Busting Brackets

Everything Matt Painter said after Purdue loses OT heartbreaker in Big Ten tourney

Purdue head coach Matt Painter addressed the media after his team fell to Wisconsin in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.
Wisconsin v Purdue
Wisconsin v Purdue / David Berding/GettyImages

Purdue basketball head coach Matt Painter spoke to the media following his team's unexpected 76-75 overtime loss to Wisconsin. He began by giving credit to the Badgers for their play but also lamenting his team's high number of turnovers.

"Congratulations to Wisconsin," he said. "Obviously, it was a hard-fought game. I thought we did a great job in the second half and overtime rebounding the basketball. They out-rebounded us by one in the first half. We dominated the glass in the second half.

"After that I thought the big stat of the game was, you know, just it's kind of our magic number if we get 14, 15, 16, 17 turnovers. I know it's our only fourth loss but all four losses that number is right in there and I just got to do a better job across the board of taking care of the basketball."

Saturday, the Boilermakers gave the ball away 16 times to just five by the Badgers. What's more, in their four losses this year, they have averaged 15.2 turnovers per game. That's almost four more than their season average.

Painter then talked about how his team just couldn't put Wisconsin away despite leading for much of the afternoon.

"You can go and look at individual plays or all the way through the game," he said, "we just needed one more stop somewhere one more score one more free throw whatever it might be to kind of put this game out of reach and get to that two possessions [lead] late in the regulation or late in the overtime but you know give the credit to them."

Again, Painter was asked about his team's turnovers and he pointed to some careless mistakes in the second half that proved to be crucial.

"Yeah the the sequence in the second half that, you know, that flurry like we're just weren't concentrating," he said, "just running some of our stuff and literally throwing the ball before we're looking for the receiver.

"You know, guys, you run a lot of stuff dry and practice with no defense and so like are you really concentrating like when someone's defending you? Throw the ball to the offensive player as much as you throw the ball away from the defensive player so it's that combination, right? You just don't whip it because they're being guarded. We just had, you know, about 3 turnovers right there where they just threw it to Wisconsin."

Concerning point guard Braden Smith, Painter said that he was completely healthy after tweaking his knee in Friday's quarterfinal win over Michigan State. Painter said that the training staff was watching Smith closely.

"I think a lot of times with competitive guys they're always gonna tell you that they're OK and you gotta watch them," he said. "You gotta watch them through the game but you really have your trainers, we got a great trainer in Chad Young, and I just said 'Hey you just got to tell me if you see him favor and or you see something'.

"I'm watching the game I'm not watching one person and so everything that he did, and he warmed up for about 45 minutes, our GA's went out there they watched and they watched him do stuff and I said 'Hey you got to be honest and just say if he's favoring it or he's not 100% then he doesn't need to go' but they all said 'not at all' and then he was fine so obviously he went out there and you know did some good things."

Next, Painter gave some love to his star, Zach Edey, who became Purdue's all-time leading scorer on Saturday. As you might expect, he had nothing but praise for the 7-foot-4 senior.

"This man to be all-time leading scorer and rebounder you know at a school like Purdue with great basketball tradition is really unbelievable," he said. "...for him to be able to do that and and be humble, right?

"You know he's he's a good teammate he's a selfless player he's competitive you know he's everything that you want in a player. I've never seen somebody so good get so much [expletive] for no reason...like I just said it blows my mind...people with his size are normally not very good at basketball you know and he's really good so he has a lot of attention but he stayed grounded man he just stayed grounded. He keeps his composure and you know we're proud of him for everything he's accomplished."

Last, Painter was asked a strategy question. With his team up two points at the end of regulation, he decided to put Edey on the inbounds passer near mid-court instead of keeping him back to proctect the rim. That resulted in an easy layup for the Badgers and Painter addressed that decision.

"I had to put him on somebody," he said. "They went small and so I can keep him at the rim and then we don't match up and they hit a three and they beat us, right?

"So when they went small the one guy that you know is still out there triggering that pass is Tyler Wahl, that was their center on that play so we tried to angle it the best we could so they couldn't get on the run."