Bill Carmody on the Big 10 Teleconference

It was a tough January for <b>Bill Carmody</b> and his young <b>Wildcats</b>, losing 7 of 8 games including 2 at home. <p>Now the Cats face <b>Indiana</b> at home trying to break a 7 game conference losing streak with <b>Jitim Young</b> trying to play with a seriously injured finger. <p>Coach talks about the schedule, playing Indiana again, and Jitim's injury...

Northwestern University Head Basketball Coach Bill Carmody on the Big 10 Teleconference
I guess it will be nice to be home, the first five of seven were away, so it will be nice just to shoot on our own court, although, to be truthful, even in the early part of the season, we didn't play that particularly well at home. Right now we're just really struggling.

We played a really decent first half against Ohio State, but then they jumped on us early in the second and it was basically a 12 to 16 point game the remainder of the half.

Now we have Indiana who is so big and long, and seem to block a lot of our shots. When we were up there they  jumped out on us eleven nothing in Bloomington and we just can't have a bad start like that, because its a veteran team and a very good long range shooting team and so we have our work cut out for us.
Coach, could you talk about how they scheduled clumps [of games], 5 of your first 7 on the road, and how that affects teams, and would you like to see something done to avoid those kind of large clumps like that either at home or on the road   [Janel Hill - Detroit Free Press]
Its just very difficult. You know, I don't know, I'm sure there's some way to do it mathmatically and people say, "well now you have a majority of your games at home," but  when you're 0 and 7, or you win your home games and you're 2 and 5, your guys are knocked down pretty far to recover again. So if it was flip-flopped and we had 5 of 7 at home, and you get a few more wins then you feel better on the road.

I don't know what you can do except there must be a way mathmatically to elimate that stuff and I don't want to sound, you know we're 0 and 7 its tough to offer suggestions, but something has to be done because it becomes a struggle for you.
How do you prepare your team mentally for that kind of haul?
You always try to tell your guys about adversity and if you can win a couple at home and maybe you can get one win on the road out of those five you know that maybe you're 3 and 4 and then you come home and maybe you're a little bit better, but we lost our two games - a close one to Iowa here and Michigan, we're up 8 at the half and lost at home, so I don't know how you can prepare them.

I know we didn't do a very good job because we're 0 and 7 but I don't know what you can do except become a good defensive team is one thing I guess. I don't think words make that much of a difference to be truthful with you.
At the end of this week, you will have played Indiana and Wisconsin twice and there are three other teams in the conference that you still haven't seen. Does it seem that there should be a way to balance that as well? [Terry Hutchins - Indianapolis Star]
Yeah, I guess so, again, we play Wisconsin and then 10 days later we play them again. I don't know if it really bothers you much, but why can't it be done some other way so that you face everybody once and then its 3 home and 4 away, and then you've played everybody. There must be a way to work that.
How different is this Indiana team the second time around? They're kind of undergoing what you are undergoing right now as far as having a long road stretch, they're on the fourth game of a four game road trip.
Its very, very difficult , I guess they're finding that out too, but this [Indiana] is a veteran team, I don't know if they're ranked or not, but they're certainly one of the better teams in the country. I think that they're able to handle it a little bit better because they have veteran back court guys, and usually that helps, so its obviously tough on them also. They're probably very happy that the road game that they're playing is here though.
What about Jitim Young?  [Brian Hanley - Chicago Sun Times]
It's not broken, so we're going to have to see, you know the middle finger on his left hand came out pretty badly in a couple of places and its very difficult to get back in.

They Xrayed it right after we got back in and they said it wasn't broken, but it popped out so far and they had such a hard time putting it back in they're just going to have to see how they can splint it and just how effective he'll be with it

I think he's coming by about lunch time [Monday] just to see what he can do with it, but it seems that it will be functional anyway.
So you expect him against Indiana?
Yeah, but I'll probably know better probably at practice today, because if it hurts to catch - you can't catch the ball because of it - I'll have to wait and see what the trainers say today about that.
When you have a club that's a relatively young one as your club is, with a lot of the key pieces are underclassmen, and you start off 0-7, does it become almost as important to become a psychologist as to be a basketball coach, to try and show tangible gains when the wins and losses may not be...how do you approach that.  [Jeff Washburn - Lafayette IN Courier-Journal]
 I think that's probably pretty accurate, although when you're the top ranked team you have to play play mind games with guys also, but I think you have to say alright, this kids coming along because he's starting to defend a little bit better, he's understanding what a good shot is and what a bad shot is and you look for small gains and I think that's important.
Following up on Jitim [Young's] Injury - how might his availablity affect the rotation  [Fred Mitchell - Chicago Tribune]
It goes down to about 8 guys, Winston Blake came out of it a little bit, you know he knocked in a few shots, the other night, and so if Jitim can't go, I would probably throw Winston in the lineup - start him - against Indiana.

The only other possibility - you know - I think it would probably be Winston.
Also of necessity you've had to rely on Perimeter shooting, are there any alternatives that you might try to get more offense going?
We have to do something, you know we're taking some of these 3 point reads and we know we're not a good 3 point shooting team but we're just really struggling to not only get the ball inside but do anything that's productive inside.

In practice the next couple of days we really have to work on doing just that.

The other thing is you're going against an Indiana team that every time you turn around they're blocking your shot. They're so long but I think we have to do that - somehow get in to them a little bit maybe draw some fouls whether its Aaron [Jennings] or someone else - the guards - or Jitim but he's questionable right now that makes it even more difficult right now  - that's one area he likes down there - Its pretty hard to post TJ [T.J. Parker], maybe Winston or Jason [Jason Burke] a little bit - it certainly makes it more difficult.






 
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