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    Postgame Quotes



    Feb. 17, 2013

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    Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody

    Opening statement...

    "Illinois came out scored on the first few possessions and we were having a hard time getting it going. It went on and on and we for to the 1-3-1 and I think that helped us a bit because we were having a hard time stopping man-to-man. We got a few turnovers there and forced a few shots that weren't great shots and we rebounded it. I think we were on the foul line to make 19-16, and then they just ran 10-nothing there and then 10 or 12-nothing to start the second half. Our offense was bad the entire night and didn't seem to have any flow to it. They guarded us in a similar fashion that they did down in Champaign, switching everything, which a lot of teams do. They did it very effectively and they seemed to have a little more pep in their step and we just really couldn't get too much going. They guarded well, and if we're not scoring, it really makes it tough on your defense. Looking at the stats, we were 2-for-21 from 3-point range up until the last couple of minutes there. Down in Champaign, it was just the opposite because they finished 3-for-21 or 22 when we played them down there. You've got to make shots and we weren't able to do that tonight. Their defense gets the credit."

    On variability of 3-point shooting...

    "I don't really know. I think a lot of them were good looks tonight. Kale [Abrahamson] hit some really tough ones against Ohio State. I don't have an answer to that. If I did, I'd do something about it. We're getting our shooting in. It's more than shooting, though; I think the whole flow wasn't great either. We weren't sure whether to shoot or not to shoot, and how the offense was well as we did the other night at Ohio State, in a loss...Following the scouting report, knowing what to do. I didn't think we handled it well tonight."

    On abundance of turnovers...

    "I thought we just turned it over. I thought a bunch of them were unforced. You've got to give credit to their defense, but we were trying to force some things when it wasn't really necessary. It's a lot of turnovers for us, and some were at inopportune times."

    On Dave Sobolewski's recent performances...

    "There really wasn't any pressure tonight (bringing the ball up the court). They weren't picking up and he was going back and forth. There was Reggie [Hearn] in the back corner, Alex [Marcotullio] or Tre [Demps], there wasn't much pressure. They're sort of interchangeable. I don't think it had anything to do with it. I don't think he's worn out or anything. He has some really good games and he has other games. It's like a lot of guys...if you start out well, you play well the rest of the game. If you are not starting out well it can get to you. He's going to have to overcome it and he will."

    Illinois Head Coach John Groce

    Opening Statement...

    "I'm really proud of our guys and with the way that they defended. I think we're getting better defensively. We're getting better offensively too, but when we play well it really starts on defense. We really locked in, and I thought we defended for the duration of the game. I think our communication has gotten better. Guys executed the game plan well, and I thought we played exceptionally hard. We had that type of focus, that type of unselfishness, on both ends. I thought we were really unselfish on offense, and I thought we were really unselfish on defense. We had better awareness. We were really locked in. I'm really proud of their effort. I thought we had good toughness and togetherness. They're really hard to guard. They carved us up in Champaign. It's hard to guard. They cut hard and they screen well. It's very difficult to defend. Watching the (Ohio State) game from the other night when they played in Columbus, I thought they did a tremendous job. They've had some injuries and some other unfortunate things happen with their roster, but man, they played the other night and scared you to death watching them make all those threes on Thursday night. We were really locked in defensively and able to take some of those things away and obviously came out with the win."

    On Illinois' unselfish play...

    "I think at both ends. I think some people, when they think of unselfishness, think exclusively of offense. But defensively right now, we're just in the right position where we trust one another more - we cover for one another better when we understand we want five guys guarding the basketball. It's not about if my man scores. I think we get that better. I also think the seniors and captains have done a better job making sure we're ready to play. I think that's improved. I think guys individually are getting better. Tracy Abrams has been off the charts. I thought Brandon Paul tonight had one of the best games he has had all season and scored eight points. He finishes with five assists and six rebounds. I thought it was as good as he has defended all year. He was constantly communicating, and he was locked in. He played a really good all-around game."

    On slowing down Northwestern this time...

    "Like I said, it's really hard to guard. They do such a great job. They're so unselfish. They cut as hard as anybody in the country. They've got great spacing. Obviously, they're really well coached. We thought we got carved up a little bit in game one. Guys took a little bit of pride in wanting to defend a little bit better, and I thought we defended a little bit better today."