"The problem with a bye-week is you have to anticipate going through a battle like tonight's game against Northwestern. We knew they were extremely talented. They have proven veterans and winners. They not only have a great system with a great coach, but they have a group of guys who make their system very good. I'm glad we had the preparation time for their system. At the same time, I was happy we were able to get some players healthy like Verdell. Tonight was all about finding away to get our 20th win, which we began talking about following the Illinois game. We wanted to be able to achieve that at home the next game because we have been through so much with the losses and record the past couple years. It's not a stat that people look at and believe it will earn our team anything, but the 20th win is a good benchmark for us. I'm glad we earned the win with some key defensive stops. We knew they were a good team and they changed defenses just as we wanted to change our defenses a lot. We had a lot of different strategies to deal with their lineups tonight. Again, for us to get the defensive stops we needed was key for us tonight because Northwestern is a high-powered offensive team. I thought our players did a good job of figuring out where the open shots would be. Sometimes the shots did not fall, but we wanted to play through Cody and Christian. We were bound and determined to get the ball inside to the post and the short corners against the zone. We probably passed up some 3's tonight and were not aggressive enough taking those shots, which may have hurt our three point percentage. Overall, we wanted to get the ball inside and get the ball to the line because they do not foul very often. The game fit the bill of 20 different wins and 20 different ways for us. There were a lot of great individual performances tonight. I thought Verdell responded well especially since yesterday was his first practice. He was very impressive in the second half and had eight deflections tonight. He also did a lot of great things defensively in a tightly contested game. It is gratifying to get a win like this, in a season like this, especially at home in the way that we did."
On the significance of getting the 20th win:
"I think the significance is mostly internal. There are a lot of teams this year that will get 20 wins, but that doesn't guarantee anything and we know that. I think the stat is prominent given we have seasons the past couple years of 20-plus losses. We owned the losses and there is no doubt about that. The losses have been brought up many different times. We have read and heard about our record from all over including recruits and recruiters. To get that 20th win for this group of seniors and everyone in the program is a very good benchmark for us. The 20th win is not an exclamation point by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a benchmark. We are proud of it and we plan to keep moving forward into the next win."
On what Indiana did differently the last 11 minutes to hold John Shurna to three points:
"We played different defenses. There were so many different things we did tonight based on their lineups. I think Cody showed a lot tonight and proved he is not just a big guy. He is a basketball player who happens to be very tall. He was on the perimeter tonight more than he has been all year. I thought he did great job tonight. Shurna is very difficult to guard, but I think our guys continued to focus and understand the individual matchups. Also, our players understood and were aware of the switching we needed to do tonight. I think the switching was very effective tonight. They have three guys on their team, Shurna, Sobolewski, and Crawford, who score and make the three's that they take. If they all three play well, you will probably lose the game. I think the defensive effort we had on Sobolewski tonight was equally important as the job we did on John Shurna the last 11 minutes of the game."
On Verdell Jones' play tonight:
"For a guy who has not been able to run up and down the floor until yesterday, I thought he played very well. I did not take Verdell out early in the first have because he missed a three. I took him out because we wanted to stretch Northwestern out more. I thought the way he played the second half is what you want every player to understand. If you are locked in defensively, it is going to carry over into your offense. That kind of play builds confidence. He was a big part of us getting some one-out, transition baskets, and some important passes. He was in a very good groove inside of the game. He was excellent against the zone and he made a huge basket to end the game. To me, to come back from the injury and have eight deflections is the most impressive thing to me."
Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody Opening Statement:
"They made big plays when they had to make big plays. First half, they had a nice run and we were stuck on 23 for a long time and we fought back a little bit but they still had a five point lead. We went through one in the second half after we changed things, it really helped us a lot. We took the lead and things were going pretty nicely and then they had a couple really good stops and certain guys on their team - [Verdell] Jones made a nice little baseline jumper off the bounce and then they hit that big three. We had 13 turnovers, we had eight in the first half. I think three of them were off offensive fouls, but we were forcing stuff too much. John [Shurna] and Drew [Crawford] seemed to be forcing the ball too much. They're you veteran guys that need to make plays, but I thought a couple times, it wasn't there yet. You have to go to the next thing, go to the next thing and make them guard you a little bit more. But, I thought their defense at the end didn't give us too many good looks."
On matching up against Indiana:
"You knew their team, [Cody] Zeller was going to have to guard somebody; he guarded Reggie [Hearn]. In the second half, [Tom] Pritchard was on Drew [Crawford] and we didn't take advantage of that the way we should have I didn't think. Because there were about four or five possessions there where I thought we should have gotten something better there with that match-up. Not just everything is a match-up, but you see that. As a coach, you're going back and forth trying to figure it out. What's this, what's that without making it like a pro thing."
On playing well in a loss:
"We've come close and played pretty decent basketball, but the turnovers are really bothering me because it's not like us in the last two games. There wasn't any pressure today. Purdue played [us] hard, go after them a little bit. But, these guys, you can learn your stuff and they can keep their bodies in front of you nicely. I just thought that we weren't getting enough out of some of the guys. I thought [Alex Marcotullio] wasn't giving us what he had to give us. JerShon [Cobb], I only played him a little bit, but I'll play him the next few games, I hope he can give us. I thought we were a little weak, definitely winded. John [Shurna] and Alex were definitely winded at the end. Maybe that resulted in some questionable possessions."
On taking away the 3-point shot:
"They only make about six. Their a high percentage team but they don't take as many as a lot of clubs. We weren't able to stop Zeller from scoring. He had a nice little stretch there and scored and then he had that nice two-dribble to his left. He's a good player and he made some really nice passes too."
On Cody Zeller:
"He's good. He's 6-11, he's very nifty in the post. In the first half, we had him isolated. We had him perfectly scouted, but he just goes by you. He gives a little shoulder and spins. He's got a shot for most situations within 15 feet I'd say. Nothing phases him that much. A lot of poise for a young guy."