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Northwestern vs. Mississippi Valley State post-game press conference notes

Coach Chris Collins, Vic Law, and Scottie Lindsey addressed the media following the Wildcats’ 94-63 win to open the season

Will Ragatz - Inside NU

Chris Collins:

  • “Its always an honor to play on veterans day... The greatest team on earth is the United States military and it’s incredible to play in front of the people who have served our country.”
  • On nerves tonight: “Guys have been waiting a long time to play this game. For us to come out and play the way we did early I thought was really good. We came out and attacked and were aggressive.”
  • On Benson : “It was hard to get him in the game tonight because they were playing five guards, tonight wasn’t a night for him but other nights will certainly be his night.”
  • On Sanjay Lumpkin’s performance: “It was prototypical in terms of his blocks, rebounds and his scoring tonight.”
  • On Aaron Falzon and his limited minutes: “ He has been dealing with some knee issues but is doing everything he can to be out there and help this team. Hopefully we can get him healthier as we head into the gut of the season.”
  • On Vic Law: “He was really nervous in our exhibition game, he hadn’t played in a year and a half and I’m so glad we had that game to get it out of his system. We all talked to him about relaxing and playing his game, and he played with a smile on his face tonight. Just to see him relaxing and having fun playing basketball, I knew he was going to have a good game.”
  • On Isiah Brown: “If you score 2700 points in high school, you gotta have some swagger. It’s not a bad thing that he believes he’s really good. With a guy like that you’re gonna have to live with mistakes at times, but he’s a guy who can change a game and get you 10 quick points, it’s very similar to what Tre did coming off the bench my first year here.”
  • On sharing the ball: “We have to do that to be good. We’re not really a one on one team so we have to be a function of cutting and movement. When we did those things our offense looked great. We’re at our best when we’re moving the ball, cutting, screening, and getting everyone on the floor shots. We have a real unselfish team.
  • On Lindsey and Skelly’s trip to Croatia: “It was great, one of our coaches was there with a couple of our guys who got to play and go to a place around the world that they never would have been to. I view Gavin as a starter. He’s a big part of what we’re doing, can score in the post, hit 3s, block shots and rebound. I love what he’s bringing to the table for us. I always felt that when we got Gavin and Scottie that those guys would be ready to be impact guys by their junior years.”
  • On Jordan Ash: “He’s a glue guy, I view him as a Sanjay-like player in the backcourt. He has toughness, defense, you can play him at the point and at the two. It was hard to get him in the game tonight but that’s a good problem for a coach to have, to have guys that deserve to play sitting on the bench.”
  • On not getting too excited for the season opener: “We really tried to talk to the guys this morning about not playing the game until 7 o’clock. We did a good job of that.”
  • “Vic was the first guy that said he wanted to come here and I’ll always be endebted to that. For him to be that first guy to be a part of what I was pitching was really special. I think because of that he puts extra pressure on himself a lot of times to be everything for everyone. He doesn’t have to be anything more than what he did tonight. High energy athlete who plays on both ends, can make shots, is versatile and can rebound.

Vic Law:

  • On his steal and dunk early on: “I felt relieved. Last week my steal and dunk was pretty bland but this week it fired people up more.”
  • On what he gained from his year out: “A new appreciation for the game. I’m hungry to be out there now and help my teammates.”
  • On what he sees as his role in the offense this year: “Take shots when I’m open. We got the B-Mac for the dime thing going on so that’s driving what we do. I’m going to take my shot when I’m open and when the opportunity is there to create and try to make a play I’ll take it.”
  • On his failed attempt at a second alley-oop slam: “Man I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you what happened. I wanted that one so bad though (laughs)”
  • On what it’s like to play with McIntosh: “The feel of the game is so much more relaxed when he’s out there. When you play with him all you gotta do is make the shot when you’re open because he’s going to find you.”
  • On how he has changed mentally since his freshman year: “My first year there were a lot of peaks and valleys. I put a lot of pressure on myself to play well. Now after sitting a year out I have really relaxed and settled down. My team has confidence in me to go out and just play my game.”
  • On his relationship on the floor with classmate Scottie Lindsey: “Me and Scottie really traded minutes our freshman year. Now its great that we get to play together because we feed off of each other. I complement what he does well and vice versa. Thankful to be able to play with him again.”

Scottie Lindsey:

  • On how his trip to Croatia over the summer helped his game: “Coach (Patrick) Baldwin let me run point guard, the guards out there play really physical so I learned a lot about how to run an offense and ball handle under pressure.”
  • On what he has added offensively this season: “I’m looking a lot more this year to score out of the post and playmaker out of the post, that’s something that I really refined in my game this off-season.”
  • On Vic Law’s return: “Vic’s my first friend here, my freshman year roommate, its fun having him back on the court. He’s so athletic and having him by me is fun.”
  • On his 13-point first half: “I was ready to shoot. I knew that drive and kicks would be open so I stayed ready to shoot and they went in.”
  • On the source of his improvement: “Confidence came form me meeting with the coaches and them telling me I needed to be better as a teammate and a leader. Now they trust me more and I’m getting more playing time.”
  • On his mentorship of Freshman Isiah Brown: “Me and Isiah talk all the time. I always try to give him confidence because I know he can put the ball in the hoop.”