Northern Illinois 77, Augustana 63 (EXHIBITION)
DeKalb, Illinois * NIU Convocation Center
Postgame Quotes * 11-5-07
NIU Head Coach Ricardo Patton:
Does it feel like a 14-point victory tonight?
"Well we were up big for most of the first half. In the first half I tried to reward guys for playing time so there were some groups of guys that were not used to playing with each other so play got sloppy from time to time and that's my fault. The second half we knew they would come out hard. In order for us to be a good team, we have to be able to win some games that are not pretty. You just have to be able to do that. We are not going to blow teams out either. You just have to know how to grind it out and win the ballgame."
Did Mike Hart establish himself well?
"He is a work in progress. He has got to be a quick study. He's going to get better and better the more games he can get under his belt. There is no way you can play two years at the Rec and then step out onto the floor and play in Division I basketball competitively. There is no way. We expect him to be ready by January."
NIU senior forward Michael Hart:
"Augustana was a very physical team and they played harder than we expected. That is how they play. They try to slow the game and the tempo down and they try to get more physical. I just tried to use my athleticism to my advantage to get some easier baskets."
On defensive status:
"I may be a little bit too aggressive from time to time. I am really excited to be out there during the game. Sometimes I guess I was being a little bit too aggressive. The coaches and I are going to try to get this corrected."
Did the game feel closer than 14 points?
"No it does not feel like a 14-point game. It was a lot closer than 14 points. Both teams were very aggressive. Augustana just stuck with us the entire game and were breathing down our necks. We had to make sure we kept the lead, so they put a lot of pressure on us tonight on both sides of the ball."
NIU senior guard Ryan Paradise:
How were you feeling out there on the court?
"I was feeling pretty good. I mean everybody has their bumps and bruises. I am still trying to figure out just like everyone where I fit in the system. Coach has really stressed to play in the passing lanes on defense and that is just what I try to do."
On the turnovers tonight:
"They were just our bonehead plays. I think I made some passes that were just uncharacteristic. I think everyone was trying to force it a little too much tonight. That is just what happens when you get excited to play ball every night."