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October 25, 2012A transcript of Northwestern coach Bill Carmody's comments to the media at Big Ten Media Day today.
We're trying to integrate the veterans with these new guys, and a couple of them aren't rookies, they're not green. You have Tre [Demps], a transfer from TCU who sat out last year in Nikola Cerina and then we have Jared Swopshire, a fifth-year guy, he played at Louisville, in the Final Four last year, so he's new to Northwestern and not new to college basketball and the high level of college basketball.
We're just trying to get some of these guys -- all of the sudden last year we had a number of injuries, we thought we were deep and by the end of the year we had seven guys because we had four or five that couldn't play. So we had to go small. But we've gotten big quickly and we are just looking forward to trying to get some of these big, young guys into the fold, into the mix so they can be ready opening night.
BILL CARMODY: Yeah, Drew Crawford was the co-rookie in the Big Ten three years ago and he's had a nice career, I think he averaged 16 or 17 points a game last year, and he may have deferred to John a little bit and I may have called John's number more than Drew's at different times, but he's certainly a terrific year and I think he's going to have a break-out year if you can say a guy who started for three years and scored a lot of points and been a quiet leader for us, I think he can have one heck of a year this year.
BILL CARMODY: He came in from high school and when you say "walk-on" sometimes you think these guys don't know how to play, he was a good player in Fort Wayne, Indiana and he had some offers and he said he was going to get better and I told him if he came and helped us, I would give him a scholarship. He looked good as a freshman in practice. I wish I'd redshirted him now, but last year he started every game. Hard worker, back-to-the-basket player in high school and now he's in the backcourt and last year he was with Dave Sobolewski bringing the ball up the court and he's worked on his skills, so it's great to see a guy like that come around.
I don't think of him as a walk-on anymore. He's a really good kid, excellent student.
BILL CARMODY: I liked Indianapolis, but I was always in favor of alternating, just because Indianapolis gives you that collegiate feeling, the hotels and the restaurants and the venue is right there, but Chicago is media -- it's a different place, and it's great, and I'm real excited about us being there.
I think it will just be good for the University, for Northwestern and the Big Ten in general. As far as advantage, we haven't played there. I'm trying to think if any of our guys have played there, so I don't think it's an advantage but the fans will be able to get there more easily.
BILL CARMODY: We play a center and four guys around the perimeter, so we have a few freshmen who I think are good. Kale [Abrahamson] and Sanjay [Lumpkin] and with the addition of Jared I think we're going to be okay in the perimeter. JerShon has to take care of business and we will welcome him back next year.
BILL CARMODY: Just throw out some raw steaks on the court? What are you going to do? You can do rebounding drills forever, you gotta get the ball. The guys have to go after it that's all I can tell it you. There is some talent involved, some ability involved, but you're right, we clearly have to get better at that because I think our defense is okay, except once it goes up, and that's part of the defense, you have to finish the play. I think we keep our bodies in front of guys, but kids getting second and third shots killed us.