Chris Collins was not a happy camper. Over and over, Collins referred to tonight "not being indicative of how we’ve been playing" and that Northwestern didn’t show enough "fight" or "energy." Here's what else he had to say:
- Collins couldn’t seem to put his finger on what was the problem for the Wildcats. Multiple times he expressed a need to "talk to his staff" to figure out how to re-motivate the team.
- Collins on the offense: Coming in, Collins said that NU has "been playing good offense," but tonight were "a step slow."
- Collins on effort: "For the first time tonight, I saw some guys with their head down." Said some guys "looked defeated." He put that on him though, saying "That’s on me to get the guys reenergized for this stretch run."
- On what this means for the future, Collins emphasized that NU "can’t let this become a trend."
- Collins mentioned that part of the reason his team slips into long droughts is that they can’t get to the foul line in the way a Branden Dawson can.
- Collins on switching to the 2-3: "We just wanted to see. We were trying to throw a different pitch at them"
- Collins brought the Taphorn and Cobb injuries as key. Said that those two players combined for 21 in East Lansing and that NU is "not so loaded, [so] it’s hard to recover."
- Collins hinted at possible Sunday returns for both Cobb and Taphorn. Said that Taphorn needed to "string some workouts together at 100%" and that Cobb remains a day to day option.
Tom Izzo also spoke postgame:
- Izzo saw the game pretty much the same way Northwestern fans did. He said that in the first half, Michigan State "might have played our best half of basketball" while "Northwestern played maybe its worst half."
- Izzo more or less conceded that MSU took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half: "We quit doing some things, I slowed it up a little bit, I’ve been in Chris’s shoes, we ran some clock"
- Izzo on Northwestern’s zone: "They do a great job of funneling in" said Michigan state were focused on :not passing in, but kicking out." Cited Clark’s threes as key to breaking it down.
- On Northwestern’s future, Izzo said that NU has "some good, young guys, some guys who are going to be back next year." Emphasizes momentum, saying "when you start winning you play better than you are, when you start losing you play worse than you are."
- Izzo mentioned a couple of times that he’s "been in Chris’s shoes" and that the second year at a program is about being competitive. He believes NU is "making progress" and "getting better players."