Michigan honored the 1974 Big Ten champion team in a halftime ceremony. The 1973-74 Wolverine squad went 22-5 overall and 12-2 in conference to tie for the title. At that time only the conference champion went to the NCAA Tournament. A one-game playoff was played between co-champions Michigan and Indiana in Champaign, Ill. Michigan won that game, 75-67. U-Ms season ended in the Mideast Regional Final with a 72-70 loss to fifth-ranked Marquette. Campy Russell led U-M and the Big Ten, averaging 23.7 points per contest; he was named the Big Tens Most Valuable Player and a consensus All-American. C.J. Kupec and Steve Grote earned second team All-Big Ten honors, while head coach Johnny Orr was named Big Ten Coach of the Year.
Michigan posted its 13th win of the season today. The Wolverines continue to move further from their total win count of a year ago. U-M closed 10-22 last season -- not earning its 10th win until the 31st game of the season.
With the defensive pressure turned up, Michigan had a season-best 12 steals. It marked the second time this season the Wolverines have had 10 or more steals in a game, with the other being a 10-steal effort against Duke on Nov. 21 in the Coaches vs. Cancer championship game at Madison Square Garden.
Michigan was able to hold Iowa to just 16 first-half points, the lowest total for a Wolverine opponent this season in either half, bettering the 18 first-half points U-M allowed against Florida Gulf Coast on Dec. 22 and the 17 points Savannah State had in the second half on Nov. 29.
With his team-high 18 points, Manny Harris posted his 14th double-figure scoring game of the season. Overall, it marks the 42nd in his career. He leads the Wolverines with 18.6 points per game.
Manny Harris posted a season-best and career-best-tying four steals. He has four steals on two other occasions in his career, coming against Boston College (Nov. 28, 2007) and Radford (Nov. 9, 2007)
DeShawn Sims scored 16 points to extend his streak of scoring in double figures to all 16 games this season. In his career, he has reached double figures in points in 42 games. This season, he is second on the Wolverines with 16.4 points per game.
Manny Harris has started all 48 games in his Michigan career. In addition, classmate Kelvin Grady started his second straight contest, giving him his 48th straight game played for the Wolverines. Grady now has 27 career starts.
Jevohn Shepherd entered the game with under two minutes to go, helping him become the 54th Wolverine to play in 100 career games at Michigan. He closed his 100th game with a rebound in two minutes of action.
Draining a three-pointer with 25 seconds left, Eric Puls remained perfect from the field this season as he is 3-of-3 overall and 2-of-2 from long range.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On the game... "None of us have probably ever been here for an 11:30 game in our lives, right It was very different and let's not lose sight of the fact that Cyrus Tate is a huge player in the Iowa program, so then, to get them with two days of prep time, it is a very difficult thing to coach and to adjust to. We don't get up and get that lead that we did when Cyrus is in because he is a heck of a player. But those things happen, and you have got to take advantage of them when they do happen, so I am really proud of the way we defended tonight and defended well enough that we could actually get into some transition baskets. I thought that was the separator. You are not going to score a lot of them in a half-court offense. You are not going to out-tweak them. They are just too solid. (It was) uncharacteristic of them to have 18 turnovers and we were able to take advantage of that."
On if the team was more patient offensively... "Yeah, I would think so. Just people are trusting a little bit more, their teammates. That (their teammate) is going to be open and our execution is getting better. Every time we play someone, they play differently against us. They guard something -- they did a couple things here tonight that no one had done. We have to keep adjusting, keep adjusting and hope we can make shots. I thought we had good balance tonight, too, between inside and outside."
On junior forward DeShawn Sims establishing himself down low... "He needs to. He has got a big body, and of course they were very young inside or small inside. If (Cyrus) Tate is on, we probably would have still of had a similar approach. You have got to try it there, but if not then you have to mix things up a little bit. Between (DeShawn Sims) and Zack (Gibson), you would love -- the dream program for us is to always have that inside-outside presence. If you don't have it inside or you don't have that outside, you can't do it. We are really happy with the way he is very aggressive."
On the crowd reacting to the team's hustle midway through the second half... "As I told the guys on the team, if we are smart, that should be our identity. That should be who we should be, a team that is just hustle, all-out hustle all the time. We had the 1974 team in there, and it is huge for them. Two of them came up and said, 'That is the way that we want you to play.' I can't imagine if Steve Grote had just done that. You know Steve Grote would have done that with Campy (Russell), C.J. (Kupec) and all those guys, they would have done those same things. It is just huge."
U-M Sophomore Guard Manny Harris
On the fast start... "It felt good to come out and jump on top from the start; it felt real good. It was on our scouting report to come out and get on them from the jump and make them take early timeouts."
On the team's defense... "It is something we focus on every day in practice and coach has stressed it a lot more since the beginning of the season. It is not something we just focused on today or yesterday, it is something we have been focused on and it worked well today."
U-M Sophomore Guard Kelvin Grady
On running the offense... "It is all about practice. It starts with practice and the leadership of the guards. Coach put it out there on the table, you can either take this and be a leader that our team needs or you can continue to take a back seat and not help us like you can. I really just want to stand out and be the leader I can be. I really want to hold onto the ball because the less turnovers I have, the more possessions we have and the better shots we have."
On starting the past couple games... "For me it's always been the same, I am just in there faster than before. I just want to win, no matter how many minutes I get, I am just going to go out and play to the best of my ability. I am going to give all I got, give 110 percent. Whether I start or come off the bench, it really doesn't matter."
U-M Fifth-year Senior Guard C.J. Lee
On the team's defense... "The defense was good. That was a point of emphasis today. Coach said we really needed to play good defense as far as guarding their ball screens and in terms of executing and playing hard in our 1-3-1. We were able to get some deflections and we held them to 16 points at halftime, which was great. We gave up some open looks in the second half, had some blown assignments, but for the most part our rotation was good and guys were giving the effort to win."
On the team's performance at home... "You have to win at home in conference. You obviously need to win on the road as well in order to have a good record. It was a point of emphasis this year to take care of home and win in this building and we are doing that for the most part. We just have to continue to keep going and when we get home games, take advantage of them and do what we have to do."