when the Cats started the game with a 24-2 run before Michigan even made a basket, and eventually had the score 30-4 before the Wolves started to come back!
So it seems that NU took a lesson from the #1 Illini, shooting 55% from outside the arc, 63% from the floor in the 2nd half, and shutting down the Wolverine's big playmakers.
For example: Michigan's Dion Harris, 12 points - 1 of 7 from the arc. Ron Coleman, 11 points, 1 of 4 from outside.
On the other hand,
Compared to the last game, it was night and day...
- Vedran Vukusic - 26 points, 11 of 13 from the floor, 4 of 5 from the arc.
- Mohamed Hachad - 14 Points, 6 of 11 from the floor, 7 rebounds, and a steal. One of his 3 assists was a no-look behind the back pass to Jenkins who took [and made] the layup.
- Vince Scott - 12 points, 4 of 6 from the arc, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
- Michael Jenkins - 9 Points including an alley-oop 3 pointer, 3 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot. He had the shot of the night on an alley oop play that actually went in for 3.
- Davor Duvancic - only 3 Points, but 7 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal.
- T.J. Parker had 3 points, Evan Seacat hit 2 Freethrows.
After the game, NU Coach Bill Carmody had to talk to the TV folks, so Mo Hachad stepped up to the microphone...
Dave asked about how much of lift the Cats got from the 30-4 run to start the game...
MH: Well, I knew it was do-able, MU had to get down one, you know? So Coach said in the locker room, this win, you can't let it go and once we step on the court, its all business, got to go to work, work hard, and it was do-able.Was there a feeling after the game Wednesday night that you had a mission to put a better performance together?
MH: Well, I mean, after losing that way, you just want to go to work. We came back on Thursday and usually we don't practice that hard that day, but that day after the game, everyone wanted to practice hard - we had a pretty good practice.It seemed your energy really picked things up in the first half - your ability to create things going to the basket...
Also we did on Friday and we were ready to go today.
MH: Every single player has to contribute some way, you know?, and I know I haven't been taking advantage of my ability to drive and this offense, you can drive off the drift in an awful lot of plays and I knew if I can drive I can create things - we have great shooters on this team, you know?Or Vince Scott - Don t' forget the big fella.
And once you get off you can kick it out to Vedran or Seacat and they're going to make it.
But, what sort of adjustment did you have to make when your role changed and you started playing off the bench...
MH: This was a coaches decision and I think it helped me a lot because sometimes you hit that slump and is hard to snap out of it and something has to happen. I think coach did something great by sitting me on the bench.What does this win do for you?
Now I come to practice and I know I have to work - its like 10 times harder.
MH: Its very positive. We've got to be ready to work. We've been saying all season we can do it - we have a lot of potential out there - we've got to go out there and do it.How often do you practice that Alley-Ooop decoy?
MH: I've been talking to Jenkins a lot in practice - we gotta have fun out there, you know? You go about your work, you work hard, but you've got to have some kind of pleasure and he knew, like, throw it up and it went in.Then it was time for the Head Coach - Bill Carmody, who had to be happy the way the game started...
BC: We came out and you know the press really bothered them. Mike Jenkins was really terrific early on, and he hit the 3 and then the four point play, then he had his alley-oop three, but I thought at the defensive end, the press, they couldn't get into their offense and he had a lot to do with that.Don't forget Mohamed Hachad's contributions off the glass and on offense.
BC: Yeah, you know, he should be doing that.What about Vince Scott?
And I'm going to tell him that again, he should be doing that - he hasn't played that much lately so he's energized and he's fresh [laughs].
Yeah, he was terrific tonight - everything he did seemed to work out and he's an athletic guy and I just thought he was very very good. He made most of the right decisions.
BC: He's actually calling, telling me in the time out, why don't we run this and its for him. How quickly guys come along, huh?What about the job you did defensively on their big guys?
BC: Yeah, they just didn't seem to get the ball inside in the first half and we had that big lead but then they came back and they outscored us 19-6 but it seemed like we weathered the storm - they got it to 10, maybe 11, 9 a couple of times, but someone came up with the big play.What about Vedran Vukusic? for a while we've been talking about him for the wrong reasons and tonight he hits 11 of 13 and 4 3's for you...
BC: He's capable of doing that and he hit some big plays and he had a nice drive - you start making your shots, they play up on you and he hit a nice lefty baseline drive.Mohamed was talking about practice last week...did you try to lift them up, or what...
BC: You know we didn't give a very good account of ourselves in Champaign and I'm not great at lifting guys up,. Alright, I'll just say that.And one last comment from Coach Carmody -
So we didn't go long, but we went hard for about an hour and a half and they weren't happy, the staff wasn't happy, and we take responsibility for some of that showing, the staff does so, so we all said lets put it out there, we've got a few games left and we have to win them.
BC: And the crowd was great tonight.So was the win.
Now its time to take the same drive and enthusiasm into Wednesday's game as the Cats entertain the #2 team in the Big 10 - the Spartans of Michigan State.
the WGN Post Game Show
with Dave Eanet & Dave Kaplan
and may have been edited for clarity
Beat 'em All!
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