2001-02 BKM vs. Minnesota -- quotes

U-M Head Coach Tommy Amaker

Opening statement ... "It was a great Big Ten game. I thought the atmosphere was terrific. Both teams played winning basketball. As a player and a coach we all have been on the other side of a loss like this and it is a very tough thing. We are very excited to get the win and our kids played winning basketball from beginning to end. I was very proud of our team for hanging tough. We were down 10 and battled back. We kept the faith and the crowd really gave us a lift and kept us energized. We made a lot of terrific basketball plays that we had to make. Minnesota is one of the teams that we feel is one of the best offensive teams in our conference. They have so many players with the ability to score. We were very concerned with trying to defend them. Going down the stretch you can see that it almost came down to whichever team had the ball last was going to win. Fortunately for us we were able to come out with a win and it could not have come at a better time for us."

On the final six minutes of the game ... "I am hoping that we can continue that. We do not play again until next Thursday so the timing of this win was tremendous for this team and this program. Our kids really worked for it. We really deserved to win. Sometimes you deserve things and you still do not get them, but for the most part, if you earn and deserve good things, good things will come your way. We talked in timeouts about keeping the faith and taking it one possession at a time. Our kids did that. Being at home gave us an added boost and more confidence, with our crowd helping us as we came down the stretch."

On Bernard Robinson Jr. ... "I think he played a terrific all-around game. I told him at halftime that I was impressed with his line then. It looks like he went out and did the same thing in the second half. He basically doubled all of his stats. We talked about him being the three A's: active, athletic and aggressive. When he does those three things, good things happen and he is the kind of player we want him to be."

On the last shot ... "It is ironic how it worked out for us because we really practice game situations. Something we really went over is not calling a timeout. One of the things we talked about, depending on the amount of time left on the clock, is what our mentality is going to be. If there is a certain amount of time left on the clock we are going to attack and try to catch the defense without allowing them to get set. Sometimes in that sort of chaotic situation you can get a great look. We got something going to the rim that was very positive and very aggressive. I am really happy for our kids because we executed the way that we want to play."

On the play of Chuck Bailey in the final minutes ... "He really gave us some great plays down the stretch and we needed them, especially with LaVell (Blanchard) fouling out. I though his play with our ball out of bounds under the basket with five seconds left on the shot clock was excellent. It was not designed for him but they denied us the ball inside and we gave it to Chuck. He had the presence of mind to dribble-drive it and then dish it to Chris (Young) for the big dunk. The main thing that I was pleased about was that he made a play instead of looking for his shot. It takes a lot of poise for a kid to be able to do that in that type of situation."

Senior Center Chris Young

On attacking the inside ... "It was definitely a plan to try and go inside first. Because they were so big, our guards were having trouble getting open looks on the outside. We decided to get the ball in the low post to try and collapse the defense, allowing our guys to have open shots from the perimeter or allowing me to make a move to the basket."

On his second-half shooting performance ... "I was getting better position and I was just taking my time more in the second half. In the first half I was rushed a little bit and I was kind of short-arming my shots and they weren't falling. So in the second half I wanted to be more patient and try and play my sort of game."

On team consistency ... "I think consistency hasn't been much of a problem, we just have to learn how to start and finish a game. Today we finally showed that we can start a game out well and finish a game strong. Now we just have to continue to do that."

Sophomore Wing Bernard Robinson Jr.

On playing with patience ... "As a basketball player, I definitely felt more patient out there this year opposed to last year. I think I'm starting to understand more about the game of basketball, how it's not all about points, and by doing that I can do a lot more things. Once I start doing that consistently I can definitely be a better basketball player."

On his career-high 10 rebounds ... "I was just attacking the glass on every possession. By trying to attack the backboard every time you're able to get more rebounds. I can't say that I was taller than their wings, because they have big wings. I was able to get around the guys who were boxing me out. I was able to get into the right position and the ball kept finding me."

On the game-winning shot ... "I tried to take the shot that was there. I didn't know there was only three seconds on the clock. I don't know if I would have took that shot if I knew how much time was left. I just tried to take the open shot that was there. Last year I don't know if I would have had the maturity to take the shot. At the same time though, my maturity level goes with not seeing everything in terms of scoring. You look just as good scoring as you could do making the basket. That is something that Coach Amaker has instilled in me this year."

Minnesota Head Coach Dan Monson

Opening statement ... "It was a tough game to lose, especially having the lead most of the game. When you go on the road you have to be more consistent than we are. We could not string together our defense with our offense for any substantial amount of time. When we fixed our offense then our defense would break down and vice versa. When you are on the road you have to seize control of the game, and in the first half we did not do that. We let them get going and in the second half we played better but they got going too. You have to win on the road at the defensive end. I think they scored on their last four or five possessions. You cannot win when that happens."

On the reasons for Michigan's comeback ... "I think we scored plenty of points. When you are up 10, you are a stop or two away from going to 12 or 14 and the game is over. We never got that stop."

On Bernard Robinson Jr. ... "He is very gifted, very athletic and can make plays. He made a great play to win the game. That was nothing but an athlete making a play. I was happy with our clock management at the end of the game. We did a good job and that was one of our better defensive sequences in the last few minutes. He had to make a tough play."

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