Coach Beilein Opening Statement: "I think one of the keys to beating a team like Northwestern is that Bill (Carmody) has got now…each year it's grown more where he's created, where they don't get an offensive rebound, they make up for it in creating turnovers. So it's a position game. So he takes possessions from you so it is very important that we got shots on almost every possession. We didn't turn it over and that's really what happened and that's what allowed them to almost beat Purdue, beat Minnesota and then beat Michigan State was the turnovers. They make great shots. They're tough to stop, but I'm really proud that we had all those assists on the baskets. What 18 assists and just the nine turnovers? There was no grand scheme out there today just think pivoting and passing and playing with fundamentals to get good shots."
Question: Did you get a Gatorade bath after getting #500?
Coach Beilein: "No I didn't get it. No, I don't. I'll say what I said to the media so that we can get that by us. I'll say what every coach says and they should say. It's great staff. It's great players. It goes back to Nazareth, LeMoyne, Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia. I'm a nomad and there are a lot of losses in those 500 as well, but I think the first 70 something, whatever Tom said, 74 or 75 at Erie Community College were pretty darn hard to get (laughter). You go and you're coaching and you're at ‘Broom Tech' and who knows whose reffing that game. They could be directly related to the coach and you ate at McDonald's and you drove a van. So those are pretty hard too. Those first ones, those first four years, Kathleen (his wife) has been with me every one of them too."
Question: You talked about possessions can you talk about the extra possessions that Zack Novak gave you tonight?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah that was big. He's just exactly what the doctor ordered as far as just a guy that's a nuts and bolts, blue collar, lunch bucket, whatever you guys want to call him. He does a lot of garbage stuff that we need to get done and I don't know…what did he end up with offensive rebounds? He had four and it seemed like he had a lot more than that. They're just so good at what they do defensively (Northwestern). They're always known for their offense. If you watch their teams, the match up zone is very good and now the fact that he's got (Jeremy) Nash at the top of the 1-3-1, boy it is just tough to score. You just got to get extra possessions."
Question: Did you feel that you guys did a better job tonight not neglecting Peedi (DeShawn Sims)?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah, but like I'm saying, it is just really tough. If people are playing traditional man to man, you can design plays to him, but it's one of the secrets of when our 1-3-1 has been good is that you cannot always get the ball in the right areas to your star players, because there is always two people. So you can pinch that star player more in some zones. So they started out in their traditional matchup and then they went to the 1-3-1. They can really double team him every time. Manny (Harris)... the same thing... They pinched him quite a bit. He had four assists and he probably would have had eight or nine if we would have made some shots. So it does sometimes…it can almost be a box-in-one affect on players that you can isolate."
Question: What did you think of your shot selection tonight?
Coach Beilein: "I thought it was better. I don't know how many we took. We took 27. We both took 27. I thought we turned down one or two, but I really thought that we were just very patient with the basketball, better than it was in some of the games. I felt that we had played too quick a pace, particularly when we're on the road."
Question: Coach yesterday you talked about your team playing tougher overall, beside from Novak do you really feel like you guys did that?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah, I think we were very focused at what it's like in the Big Ten to just bounce back and really every possession is vital. CJ (Lee) gives us that off the bench and it is somewhat contagious. I thought for the most part we did a wonderful job there."
Question: You stretched your bench tonight a little bit; will we see more of that going forward?
Coach Beilein: "You know I don't know. I just made the decision because, especially their 1-3-1 that they are so good at that we just needed to see who just felt comfortable. For example, Anthony (Wright) and David Merritt and CJ Lee play against it every day with us. And we don't play against it that much believe it or not. We guard it a lot, so Anthony is very comfortable, because it is a 10 minute drill every day for him and CJ as well and David Merritt; Shep (Jevohn Shepherd) as well, so we just wanted to get them in there. We just felt that if Anthony…I don't like playing a guy only in the second half. If he was going to get in, he needed to get in, in the first half so that he would really looser the second half. It's tough to sit for an hour and get in there."
Question: Are you concerned about Manny and his offensive game?
Coach Beilein: "No not at all, not in these types of things. He had all kinds of assists. Please, this whole thing, I see these matchups on TV and who's leading the Big Ten. That stat is not a stat that should be relative. It should be are we winning games, are we winning games. So no, not at all. Because he is one guy that makes us better every time that he ends up just driving, shooting, making two guys guard him, so not at all."
Question: Does it change your offensive mindset in a game when you're only two of nine shooting?
Coach Beilein: "No not really because there is a chance that he is going to make the next one. I think he was leading the Big Ten in shots taken or he was second to Taylor Battle going into the game at Penn State. So he's still getting some pretty good looks, but sometimes you just can't get them. They're going to take away him to get something else. What do you do, keep going to him when he's got two guys around? You can't do it."
Question: Coach you guys finally got some threes to fall out of there after a couple of bad games, is this what you were talking about, they're either falling or not, not doing anything?
Coach Beilein: "Yeah what can you do? Laval (Lucas-Perry), every one he took I thought was going in. Stu (Douglass), that's three games in a row now that Stu has shot above his percentage, I believe. What did he end up being, three for seven, so he has made three, two and three. So it's good. Right now after a year of defense, he's really improved what he does defensively."
Question: Did you see any strain or tightness after three losses and what does this do to lift them a little bit?
Coach Beilein: "This is like being freed from bondage – are you kidding me (laughter). We were in…last year this situation would have been a little bit different. It's not what we were accustomed to, but it's not like what it's like to lose. You forget what it's like to lose a coach and a player, it can test you. That adversity will test you a little bit. So we got some confidence back and we just go get to this one and what do we do next, we go to Ohio State and then we go to Purdue, I think we go to Purdue. It's like, ‘let's go…we've just got to play our best and keep moving.'"