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Post-Game Quotes (Game 5)

Nov. 28, 2017

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Opening statement:

“First off, a great win for us. That’s a very good team. Very, very well coached by coach [Chris] Collins. What he’s done at Northwestern is one of the best stories in college basketball. But for us to get a win against that type of team and program, an experienced and a well-coached team, is great for us and our program. So, [I’m] really happy about that. Defensively, for the year-and-a-half that I’ve been here, that’s kind of been our calling card, our defense. We really guarded well again. If you look at the numbers and holding a team like that, that’s got the offensive fire power that they do and the shooting that they do, to hold them to 36 percent from the field, 21 percent from field, 51 points overall, we really guarded well. That’s our calling card, that’s where we’re going to hang our hat, that’s our DNA. We got a 10-point lead [but] it’s obviously a game of runs and that’s an experienced, veteran team that we knew was going to make a run late. We did not handle that well. We got out of sorts in sets, got a little unorganized. That being said, we will be able to use those last seven minutes, show film, get better because this will not be the last time that we’re in a close game this season and we’ll have to do a better job executing late when we have a lead and, vice-versa, if we’re down, making sure we execute.”

On the game-winning play:

“We called timeout and we’ve worked on late, last-second plays. Obviously, it’s a players’ game and a player had to make the last shot, which Tadric [Jackson] did. But we’ve worked on those late-game situations. Northwestern guarded it well but Tadric was smart not to settle and drove the ball. And that’s what he should’ve done being a senior. That was the right mindset and it was the right pass by Jose [Alvarado].”

On the big lift from Abdoulaye Gueye through Ben Lammers’ foul trouble in first half:

“AD has gotten a lot better from where AD was last year to this year. He’s gotten a lot better. And, actually, we extended the lead when Ben went out. Ben doesn’t really foul. And when he picked up those two quick fouls, we extended the lead. Ben’s been a little out of sync. He’s not practiced since he had the sprained ankle, he’s just played in the games. Obviously, we need him in the games. But guys need to practice or you get out of sync, get out of rhythm and you lose a bit of conditioning.”

On the atmosphere at McCamish Pavilion:

“The student section was great; the crowd was great. I get it. Everybody wanted us to beat Georgia [in football] this weekend, but I was cheering like crazy because I wanted us to go to a bowl game so more people could focus on that and we could continue to fly underneath the radar. But for that though, it’s been great that the crowd came out. And I tell you, even coach [Tom] Crean said this at shootaround today because he [was the analyst for] our game today [on ESPN2], he mentioned the crowd and the atmosphere. He said this is one of the best home-court advantages that we’ve got in the country that he’s been around.”


Opening statement:

“Obviously it’s a disappointing way to lose. I thought Georgia Tech deserved it though. They played really hard and you have to give their kids a lot of credit. It wasn’t necessarily a beautifully played game by both teams, but I thought it was really hard-played. I thought both teams played really good defense the whole game which lent itself to a really good finish in the last couple minutes. Give [Tadric] Jackson a lot of credit. I was proud of my guys. We found a group there in the last eight minutes, down 10, to get a chance to get the lead. Then I thought we had two critical fouls. They were having a really hard time scoring, [but] we grab a guy on a back cut and then we foul [Ben] Lammers on a defensive rebound which gives them three points right there at the end. Then Jackson made a great play. Give him credit on that. Obviously, it’s a tough way to lose.”

On Scottie Lindsey:

“He had a tough night tonight. He’s been a key guy for us and he’ll continue to be a key guy. He got in foul trouble early. [He] never could really get a rhythm, never started going to the basket. I think he rolled his ankle a little bit at the end. He was okay to go back in, but I found a group that was playing really well and I decided to stick with those guys.”

On Bryant McIntosh down the stretch:

“He made some big buckets. We finally started getting the ball into the teeth of their defense [and] that was what we were trying to do early. But they do a good job. They mix and match defenses. They play different zones. They try and keep you off balance. I thought down the stretch though, we finally started driving the ball, we started getting it into the paint. He found [Dererk] Pardon for a couple layups. We just never could really hit that big three that we needed. If you asked me who our two best shooters are, I’d tell you [Scottie] Lindsey and [Aaron] Falzon and those two guys go 0-for-12 from three. When I look at the stat sheet and see my two best shooters 0-for-12 from three, outshot 16-to-4 at the foul line, [and] to lose a game by one at the buzzer? It shows a lot of grit in my guys that we hung in there and gave ourselves a chance.”

On the defensive effort in the final eight minutes:

“They do a great job. They cut hard. They move the ball well. It’s a rhythmic offense and I thought we finally in the last eight minutes did a good job of disrupting the rhythm. We got in passing lanes a little bit. We disrupted some of those passes. Then it’s like anything when you start to make a little comeback, the pressure of the game begins to mount on both teams. If you asked me before the game if we hold them to 37 percent shooting and 52 points and hold [Ben] Lammers to 13 and [Tadric] Jackson 10, I feel pretty good about our chances. We just were never able offensively to get a great rhythm.”

On the free-throw disparity:

“I’m not going to get into calls and that kind of stuff. I thought both teams were driving the ball and getting it in there. Give them credit. They were a little bit stronger and were able to get the foul calls that they needed.”


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