In its first game of the NCAA Tournament, Purdue basketball took care of business on Friday afternoon, defeating Cal State Fullerton 74-48.
Purdue forward Vincent Edwards scored 15 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, while guard Carsen Edwards also scored 15 points and added 4 rebounds.
With the win, the No. 2-seeded Boilermakers are moving on to the Round of 32, where they will face the winner of the Friday afternoon game between Butler and Arkansas. That game will be played Sunday.
Here’s what Purdue coach Matt Painter said in his post-game press conference:
Painter on the win:
“I thought we did a really good job all around from a defensive standpoint. We knew what they wanted to do in their isolations and some of the things they run for [Kyle Allman Jr.] and [Khalil Ahmad], two very good players. And I thought we did a good job of being in help and just making it hard on them.
“Allman still had a really good game for them, getting 21 points. But I really like the effort that we had. We had a tough time settling into the game from an offensive standpoint. And as we started to make a few more, I thought we had a really good run to start the second half, and our guys did a good job of finding each other and we got into a good rhythm offensively.”
On Isaac Haas’ elbow, which he injured during the game:
“I have no idea. He obviously fell on it and he hurt it. So then he was going back. He kept holding it. I don’t know if it was his elbow or his wrist, I don’t know exactly what it was. But he kept holding it, and that’s the reason I took him out there at the end of the game.”
On playing on a Friday afternoon:
“We’ve actually been good this year in noon games. As a coach you always worry about that. We played Butler in a noon game. We played at Minnesota, at Iowa, noon games, played well in all three of them.
“So just kind of being ready. It’s the same for both teams, obviously, but just trying to be ready. I think, going into the NCAA Tournament, you can look at a little bit of a layoff, you can look at a lot of different things. It’s hard to quantify what it actually is when you don’t shoot as well.
“But a lot of times you can’t forget about giving credit to the defense. I thought they played pretty well and did some good things, too. But you just gotta get yourself ready, gotta get yourself mentally up and get the guys going.
“Obviously we don’t have shoot-arounds on noon games. So sometimes we do when it gets kind of pushed down — 2:30, 3, 4 o’clock, in that mid-afternoon we’ll have a shootaround. It just depends on your team, how they play and what they do.”
On Vincent Edwards:
“Yeah, I thought he played well. I thought he did some good things for us. He’s a versatile guy. So a lot of times rebounding the basketball, passing the basketball, defending, doing a lot of different things for us.
“He obviously sprained his ankle a month ago. So any time you can have those type of experiences and positive experiences, I think it just builds confidence.”
On Edwards’ block in the second half:
“The block was a great play. They tried to jump switch at the play before. And we were trying to yell out, watch for that. And they did it again and got the steal. I thought that was just a great play. You kind of stayed with it. And anytime you can give one up you want to get it back and he was able to do that.”
On playing full-court defense:
“We always do. Since I’ve been at Purdue, we’ve always picked up and we go pick up the ball and pressure the ball. We always try to, just try to take them out of rhythm, take some time. It’s no different than the philosophy if someone did a 2-2-1 zone press, just to take some time off the clock. Just try to push them out a little bit when they start their offense just a little bit more, so they’re not in that sweet spot.
“A lot of people do ball screen motion stuff, and then if they can get out a little bit, you can get under ball screens to keep the ball out of the paint. Just kind of little things help. But that’s how we play. We’ve always done that.”
On struggling from 3-point range in the first half:
“I chalk a couple of them up to decisions. I thought we took a couple of ill-advised ones, but for the most part I thought others ones were good shots, just didn’t go down. And you’ll have that. We always try to focus on our decision-making and taking good shots.
“Whether that goes in or not, you know, sometimes guys will hang their head. You’ve just got to stay positive when you’re doing good things because the law of averages, they’re going to balance out.”