March is here and the stakes are high in the college basketball world. We are thrilled to be part of the "Madness" and are working hard to advance our program one day at a time.
Last Saturday, we took on a tough Purdue team that came into Crisler and played well. I thought we did a good job of countering their runs until the closing minutes of the second half. Credit Purdue for playing hard and making more plays than we did down the stretch.
Coach Painter's team executed their game plan at a high level, and Robbie Hummel looked like the All-Big Ten player that he has been for his entire career.
Senior Night is always special, and we couldn't have been happier to honor Zack Novak, Stu Douglass, Corey Person, Ben Cronin and Josh Mack before the game. The game did not end with the result that we wanted, but we are appreciative that there is more meaningful basketball ahead of us.
Our team bounced back vs. the Fighting Illini in Champaign last night. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke gave us great lifts when we needed points, and the team defensive effort was outstanding.
I spoke to the team yesterday about having great faith in their ability and in our group as a unit. Without question, our staff saw a confident team take the floor in Champaign and we were pleased to pull out a victory.
Penn State is our next opponent as we close out the Big Ten regular season. While on Spring Break this week, our schedule has afforded us the opportunity to work with guys individually as well as with the team as a whole.
As we prepare for Penn State, we will continue to maximize each day in order to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.