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Northwestern-Wisconsin Press Conference Notes from Collins, Gard, Lumpkin, McIntosh

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Collins was especially proud of this effort

Chris Collins

- "I'm just really proud of my guys tonight," Collins said. "To me, it felt like an old-fashioned Big Ten game." Collins added that last year Wisconsin sometimes didn't play a style like this because they had so much talent.

- Northwestern managed to win despite only hitting four threes. "I know a lot of people don't think we can win without making threes, but I guess we can."

- Nigel Hayes had a well-rounded effort against the Wildcats, often getting good position and either scoring or picking up assists. "The last seven minutes of the game, basically, I just told Sanjay 'no more matchup zone. You're on Hayes wherever he goes.'"

- Collins said he thought Northwestern could take advantage with the pick and roll similarly to how Duke did in the National Championship. "I thought Bryant [McIntosh]  getting three of them early really opened up the defense. Then we started getting some lobs.

- McIntosh was head and shoulders above the rest of the players on the court. "He was just magnificent. People don't start realizing this is one of the best— forget about guards— he's one of the best players in the Big Ten. This kid is an elite, elite player."

- Collins thought the players can take away a lot of lessons from the final few minutes, calling it a "learning opportunity."

- Collins was in a Northwestern basketball t-shirt in the press conference rather than his normal suit because he was sweaty from trying to pump up the crowd. "Sometimes I feel they need my energy out there. It was a hard-fought game and those guys know I have their back and my staff has their back."

- Gavin Skelly will be in what Collins jokingly called a "WWE mask" for a while after breaking his nose versus Minnesota. Collins added he thought Skelly played very well.

- Collins said his team's play through five games has been up and down. "We've played really well at times, we've struggled at times."

- With Northwestern down one at the under-8 timeout, it scored six straight points coming out of the huddle, telling his players to "just hang in there." He added, "You know that when you play those guys it's gonna be a 40-minute game."

Greg Gard

- Gard said Dererk Pardon had a big impact being able to establish position down low and grabbing offensive rebounds. The Wildcats gathered 11 offensive boards.

- McIntosh is "a really good player. And he's always been." Gard added his young big men were no match for Northwestern's sophomore point guard and McIntosh is on the level of Yogi Ferrell and Melo Trimble.

- Gard credited Northwestern's defense for limiting Bronson Koenig, who went 3 of 9. "[Tre] Demps just wasn't gonna leave him."

Players

Our favorite quote was from McIntosh at about the 6:08 mark, when asked about flexing in the second half: "I was just mad I didn't get the and one, and my emotions got the best of me and yeah.. I didn't really flex I just kind of threw my arms up in a flexing motion, you know? I didn't want to pull out the guns. It's a game."