Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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DeChellis: Penn State gave 'all I can ask'

Amid the delirium of Temple's win, there was a losing team on the other side of the floor. It so happens that said team was one that just a few of you pay attention to.

DeChellis: Penn State gave 'all I can ask'

Amid the delirium of Temple's win, there was a losing team on the other side of the floor. It so happens that said team was one that just a few of you pay attention to.

So here's the transcript of Penn State's postgame press conference, courtesy of ASAP Sports. On the dais were coach Ed DeChellis, Talor Battle, Tim Frazier and David Jackson.

THE MODERATOR: For Penn State we've got head coach Ed DeChellis. Then we've got Tim Frazier, followed by David Jackson and Talor Battle.

ED DeCHELLIS: Goes without saying, very, very proud of my team and their efforts. You know, we fought. It was a great basketball game and they had the ball and made one more play, one more shot than we did. I thought Bubby's big shot was tremendous. That's what he's done his whole career. He is just a great kid, very competitive person.

And, you know, we put ourselves in a position to win the game and that is all I can ask.

Q. All teams except, like, the last one have to go out in this thing. Is there any consolation at all for you guys, the way you went out with the guts you played with?

TALOR BATTLE: You know, for the rest of my life, you know, I'll know that, you know, we didn't just come out here and get beat. You know, it took a heck of a shot, you know, from Fernandez, you know, to beat us. I bet you one thing, for the rest of our lives we'll be able to watch the 2011 one shining moment and always have to see that shot.

But I thought we fought. You know, Jeff goes down, we just kept fighting. Everybody stepped their game up. But, you know, Ramone Moore really took over the game late. Hit big shot after big shot. Just kind of willed in the wind. Unfortunately, the kid Fernandez hit a big shot for us -- I mean, for them.

Q. Tim, could you describe the last defensive possession and how Fernandez was able to get the shot off and if you thought it had any chance at all.

TIM FRAZIER: You know, he made a great shot. He drove, picked up the ball, closed out high end so he wouldn't be able to shoot over me. Made a great move. Pivoted a couple times and then stepped through. It was a great shot.

Q. David, could you describe the moments as soon as you realized Jeff had dislocated his shoulder again and then the moments that it looked like you guys had all of a sudden some resolve, that you weren't going to let it be?

DAVID JACKSON: Well, you know, I was right there kind of when it happened. You know, I stepped up and tried to stop Lavoy and Jeff came out of nowhere to block the shot like he did a million times, you know, and I guess something happened and it popped out of place again. And when he went down and, you know, when I went to help him up he said he needed a trainer, I knew it couldn't be good.

But he came back out to the bench and said to me and Drew, a couple others, I think he talked to too, he is not out there, but he needs us to really step it up because Jeff is a big part of what we do offensively and defensively. He is a very good player.

And we basically just had to, everyone on the court had to step their game up. That is basically what he just told us after we went down.

Q. Talor, can you talk about the last shot you made and also their defense they played against you. Seemed like they were obviously keying in on you.

TALOR BATTLE: They had a great game plan. They went box and one at times just to switch it up. And they're big strong guys. They kept rotating, keeping fresh guys on me.

You know, they did a great job, especially in the second half. They contested everything. You know, I think I missed a couple chippies too myself in transition that I normally wouldn't miss.

But credit those guys. You asked about the shot.

Q. Your last shot.

TALOR BATTLE: I was just trying to get to where I could shoot the ball open. Right when I shot it I knew it was going in. First thing I said was let's not get too excited. We got to get the stop. And Tim, you know, Tim played good defense. I actually didn't see the shot go in because I was afraid that Ramone Moore was going to try to get the offensive rebound, so I was just face guarding him. Then I just heard Juan Fernandez with a two-point basket and I was just crushed.

Q. I was really going to ask about the shot. Did you realize how far back you were? You must have been at least five feet behind the line. Did you realize?

TALOR BATTLE: I didn't care, to tell you the truth. Like I said, I just wanted to try to get to wherever I could shoot the ball clearly. All my shots were contested, so I just wanted to get a free one. That happened to be. One guy ran, Tim threw it to me and I just shot it. Right when I shot it it felt so good. I saw Reggie Miller and them going nuts, so I figured I was pretty far when I shot. (Laughter.)

Q. Talor, I know it's hard to do now, but when you look back at this season and your collegiate career are you going to view it as a success because you made the NCAA tournament?

TALOR BATTLE: I feel like it was a successful career. I think I came here, like I said to the coach in the locker room, when one of us five seniors got here this program was very bad at the time, you know. And what we did in four years of hard work, you know, two out of those four years we had really successful seasons.

The first thing I said to the guys, let's keep this going. Everyone sees it as just a football school. You know, let's make this a two-sport program and the basketball keep building.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, gentlemen, thank you very much.

Q. Coach, can you just talk about the job your guys did after Jeff went out.

ED DeCHELLIS: Well, I thought that, you know, our guys, we're a fighting bunch all year. They've been very resilient all year. They've had our backs against the wall several times, especially the last three weeks or so where we had to win games, had to do certain things. And these kids always came through and we found a way to be successful.

You know, I think that's the fiber of this group. And I'm very, very proud of them.

Jeff Brooks is a big part of what we do offensively we try to give him the ball around the basket. We really didn't get to the free-throw line tonight at all. And he usually is the guy we try to get the ball to around the basket to get fouled and get to the free-throw line and also rebound the basketball. So, you know, that was a little -- got us a little sideways for awhile. But that's not an excuse.

I think our other kids came in and when Cam came off the bench, I had a gut feeling we needed to go with somebody else and went with him and he made a basket or two. We had a great fight. We had great energy. This is March, stuff happens. Good for Temple. Bad for us.

Like Bubby said, we'll probably see the shot in Houston here in a couple of weeks. And, you know, good for them and bad for us. But our kids have been great all year. They've been great for our university, our program. Very, very proud of them.

Q. Ed, what did you say to the guys in the huddle at the last defense possession and was the pace of the game in the second half where you wanted it?

ED DeCHELLIS: The pace was a little better. Bubby made his shot. I was really contemplating playing 1-3-1 defense in that last possession. I was really torn. And we just didn't have a great 1-3-1 line-up because Brooks wasn't in there and we had a shot wing and I was afraid I was throwing over and getting something in the corner. But I didn't think that would attack it as well as they were going to attack the man to man.

We talked about it. I talked to the kids about it. I said I really think 1-3-1 might be the thing to do. I am just a little worried about, you know, our wing is short. And, you know, we all said, hey, lets just try to guard them one time and see what happens. So we didn't play the 31 defense.

But, you know, that's just the way it happens.

Q. You knew about Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez coming in obviously. But were you caught off guard at all by how much success Fernandez was able to have offensively?

ED DeCHELLIS: No. He's had a great career. He's played really well at times. You know, they knew Battle is pretty good and he had a pretty good night too. I think at this time of year players step up and make plays and make baskets and good players play pretty well. And he is a really good player. So it doesn't really shock me or surprise me that the kid played well.

Q. Coach, can you just talk about the career of Battle. Obviously the other four seniors, too, but what he's meant to this university.

ED DeCHELLIS: Well, Talor's, as I've said several times, you know, he is a great player. I mean, he is just an unbelievable player. He has all the, you know, school league score. He is one of three guys that have over 2,000 points and 600 rebounds and 500 assists. He's just a competitive person. And there's nobody else I want taking that shot other than him.

When it left his hand, I knew it was in because he's made big shot after big shot throughout his career.

But, I'm most proud of him as a person. He's been a great ambassador for our university. He's got a great spirit. He's got a great smile. He works hard. He wants to win. He always does the right thing, whether it's on the floor, off the floor, weight room. He always does the right thing. You know, he will be very, very successful whatever he decides he wants to do. Obviously basketball is in his future.

But whenever that's over, whenever that may be, I've told him a thousand times you will be successful, whatever you want to do because you got some toughness, you got some heart. And he's got a great smile and a great, great spirit about him.

Q. You also didn't have Brooks for a good part of the first half because of fouls. You're so thin and you were up a little bit then and when he was out Temple got -- they righted themselves a little bit. Did you think about trying to have him play through the fouls at that time?

ED DeCHELLIS: We talked about it, briefly. But I just -- I thought if we could get to half close, you know, if it got to where it was 7, 8, 9, then he was going back. But I felt like we were right within striking distance and I didn't want to chance him picking up, you know, a third one.

Because we aren't real deep right now. But I would do it all over again the same way. I don't think that that was the play, you know, of not getting it back in the first half. I think once we got to half-time we can play a 20-minute game without our second leading scorer and leading rebounder and we're down two, I felt pretty good going into half-time, being honest with you.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, coach, thank you very much.

THE MODERATOR: For Penn State we've got head coach Ed DeChellis. Then we've got Tim Frazier, followed by David Jackson and Talor Battle. 
COACH DeCHELLIS: Goes without saying, very, very proud of my team and their efforts. You know, we fought. It was a great basketball game and they had the ball and made one more play, one more shot than we did. I thought Bubby's big shot was tremendous. That's what he's done his whole career. He is just a great kid, very competitive person. 
And, you know, we put ourselves in a position to win the game and that is all I can ask.

Q. All teams except, like, the last one have to go out in this thing. Is there any consolation at all for you guys, the way you went out with the guts you played with?
TALOR BATTLE: You know, for the rest of my life, you know, I'll know that, you know, we didn't just come out here and get beat. You know, it took a heck of a shot, you know, from Fernandez, you know, to beat us. I bet you one thing, for the rest of our lives we'll be able to watch the 2011 one shining moment and always have to see that shot. 
But I thought we fought. You know, Jeff goes down, we just kept fighting. Everybody stepped their game up. But, you know, Ramone Moore really took over the game late. Hit big shot after big shot. Just kind of willed in the wind. Unfortunately, the kid Fernandez hit a big shot for us -- I mean, for them.

Q. Tim, could you describe the last defensive possession and how Fernandez was able to get the shot off and if you thought it had any chance at all. 
TIM FRAZIER: You know, he made a great shot. He drove, picked up the ball, closed out high end so he wouldn't be able to shoot over me. Made a great move. Pivoted a couple times and then stepped through. It was a great shot.

Q. David, could you describe the moments as soon as you realized Jeff had dislocated his shoulder again and then the moments that it looked like you guys had all of a sudden some resolve, that you weren't going to let it be?
DAVID JACKSON: Well, you know, I was right there kind of when it happened. You know, I stepped up and tried to stop Lavoy and Jeff came out of nowhere to block the shot like he did a million times, you know, and I guess something happened and it popped out of place again. And when he went down and, you know, when I went to help him up he said he needed a trainer, I knew it couldn't be good. But he came back out to the bench and said to me and Drew, a couple others, I think he talked to too, he is not out there, but he needs us to really step it up because Jeff is a big part of what we do offensively and defensively. He is a very good player. 
And we basically just had to, everyone on the court had to step their game up. That is basically what he just told us after we went down.

Q. Talor, can you talk about the last shot you made and also their defense they played against you. Seemed like they were obviously keying in on you. 
TALOR BATTLE: They had a great game plan. They went box and one at times just to switch it up. And they're big strong guys. They kept rotating, keeping fresh guys on me.
You know, they did a great job, especially in the second half. They contested everything. You know, I think I missed a couple chippies too myself in transition that I normally wouldn't miss. 
But credit those guys. You asked about the shot.

Q. Your last shot.
TALOR BATTLE: I was just trying to get to where I could shoot the ball open. Right when I shot it I knew it was going in. First thing I said was let's not get too excited. We got to get the stop. And Tim, you know, Tim played good defense. I actually didn't see the shot go in because I was afraid that Ramone Moore was going to try to get the offensive rebound, so I was just face guarding him. Then I just heard Juan Fernandez with a two-point basket and I was just crushed. 

Q. I was really going to ask about the shot. Did you realize how far back you were? You must have been at least five feet behind the line. Did you realize?
TALOR BATTLE: I didn't care, to tell you the truth. Like I said, I just wanted to try to get to wherever I could shoot the ball clearly. All my shots were contested, so I just wanted to get a free one. That happened to be. One guy ran, Tim threw it to me and I just shot it. Right when I shot it it felt so good. I saw Reggie Miller and them going nuts, so I figured I was pretty far when I shot. (Laughter.)

Q. Talor, I know it's hard to do now, but when you look back at this season and your collegiate career are you going to view it as a success because you made the NCAA tournament?
TALOR BATTLE: I feel like it was a successful career. I think I came here, like I said to the coach in the locker room, when one of us five seniors got here this program was very bad at the time, you know. And what we did in four years of hard work, you know, two out of those four years we had really successful seasons. The first thing I said to the guys, let's keep this going. Everyone sees it as just a football school. You know, let's make this a two-sport program and the basketball keep building.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, gentlemen, thank you very much. 

Q. Coach, can you just talk about the job your guys did after Jeff went out. 
COACH DeCHELLIS: Well, I thought that, you know, our guys, we're a fighting bunch all year. They've been very resilient all year. They've had our backs against the wall several times, especially the last three weeks or so where we had to win games, had to do certain things. And these kids always came through and we found a way to be successful.
You know, I think that's the fiber of this group. And I'm very, very proud of them.
Jeff Brooks is a big part of what we do offensively we try to give him the ball around the basket. We really didn't get to the free-throw line tonight at all. And he usually is the guy we try to get the ball to around the basket to get fouled and get to the free-throw line and also rebound the basketball. So, you know, that was a little -- got us a little sideways for awhile. But that's not an excuse. 
I think our other kids came in and when Cam came off the bench, I had a gut feeling we needed to go with somebody else and went with him and he made a basket or two. We had a great fight. We had great energy. This is March, stuff happens. Good for Temple. Bad for us. 
Like Bubby said, we'll probably see the shot in Houston here in a couple of weeks. And, you know, good for them and bad for us. But our kids have been great all year. They've been great for our university, our program. Very, very proud of them. 

Q. Ed, what did you say to the guys in the huddle at the last defense possession and was the pace of the game in the second half where you wanted it?
COACH DeCHELLIS: The pace was a little better. Bubby made his shot. I was really contemplating playing 1-3-1 defense in that last possession. I was really torn. And we just didn't have a great 1-3-1 line-up because Brooks wasn't in there and we had a shot wing and I was afraid I was throwing over and getting something in the corner. But I didn't think that would attack it as well as they were going to attack the man to man. 
We talked about it. I talked to the kids about it. I said I really think 1-3-1 might be the thing to do. I am just a little worried about, you know, our wing is short. And, you know, we all said, hey, lets just try to guard them one time and see what happens. So we didn't play the 31 defense. 
But, you know, that's just the way it happens. 

Q. You knew about Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez coming in obviously. But were you caught off guard at all by how much success Fernandez was able to have offensively?
COACH DeCHELLIS: No. He's had a great career. He's played really well at times. You know, they knew Battle is pretty good and he had a pretty good night too. I think at this time of year players step up and make plays and make baskets and good players play pretty well. And he is a really good player. So it doesn't really shock me or surprise me that the kid played well. 

Q. Coach, can you just talk about the career of Battle. Obviously the other four seniors, too, but what he's meant to this university. 
COACH DeCHELLIS: Well, Talor's, as I've said several times, you know, he is a great player. I mean, he is just an unbelievable player. He has all the, you know, school league score. He is one of three guys that have over 2,000 points and 600 rebounds and 500 assists. He's just a competitive person. And there's nobody else I want taking that shot other than him. 
When it left his hand, I knew it was in because he's made big shot after big shot throughout his career. 
But, I'm most proud of him as a person. He's been a great ambassador for our university. He's got a great spirit. He's got a great smile. He works hard. He wants to win. He always does the right thing, whether it's on the floor, off the floor, weight room. He always does the right thing. You know, he will be very, very successful whatever he decides he wants to do. Obviously basketball is in his future. 
But whenever that's over, whenever that may be, I've told him a thousand times you will be successful, whatever you want to do because you got some toughness, you got some heart. And he's got a great smile and a great, great spirit about him.

Q. You also didn't have Brooks for a good part of the first half because of fouls. You're so thin and you were up a little bit then and when he was out Temple got -- they righted themselves a little bit. Did you think about trying to have him play through the fouls at that time?
COACH DeCHELLIS: We talked about it, briefly. But I just -- I thought if we could get to half close, you know, if it got to where it was 7, 8, 9, then he was going back. But I felt like we were right within striking distance and I didn't want to chance him picking up, you know, a third one. 
Because we aren't real deep right now. But I would do it all over again the same way. I don't think that that was the play, you know, of not getting it back in the first half. I think once we got to half-time we can play a 20-minute game without our second leading scorer and leading rebounder and we're down two, I felt pretty good going into half-time, being honest with you. 
THE MODERATOR: Okay, coach, thank you very much. 
Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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