Here's what both coaches had to say following Northwestern's 51-47 victory over Rutgers in the Big Ten opener:
Rutgers Head Coach Eddie Jordan
- Jordan said that, going into the game, his defensive gameplan was to "take away the paint, which we did. The bulk of the gameplan was, take away Olah and his roads to the basket." The Wildcats struggled all game with getting easy buckets in the paint. Jordan also said that his team didn't make any specific adjustments to cause Northwestern's drought in the second half.
- Here's a fun bit of basketball trivia: Eddie Jordan coached Tre Demps' father, Dell. So, in Jordan's words, "[Tre] better be good." He was, scoring 16 points in the game.
Northwestern Head Coach Chris Collins
- In what was a bit of a homecoming for Chris Collins, who was born about an hour away from Piscataway, New Jersey, he said he had a bunch of friends and family at the game.
- Alex Olah struggled for much of the game. He often roamed around the three-point line and wasn't making plays in the post. Collins said that Olah was a little more "timid" and lacked aggressiveness and confidence on offense. "We have to do a better job of getting him the ball," he said.
- Collins on whether he thinks Olah has lost confidence: "I do, especially in the post. I thought he was a little more timid the last couple games. It’s not only on him, it’s on his teammates, it’s on me and my staff to build him back up. We need him."
- Collins on Olah: ""It’s a couple games in a row now that we couldn’t get him going. To Rutgers’ credit, they really swarmed him the first couple times he got it. It got Alex a little out of whack."
- Collins on Olah: "We have to do a better job of setting stuff up to get him [Olah] the ball where the doubles can’t just attack him. He struggled with those doubles. We have to work with him on getting better when they do double team; being able to make better decisions. If teams are going to sell out to take him out, he’s got to be able to make them pay with his passing."
- As far as Vic Law goes, Collins said that Law was sick before the game. "We've had some sickness run through the team," he said. Law was available, but Collins didn't feel comfortable putting him in the second half.
- JerShon Cobb returned from injury against Rutgers, playing 23 minutes. He looked pretty good and knocked down a few jumpers as well to finish with six points. But Collins said, "I didn't expect to play him 23 minutes. I expected to play him around 12." Expect Northwestern to keep his minutes down, but with Law not at his best, Collins had to fill his minutes on the wing.
- Collins on Cobb: "He got in there, got in a rhythm, felt good and he wanted to keep going. It’s a day by day thing really. He’s going to battle injuries all year. He knows that. We could’ve held him out longer, but he came to me after our last game and said, ‘coach, I need to get out there.’"
- Both Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps said they don't think about long offensive droughts like the one Northwestern went through in the second half. Demps said, "I didn’t even know that we didn’t have a field goal for 11 minutes. I don't think anybody did... When we missed, we knew that we could stop them."
- McIntosh said the team has to do a better job getting the ball to Olah in positions to score, but he also said Olah needs to do a much better job and needs to be more aggressive. As the point guard, he said he and the team need Olah to be more aggressive.