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March 1, 2018

Chris Collins

Scottie Lindsey

Bryant McIntosh

Dererk Pardon

New York, New York

Penn State - 65, Northwestern - 57

THE MODERATOR: Coach, an opening statement.

COACH COLLINS: It's always a tough night when your season ends. And I've been lucky to coach these guys sitting next to me over the last four years. And I couldn't have been more proud of the fight that we showed, undermanned, banged up. And we had every reason, even early in the second half, we had every reason to kind of lay down when they hit us with a little spurt. But that's not who these guys have been. I'm not surprised. We kept fighting.

We gave ourselves a chance, and then give Penn State credit, the under-4 timeout, it's a one-point game, they made two big 3s and got a couple of stops. They were able to get a charge on Scottie and hit two big 3s to get it to seven which was the separation in the game.

So I thought we played incredibly hard. I thought we gave ourselves a chance. They're a tough team to play against. Terrifically talented. Obviously Tony Carr is a great player and showed that with his 3-point shooting.

Although I'm disappointed to lose the game, I'm more disappointed I won't get a chance to coach these guys anymore.

Q. Bryant and Scottie, Chris is choked up, he's emotional. What's it like to hear him and what emotions are going through you now?
SCOTTIE LINDSEY: Kind of raw right now. I don't really know how to feel. Obviously this is not how we wanted the season to end. So I think we're all a little bit emotional.

But like Coach said, I appreciate all the guys fighting until the end, even everything didn't go the way it was supposed to or how we planned.

BRYANT MCINTOSH: Obviously it's disappointing how the season ends. Every year there's only one team that, as seniors, that you can go out as winners. Everybody else, you generally lose. There's not a lot of -- to end your career, you don't usually end up winning.

Obviously we didn't want to end it this early. It's the start of March. Not what we envisioned when we started the season. But I think all of us are just very emotional and upset that this is the last time we get to put on the jersey.

Q. Dererk, you and Barret were very productive on the interior today. What allowed you two to be so successful?
DERERK PARDON: I think Coach Collins put in a good offense to help us get in our spots where we practiced, so just getting the touches, our teammates saw it and I think that put us in good position to score the ball.

Q. Dererk, you're going to be a senior next year. What lessons have you learned this year and how will you apply that going forward?
DERERK PARDON: First off, I want to thank the seniors for everything they've done for the program, also me, taking me under their wings and just preparing me to be a senior, be a senior and I just want to thank them from the bottom of my heart.

And a lot of lessons was learned. We've been through a lot of ups and downs, just to stay level-headed and always put the work in and just be ready for the next obstacle.

Q. Bryant, the second half, I think, for the first 13 minutes Tony Carr didn't score. What happened at the end where he just kind of picked it up? Did he just feel it or what?
BRYANT MCINTOSH: They went to some of their favorite action and just got him in ball screens. And he obviously knew it was winning time, and he stepped up and got aggressive offensively and was just looking to make plays. To his credit, he did.

Q. Barret obviously showed a lot of life there. Why did you decide to start him and what did you think of his game?
COACH COLLINS: He played very well in our last game against Iowa. We had a big deficit in that game. And I thought he came in and just gave us a nice boost of energy. And I noticed that his size was a factor in the game, especially when he was with Dererk.

I think our main goal was we had a couple of days to figure out how can we win the game? And that's how I always approach it. Like, what can we do with what we're doing -- we have no Vic Law, Bryant is hurting. Like, what can we do to give ourselves a chance to win?

And I just felt like going with the two big guys playing a power game with Bryant being hurt with his shoulder and not having Vic would, especially with Watkins not playing, I thought it would give us a chance to maybe cause some problems for them.

I thought those guys played great together. I'm really proud of Barret. Throughout the course of the year he had his ups and downs, and he finished the year really strong, which I told him in the locker room afterwards should be a great motivator for him heading into the offseason now in the spring.

Q. Do you think that Scottie's fouling out with three minutes left sort of took the air out of the team that led to that Penn State run?
COACH COLLINS: It was a big play, yeah, it was a big play. And they're good officials. So he left his feet. I'd have to see a replay. I'm not sure if it was a charge or not. But that's what was called. And when you're only playing seven guys, you know, and your leading scorer goes out in the last four minutes in a four-point game, it's going to affect the team.

I think we tried to keep fighting. But I think they came down then and Carr hit a big three, long three, late in the clock. It was still a four-point game. When he hit that three to get it to seven and we didn't come down and we didn't score, that's when I noticed our guys, the wind in our sails start to go a little bit.

Q. Seemed like a recurring theme this year, you'd be right there at the end and the other team would pull away. Do you think that was because Bryant was banged up or what might be some other factors for that?
COACH COLLINS: Yeah, we have to be better in those situations. I don't want to put it on one guy. But I mean, yeah, the last few games kind of makeshift, different kinds of guys handling the ball and trying to figure out where to go to late in the games.

That's what you do at the games, like what Penn State do, you play to Tony Carr and you play through him and he makes plays. This season we didn't take advantage of those opportunities. We had our chances. We had a stretch there in the middle of the league, we were 6-6 and we lost three or four games in a row that were right there for the taking.

I think when we went through that stretch we lost confidence then we started losing players and bodies and made it tough.

But, again, I thought our guys' fight tonight -- I wasn't surprised and I was hoping this wasn't going to be the case -- but a lot of teams get to this point and they don't see a lot of hope, and you kind of just fade to black and you want the season to be over.

And I was proud that our guys didn't do that. I thought we came to fight. I thought we came to win. I thought we laid it on the floor, and Penn State just made more plays in the last four minutes. It was a one-point game, we're shooting a one and one to go up one. And I think we had one field goal the rest of the game.

So there's no question that's got to be something as we move forward, closing out games has got to be a focus of ours if we want to get back to where we want to go in this conference.

Q. This is -- your first recruiting class is done essentially. Despite the hardships, have you had a chance to put it in perspective what those guys have accomplished in the last four years?
COACH COLLINS: Absolutely, and I get it. It's always the focus on the now and the present. And none of us are happy about how our season went. None of us are excited about what we did this year. We're all very disappointed that we didn't have a better season.

But that being said, I told these guys in the locker room what they've accomplished over a four-year period is incredible. I mean, back-to-back 20-win seasons, getting to the Big Ten semifinals last year and the tournament, going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 70-whatever years, winning an NCAA Tournament game.

There's so many things that these guys, the notches on their belts, that they need to be proud of. And it stings right now because you always remember the moment you're in, but I'm confident, in time, that these guys will be extremely proud of what they accomplished.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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