UM-NU Postgame: Tubby Smith

Quotes from Tubby Smith following the game against Northwestern.

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Tubby Smith - Part 1

"Well, it's just been a tough stretch here, and I thought today we were ready to play. I thought our kids played hard. We're just having a tough time scoring. That's been our problem most of the latter part of the season. And we just -- there was a stretch where we took the lead with about 13 minutes to go, and we just couldn't seem to -- a good team, veteran team like Northwestern made shots, and this is the result, a loss."

Tubby, you've obviously always preached defense, and this team has had some struggles, especially during this losing skid. What have been some of the greatest challenges in terms of game planning defensively over the last month?

"Well, we have a young, inexperienced backcourt. Let's face it, our guards are pretty -- we had a number of open shots today. Maverick (Ahanmisi), Austin (Hollins), you know, they're talented players, but it's a little bit -- they were not-- they were sort of recruited to be backups this year, freshmen, but we've had to throw them into the fire. And I think they've -- we've been in just about every game.

"We defended well. We just had those moments where we have breakdowns where veteran experienced teams will take advantage of a back door. It's not really happening to our freshmen, it's happening to our whole group where guys are not in the right spot.

"Blake hit it there, team defense, and we just have some fundamental breakdowns that are really -- either it's fatigue or mental lapses or whatever that causes -- and then we can't score. We finished first in the league in defensive field goal percentage, second in three-point defense, first in rebounding.
"If you told me that at the beginning of the year, I would have said, boy, we're going to have a great season. But you've got to have leadership and you've got to have guards that can help you get in the offense or bring the ball back out when you have to, get it set up, and we just haven't had that."

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