Bill Carmody Teleconference: March 6th

Bill Carmody Teleconference: March 6th

NU Basketball Coach Bill Carmody's comments on playing Penn State for the third time, the play of Mohamed Hachad, where would you like to play the tournament in the future, OSU's 3 point shooting slump, what the Cats have to do defensively to beat Penn State this time, does he have an idea of who might win the tournament, and does he like the idea of a conference tourney and its possible effect on which teams make the NCAA Men's Tournament...

Opening Statement:
We had an up and down week, losing to Ohio State then beating Minnesota, both close games, and Minnesota did a good job on us defensively, I thought.

And now we're going in and, its a beginning - another chance to do something with the tournament coming up and [opening with] Penn State and ...

You know we've lost to them twice, so now we have a third chance and that's what we're going to do. They play a lot of zone and it bothered us, against them, so we'll have to be ready for it.
Who do you want to play first, a team you lost to twice, or a team you've beaten twice? Would that give the Cats added incentive in the tournament?
I think I would prefer, personally, not sure about all my guys, but I would like [to have] beaten a team twice already. I like Penn State's situation because you just have that over them.

I know people will [say], ... its hard to beat teams a third time, but I don't know if that's true or not. You know when you go back and look at everything, I think that winning always helps you and so I think that they are in a little bit better shape than we are in that situation.

Then again, you're talking about the 8-9 game, and both teams are hoping something good happens out of this and the winner gets to play the Big 10 regular season champ so that should be incentive enough.
What has [Senior Guard] Mohamed Hachad meant to you [and the program]?
Mohamed is - he's our leading rebounder. We played a lot of 1-3-1 zone this year - he's at the top of that, sort of gets us going.

He just has a knack, he gets his hands on passes, he's a rangy kind of guy, he's a great kid. We can't win unless he does well.

You know Vedran [Vukusic] is going to get you between, say, 16 and 22, or something. When Mohamed plays well, we're right in there until the end of the game, so he's as important as Vedran.
The Big 10 Conference is in the process of selecting a host city for the future conference championships. Which city do you like better, Chicago or Indianapolis?
I'm not dissatisfied with the way it is now, alternating. I think you have advantages with both places.

You have a kind of collegiate atmosphere in Indianapolis, and in Chicago you have the news media and the United Center and Chicago its just - I think its going to be hard to change that around. You know some people say, "Well look, The Big East has Madison Square Garden, and its recognized that's where the tournament is and all."

But I don't think we necessarily have to have one spot - I think its worked out pretty well at each of the two spots so I'm sort of in favor of continuing them.
Any comments on Ohio State's 3 point shooting slump? Is it usually tired legs this time in the season and do you thing teams have enough time to recover heading into the post season?
I'm sure fatigue plays into that a little bit, but also I think its teams are more just aware as you go along that this is what this team does and the scouting's a little bit better, and people are a little more attentive to the scouting reports on drives and they're not helping out as much off good shooters - staying home a little bit more when they're defending and so I think that is a major part of it.

But now they [OSU] played yesterday [Sunday] ... and they don't play 'til Friday, you've got four days like that, and these guys are big time athletes and I'm sure that's enough time for them to regroup.
What do you guys think you need to do a better job on to beat Penn State, particularly on the defensive end?
We have to rebound, they're a pretty athletic bunch and they're not real tall, but they hurt us on the backboards so that's really important to us.

I don't know if we can, just what we can do. We were rebounding with Ohio State and against Minnesota they might [have] out rebound us by 6 or 7, which is OK for us... [If] we don't get out rebounded by 10 rebounds, I think we can be in the game.
One Question was about how he would handicap the conference tournament.
Am I allowed to do that? [laughter]

I like this job here - I'd like to hang on to it a little bit

I would just go with the standings, you know? I don't know particularly who - what the health is of different guys and how guys are feeling - only the coach and the team knows that and the mental feeling going in - are guys ready to end it, or some team's really excited about this, you know, so that will show up on the court, but you might as well go with the seedings.

Two months, whatever, Ohio State's been on top so I think you have to look at it that way.

There are particular match up where certain teams cause other teams problems regardless of seeding.
Do you like the idea of a conference tournament or do you think a 16 game regular season is enough [to pick a champion]?
Well, I came from the Ivy League and there was no tournament there and I was happy for that because you were only going to get one bid and I thought that what happened over two and a half months was important than what happens in a weekend.

In the larger conferences it helps some teams, I think, maybe get in and one, and you might get an extra team in there because of that.

But I used to - it used to hurt me when you'd see some of these smaller conferences, you know, a team would win the conference title, and have great years and then they'd lose in the [conference] tournament and not get an NCAA bid. It did not seem right to me.

Now the NIT is accepting conference champions and all, but still its not the same as the NCAA [Tournament].
Is it fair that a lower team makes that run and knocks out the second team from a smaller conference?
I think that's a rough one, I think thats hard. The committee supposedly looks at each team individually, but its a hard thing, its hard to equate sometimes, smaller teams, you know, second place teams in a small conference with a 6th place team in a bigger conference.

Its just opportunities bigger conferences have, are different. I don't know the answer to that. I think its a hard, hard decision and one that has to be looked at really carefully by the committee.
NU faces off against PSU Thursday - our pregame intel, such as it can be, will be up Wednesday after we finish checking out all the media reports....

Bill Carmody Quotes in Italics from the Big 10 Teleconference
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