Jan. 22, 2001

Head Coach Jim O’Brien
“We played a very difficult game at Michigan State yesterday. We found out what everyone else has found out. They are a very difficult team to play on their home court. They have in Jason Richardson one of the premiere players in the conference and the country.

“Things don’t get a whole lot easier for us at Wisconsin Wednesday and with Michigan State again at home Saturday.”

On Wisconsin with interim head coach Brad Soderberg
“I think they are very similar. He has done a great job in keeping things going in the direction it was going. They have not skipped a beat from preseason expectations and with how they were playing early in the year. Soderberg has done a good job in keeping (Wisconsin) status quo.”

Why is winning at home in the Big Ten so easy?
“I think it is a combination of things. There is no small coincidence that Michigan State won its 40th consecutive home game. It is a tough place to play and they have good players and a good team. They have had a good team for the last 3-4 years.

“I do think a lot of places in this conference are very difficult to play in. The last three years we won at Wisconsin, which is considered a very difficult place to play. We won because we had some good players. Winning at home is a combination of the type of team you have and atmosphere.

“I think hard it is hard to play on the road in this league because of the big crowds and places are sold out. That is not always the case in the Big East.

On Ken Johnson’s defense
“Other guys do not do anything to help Ken. Ken is in position in to help everyone else (defensively). Ken spends a lot of time worrying about everyone else’s guy and not with his owe guy. He is such a vital part of helping everyone else.”