IOWA CITY, Iowa — After a third-straight blowout loss, this time to No. 3 Iowa, Northwestern head coach Chris Collins and players Scottie Lindsey and Tre Demps spoke to the media. Here's what they had to say:
- Collins: "Every time we tried to put a little pressure, they just responded with great runs. In the first half, it was 18-18, and they hit us with a burst. We got in foul trouble, had to go to our bench, and that's where Jarrod [Uthoff] got going. He's a special player, a unique player, can hurt you in a lot of different ways."
- Collins said he was proud of how his team responded coming out of halftime, but pinpointed the consecutive second half defensive lapses when Northwestern left Peter Jok open on the left wing as the moment when the game sort of slipped from Northwestern's grasp. "I still don't know how we did it," Collins said of losing Jok. "We didn't communicate... I don't know if our guys were talking about the turnover, or not getting back. And with a really good shooter, it only takes one shot... all of a sudden his eyes lit up."
- Collins said the gameplan was to try to stick with Jok and Uthoff. "I thought we did that pretty well with Peter in the first half, not so good with Jarrod. We lost him a bunch. And then in the second half we lost Jok. If you're going to be competitive with a really good team, you can't let two of the top five scorers in the league combine for 50 points."
- Collins on switching to a man defense late in the first half. "We were trying to match up more, because we weren't talking well and we were losing guys, so we were in more of a switching man just to try to be accountable for guys a little bit better. I thought it worked to a certain extent."
- Collins on what made Iowa's three-quarter-court press difficult to break: "Their length. It's hard to [emulate] that in practice... They play it well, they're disciplined, but also their length with Jok, and Uthoff, and Woodburry, and Uhl. Those are big long guys, and they cover up a lot of ground. You practice against it, and then you get out there and those guys are a lot bigger than what you practice against."
- Collins on wanting to emulate Iowa: "I've said it all along, this is one of the programs I've used. I've known Franny. I was a ball boy when he was a player at the University of Pennsylvania. I was a kid and I used to watch him play, back when he was White Magic. So I've known him since I was a little guy, and we've been family friends, and I've always admired the jobs he's done at every place... You gotta recruit the right guys, you gotta get a guy who's under the radar that you believe in, and you work with him, and you develop him. Now you see the fruits of that labor."
- Collins on whether enduring this tough four-game stretch helps or hurts his team: "You gotta hope that it helps. The last couple games have been tough, because we got a little bit beaten down... These last three, we've been manhandled a little bit by better, more experienced teams. I can't allow this to beat us down, [I can't let it] seep into the rest of our schedule. And I said this going into this stretch, we gotta do our best to steal a game. We weren't able to do that, but we can't let the fact that we got beat pretty badly knock us back now as we head into our next stretch of games. Hopefully we can learn from these games."
- Collins said Scottie Lindsey, who scored 15 points but picked up a technical foul, "played with the energy that I'd like to see out of him. His body language was good. I thought he played hard. We so desperately could use his scoring... I didn't like what he did with the official, that's why I took him out. There's no place for that. But overall, I was really proud of how he played."
- On multiple occasions, Bryant McIntosh tugged his shirt, a signal to Collins that he needed a breather. Collins on McIntosh: "He's gotta play heavy minutes. So I used our timeouts, I got him out a couple times. I tell him to tell me when he needs [a break]... Certainly we need him to play really well... I thought Iowa did a good job on Bryant, they made him pass the ball, he wasn't able to get free for shots."
- Lindsey on Iowa's press: "I thought we were kinda timid with the ball. I don't think their press was that intimidating, we just weren't confident with the ball."
- Lindsey on what makes Jok so difficult to defend: "He can shoot. He can drive. And he got a lot of calls too."
- Demps on Iowa's offense: "They did a good job cutting. You gotta give them a lot of credit. They were getting lost in our zone, and we were having a hard time matching up with guys."
- Demps on breaking Iowa's press: "Everybody was a little bit weak with the ball. In the press, you gotta be decisive. Everybody on our team at some point, including myself, was a little hesitant."
- Demps: "We played a little bit better offensively, but we gotta be a lot tougher. At the end of the day, that's what the problem is."