Nov. 13, 2009
Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody
Opening Statement . . .
"Well, it's a good first game for us. Just setting up outside there, it was really good to see some students there, because I don't remember seeing students like the amount of students that were there tonight for a first game, so I was rally happy for that. It helps so much, it's incredible. Maybe this freshman class will get use to doing that, coming out and filling this place. I thought it was a nice first game for us; different guys contributed for us coming off the bench. We've been saying, that we've got some different guys that maybe haven't got that much time, but I liked our seventh, eighth, ninth man in there, I thought those guys did a good job tonight. Jeff Ryan did a good job when he was in there, Ivan (Peljusic) played nicely. Kyle (Rowley) came in and gave us some, I didn't except to use him so much, but he got some minutes and he was okay, he wasn't bad, which was good. And (Jeremy) Nash was terrific. I don't know if that's his first start, and I said last year that he probably should be starting, and I probably should have done it last year if tonight's any indication. So I'm just real happy, like I said I thought it was a pretty good team effort. Our zone, once we went to the 1-3-1, that really helped us. The game was sort of going back and forth there for a while, and then Coach (Mitch) Henderson said we should go to that now, and we did and it just seemed like Jeremy and Jeff were getting their hands on balls. Even when we didn't get a steal or something, I thought they were maybe a little bit off balance. But that's going to be a pretty good team, I think they have to get used to a few more new guys in there. But I liked the team, they played hard. We got to the foul line a lot, we were a little more aggressive after about 10 minutes. We tried to get the ball down to (Luka) Mirkovic early, and we were pretty effective doing that. I just thought it was a pretty good game for the opener."
On the play of Jeremy Nash . . .
"Someone said that his high (for scoring) was 12 before this, but I haven't been giving him that many minutes. He made his foul shots, he knocked down some big jumpers. I thought the ball was moving pretty well. And considering that Kevin (Coble's) not there, and Johnny Shurna was on the bench early, and Drew (Crawford) was on the bench early, different guys had fouls. I liked the way we played the last ten minutes of the first half, I really liked it."
On the switch to the 1-3-1 zone in the first half . . .
"I think it stopped some of their drives, they were getting some really nice drives from (Darion) Anderson. They were really tough to play head on, they're really tough, he and (Xavier) Silas. There were an awful lot of baseline drives, where they're getting it to the rim or handing it off to guys. So I think it slowed them down, and they were just a little more hesitant. For a stretch there it seemed like they just put their head down and were beating us, so we had to do something about that. Tonight (the zone) was effective."
On where points are going to come from this season. . .
"You know, I was kind of going back and forth between starting Ivan and keeping Jeremy coming off the bench, just because I like the way he comes in. Maybe Ivan will be an energy guy like Jeremy was last year, so I think those two guys will give us a little bit. I think Michael Thompson also, he missed a few shots tonight, but he's going to give us some points. It's just a different dynamic, and so we'll see. We're sort of doing it on the fly, because (Coble's injury) didn't happen three weeks ago, it happened three days ago. So, we've got to figure it out."
Northern Illinois Head Coach Ricardo Patton
"Hat's off to Northwestern, they really stepped up and played well, particularly with the news of (Kevin) Coble being out. I thought their guys really stepped up, which we expected them to do that. Initially I thought that we were playing well to start the game, then when Sean Kowal and Xavier Silas got into foul trouble and had to sit majority of the first half, that really hurt us."
On Northwestern's zone defense...
"Well it had an effect, particularly in the first half, again because of those two guys. When Sean Kowal and Xavier Silas were able to get back in during the second half I thought we did a nice job to start scoring at the basket, and that's primarily when Sean Kowal scored his buckets was in the second half against the zone, but at that point we had dug ourselves a hole that was pretty tough to get out of."
On game plan for a Coble-less team...
"It didn't alter it one bit. Sometimes that's a scenario where you know someone's going to step up and teams will sometimes play a lot more focused when they're missing one of their main, key players."