Following the game, the two postgame press conferences were markedly different. Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky, Sam Dekker and Duje Dukan were all smiles, joking around with each other, whispering to each other and fooling around with the microphones. Bo Ryan was also in a jovial mood. On the other hand, Chris Collins was pretty matter-of-fact, and Tre Demps seemed a little down.
Here's what Collins and Ryan had to say:
- Ryan: "This is a time where a lot of things happen and people scratch their heads... You've got to have some guys who are really strong willed." Credited his players for not being vulnerable to an upset.
- Ryan: "If a team is going to play off and jam up the middle and swarm to the ball on any dribble attack, [you have to be able to skip pass and move the ball]." Northwestern played that type of defense today, and the Wildcats paid for it.
- Ryan said he didn't change his defensive gameplan for Northwestern. It was what it always was, which is to force opponents to take two-point jumpshots.
- Ryan speculated that there was some sort of pact between players in the second half that they would let each other score. He was joking, of course.
- Ryan on Northwestern: "They'll be fine." (But of course, not that he would say anything to the contrary)
- Collins on Wisconsin: "They're one of a few teams that has a chance to be there at the end."
- Collins: "In a game like this, a lot has to go right for us to have a chance." Collins said he was willing to give up outside shots to Wisconsin, because if they weren't going in, that was Northwestern's best chance. Unfortunately, those shots were going in.
- Collins made a point to talk about experience. He mentioned some study or article that said that Wisconsin was the 11th most experienced team in the country, while Northwestern was the 320th. KenPom says Northwestern is 318th, while Wisconsin is 33rd.
- Collins: "They're not playing any freshmen, I'm playing five."
- Collins: "This is a process for us. I knew what I signed up for."
- Collins: It was "men's bodies versus boys' bodies."
- Collins on McIntosh: "I thought he was fine. He's the kind of kid who's going to be down because he has high expectations for himself." Collins doesn't think he played his best game, but aside from a few first half turnovers, which Collins attributed to excitement, Collins was impressed.
- Collins said he only played JerShon Cobb 13 minutes because it wasn't worth wearing him down in a game that was out of reach.
- Collins: "We've got to get old, and we've got to get experienced."
- Collins on his young players: "Playing in a big game is great for them... I don't want them to get dispirited, because in the Big Ten, there can be nights like this." He compared it to coaching and even writing, saying that you're not going to be able to get good at something until you do a lot of it.
- Collins called the first week of the Big Ten season "successful."
- Collins: "We have to have Alex [Olah] in double figures."
- Collins: "I'd like to find a way to get into the mid-to-high-60s, and then rely on our defense."