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Northwestern vs. Wisconsin postgame press conference notes

The Wildcats were upset, but looked ahead.

Credit: Studio N

Northwestern (23-11, 10-8 Big Ten) fell 76-48 to Wisconsin (25-8, 12-6 Big Ten) on Saturday, ending the Wildcats’ Big Ten Tournament run. The Wildcats, playing their third game in as many days, were overmatched from the opening tip, especially at the offensive end; Northwestern had just one assist at halftime and finished with just five on the day. Here’s what coach Chris Collins and point guard Bryant McIntosh had to say after the game:

Chris Collins

  • On how the game went: “I thought early in the game, both teams were kind of struggling to get a rhythm early. I thought their ability to beat us in the hustle stats was big, offensive rebounds, loose balls. They were good. Their big guys were tremendous. They made shots, 12 threes. That's why they're a championship-level program.”
  • On his own team’s play: “For us, we just never could get in a rhythm. I thought we had some shots early in the paint. We needed to see it go in a little bit to find some energy. We just weren't able to do that.”
  • On the difficulties of playing Wisconsin: “Wisconsin notoriously is a team that takes care of the ball. It's not as easy to turn them over. I mean, they're playing all seniors out there. They have guys who played in these games their whole careers. They understand the stage. They're poised. They're tough.”
  • On his extended postgame handshake with Wisconsin coach Greg Gard: “I was just wishing him luck. Yeah, they're a great team. I have great respect for their program and him as a coach. I wished him luck for tomorrow, wished him luck in the NCAA tournament. I've talked all along how much I respect their program. We've emulated, tried to do what they've done. It was more just well wishes.”
  • On Northwestern potentially making the NCAA Tournament: “If that happens tomorrow night, I think there will be a lot of happy people, which makes me happy. I love Northwestern. I love the people, the community, the fans. Everybody has really embraced us, embraced this team. I know it's a long time coming for a lot of people that followed the program for a lot of years. Hopefully there will be a lot of joy.”
  • On his team, should it go to the Big Dance: “I'll be most happy for the players, though. Those are the guys that have earned this right. They're the ones that have gone out there and performed night in and night out, losing key guys throughout the year, Pardon, Lindsey, for extended periods of time. Just finding a way to win, be effective in this league, get to the semifinals of the conference tournament. It will make me happy to see a lot of smiles and hopefully excitement on people's faces. For our guys, a lot of the guys came here because they wanted to be a part of the first -- not just the first tournament, but a first of a lot of milestones that this team has been able to accomplish, which they deserve.”

Bryant McIntosh

  • On what went wrong offensively: “We didn't do a very good job of sharing the ball either. We only had a couple assists for the entire game. That's something we have to be better with. When we cause them to collapse, we got to share it. They did a great job of trying to take our stuff away. It's a credit to them.”
  • On the mindset going forward: “We’ll think about this loss. We'll have to sit on this one until we figure out what our next game is. If we're fortunate enough to get our name called, then it's time for us to move on once that happens.”
  • On his first significant Big Ten Tournament run: “I think we handled it fairly well. It's so much about when you get this late into the tournament, it's about energy. It's about effort. We didn't have enough of either today.”