Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
"Just wanted to say that when you look a team like Minnesota-Duluth, some people wonder why you play them. But they played well, I watched some tape of them playing Wisconsin-Green Bay and thought that their guys did a good job setting the tone. They were playing with intensity. We weren't making shots early but we kept attacking defensively and offensively. We had a tremendous night as far as deflections are concerened. Damian (Johnson) got it started with a lot of his seven steals and about 12 deflections. That's always important that your defense starts your offense. We did some good things, at the end (Minnesota-Duluth) made some threes. But Coach (Gary) Holquist and Duluth will be a pretty good team. We were just on top of our game tonight."
On how Minnesota's post players performed...
"I was really impressed with both Colton (Iverson) and Ralph (Sampson). They really did a good job, you could tell they have improved their agility and mobility with going out on the perimeter and communicating and talking. They did well offensively around the boards, around the glass, they're developing some offensive skills around the basket. We put them both in there at one point in time tonight and that was something we hadn't really had the luxury of doing in practice but they looked pretty good."
Gopher Senior Forward Damian Johnson
On defense setting up Minnesota's offense...
"I think we set the tempo. I was pushing the ball up, (Lawrence) Westbrook got some opportunities in there, we got some steals in there. I think it helped establish our offense early on and I think it worked out well for us."
Gopher Senior Lawrence Westbrook
On turing a slow start into a strong finish...
"Coach Smith just emphasized the defense leading to our offense. For myself, I had to get into a rythym. At first I missed a couple easy shots but our defense led to some easy transition buckets I got. I think that helped everybody."
Minnesota Duluth Head Coach Gary Holquist:
“When you play against good people obviously your weaknesses are readily exposed. We’re a young, inexperienced team and we got exposed tonight in a major way. Obviously, Minnesota outmanned us, outplayed us and outperformed us, but hopefully it will be a good teaching tool for us as we progress through with this team.”
On what Duluth took from the game
“You can always have learning situations. For us, we did not do a good job of converting and getting back to try and make our opponent play against our set defense. I thought the first half against Wisconsin-Green Bay we did a good job of it and we gave ourselves a chance. When you get behind like in this setting, we’re not a good enough up-tempo team to trade baskets with Minnesota. As a result, they extended their lead to a great amount.”
On Minnesota’s defense
“When you play against up-tempo teams like Minnesota you get away from what you’re trying to do. We have to play in a half-court situation and every time we turned it over Minnesota got 3-1, 4-on-1, 3-on-2. It was a very difficult thing for us to stop their momentum. It’s tough to do. They’re long, they’re athletic and they can make plays. They put you in situations where you’re constantly vulnerable.”
Bulldog Senior guard Jordan Schade
On what Duluth can take from the game
“It was a good experience to go up against competition like Minnesota. Just to understand how it feels now to be beat that bad, to never let it happen again. We’ll never play a team that talented and athletic again this season.”
On his expectations of facing Minnesota
“I think they’re exactly what we expected. They’re No. 16 in the country. They’re athletic and long. They’re everything I thought they’d be.”
On the atmosphere of The Barn compared to Romero Arena
“It’s a lot different. It’s a lot louder. They are a lot more people. The students here are a lot louder.”