home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 18, 2017

Chris Collins

Bryant McIntosh

Vic Law

Salt Lake City, Utah

Gonzaga - 79 Northwestern - 73

THE MODERATOR: (Statement on Gonzaga-Northwestern game) With 4:57 remaining in this evening's second-round game between Gonzaga and Northwestern, the officials missed a rules violation when a Gonzaga defender put his arm through the rim to block the shot. Rule 9, Section 15, of the NCAA's Men's Basketball Rules Book covers Basket Interference and Goaltending. Article 2.a.3 states that basket interference occurs when a player reaches through the basket from below and touches the ball before it enters the cylinder. Replays showed the Gonzaga defender violated this rule, which should have resulted in a scored basket by Northwestern.

Subsequently, with 4:54 remaining in the game and based on bench decorum rules outlined in the rules book, a technical foul was assessed to Northwestern Head Coach Chris Collins for coming on to the floor to argue the non-call while the ball was in play.

COACH CHRIS COLLINS: Well, I'd like to congratulate Gonzaga. Tremendous team. Tremendous program. They deserve to be here and obviously it was a great challenge and they beat us today. Wish them well going forward.

Really proud of my guys. I thought we were a little shell-shocked early in the first half, for whatever reason. That led to the big deficit and we regrouped at half, we rallied together and the performance that our guys put in the second half was some of the best basketball I've seen us play all season long. And I was so proud of the guys to put the game pressure. I think we were down 22, cut it to 5, should have been 3. I guess with the statement from the NCAA, I'm not sure what all that means. All I know is I'm flying home. But it's nice. Thank you for the statement. Appreciate it. It should have been a three-point game. And the way we fought it was great. And we fought to the very end. We just came up a little bit too short. And the story of the game was the first half. It's hard to come back from 22 points, especially against a great team like Gonzaga.

Q. For either or both of you guys, what changed from the first half to the second half? Coach just mentioned you guys rallied around each other, but was there some sort of switch that just flipped or was there something else you were doing differently?
VIC LAW: I think the first half we didn't play like we should have. But we came out kind of dead. And then in the locker room at halftime the cornerstone of our program is never quitting, I don't care how much we're down or what the situation is. We never quit. And I think the guys rallied around each other and we just made more plays down the stretch.

Q. What changed in the second half defensively for you guys? Because it seemed like you brought a lot more energy, you turned it over pretty successfully in the second half versus the first.
BRYANT McINTOSH: I think we picked up a little bit our pressure and pushed them out on the floor a little bit and just -- we played desperate in the second half and because of that I think our activity caused them to turn it over and gave us some life.

Q. Not to keep talking about the second half, but what changed for you? It seemed like you were getting better looks, shots were falling a little bit more. Was Gonzaga not contesting as well the second half or what happened to get the open looks?
BRYANT McINTOSH: I think what first started it is we got a couple baseline 3's that kind of spaced the floor. They had to stretch the floor out and they couldn't converge as much on me. And then just trying to make plays and get back into the game. It was more me playing desperate and all of us playing desperate than it had anything to do with how they were guarding me or anything we made an adjustment on. We just were playing for our lives there.

Q. After Selection Sunday someone asked Coach Collins what he's going to remember, what he's going to reflect about this season, and he said we still have a lot of basketball ahead of us, I can't answer it now. I know it's super fresh, but what are you going to remember most about this season?
VIC LAW: Probably just this wave of excitement and joy that we've been on. I mean, I think coming out to start the season nobody really expected this team or this group to really amount to anything. And to play the way we did, to fight and to come on top like we did, I mean we made history in a way that has never been done at this university.

And I think what I'll remember most is just the love that I share with my teammates, man. This is such a special moment. I don't think I'll ever forget this for the rest of my life.

BRYANT McINTOSH: I would just say that the bond and togetherness that we have as a group to defy all the odds, all the talk around us and about us that was just so special. Coming into the year one of our Chicago papers told us we were -- that we would be the third best team in the Ivy League, and we proved that wrong right away. And just continued to build on it. We allowed other outsiders to motive us and it brought us together. And this group, with these seniors, losing them is going to be heartbreaking. But this is a group that will be connected for the rest of our lives because of all the things we accomplished.

Q. What do you think that comeback fighting so hard almost beating the 1 seed Gonzaga says about this team? And the state of Northwestern basketball now and then going forward?
VIC LAW: I think it just says a lot about us just as a group. We've been saying it in the locker room this whole time. I don't know what you guys have been saying, but we know we deserve to be here. And we played like it in the second half. We know we're a good team. We had all the pieces to be special. And next year I feel like this is just a building block, this is just a beginning. And I can't wait to see what the future holds.

BRYANT McINTOSH: I just can't thank the seniors enough to build this foundation. It's unfortunate that they can't be with us next year because I think the foundation that they set has put us in a position to be really special again next year. They started the ride and now it's just our job to carry it on. And we're going to miss them like crazy.

But I just think it shows that our program has been put into the right hands with our coach. I think he's the coach of the year. And then our players, our player development is just going to give us another year to get better. And I think next year we'll be a really, really good team.

Q. You were the last player to leave the court, hugging people, saying thanks to the fans. What was going through your head in those moments?
VIC LAW: I just think that we were doing a great job of coming out and giving us support and giving the team such great energy. In all these games I feel like Northwestern has had the most fans. We've had the best atmosphere of the teams. And when you get all your famous alumni to come back and support you, when you get all the previous teams to come back and watch the games, I just feel like the fans were so special and that they were right in the game with us. I think as much as we deserved, the fans were flying out here and giving us as much love as they did deserve just as much credit as we do.

Q. I'll ask you the same thing I asked them, what are you going to remember most about this season? I know it's still super fresh.
COACH CHRIS COLLINS: Just the heart of the guys. Like a lot of teams have. But everything that was thrown our way all year, we just tackled it. We lost Aaron Falzon and Rapolas before the season started. We lost Pardon for eight games. We lost Scottie right when we were playing our best. And we just kept fighting. These guys, there was no quitting. And it showed even tonight. A lot of teams would have rolled over at halftime. It wasn't going well. We weren't playing well. They were clicking on all cylinders, you're down by 20. And our guys refused to go down like that.

To me, the second half tonight is who that group was all year long. I loved coaching them. I told them in the locker room. They took me on an amazing ride this year. You're lucky as a coach when you get a special group of guys that just buy in and they're all in and they just want to win. There's no agenda other than just wanting to win. We were a really together group. And it just stinks. That's the part of the tournament that's really hard, because you're playing, you're preparing, you're in a game. And then that last buzzer -- the finality of the NCAA tournament is really tough. And obviously it was a sad locker room and emotional locker room because we wanted to keep playing.

Q. Tough to know, but will you walk out of here tonight thinking that that technical changed the outcome of the game?
COACH CHRIS COLLINS: I don't know. The technical or the goal tend, I don't know. You guys saw it. I mean it would have been a three-point game. We had all of the momentum. The guy puts his hand through the rim. It's a very easy call, in my opinion. But it's an honest mistake. Referees are human beings, they're here for a reason, because they're outstanding officials. They made the calls. We have to live with them.

Do me in my heart think if Dererk gets that call and we cut it to three, we have a great chance to win? Yes, I believe we had a great chance to win if the correct call was made.

Q. The technical, I'm guessing it must have just been a reaction, but is that going to sit with you for a while?
COACH CHRIS COLLINS: Yeah, I guess. If I see a guy from another team put his hand through the rim and block a shot going through the basket I'm going to react to it if the play isn't called. I'm a human being, too. I think all of you would. A guy puts his hand right through the rim and blocks the shot. To me that's a goal tend. Of course, that cuts it to three. We're all emotional. We're coming back from 20 down.

They made the calls. It is what it is. They issued a statement. I appreciate the apology. It makes me feel great. (Laughter.)

Q. Your perspective of Gonzaga moving ahead. They have not gotten over the Final Four hump. You have experience in getting a team over a different kind of hump. Is there some sort of perspective you can bring to that and an assessment how you think they'll do?
COACH CHRIS COLLINS: I really like their team. I think they have all the components of being good in March. And they've shown it. They've been really good all year. You saw tonight their depth. Their two big guys, Tillie and Collins coming off the bench. They went the last six minutes with those two kids on the floor. Melson coming off the bench and giving them great minutes. They have a lot of depth. They have great guard play. Nigel Williams-Goss is a terrific point guard. With the size of Karnowski and the other big guys down there, they have shooting it there. They have all the components.

I was very impressed with their defense. I saw it on film. But especially in the first half I was impressed with their physicality on the perimeter, ability to guard the ball and take us out of our stuff. To me there's no reason -- they're good enough to get there, there's no question about it. We've played a lot of good teams this year, we play in a top-notch league. And they have all the components to do it. The road is tough. It's very hard to get there. You need a little luck. You have to play well. You have to fight through a tough game in one of these games. But there's no doubt in my mind that they have all the components to be a team that go to the Final Four.

COACH CHRIS COLLINS: Yeah, I don't know, I think experience plays into it. I think the fact that they have a lot of veterans out there that have lost at this level. They've been to the tournament every year. So I just see a resolve in their team. There's -- it seems like they have great leadership. Obviously Mark is one of the best coaches in the country. And for them it's just going to be getting to San Jose and going out there and making the plays. I don't think there's any magic formula to do it other than you've got to go out and play and you have to make the plays to win.

Q. A lot of talent coming back, some talent coming in. Is it the challenge, then, to replicate this vibe, this kind of chemistry?
COACH CHRIS COLLINS: Yeah, I think you've got to be real careful. Because I tell the guys all the time, even if you have a lot of guys returning, no two teams are ever the same. We'll be a different team next year. Hopefully better. But I can't say that right now. We've got to get in the gym. We've got to get better, skill development has to be huge. I think some of our guys got to continue to get stronger and more physical and more athletic.

I think it's going to be a big summer for all of our returning guys. And we're going to lose a lot with Sanjay and Nate. Their leadership, Sanjay's toughness.

You've got to be real careful where you just think because a lot of guys are back, it's going to be the same. And we've got to make it that way. Guys have to really -- we'll have a good off season. I know this one stings. This was a tough loss, especially the way we made the run. I thought our guys felt like we were right there to maybe get the game late. But it's going to be a big off season for all of us and hopefully we'll come into next fall a better team and better because of this experience.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297