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March 11, 2011

Bill Carmody

John Shurna

Michael Thompson


Ohio State – 67
Northwestern - 61 (OT)

COACH CARMODY: Well, you know, very tough, tough loss for us. You know, I thought as a team we did what we wanted to do going in and executed the way we wanted to at both ends. You know, just weren't able to quite get it done. In the first half they got a lot of offensive rebounds, which hurt us, and I thought our defense was good, but that's part of defense.
In the second half I thought we played well. You know, it's a very good -- we're trying to stop their three-point shooting, and I think we did a pretty good job at that. That was our strategy when we played them in Evanston and again tonight.
We just weren't able to do it in the last minute of regulation and then in the overtime. They kept throwing it down to Sullinger, and we just weren't able to contain him.

Q. Talk about your emotions right now, pushing the top-ranked team to overtime but not being able to pull it out.
MICHAEL THOMPSON: It's a very disappointing loss. Obviously we came down here to win it, not just to play teams close. You know, but we just have to move past it. It's definitely going to be a long bus ride back to Evanston, but just have to move past it and focus on the next postseason.
JOHN SHURNA: Like Mike said, I think we didn't come here to come close. We came here to win. It's just really disappointing.

Q. Michael, where would you rank Aaron Craft among the defenders that you've faced this season?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: I think Aaron Craft is a pretty good defender just like every other guard throughout the country as well as the Big Ten. All the guards in the Big Ten play physical defense, and I think he's just like every other guard.

Q. Juice, take us to that moment where Luka picks up the technical foul and it looked like you didn't know what had happened at first and then you approached him and patted him on the chest. What was going on there?
MICHAEL THOMPSON: I wasn't aware of what happened, and then when I found out I just approached him and told him to keep his head and not to lose his cool like that, that we need him in the game. He fouled out after that, so I was just trying to talk to him and support him a little bit.

Q. For both players, obviously you're really hoping for an NIT bid here. What would it mean if you guys are able to make that tournament?
JOHN SHURNA: It would be great for our school, but at the same time I think, especially with Juice as a senior, we were really hoping to do well at this tournament. So it's disappointing we won't be -- probably won't be playing in the NCAA Tournament, but hopefully it'll be good for our school and for the program to make the NIT.
MICHAEL THOMPSON: Like John said, just very disappointed that we don't have the chance to make the NCAA Tournament, but it would be huge for our program to make it to the NIT. Everyone on the team, we're not giving up, there's still a championship to be won, so we're still going to stay focused, continue to work hard and try to win the NIT championship.

Q. Obviously Luka feeds off emotion. We've talked about it for years. That particular moment, he said he wasn't complaining about the ref, but was it a legitimate technical foul call, do you think?
COACH CARMODY: Yeah, you just can't make that showy kind of maneuver, so the ref is not there to interpret whether you did it because you're upset with yourself or with him. He just sees the action.

Q. Was that just maybe a build-up of the frustration of guarding a guy like Sullinger throughout a game?
COACH CARMODY: You know, I'm not too sure to tell you the truth. Just in that moment, build-up or no build-up, but in that moment he certainly didn't do what he should be doing.

Q. Do you think then that technical just kind of took the wind out of your sails and that was kind of like the final nail in the coffin, or was there something else?
COACH CARMODY: No, he missed both foul shots, didn't he? And that -- I think we had a chance to win it in regulation, and they played real good defense the last couple -- we had one real good shot, an open look for Drew on the left wing, left sort of like elbow, a little further out. Not a three, but really good look uncontested, and I think we were up two at the time and that would have stretched it out a little bit, put a little more pressure on them.
And then in overtime, we scored, but then they just kept getting to the foul line, and we weren't able to keep it out of there.

Q. You were tied with a minute to play in regulation and you guys had the ball. Are you thinking at all a two for one there or work the clock and try to find a decent shot?
COACH CARMODY: Yeah, we weren't looking for two for one there as much as it is a good defensive team, and we were just trying to stay with our game plan basically, use it a little bit, make them guard a lot of different guys, get the ball going from side to side a little bit, and then when the opening is there, if it's a three or a drive, take it. But it wasn't an exchange thing there like that.

Q. You've come within a couple of possessions twice this year of taking down perhaps the best team in the country. I mean, do you leave here with a lot of pride, or is it just disappointment?
COACH CARMODY: Yeah, disappointment. Yeah, just -- I think we have a good team, so you'd like to win those games, and you could see it from the guys. They came here to win and thought they could, and we were right there. I'd say disappointment.
I am proud of the way they played, you know, don't get me wrong, the way we executed, the way we went into it thinking this is the way to beat this team. But we just weren't able to get it done.

Q. Just your thoughts on the chances of going to the NIT again and playing in the NIT.
COACH CARMODY: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, there's a lot of good teams, and right now I'm really not even thinking about that too much. But there are a lot of good teams out there. I think we have a nice résumé, and we certainly passed the eye test people talk about. We'll see what happens on Sunday evening.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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