Northwestern coach Chris Collins said after Northwestern's loss to Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament that the Wildcats will not be participating in the CBI this year.
"Nothing against any other those tournaments, but it's time to be done with this year," Collins said. "It's time to get our legs under us."
Collins said that they talked about it with the players, and that while they probably wish they could play more, they know that it's time to move on.
"To play in a tournament like that, it can bring a lot of positives, but you've also gotta be revved up," he said.
Collins cited the physical and emotional tear of the season, the academic calendar and the practices as a result of the foreign trip as reasons to not accept a bid.
NU finishes the season 15-17 and 6-13 in the Big Ten. The decision was left up to Collins, but he decided that it would be best to move on to next season and begin development for the young guys.
Update: Here are Collins' full quotes on the decision:
- "We're going to be done for the season. Nothing against any of those tournaments, just we're ‐‐ it's time for us to start getting ready for next year. The finality of ‐‐ we're a little bit banged up, everybody is, and we wanted to put everything into this tournament and see where it could lead for us. It's time for our guys to get a little rest, and then we need to get to work. Really with the way our academic calendar is, we get an extended spring to work with our guys because of it being on the quarter system. We're in school longer and we can work with our guys, which is big.
"This is a huge off‐season for our program. I really feel our talent level is up where it's been, but now we have to develop. We have to get a lot stronger. We have to get a lot tougher physically and mentally, and then we have to develop our skills, everyone. A lot of times you see the biggest area of growth from a freshman to a sophomore,and with five guys in that class, to me it's a huge growth summer for them, but it's a growth summer for the returning guys, for Sanjay and Taphorn as sophomores and for Demps and Olah as seniors.
"The guys coming back, it's going to be a huge off‐season. For us it's time to get going with that. We feel good about what we did, and we wanted to put everything into this tournament and see what we could accomplish. You know, it's time to put this season to bed and get our legs underneath us and get ready for the future."
- On whether the players had any say in the decision: "I think [the players] are wishing there was more basketball. [But] I think they know that it's time. Yeah, I mean, we talked about all those things. Ultimately, that's my and my staff's decision. I just feel like it's time to move forward. We've got a lot of banged‐up guys. We've got older guys who are banged up. To play in a tournament like that, it can bring a lot of positives, but also you've got to be revved up and you've got to really embrace it ‐‐ for us, we're a little bit of a different calendar than most, and we're also going to have a foreign trip this summer. For us we're going to get those practices this summer. We're going to get games this summer.
"I felt like where we are, the pulse of our team, physically, emotionally, it's time to shut it down, and I think they all support me in that decision."