Feb. 1, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team held a media roundtable on Friday (Feb. 1) prior to traveling to Bloomington, Ind. for Saturday's ESPN College GameDay matchup with No. 3 Indiana. It will mark the Wolverines' third road game against top-15 opponents this season.
Indiana's Assembly Hall is notoriously known for being one of the loudest Big Ten arenas, packed with over 17,000 red and white fans, night in and night out. There will be several fans donning the Maize and Blue scattered in the crowd, however, as three of Michigan's five freshmen are Indiana natives. Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon Prep [Mass.]) Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) and Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) were born and raised in Indiana, and will each have friends and family cheering for the Wolverines at Saturday's game.
In Michigan's eight games away from Ann Arbor this season, Michigan's freshmen have learned what it's like playing on the road in intense environments. With few fans on their side, the Wolverines know the importance of sticking together as a team.
Albrecht, McGary, Robinson and the rest of the Wolverines are looking forward to the challenge they will face in Bloomington on Saturday night. But aside from all the hype surrounding the much-anticipated matchup, the one thing that Michigan's coaching staff stresses each day is for the players to have fun playing the game they love with their teammates.
In addition to coach John Beilein speaking with the media, Indiana natives Albrecht and McGary sat down for brief interviews about returning to their home state.
U-M Freshman Guard Spike Albrecht
On going back to his home state to play Indiana ... "I'm really looking forward to it. Both my mom and dad are coming. It was had because their games sellout, so we couldn't get many tickets, but a lot of my friends go to school there and they've been talking to me and they said it's going to be crazy, so it's going to be a really fun environment."
On what he's been told about the environment at Indiana ... "Just from the guys on the team, they've said it's going to be the loudest guy we'll play at all year. My oldest brother went to school at IU and he told me to have a lot of fun out there and soak it all up, so that's what I'm going to do."
On what's he learned about playing on the road ... "You can't let the environment get to you. I don't think our guys do. Their crowd is going to say things and we know that, but at the end of the day, you go out there and play basketball. I think environments like that are fun -- you can't let the crowd get to you."
U-M Freshman Forward Mitch McGary
On what's he's expecting from the environment on Saturday ... "I like to embrace the crowd on the road. I know it's going to be a really intense environment at Indiana with over 16,000 fans -- most of them in red and white, so it's going to be crazy."
On the hype surrounding the Michigan-Indiana matchup ... "This is about as good as it gets. They've been calling this one of the best games in college basketball all year and hopefully we can go there and play our game. We're going to need to get stops. Our defense can always travel. If we're not hitting shots, we have to make it up on the defensive end. I think we're capable of doing that. I think we just need to step it up a notch and be relentless on defense."
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423