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March 8, 2012

Bill Carmody

JerShon Cobb

John Shurna


Minnesota – 75
Northwestern – 68

MODERATOR:  Coach Carmody can make an opening statement and then we'll go to questions for the student‑athletes.
COACH CARMODY:  Well, tough loss.  I just thought at the half we should have had more than a two‑point lead.  When we went to the one‑three‑one zone we stalled the ball about three or four times, sort of had breakaways, and we didn't capitalize.  I think we had four steals outright and a blocked shot, a missed dunk, a turnover, you know, bad pass.  And we didn't take advantage.
And then in the second half they guarded us harder, and I didn't think our offense flowed the way it should.  And you give them credit.  We weren't able to contain 1, and he made shots in the first half.  And then the second half when they were coming back, he just took the ball to the rim and we didn't have an answer for him.  We didn't shoot the ball well.  And so give them credit for defending us well.
MODERATOR:  Questions for the student‑athletes?

Q.  JerShon, you were having a great night up until the overtime and you turned the ball over right at the baseline.  Did that deflate you and the team or did you think you had a chance?
JERSHON COBB:  No, we still had a chance until the game was over, but it hurt.  But that was a bad turnover.  It hurt the team.

Q.  John, how tough of a loss is this for you to swallow as a senior and coming so close in the Subway Tournament?  Whether or not you guys get there obviously will be decided on Sunday.
JOHN SHURNA:  Yeah, it's disappointing.  Obviously we've had a lot of close games this year, and you have to give credit to Minnesota.  They came up with the extra play and they hit a lot of threes, I think, coming in.  I think coach said they averaged about six threes a game, and it felt like they did that in like five minutes today.  So it was disappointing, but you have to give credit to Minnesota.

Q.  For both guys, do you just feel like an issue with this team has just been poise over the last couple minutes of games and in overtime?
MODERATOR:  John, let's start with you, please.
JOHN SHURNA:  I mean, obviously I guess you have to look at that just because we've had so many close games and we've lost a couple of them.  So, yeah, obviously it's disappointing and‑‑ but I think our team's dealt with adversity the entire time, and when we're down, we're not out.  We like our chances all the way until the very end.
MODERATOR:  JerShon, your thoughts?
JERSHON COBB:  Just to piggyback off of John, this team is tough.  We come back, we fight through adversity where sometimes the ball just doesn't bounce your way.

Q.  Is it getting to the point where you thought maybe the pressure of each game being the biggest game in program history, was that‑‑ did that ever get to you guys at some point?
MODERATOR:  John, let's start with you.
JOHN SHURNA:  I don't think so, just because it's been like that for a while.  You probably could go from the start of February or the end of January or something like that, and we've won some tough games.  And I don't think‑‑ I don't think we felt pressure.  I think we just have to‑‑ we go out there and play our game, and Minnesota played better tonight so you have to give them credit.
MODERATOR:  JerShon, do you want to add anything?
JERSHON COBB:  I don't think it's pressure.  We just go out there and we play.  We play no‑question basketball.

Q.  John, if you're not selected for the tournament on Sunday, do you view this season as a disappointment or is there still something you can take from it that's a positive?
JOHN SHURNA:  I don't know.  Hopefully I won't be disappointed on Sunday.  But I guess we'll just have to wait and see.  We'll be playing next week, and we like to compete no matter who we're playing against.
MODERATOR:  One more for the student‑athletes if there is one.  Anybody?
Thank you, fellas.  You may go back to the locker room.
Questions for Coach Carmody?

Q.  Hey, Bill, why do you think the offense stalled so much, especially in overtime?
COACH CARMODY:  You know, it's funny.  I think we had‑‑ we must have missed seven layups tonight.  I don't know if it was just overtime that it stalled, but I think in a stretch of the second half it was that way.  I think what John said was that you have to give credit sometimes that they were playing us real hard, and I didn't think we were moving as well as we could, and we didn't seem to be able to get open and to make the offense really click.  And what happened was then you come down to sort of one‑on‑one situations, and we didn't fare that well.  So I don't know if we were tired or whatever.  I think they just outplayed us in that last period.

Q.  Coach, Andre Hollins seemed to tear you guys up tonight.  What was he doing so well that was able to beat both the man and the zone.
COACH CARMODY:  He's a good player.  He shot the ball extremely well and he has all year.  He shot the ball well, and he's just a tough guy to guard.  Like I said, in the first half he was making 3s, and then in the second half, he went‑‑ he scored like 16 points, it seemed like, out of the first 20 or something they had, something crazy like that.
And in the second half, a couple times when we turned the ball over towards the end of the game, he just took it to the basket and sort of‑‑ deep this way, that way, and got to the rim.  I mean, he was just‑‑ he's a good player.

Q.  Bill, you went away from the 1‑3‑1 and more man, it looked like, most of the second half.  Why was that, do you think?
COACH CARMODY:  They were making shots on us.  I think we went back and forth.  It probably is fairly close in time that we played 1‑3‑1 and that, but we just wanted to not give them 3s because they were‑‑ guys were making shots.

Q.  Bill, if there is a case to be made for Northwestern for to get into the tournament after tonight.  What is it?
COACH CARMODY:  Well, I told our guys before the game or sometime that if we win tonight, it doesn't mean you're in; if you lose tonight, doesn't mean you're out.  And that's what I think.  It's a body of work.
And a few years ago, they said the last ten games used to be something that if you were on a hot streak, that was more important than playing December games, but now they say it's not true.  So we'll put our resumé out there and see where it goes.

Q.  Bill, frustration is part of this game.  But when you come close again and again and again, how frustrating has this been for you?
COACH CARMODY:  I'm still here.  It's hard.  It's disappointing, tough, and‑‑ but, you know, you come back.

Q.  What's the plan on Sunday?  You all going to get together and watch the selection show, or what do you traditionally do?
COACH CARMODY:  We haven't talked about it yet.  I'm not really too sure what we're going to do.  We'll practice on Sunday.  That I know.
THE MODERATOR:  One more, if there is one.

Q.  You mentioned what you told your guys before the game.  What do you‑‑
COACH CARMODY:  That might have been yesterday or something like that.  I don't know if it was ‑‑ I don't think it was right before the game, like the pregame talk.  I think it was our last practice or something.

Q.  Have you addressed them since after the game, or what do you tell them Sunday to sort of keep their spirits up?
COACH CARMODY:  I got a long bus ride home to figure that out.  But right now, just reiterating what I just said.  And there's not too much‑‑ you know, you got about five minutes and then the press is in there, so haven't talked about it too much.
THE MODERATOR:  Coach, thank you very much.
COACH CARMODY:  Okay.  Thanks.

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