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    Postgame Quotes



    Jan. 14, 2012

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    Northwestern vs. Michigan State

    Jan. 14, 2012


    Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody


    Opening Statement…

    “I’m just really happy for our guys and proud of them because we’ve had two agonizing losses. One point here against Illinois and the overtime game against Michigan. It was two possessions from being 3-1, and you’re 1-3 so that makes it rough. Our guys, we’ve had a couple good practices and you never know, but we told them at halftime, you’ve gotta take it. You can’t just be competing, you’ve gotta take the game. You’ve gotta be the aggressor. You gotta go after it a little hard, and I really thought they did that. The contributions all around were great. In the first half, Alex had a nice stretch there, hit a couple of rainbow threes out of the corner and threw a couple of nice passes. And the energizer bunny, [Davide] Curletti, I thought he really brought something to the table today. In the first half, he got some offensive rebounds, just sort of snatched it out of some guys’ hands. Drew [Crawford] and John [Shurna] both played well. Drew hasn’t practiced. He wasn’t feeling too good.  He didn’t practice yesterday. A lot of guys play when they’re sick, but not a lot of guys play well when they’re sick, and he certainly did tonight. It was just a really good team effort against a very good team. They haven’t lost in two months. We played a nice game all around. So I’m just happy for our guys.”


    On starting Davide Curletti…

    “We were gonna go small with John at center, then we weren’t too sure if Drew was gonna play. It was really just a game time decision to go with Davide and see how Drew is.  We didn’t start off great. I mean, we didn’t stop them in the first half. They made every shot they took, except they turned it over eight or nine times, I think. So we were fortunate that way. We took care of the ball, it seemed to me. We didn’t turn it over for the game very often. We went with him. He was feeling really good, Davide and didn’t seem to get too tired so we kept him in there.”


    On the team’s second-half performance…

    “Well, you don’t want three (losses) in a row, you know what I mean? The guys just played better. I thought they executed offensively very, very well. Sobo did a nice job running things. Reggie Hearn doesn’t get mentioned enough, but I thought, and I don’t know the stats, but he seemed to get rebounds, and he had a big tip-in. Anytime we needed something it seemed like the shots we were getting were better. Against Michigan, I didn’t think in the second half we had, we had a drought, we weren’t getting good looks and the same with Illinois. I thought tonight we were getting pretty good shots.”


    On trying to start a winning streak…

    “I thought we executed better offensively and I haven’t been displeased with our defense. I mean, the second half of the Penn State game and the Illinois game, Michigan game, I felt we’ve improved in that. We played a lot of man-to-man in those games. Tonight, we thought, let’s just go with the 1-3-1, see what happens, what are we going to do there just because of the depth. I wasn’t too sure of Drew and so I think you just try to get better and keep working both ends, but I think our guys have to feel pretty good because all these games they could’ve won, they didn’t put their heads down and they just went out and got after it.”


    Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo

    Opening Statement…
    “There were two points that stuck out to me when we prepped for these guys. The first one was I thought they were a much better team; I thought they could have won both the Michigan game and the Illinois game. If they were 13-3, I said everyone would be talking about this being an incredible matchup. When you lose a game or two, it matters in the standings; it matters in the media, to the fans and everybody else. But to a coach it doesn’t matter because it means you played extremely well for probably 39 minutes in a couple of those games, and you lost it in the last minute. So how you played was important. I knew they were a very good team. I was worried about my three and a half freshman on those backdoors and everything. Brandon Wood is the half because he’s never played against them. Trying to simulate the speed of [their offense], I thought that hurt us. But probably the biggest things were the hustle plays. We had rebounds, they took them from us and scored three different times, along with some turnovers in the first half. I thought each time we had a six- or seven-point lead, we get a rebound, they took it, laid it up. One time they got a three-point play on that. That became the difference in the game. Give [Davide] Curletti credit, I thought he played extremely well. He played our centers, and that’s been something we’ve been pretty solid on lately. Shurna did a very good job, and I’ve always been a big [Drew] Crawford fan; still am. So they deserved to win the game, we didn’t. It’s disappointing because I thought we practiced well, and prepared well. I just think that’s life in the Big Ten, anybody can beat anybody. That was a very good team that beat us, and a very good team that’s lost to a couple other people.”

    On the performance of Draymond Green…

    “Draymond [Green], to be honest with you, did a phenomenal job again. He kept us hanging in there; I had to put him as a guard sometimes. What I couldn’t do -- and it’s bad coaching -- is I couldn’t find a way to have him bring the ball up the court, pass it to himself, and make a shot. So that’s what I needed to do today, and I didn’t do a very good job.”

    On the keys to Michigan States’ loss…

    Well, like I said, even though it looked like it in the second half, we didn’t lose that game on the offensive end, we lost it on the defensive end. I mean, we’re not allowed to give up 81 points, that’s ridiculous. So, we lost it there. We out-rebounded them by 12, but when it really mattered I thought they did a better job. We got some rebounds in the first half; they just took them from us. Three in a row that I remember.”

    On the timeout called with 2.4 seconds left after the game had been decided…

    “I wanted to tell them, ‘remember why we didn’t win this game.’ I wanted it to be fresh in their minds when we were on the court, you know? The freshman, I wanted them to know that this is not acceptable. I wanted Brandon Wood to understand that, ‘you came here to try and get in the tournament because you didn’t think you could do that at [Valparaiso], but part of the reason is because you didn’t help [Valparaiso] do that.’ You have got to man-up in the big games. I just wanted them all to know that we have to be more consistent if you’re going to win games on the road when your margin for error is very slim. And our margin for error is slim, no matter if we’re 4-0, 6-0 or 8-0. I don’t think there is anything different about that.”

    On the importance of Davide Curletti…

    “Oh, [Davide] Curletti was the difference in the game if you ask me. He made a three, he made a bunch of free throws early. He missed a couple later, but he’s the one that snagged those ones when we had it, he took them, and he scored on them. [Davide] Curletti was a big difference in the game, and deserved the play he got and the credit he got. Brilliant move by Bill [Carmody] to start him; he did a great job.”