2005-06 BKM vs. Wisconsin -- Postgame Quotes

Michigan coach Tommy Amaker

On the fans ... "I mentioned to our players, when they get a chance to get interviewed this afternoon, they should certainly mention the effort and the impact the crowd had. We certainly felt it [and] we needed it. Trying to generate that kind of energy within ourselves sometimes is hard when you have kids and you're trying to turn back around after an emotional game, even though it is a first-place opportunity. But the crowd put us over the hump knowing the situations in the game and giving our kids the recognition they deserve -- not necessarily for a high-flying dunk, but for hustle plays. It's amazing, I'm so pleased that our kids are getting the chance to witness that and be the recipient of that."

On the win ... "I can't say enough about our kids about fighting through some adverse situations and finding ways and staying positive. These kids right now are believing; they're giving their heart and soul wearing that uniform for the University of Michigan and we're very proud to be in first place. But we certainly know it can be a very short-lived opportunity, but we're hoping to extend it."

On this win possibly being more impressive than their win over MSU ... "We certainly knew going into these two games this week that this game today was going to be the critical game for us. We always feel -- and I use that line from Bill Parcells that I learned from him a few years ago - that the game after the big game is the really big game. So we felt the game after the State game was going to be the critical moment for us whether we won or lost in the game against the Spartans. So the emotion we spent in that game turning back around here early in the early match-up this afternoon, these kids have done just a magnificent job of putting themselves in this position. But this was a very tough game for us against a tremendous basketball team."

On Dion Harris and Courtney Sims ... "Those two juniors, if we can continue to get strong contributions from those two guys, we think that we have the makings of a pretty darn good team right now. With their performances here this afternoon, you can see the difference that they make. Daniel [Horton]'s hobbling a little bit, his foot is giving him some problems, I'm not sure what all that is right now, [and] with Lester [Abram] being out, having Courtney and Dion step forward and carry the load for us offensively really meant a lot."

On whether the win means more since they did it without Lester Abram ... "It really does. I think it shows the character of this team right now. These players are responding and stepping forward, being unselfish and doing things by committee. With those couple guys -- with Lester being out -- that was critical for us to be able to turn around. To have Ron Coleman step in his place and give us solid minutes in the State game, plays brought off this afternoon, and trying to guard Alando Tucker, who is just an absolute monster to guard on the interior. So I can't say enough about those kids who stepped forward."

U-M Senior Forward Chris Hunter

On how it felt to be a big contributor in this game ... "It has been a long time coming for us and we have worked hard. It is great to play in meaningful games like this. First place in the Big Ten feels good."

U-M Senior Forward Graham Brown

On the direction of the Michigan Basketball program ... "It feels great. It shows that we are moving up and that the program is coming back. I think it is a great opportunity for the team. We are going to have to capitalize off of this in the next couple weeks. I think if we continue to get better we can have a great season."

U-M Junior Guard Dion Harris

On Wisconsin guard Kammron Taylor ... "It is really tough to guard a guy when he is quick off the dribble and can also shoot the ball. He really started to use that in the second half. To his credit, he came back and was knocking down a lot of shots and really kept them in the game after he went out with that injury when he got hit on the screen."

On carrying the team offensively and solidifying an early lead ... "My teammates were giving me shots. I did not have a very good shooting game last game, so I really wanted to come out and correct that and turn things around for myself and they helped me. Graham set a few screens for me, Daniel got me the ball, and everyone was getting me the ball today. I just had to step up and knock down shots."

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan

On the loss ... "It's just another defense thing. We had to rotate players and had to play catch-up most of the game. It happens to a lot of teams. It makes [coming back] tough, but still it's possible. We had a chance to look at the stats from the second half than from the first half shooting -- the shots were pretty good. The toughest one was when Kammron [Taylor] went on a 1-3 break. When he went up on a shot and lost it on the way up, he had pretty close contact and knocked out. Other than that they were all pretty good shots.

"The recipe usually is that [the other team has] to miss some free throws down the stretch. [Daniel] Horton is a guy who is tough to keep from catching it. He is strong enough and low enough to the ground -- he is a bulldog that way. We were trying keep him from catching it [but] he still caught it. When you are trying to come from behind, it's tough."

Wisconsin Junior Guard Kammron Taylor

On his late-game run ... "I was just trying to do what I can to help the team to try to get back in the game. We don't want to put ourselves in that type of situation where we have to fight back from behind."

On the loss ... "We just can't dig ourselves in the hole like we did. In the second half I think we played a lot better than we did in the first. The key on the road is to try to keep the game close. Going into halftime they had a pretty good lead. I think they were up by 12 going into the half. On the road we just have to come together more as a team and try not dig ourselves into a hole."

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