March 13, 2012
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National Invitation Tournament
March 13, 2012
Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody
"We played pretty well offensively in the first half, and then it was going back and forth, in the last few minutes we let them get back in it and it reenergized [Akron]. They should be playing in the NCAA tournament, they won their conference so maybe I'm old school but I think they should be there. They're well-coached and it was anybody's game up until that last shot."
Junior forward Drew Crawford
On if the team lost confidence after the loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament...
"The only difference between those two games that really matters is that we won tonight and lost the other [Minnesota] game. We're really just worried about what we do as a team and how we play as a team and that's how we got the win tonight."
Senior forward John Shurna
On allowing Akron to come back from a 15-point deficit...
"Akron is a good team; they won their conference. Like Coach [Carmody] said, they were going to make a run. We got a little sloppy at the end of the first half and that allowed them [Akron] back into the game but, fortunately, we're just happy to get the win."
On if he wants the ball during the final minutes of close games...
"I think so, I think I look to take control of the ball but at the same time it's about the best shot for the team. For example, Drew [Crawford] had the hot hand so we kept feeding him the ball. That's just how it goes."
Akron Head Coach Keith Dambrot
"It was a good game. I think what caught us at the end caught us at the beginning - we just made some defensive mistakes, really. We missed a switch - a bunch of switches - in the first half, but in fairness to our guys, we haven't played against any 1-3-1, we haven't played any Princeton style. We had about half of a day prep because we flew in on Monday and we took Sunday off because we played late Saturday night in our (conference) tournament. I was pleased that we emotionally came to play because we had a heart-breaker at the NCAA tournament. Obviously, their niche is very difficult - they have a niche that makes it very difficult, especially in this building, and we struggled with it in this building. We struggled with it in the first half and we played better with it in the second half, defensively, though not good enough to get ahead when we had chances to get ahead. He's a terrific coach, does a great job with what he has. You just have to look at the teams - our team is build like a high-major, physically, and they're built more like a mid-major. They play outside and we play inside, so it's kind of like Jekyll and Hyde as to how it should look. That's kind of how it was, but it was a great game."
On JerShon Cobb and his addition to the team...
"I think they're all good. You look at [JerShon] Cobb, you look at Drew Crawford, who's terrific. [John] Shurna reminds me of this guy that used to play at Akron, Joe Jacuboc, who's the all-time league scorer. He doesn't look like he's any good, but he's really good. He's an awkward, good basketball player. He's gonna get his shot to play at the next level, and those guys are good players. I think they play exactly how they should play for what they have, and I don't know of many coaches - I know I couldn't win 19 games - but he did, and that's a testament. To me, it's the best league in the country, and I think he's an unbelievable coach. I know we played a lot of people throughout the years, and that was the hardest prep that we ever had."