EVANSTON -- Following Northwestern's 77-35 victory over Chicago State, Cougars head coach Tracy Dildy and Wildcats head coach Chris Collins, and Northwestern players Tre Demps and Nate Taphorn spoke on how they were able to move to 8-1 on the season:
Chicago State head coach Tracy Dildy
- On the game, Dildy said, "I'd like to apologize for that performance out there... Our goal is to win the WAC, win the conference tournament and go to the NCAA Tournament. We scheduled the schedule the way we did because we think it will prepare us well for the conference and we need to raise money from those guaranteed games."
- "That is an NCAA Tournament team... That's one of the 68 I have in." Dildy says Northwestern, to him, is getting close to the level of No. 4 Iowa State, a team Chicago State played earlier this season.
Northwestern head coach Chris Collins
- On Chicago State shooting just 1-19 on threes: "What I loved tonight was our defense. The emphasis coming into the game was defending the three-point line."
- On the slow start to the game offensively: "A little bit brain dead offensively in the first half... I thought at halftime we regrouped."
- Collins said he has really liked Northwestern's assist rate this season. According to KenPom, coming into the game, Northwestern was 22nd in the nation in the number of assists per field goal made. That number will surely improve, as the Wildcats assisted on 24 of their 29 field goals Sunday.
- Collins highlighted the play of Nate Taphorn and Jordan Ash off the bench and also praised Sanjay Lumpkin's timely shooting and defense.
- On the injury to Joey van Zegeren: "We're not going to have Joey for a couple weeks and that's going to be a loss for us." Collins added that the foot is not broken and that he hopes to "have him for the start of the Big Ten season."
More on van Zegeren's injury here.
- On the team's struggles to get center Alex Olah the ball in the post consistently: "We drill post entry every day... but guys are a little gun shy... We have to keep practicing it every day. Alex has to keep demanding it... When a big guy screams at you to throw him the ball, usually you get him the ball."
- Demps said getting the ball in to Olah is all about timing: "You've got to go to him when he has his man sealed off... that's something that we're going to need going into the next game."
- On shooting what Collins calls the "right" threes: "I think today we took some threes that we shouldn't have... The right threes come out of the post... when the right threes come around, you've got to knock them down."