the free-throw line to go along with his 3s, that’s kind of the total package for him.

But he’s really grown here going from January to February you’ll watch tape even of some games earlier, like when we played Michigan, you can see how he’s grown and been able to take advantage of some opportunities. He’s hard to deal with once he gets an angle, then if you back up whatever he’s got such a quick trigger, he’s hard to guard.

Tonight he just really didn’t get in a rhythm. He had a couple of drives that didn’t go down for him, and he had a couple of 3s where he could never get back-to-back pullups or back-to-back pullup 3s to get into that rhythm. But he’s been fabulous for us.

Q. Seemed like they were having a lot of success screening especially in the first half. What was going on, was it lack of communication on defense from you guys?
COACH PAINTER: A little bit of both. We were guarding it different with Teske. But it was more penetration. Our weak side and our guys in ball-screen defense, sometimes when the ball got deep, had to stay home. And you gotta force them to throw the ball out and they didn’t do that.

Our guys sometimes will get really enamored sometimes with guys that can shoot the basketball, especially on the weak side. You’ve got to be able to come to it.

But I thought we struggled to contain the dribble more than anything and that opened some things up for Teske. Because when they drove then we had the help, then they made passes. A couple of them were off ball screens but a couple of them were simply off us not being able to contain the dribble.

Q. You guys are still probably going to be like a top 2, top 3 NCAA Tournament seed. When you sort of look at what you guys are going to be doing over the next week, is there one thing maybe you think you need to focus on, perhaps it’s a ball-screen defense, as you just mentioned, or something like that?
COACH PAINTER: They’re a unique team. Playing Michigan, John has a great system, even though they have gone away from their system a lot and just kind of spread things out.

But you’re going to play people that are going to run ball screen motion. 90 percent of the country runs ball screen motion.

So for us I think it’s more of a concentration thing than anything, not one actual aspect of the game. We have to do a better job of defending and concentrating. I thought we rebounded the ball better today. But we don’t force any turnovers in the first half. We just kind of showed we weren’t very active. But no, not one thing.

We’ve got to play together. We’ve got to be unselfish and move the basketball. And like we said earlier we’ve got to do a better job moving the ball.

Q. What makes John Beilein so successful in the coach in a tournament setting in your mind?
COACH PAINTER: I just think that a lot of what they run, I would guess that he would go back to running more of his stuff against unfamiliar people.

They run so many different things and have so many different calls within his system that it’s a tough prep, especially after they win the first game.

So when they get into that second game — you always learn something when you play him. I always say that about when Bill Carmody was at Northwestern, when Dana Altman at Creighton. Kind of those systems where they have a lot of quick hitters and a lot of different things you can go to. You always learn something when you play them, and you fix something. As a coach you think you’ve got them figured out, you don’t have them figured out.

He’s just very unique in that. You can’t allow them to do what they want to do. And if you do, now it’s just hitting or missing, especially when they put skill. His ideal thing is having a 5 that can shoot. That’s why Teske’s picking pops, him going into the short roll into elbow, Wagner being able to make the 3s and drive the ball. He makes them special.

Those guards are good but not everybody has a guy like Wagner that can stick 3s, drive the ball and play with passion.

Q. It’s a week away from Selection Sunday. How concerned are you that you can still (indiscernible) get, play hard and effort out of these guys?
COACH PAINTER: I don’t think it’s as much as playing hard. I thought we did a good job rebounding the ball. I thought it was more concentration. We have to do a better job on the basketball. We’ve got to do a better job in ball-screen defense.

But good teams will expose you. That’s what you’re going to face. You’ll face good teams but there’s only one team leaving this weekend as a winner. So you’ve got other teams, obviously some teams are finished. But there’s always opportunities to improve. There’s always a silver lining.

So hopefully this can help us concentrate better and play better on the defensive end and just play — we’ve done a good job of playing together as a group. But sometimes that, when you deal with a lot of people that are skilled, you deal with a lot of people that are confident, and sometimes they want it a little bit too much. And we just gotta probe the defense a little more and be a little more patient.

Q. What do you tell your guys to regroup, put this in the rearview mirror and really refocus on the next challenge ahead the NCAA Tournament coming up?
COACH PAINTER: I’m not a guy that throws the tape away. I’m a guy that when you have struggles, look in the mirror, face, take those struggles so they don’t happen again.

So we’ll talk about it. We’ll watch this tape. We’ll watch all three of them. And we’ll try to learn from some of our successes and learn from some of our failures and just kind of stick with it. You’ve got to know who you are. You’ve got to know who you are and you’ve just got to go back to the drawing board.

We have enough successes together to be able to reflect on those also. I think it’s kind of a two-way street sometimes when you lose.

Q. You had three or four games in 12-day stretches this year. Now you’re going to go 12 days without a game. What’s your plan for that 12 days?
COACH PAINTER: We’ll take a couple of days off. We’ll practice for a couple of days and take a day off. Practice for a couple of days, take a day off. It’s not something where we need to practice every single day but we don’t need to go four days off in a row. I think that’s obviously too much. But we’ll definitely take off Monday and Tuesday and get back after it on Wednesday.

But we’re also going to be smart. I think it’s more at this point in the year more mental training and guys gotta be able to understand and learn from some of those mistakes that we made today and be better because of it.

You go full bore and you get physical and you practice two hours a day while you’re done and one of your better players gets hurt. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

Q. Is this the best defensive team that Michigan has had since John Beilein got there? Having watched them on film and faced them today, what in your eyes has made them so successful on that end in this season?
COACH PAINTER: I just think it’s attention to detail. I think Matthews, Simpson, Abdur-Rahkman are all three good defensive players. Duncan Robinson has a lot of experience. Duncan Robinson was a poor defensive player when he got there, but he’s really, really worked hard and he’s a much better defender out there.

He used to be out there and be a liability but now he’s not. That’s being a well-rounded player, because he can shoot the basketball, he’s a good offensive player and now he’s a good defensive player. And you’ve got to give somebody like that credit to them.

So I think it’s their personnel. Jordan Poole gives them length and some athleticism when he comes in there. Livers, who got hurt tonight, has done a good job as a young guy guarding.

I think it’s personnel and attention to detail. Anytime you put talent on the court and you give it time and you work on something, whether it’s offense or defense, and those guys stick together, you’re going to make some improvements.

Q. Vince had an extended spell there on the bench toward the end. Did he tweak the injury or was it a matchup thing?
COACH PAINTER: No it wasn’t matchup. We wanted guys to go out there and have energy. I thought Nojel Eastern, I looked at how he played and I thought he brought us energy. And I thought Eifert could bring us some energy, and I had to keep enough scorers out there. I wanted Isaac on the court.

At that point in the game, when you get down like that you’re searching as a coach, you want guys to be able to bring energy, and I was just trying to get Nojel and Grady out there.

Michelle Wie Captures First Win Since 2014

Michelle Wie dropped an amazing 45 foot put on the final hole Sunday, just enough to beat four others by one stroke and win the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. Her post-match press conference transcript is below.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Ladies and gentlemen, we are joined up here by the 2018 HSBC Women’s World Championship winner, Michelle Wie. It’s the fifth victory of Michelle’s career and comes, as we all saw, with an amazing 45-foot putt from off the green on 18 to take the victory.

Michelle, as you lined up over that putt on 18, a lot of good advice from Matt Galloway, certainly. What’s going through your mind as you go through that putt knowing there’s a lot on the line with that putt?

MICHELLE WIE: Well, I never really ask Matt to help me read my long putts. I called him in, I was like, “Yo, Matt, you’ve got to help me read this putt. We’ve got to make this.”

I think the quote of the year would be — he’ll probably get really mad at me for saying this. But there was a little old hole right in front in line with it, and we’re either going to go above it or below it, and he’s like reading it, and he’s like, “Oh, is it above it or below it? Do you think it’s above?”

And I was like, “It’s above it, Matt. It’s above it.” We’re just like, okay, above it. So I just knew I wasn’t going to hit that short. I think I hit that hole pretty hard. But I think that has to be the best putt of my career so far.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Says a lot. You’ve done a lot in your career. It was an amazing round today, 65 here in Singapore. The numbers were out there all day. Did you know what was going on around you? We had a 62, we had a bunch of 63s. Did you know everyone was going so low and that you had pulled yourself right into contention?

MICHELLE WIE: Yes, I think this golf course, it did open up for birdies on some of the holes.

You know, I just kind of wanted to get revenge after last year a little bit. I kind of came with a slight chip on my shoulder in the morning, and I knew that I had to shoot low to even have a chance, and everyone played great today.

You know, everyone was really clustered up there on the leaderboard. I’m just really proud of myself for making a lot of birdies and keep going, and never really getting out of my head, which I’m really proud of doing today.

But my caddie is a great job of keeping me in the game and keeping me entertained throughout the round. It was a lot of fun today.

Q. Were you keeping an eye on the leaders? They couldn’t get a break, could they, all day. The shots were there for the taking, really. Were you looking at where they were and just thinking, all you needed was an opening?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, yeah, I wasn’t really focusing too much on the leaders. You know, before I came out this morning, I told myself, if I shoot 8-under today, I have a really good chance, and no matter what happens from there, I’m just going to do that. If I don’t win or I shoot in — which I didn’t shoot in, I shot 7-under, if I shot 8-under, would I have won, too.

But I was thinking, if I just posted a certain score, I’d be happy with however I finish, and that last putt, I’ll for sure be replaying that a couple of times.

Q. Can you just talk a bit about, your last win was the U.S. Open four years ago. What has the four years been like grinding away, trying to get back to winning?
MICHELLE WIE: That’s a long time ago. I was on the stage, this feels new, it’s such a long time.

It’s been a tough journey since 2014. I think it’s been kind of well documented. You know, I’ve had some injuries, had a really bad year, just lost a lot of confidence.

But I’m just really proud of myself for pulling myself out of it. I felt like I had a good year last year, a year where I built confidence, and I just want to keep building confidence from there. I just want to keep rising. I just want to keep playing the best I can, trying the hardest I can and trying to become the best player that I can be.

Q. Could you pay tribute to your family, your parents have just been always there for you, haven’t they. They just loved it today, didn’t they.
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I mean, when I made the putt, I could just picture my parents like kind of celebrating. That was the first thought that I had. It’s just so cool that my family gets to experience it with me, and they have always been there for me.

You know, no matter what, my heart times, my good times, they are just always my parents to me. Definitely my team and my family and my friends have pulled me out of the hard times and kept me going. There’s been moments where it was hard. It was hard to keep going and to keep playing. My family believed in me relentlessly, and with that, I started to believe in myself.

Q. Did I think you might have blown it on 16? You had a short birdie putt and you missed it, and were you always going to putt that on 18, as well? You could have chipped but you decided to go for the putt.
MICHELLE WIE: I don’t think I misread the putt on 16. There was a couple of tricky putts out there where we just misread it and I hit it good. I just knew that 17, 18, I just few birdied in, I would have a good chance.

But yeah, it was definitely disappointing for me but it kind of kicked me in the butt to try to play better on 17, 18. I was always planning on putting on that.

Q. Can you talk about the chip on your shoulder about last year and the course, and sometimes you just want to come back and master a course to show it something?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, for sure. Having that lead on the last day and coming up just a little short last year, I came back, having the confidence knowing that I can do it, and I just really wanted to finish the deal. I feel like I’ve been playing this tournament for a long time, and HSBC have been such great supporters of women’s golf, and I just really wanted to win this tournament. But I definitely came determined this year for sure.

Q. Can I just ask very simply: What does winning mean to you? What does it do to you and for you?
MICHELLE WIE: Winning is everything. I mean, there is no better feeling than when you think that sink that winning putt. It’s a high, for sure. You go out there, and it’s this feeling that gets you going. It’s this feeling that makes you practice. It’s that winning putt that makes you practice for hours and hours and hours, and even the hard times, it gets you going back. You know that good feeling is on the other side.

It’s just everything. Winning’s everything.

Q. You’ve always been very at home here, haven’t you. In fact, I remember years ago that you said it reminded you of Hawai’i in many ways. Does that still apply?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, for sure. I love Singapore. Singapore is definitely one of my favorite cities, such really great food, great shopping, and in my book, that’s a pretty great city.

Everyone’s just been so welcoming. I’ve been coming here year after year, and every year, I feel so welcomed here.

Q. Can I just ask, where do you keep all your trophies? Is it with you or is it with your parents?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, it’s with me. It doesn’t leave far from me. It’s definitely in my house.

Q. Do you have like a cabinet or display or do you just put it in like the living room?
MICHELLE WIE: I put it in the living room and they are kind of all over the fireplace. I have a shelf above the fireplace and they are kind of there, below. Some are on a table. I need to build a wall but I haven’t. I’ll find a place for them.

Q. How are you planning to celebrate this evening? Is it going to be a big party?
MICHELLE WIE: I think I’m going to go shopping. We went to Marina bay sands on Monday, and I kind of had a practice round, I’m going to get this if I play well. So I kind of picked a couple stuff out but we’ll see. But I’m going to have some good sushi tonight probably and just have fun. Yeah, I’m not leaving till tomorrow morning.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Can we expect some Instagrams of the stopping spree, perhaps?

MICHELLE WIE: Oh, yeah. We’ll see. See what I can do.

Q. There was a bit of heartbreak for Nelly with the putt shifting wildly right. Have you had a chance to see her or talk to her? I know you guys are all friends, and Daniel, as well. Are you all going to sort of go out together and help ease their pain?
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, it’s interesting, right. Some of my best friends are on Tour and you’re competing with them and you want them to do well. I honestly didn’t really see the putt too much. I was on the putting green practicing. But Nelly is a great player. She’s really good, and I think she’s going to play really well, and she has been playing really well.

Danielle and I already made plans to do stuff today. But it’s always fun to see friends play well. I know that they are very happy for me, and when the time comes and when they win, I’m very happy for them. So we have a great relationship.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Now I’ll really close things out. You are the third American to win on Tour this year. First time since 2007 we’ve had three Americans win in the first four events. International Crown year; this will do a great deal for your standing to that. What do you think this has to say about the state of American golf.

MICHELLE WIE: I think we’re definitely on the rise. I think from Solheim play last year, you can definitely see the strength of our American players. You know, Jessica Korda dominating last week, and it’s been great to see. That’s a pretty cool stat and I’m pretty proud to be part of it.

CHRISTINA LANCE: Thank you all very much.