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Chris Collins press conference notes: Butler

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Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Here is what Northwestern coach Chris Collins had to say after the 65-56 loss to Butler:

- Collins: "Today was a good step in the right direction. This was the best we've played in a while."

- Collins rued a few bad stretches in the game, one of which was the end of the first half.

- Collins mentioned the free throw disparity as something that was "hard to overcome." Butler went to the line 28 times, while NU only got there seven times. He said one of the keys to the game was Butler's ability to get into the paint, and that its something Northwestern needs to do more of. "I guess we need to drive harder."

- Collins on the starting lineup changes: "For me it wasn't about laying blame on any players. The players are the ones that have to set the tone for how the team plays. The players have to hold each other accountable." He says he challenged the veterans to set the tone for the team."

- Collins: "I wanted to put the onus on our older guys."

- Collins says one of the keys for Vic Law was that he didn't turn the ball over, but the big thing that Law needs to work on absorbing contact and getting to the free throw line.

- Collins said coaching in Hinkle was "special. You feel mystique. You feel history."

- Collins: "This is the first time I felt excited about getting my team to grow. I hadn't felt that before."

- Collins said defending the 3-point line was one of the main points of emphasis when gameplanning for Butler.