Illinois Post Game Quotes

By NU Athletic Communications
Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles
On Shavon Shields
“Shavon was remarkable tonight. Early, he started out slow and got beat on a couple of defensive errors. We came in and he looked me square in the eye and said, ‘Coach, I’m ready. It won’t happen again.’ And he was ready. He was right. He was just on the attack. Jake Muhleisen made a good point, our radio guy tonight, that he got four free throws early. When you see the ball go through the hoop early, you have to feel good about that. He’s been shooting and practicing really well. He took a lot of contact and finished at the rim. Since we brought David (Rivers) into the lineup and got him back to the 3, that’s really helped him.”
On if Nebraska emerged
“I have to coach my team, so I know all of our secrets. Some I prefer not to talk about. We’re getting better. We weren’t our best tonight, but some of that is because of what Illinois did. We have to credit them. We’re just getting a little better each time. This was a good win. I was glad about two things. One, I was glad that when they were playing well and I didn’t really think they pulled away, I think their biggest lead was eight points and that was early in the second half I think, but in the first half they never really got away from us. We got a one-point lead at halftime. In the second half, even though it was eight, we came back and immediately answered. So that was good. And then we were able to take the lead and slowly build on it and make those free throws down the end. A lot of different guys made free throws. 24-for-27 as a team is a good number.”
On Benny Parker
“Benny was terrific. David Rivers was terrific too. Those guys were so critical to our success tonight. Benny was as disruptive defensively as I’ve seen him ever. For us. And he was really good. You could see him back off. You could just see him back up. I think that was exclusively Benny. And everyone else fed off that for a while. When your point guard defense is good and aggressive and you can stand the ball up, everyone else’s defense improves. Benny made a whole bunch of free throws tonight. A whole bunch to me is like four. That was important.”
On the crowd
“We need that crowd more into it by the way. I’m giving them like a B-minus tonight. We need A-plusses here. We need some Dr. Dre. We need some heads ringing, right? If I can quote hip-hop every other press conference, I’m very happy about that. That makes my day. About the crowd?”
Reporter: “There were just four or five possessions in a row where you…”
Miles: “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We played defense actually. It’s amazing when a team actually goes out and does what they are supposed to do. How that can just assimilate an entire arena. And how it can really energize a team. And we were really good for a nice stretch in that first half. That was important because we had been waffling a little bit. That was a critical juncture of the game.”
On when Shields came out of the game
“I didn’t like that. No. It was not… I did not like that.”
Sophomore Guard/Forward Shavon Shields
On being aggressive on offense
“Part of the bad start was on me. I think [Illinois] scored like 5 or 8 points on me. Coach was on me and I just said I need to make up for it. I just attacked and got to the rim. I hit a couple threes and a couple free throws and that got me going.”

On his second-half injury
“I banged knees with the other guy. When I hurt my knee earlier in the year, it was kind of the same thing. It feels good now.”

On if he was “in the zone”
“I was just being aggressive. I really fed off my teammates. Benny Parker came out and had a huge game tonight. He got ball pressure going. David Rivers got us great minutes and rebounded well for us. Besides a few mistakes as a unit, we kind of came together and really got it going. After that, when our defense got going, our offense kinda fed off that.”

On his offensive efficiency
“I was just playing off my teammates. They did a good job finding me and executing plays for me. I’ve got to give it to them for putting me in positions for me to be successful.”

On his parents being at the game
“I hope they love me regardless of if I have a good night or a bad night.”

On the magnitude of the win as a team
“It’s big. We just need to keep staying together, keep protecting the home court and start getting big wins on the road.”
On the team’s season-to-season progress
“The coaches are doing a good job bringing in good guys that can help us win and are about the team. We’re really coming together. We just need to keep it rolling.”

Illinois Men's Basketball Head Coach John Groce 
Opening Statement 
"I really appreciated our guys’ effort and their spirit. I thought it was in the right place. This group has been that way all year, whether it is through success or adversity. I certainly appreciate that. But at the end of the day, I thought we made way too many mistakes tonight. I think Coach Knight says a lot of the time, the team that wins makes fewer mistakes than the other team. I thought Nebraska made fewer mistakes than we did. I thought we fouled too much. I thought we have to catch balls and pass better. We have to make layups. You go to the line seven times during the game and go one for two on two shot fouls. At the end of the day, you do too many of those things in this league, certainly on the road, against a Nebraska team that is good, especially at home. They are very good. I think that is not going to get you the result you want. At the end of the day, I thought they made more plays than we did in the second half and made fewer mistakes. We had a hard time guarding the dribble. I thought that is why we fouled. Shields obviously had a terrific game. You hate to give a guy a 30 point game, and certainly he made those plays. I give the kid a lot of credit. He made 15 free throws, and he got those off the drive. He earned them. At the end of the day, we can’t foul him too much. He took advantage of that, so I give him credit. I thought, when you look at the turnovers, we had too many in a low possession game tonight. Just too many mistakes. I don't think it was a lack of effort, attitude or spirit. I love our guys. At the end of the day, I am trying to teach our basketball team, our freshmen in particular, why you win, and understand what gets you beat. The other day on the road, we held the opponent to one field goal in the last 9:44. We had six turnovers. Nunn made a big shot and we hit two big free throws at the end of the game to get it to two possessions and we made plays. Today, our defense was not able to impact Nebraska like that. We turned it over 14 times instead of six. We didn't shoot a good percentage from the free throw line. We fouled too much today. They got to the line a lot. I thought we just made too many mistakes to win a game in this building. Give their kids credit. I thought Shields was terrific, driving the ball and making plays. I thought they made significantly less mistakes than we did."   
On if Coach Groce expected more carryover after winning at PSU
"No, I thought they practiced really well. To be honest with you, yes, you expect your guys to do better than one for two in seven trips to the line. I'd like Ray (Rice) to make that layup on the OTL. He wasn't trying to miss it, but he missed a wide open layup. I'd like for Kendrick (Nunn) and Malcom (Hill) to complete the transition when it was a two on one and the ball was thrown at our knee cap and turned it over. I’d love for them to make all those plays. For whatever reason, we didn't. I don't think it was because of a lack of preparation. It certainly wasn't for a lack of respect towards Nebraska. We have great respect for Nebraska. We knew how well they played in this building and how well they were playing lately. It wasn't because of those things. Those things are important, but I think that gives us a chance to be more consistent. We had too many mistakes. You can’t have that many to expect a different result on the road in the Big Ten. "


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