Obviously good to get a win at home. I felt like the last couple of days we’ve been back from Central Michigan we have really focused in on our defense. We held them to 40 percent from the field for the game, which is the first time we’ve done that in several games. Obviously in the first half I thought we defended at a really high level. In the second half we were up and down with it a little bit but we improved a great deal over the last three days defensively. I’m most pleased with that.
On containing Xavier Silas
It was a total team effort. Our guys were very aware of the fact that he’s a prolific scorer and I thought they really did a good job of helping one another and gapping him. We trapped him some. I would probably be remiss if I didn’t single out the effort that Nick Kellogg had on him. I know Nick’s probably exhausted right now. He denied him and did a really good job, I thought, of competing against him. He got a lot of those points late in the game—a significant amount of them—and he’s a great offensive player. I thought we at least made him earn them and I thought our team did a good job of being aware of where he was, who he was and when he had the ball.
On the three-point shooting
It could be completely different in another game. Like I said earlier, we’ve got some guys who are pretty talented offensively, and the best teams take advantage of what’s there. Maybe the next game they’ll double these guys (Baltic and Washington) and maybe they’ll dig and come down or really try to take the ball out of the low post some and maybe we’ll shoot some more threes then with Nick, Tommy, D.J. and T.J. It just goes from game to game. The big thing is we want to get quality shots on each possession.
On what changed defensively between this game and game at CMU
We didn’t change a whole lot, though that’s probably not what you want to hear. We’ve just got to do what we do better. I know that we’re capable. Last year, teams shot 41.8 percent against us; that was the second-best field goal percent defense in the last 26 years that Ohio (had experienced) since the introduction of the three-point line, which has changed the game. Our three-point field goal percent defense was thirty-one something, which was number one in the last 26 years. I know it works. We’ve got to execute it better; it’s all the little things that most people wouldn’t realize that go into defense.
Ivo does a good job with his finishing as a whole and making tough buckets too.
Northern Illinois head coach Ricardo Patton
Tough game. We had most of our guys in foul trouble in the first half. Even one had to go get an X-ray: Nate Rucker took a couple of hard spills. I thought our guys did a nice job, particularly when we played the last five minutes of the first half without a post player.
On the points in the paint
We just didn’t have anybody with size. Not that defensively he would have been a great defensive stopper but at least we would have had a better post player to throw the ball inside on our end of the floor. He’s probably our best low-post scorer. But when you lose him after six minutes, we just didn’t have a replacement.
On film, he does a really nice job of attacking the basket. He catches the ball at the high post. We wanted to guard him one-on-one. He got some low catches and I don’t know, you guys have seen him more than I have, if he makes those fadeaway shots on a consistent basis but he certainly made some tonight. He made some tough shots. Defensively, when guys are forced off the block and they’re shooting fadeaways and they’re going in, there’s not a whole lot you can say to your players other than to maybe try to limit his catches a little bit.