Q. This is for both Jon and Jordan. You guys at this initial stage have any explanation for the cold shooting early that went for most of the game?
JON LEUER: You know, we were getting some decent looks, and they just weren't falling. But we had to work a little bit harder to finish inside. Obviously we missed some bunnies, but for the most part we were getting good shots, it was just a matter of us finishing.
JORDAN TAYLOR: Yeah, I mean, like Jon said, the looks were there, just weren't knocking them down, which is kind of the difference from Sunday to Friday. But we've got another chance now when we come back to play next week, and hopefully we can get it done then. Q. Did you guys feel once you got that string of three-pointers that you had a chance and had them on the ropes a little bit when you cut it to two?
JORDAN TAYLOR: Yeah, I think we always feel like we have a chance even when we're down 16 with seven minutes or whatever, but Trevon hit some big shots and obviously the crowd, got our bench behind us, got some energy and we just couldn't pull it out at the end. But I think we waited too long to have that sense of urgency.
Q. Was Tisdale doing anything different than he had in the previous two games you guys played against them?
JON LEUER: No. We knew the coaches did a great job of scouting for it. We gave him too easy of looks and let him get comfortable. He just got on a roll, and he's a good player. He's worked out his game to become a good player, and he knocked out some shots. Sometimes you've just got to tip your hat when a guy can do that.
Q. Jon, do you think they made it tougher for you to score down on the low block than on Sunday when you played them in Champaign?
JON LEUER: To be honest, I don't think anything really changed. I just missed some shots, probably didn't make the right reads on a couple of them, maybe should have kicked it out. But for the most part I didn't finish.
THE MODERATOR: We'll start with questions for Coach Ryan.
Q. Coach Matta said earlier today when they ended up winning their game that there is that possibility when the better teams come in, the other team is playing for their lives, that dynamic sets in. Do you feel like that's what happened today?
COACH RYAN: I've never played darts with anybody thinking that I was the better guy. I always thought I had to do something really well to be successful. As a coach, when you say "the better team," we split during the year; Illinois has got a very good team. We didn't do anything different that way. I'd like to maybe make up some stuff that you guys could fly with. When you're 1- for-10 within five feet of the rim, like Jon said, you can try to explain it, we can try, we just didn't finish.
We played against teams that struggled that way, and after the game, we don't go, "how the heck did those guys miss those shots?" We just always think, okay, good, maybe we rushed them, maybe we did this, maybe we did that. But it's still about the end result.
I thought for sure the first question was going to be why didn't we press sooner. You surprised me, caught me off guard.
Q. Two times you've played Illinois in which you just went unbelievably cold. You missed 15 of your last 17 shots up there, and today I don't know what it was, but it was ridiculous. Illinois, is there something about Illinois?
COACH RYAN: We've done that, you know -- fortunately you can count on one hand how many times we've done that or that I've coached teams that have done that. If you're not turning the ball over and if you can get to the free-throw line, a lot of times you can have those kind of cold nights. You know, and we didn't turn it over a lot. If we did, the front end of those one-and-ones in the first half, our free throw total would have been up. But when you're in a game like that where you're not hitting shots, you need 20-plus free throws, and you need to turn the ball over anywhere between five and nine times. We lose by four, and you look at the two statistics that I just gave you, the five to nine we took care of. We didn't get to the line enough. And then defensively, some of those same shots that were hit today were not hit Sunday. But there's a lot of coaches saying that in their postgame conferences right now. You've got to get it done when the clock is moving. And we didn't, and we paid for it collectively.
Q. Have you ever coached a player like Trevon that can get so hot so quick and just take over a game like he did toward the end?
COACH RYAN: Well, I don't know if he actually took the game over. Sometimes out of desperation in life we do things. Necessity is the mother of invention and all those other clichés you can throw out. What you never want to be known for as a player is if the game is not on the line, watch me shoot it now. That's not Trevon. Trevon has hit shots to win games when the game was on the line. So he's been through some streaks as a shooter where he really has a tough time getting his shooting rhythm going. And you have to then maybe get to the free-throw line, drive, finish. How many shots did he miss around the basket? A couple times he could have pump faked, could have been at the free-throw line for a few more, and then that would have taken care of that statistic that I gave you before. But we didn't. I think he was expecting some contact. He didn't get it. But he's capable of making plays, and those threes that he hit, without a doubt, that triggered -- we had some other big shots in there, too, and we had some good stops. That's a recipe for a great comeback. I thought it was Michigan State all over again from two years ago. I really thought that once we got it down there that we could close that, sometimes because the other team is on your heels and you get a little tentative. They didn't, though; they took care of the ball. We were trying to get the jump on those last couple fouls that were called. We were trying to get a jump ball because the hour was ours. The other thing is when you pressure, I've seen it happen a few times, the guy thinks he's going to get fouled, he keeps the ball in the corner, he's trying to protect it, we're not fouling, next thing you know ten seconds go off, we get the turnover, and I thought that was going to happen on one of those last possessions, but we were called for a foul and we didn't get it.
Q. I know you're not happy with the loss, but are you proud of your team being down double digits so late, able to make the comeback and get it down to one possession?
COACH RYAN: Yeah, we're the same guys on the left-hand side as we are on the right-hand side. We can't change who we are. So am I -- yeah, I'm not going to make any statements about our players about this, that, the other thing, because it's 40 minutes, so we went over some things during a couple of those timeouts. You've got to keep believing. As poorly as our shooters shot the ball, they were still the ones that were igniting some good things that were happening. So their leadership was still being exhibited with our full court pressure, with our trying to get them to make some tough decisions, and we did. I mean, we get a team to turn it over, what did they end up with, 17 turnovers? Come on. That's -- you put a team in that position where there's a difference of 12, you've got to be on the other side with that one.
And then when you're not, you lick your wounds and go to next.
Q. When you got two seniors on your team that have played in a lot of games and they start the game a combined 0-for-17, I think it was, what do you tell them?
COACH RYAN: Make the next one. I don't go, hey, you guys are 0-for-17; I think maybe if you made a couple, we've got a chance here. We don't make a big deal out of it. The players know it better than anybody else. I'm so proud of those guys that, as mad as you get about certain things. But what I saw out there, I won't forget for a long time, and I don't think our players will, either. I think they reached down and got some things. We changed the lineup, we put a couple freshmen in there. Those guys made some things happen because it was getting away from us. Then we go back with our other guys and we chip, and then, boom. How many threes did they hit when the light went on to end the shot clock? Give them credit, because we've done that to people. We have beaten people the exact same way.
And I know it's frustrating for the other team. But you hang around long enough, you're on both ends.
Q. Talk a little bit about McCamey. You frustrated him on Sunday. He had a pretty rough game, rough week as a matter of fact with all the showing of the ESPN incident. Why weren't you able to do better against him today?
COACH RYAN: What ESPN incident?
Q. Well, the play in which he was taken out of the game and coach swore at him. It was shown --
COACH RYAN: The only thing I get as the head coach is a DVD of all the possessions. I don't get any announcers. I don't get any sideline deals. So I can't answer your question, because I don't know what happened.
Q. Forget that, just talk about what you did to him Sunday as opposed to what he was able to do today.
COACH RYAN: Well, you give a player credit if he gets things done. We still tried to do some things to disrupt him. We still tried to get him to turn the ball over. I don't know how many he had, but it wasn't enough. Yeah, he had eight assists. He gave the ball up. He didn't force a lot of shots. So I thought he was well within his game. He played within himself. Maybe he didn't do that Sunday. You know, I don't know. I can only coach one team. But he did what he needed to do for his team to get where they're going to be playing, and that's in the semifinals. So I just give credit to players that get things done.