Big Ten Conference play is going to test your team. We certainly were tested last week after experiencing a tough loss in State College to Penn State.
We communicate to our student-athletes all the time that building a team is a process. Tough moments are going to occur over the course of the season, and the only thing you can do is face them and learn from them.
I sincerely believe that our ability to face and learn from the Penn State loss helped us compete with clear minds on Sunday vs. Michigan State.
Rivalry games in college basketball bring out the best in players. The memorable moment from Sunday's game against the Spartans was Trey Burke's steal and dunk in the final minute. Trey showed tremendous presence of mind to make that play when he did. The entire country got a chance to see the toughness Trey has displayed for us for two seasons now.
The last week of conference play has us battling the two Big Ten teams from the state of Indiana. We travel to West Lafayette to take on Purdue at 7 p.m. tomorrow and we host the Hoosiers on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Coach Painter is a tremendous coach, and his guys will be ready to compete at a high level tomorrow night. We must exceed Purdue's intensity and grit in order to leave West Lafayette with a victory.
I am excited that a few of our guys will receive the opportunity to play in their home region tomorrow. With Glenn, Spike and Mitch all being from northwest Indiana, this homecoming is something that they and their families are looking forward to.
We can only play the games that are in front of us. Scoreboard watching and hoping for certain scenarios to take place cannot help us prepare for what lies ahead.
We will work hard this week to narrow the focus of our team. We are fortunate to be on spring break this week, and we will certainly use the time off the best we can. Right now, our thoughts are consumed with getting better and properly preparing for Purdue.