Jan. 31, 2007
Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody
Opening statement ...
"It's a very disappointing loss for us and a very good win for them on the road. We hadn't practiced very well in the last couple of days. We started off and they turned the ball over, probably three of the first five times down the court. I felt pretty good that our zone was going to be effective. But we weren't able to score either, so I think the score was 2-0 for quite a while. We had some empty possessions and we turned it over a couple of times. In the first half, they were switching a lot on defense. During the first five or six minutes, we were trying to get a feel for what they were doing on defense. We started clicking and I thought we started getting some pretty good shots, but we didn't finish off a few things. We were down one at halftime. This is like a broken record to me. It seems that in a number of games, we're just missing layups and easy shots and I just thought that their confidence grew. They realized that they could be in the game. As the game went along, we started the second half with a couple of turnovers and it was just like that. Their shooters got confident. Jamal Abu-Shamala had a tough game in Minneapolis 10 days ago. We stressed to not leave that guy. That was a major part of the scouting report because that's what he does. You've got to be there on the catch. We said that again at halftime. That was about the only thing I was concerned with and we still didn't do it so that's a credit to him to come back like that. Lawrence McKenzie got in there a lot in the middle of the zone and found some guys. So it's a good win for them and very disappointing for us."
Comparing Minnesota's play in this game with the game on January 21, 2007...
On the play of Vince Scott...
"They did the same stuff. In the beginning of the game, they did the same things and they turned it over a few times. We got it and we ran up the court, but we didn't score. And then, 15 turnovers is a lot for us and they converted on them. Usually, people don't score on fast breaks or turnovers on us. Tonight, I don't know what it was, but it was a lot. I think they just did it better tonight than they did 10 days ago."
"Vince had opportunities and didn't shoot the ball. It was just going east to west the whole night. I'll look at the tape, but he seemed open. We told him at halftime that he had to start looking at that but we weren't able to get anything."
On Minnesota's play...
"They started shooting. When they shoot, they win. That's pretty much like us. If they make shots, then they're going to be in games. They've won three games in the Big Ten and I think they've shot pretty well from the arc in those games. Their guys got confidence and our guys didn't. The more you don't score, the more strain there is on your defense. It just gets tougher and tougher."
Minnesota Head Coach Jim Molinari
On the progression of the game . . .
"I thought we started not very aggressive, but I'm always going to give Northwestern credit because no one can simulate that zone. That zone (coach Carmody) uses is just tremendous. (Northwestern forward Tim) Doyle knows how to play it tremendously. You just can't prepare for it. If you really want to boil this down, we did change, we tried to spread the floor more, we told them to move the ball more, but we made shots. We made 10 three's, and a lot of them were tough shots. When you make shots, your offense looks better."
On the turnovers in the game. . .
"I think what happened there that people don't realize is that (Minnesota guard Lawrence) McKenzie is older, (forward Dan) Coleman is older, but Jamal's (Abu-Shamala) a sophomore, (Kevin) Payton's a freshman, Bryce Webster's a freshman. We play a lot of young players so they get a little tentative with the ball. I thought the second half we were aggressive. I thought we were ok at half time, but I knew Lawrence would make a couple shots, and he didn't make any in the first half. Turnovers are caused by either a lack of spacing or being selfish. Either you dribble into a crowd, or a lack of spacing. We tell our players to get way wide, and I thought that's what we did today. Then we punched the gaps and skipped it."
On the recent play of his team . . .
"I don't know that I ever see wins coming this year, but I will tell you this: the reality of it is we got away from our identity. But without Spencer (Tollackson), we focused on offense, offense, offense. I think we can only win with defense, that's our identity. We are playing more to our identity and more to our roles and that's what you have to do at this time of year."
On Northwestern's play . . .
"We had to guard them. We did have a few stops in there. Northwestern is kind of like us, on the road they've struggled, other than us, they dominated us at home. Here, I've watched all the tapes and the only way you beat Northwestern (at home) is if you make shots were you rebound the ball. They have a lot of good, young players, too. I think they have a bright future."