BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Chris Collins wasn't happy with the way his Northwestern team played Saturday in an 89-57 loss at Indiana, but lauded the Hoosiers and said they were a big reason for his team's struggles. It was Indiana's 12th straight win.
Here's what Collins and Northwestern players Tre Demps and Alex Olah said after the loss:
- Collins on the difficulty of preparing for Indiana: "You try the best you can to simulate their speed, especially from defense to offense... they shoot with confidence, they play with great pace, and we could never make it a game."
- Collins: "We're struggling to put it in the basket every which way. We're missing layups, we're missing open threes, we're missing free throws, and we gotta get in the gym and we gotta work that out. Certainly I can do a better job of trying to help... and coaching these guys up and building confidence, but at the end of the day, we gotta put it in the basket, and when you get your open looks, you have to make them
- Bryant McIntosh shot 2 of 12 from the field and scored just 4 points. Collins said he thought McIntosh's struggles were a combination of McIntosh uncharacteristically missing some shots and Robert Johnson and Indiana's defenders "getting into his legs."
- When asked if the defense was exposed today, Collins said: "They're doing this to everybody. When a team has five guys that spread you with shooters, and you can't control the dribble... but they've done that to everybody. So yeah, our defense was exposed, but [the six previous teams' defenses have been exposed too]." Collins said he thought it was more about Indiana than his own team's defense. "This is a hard team to guard, guys."
- Collins on his team on the defensive end: "We were in scramble mode. It was the dribble penetration. And it's not just Yogi [Ferrell], he's great at it, but they have a lot of guys driving the ball. Troy Williams is driving it, Johnson is driving it, Hartman's an underrated player. He puts it on the floor, he gets in there, he makes plays. When you have four or five guys doing that, you're constantly in rotation."
- Collins when asked about what Indiana did to limit Northwestern's role players in the first half: "Well they missed open shots." However (hat tip to Luke Srodulski for pointing this out), Aaron Falzon didn't attempt a shot in the first half.
- Collins on Olah: "It was good to see him play 20 minutes, especially in what was probably the fastest paced game we've played. For him to get 20 minutes and give us 19 points, hopefully that will be a real positive coming out of this game. And I thought Tre played much better."
- Collins said he will be using the two-big man lineup moving forward, but "we didn't do it much today, because it was just not a good matchup for it." Collins mentioned Michigan State and Purdue as two teams that it could work against. "I took a look at it for a couple minutes early [Saturday], and the game was just too fast, and we were down, so it was hard to impose our will with that lineup."
- Collins said Tre Demps got hit with a screen and got a stinger on the final play of the first half, but that the team's trainer said Demps was "good to go."
- Demps on the play he hurt his shoulder: "I was just trying to guard the ball, and not let Yogi get the ball up the court real fast, and the guy set the screen and I had no idea it was there and just got blindsided."
- Demps on his improved performance today: "I've just been practicing. Just keep pounding the rock."
- Demps on Indiana's defense: "They did a really good job of slowing down our initial movement, getting in passing lanes, and when that happens, it disrupts the flow of our offense. When we've been good in the past, we've been able to get into stuff and just flow. We weren't able to do that as much today. We're going to have to work on setting our cuts up and getting open so we can flow into our offense."
- Demps said he thinks Northwestern can learn from Indiana.
- Olah on his health: "I'm fine. Just a little bit sore." He added that he would probably have to take the day off on Sunday.