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Northwestern-Rutgers press conference notes

Coach Chris Collins, Vic Law and A.J. Turner address the home loss.

NCAA Basketball: Rutgers at Northwestern Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Collins

Opening statement: “I thought we played very hard. Rutgers played very hard as well, which they always do. I thought we got off to a good start...we just had droughts again offensively. I want our guys to continue to be confident. They made a conscious effort to take away Dererk Pardon...they weren’t going to give him any open opportunities and in order to loosen that coverage up you’ve gotta make jump shots. It’s frustrating, I really feel for the guys. We had the ball right at the rim to take the lead with 10 seconds to go with the guy we want to have the ball in Vic. It just didn’t go in. There’s going to be no quit in our team. We’re going to get it together tomorrow and try to put a gameplan together for Saturday.”

On the second half scoring drought: “If you hold teams in this conference in the 50s, your defense is pretty darn good. It was not about our defense, it was about our inability to score the ball. A lot of times it’s a make or miss type deal. The other night we made those shots and scored 79 at Iowa. Your defense is grinding, grinding, grinding and you have to put the ball in the basket.”

On the last called-play: “It was one of our favorite out of bounds plays and he got in, turned the corner and he’s right in the middle of the lane. I will take that shot all day. That’s exactly what we wanted to run and I thought we got a great look.”

On the mood in the locker room: “They’re down. They work really hard, they put the time in and when you go out there and you fight and you come up short...it’s tough. Immediately after a game I don’t want to say too much. This is an unforgiving league...no one’s going to feel sorry that we’re struggling to score at times. We’ve got to figure it out.”

On the difference in rebounding from the Iowa game: “They’re big, as Iowa was too. I thought we did a better job in the Iowa game of gang rebounding. I thought we got a little bit spread out tonight which gave their guys a little more room to keep balls alive. They did an outstanding job being able to get those 12 offensive rebounds.”

On the team’s confidence: “[They’re playing with confidence] at times. I thought they did in the Iowa game. One thing I want them to do is not have it be predicated on making your first shot. Stay confident even if you miss your first couple. I think at times when it hasn’t gone well early, we have a tendency to get a little inward, all of us. You really only have two choices: you can lay down on the season, or you can dig down and fight.”

On adjustments to free up Pardon: “You try to get him to attack early, you try to get it to him in transition, but they did a good job. Every time he caught it he had two guys 6-foot-11 smothering him. That’s where I thought we got some open looks on the weak side. We just weren’t able to make the shots tonight to loosen up the double teams down low.”

Vic Law and A.J. Turner

Law on the missed layup: “I just saw an open lane and missed the layup.”

Turner on what it was like in the locker room: “We know the opportunity we have with seven games left...we gotta focus on Nebraska, come back and work tomorrow, and just try to go get that win.”

Law on practice the last two days: “We ran our motion offense again to try to get some of our guys open off curls and stuff but, it doesn’t matter what offense you run you just have to run hard and execute when it’s time to execute it.”

Turner on the Pardon double teams: “The last time we played them they said they made an adjustment at half time to try to take him away because he’s obviously a big threat. I think we did a good job of trying to get him in positions to score when the defense was trying to take him away.”