2001-02 BKM vs. Illinois -- quotes

U-M Head Coach Tommy Amaker

On Michigan's performance ... "I'll be very honest about this: sometimes the team that deserves to win doesn't win, and I firmly believe our team deserved to win. I think they played an incredible game to fight through some injuries with their ball club and I thought they fought back. I'm very proud of our kids and the effort that they put forward. It was a gutsy game for both teams."

On Michigan's adjustments ... "We talked about situations where we broke down when the run took place. Certainly it was disappointing, but they were getting wide-open shots. I thought they moved the ball well and had us spread out. I thought we weren't making the right coverage and scrambling hard enough to get the spots and get the shooters. I thought we did a pretty decent job against their post guys, and that was something that really hurt us when we played the previous game in Champaign."

Senior Center Chris Young

On the final minutes of the game ... "I really do not think that it came down to the end of the game. We have to be able to hold our defensive intensity at the end of first half. If we had done that we would have not been in that situation in the second half. Instead we were trading baskets with them and not playing any D. You are not going to beat any team playing like that, especially a ranked team."

On taking momentum from tonight's effort into Saturday ... "The only way we can is to look at how much energy we came out and played with. I have never seen us play the way we did in the first 15 minutes. We were everywhere. Even against Wisconsin we were not as hard-nosed as we came out this game."

On keeping up the intensity ... "I think we can keep it up. I do not know about the rest of the year, but as far as Saturday I think that we are going to be able to carry through. It is less than 48 hours away."

On accepting the loss ... "It is very hard to swallow but we cannot sit here and dwell on it. Tomorrow we have to come to practice with our heads up and get ready for Penn State."

Senior Guard Leon Jones

On the game ... "I am not satisfied because we let down with about six minutes left in the first half. I think it was a good start. I think that we are building something. We are not the type of team that can let down and expect to come back."

On the team's ability to stay close despite the first-half run ... "I knew it was going to be a battle. In the second half we were going back and forth and we knew that it was going to go down to the end. We just did not make shots at the end and they did."

On the team's effort ... "I was really proud of our effort. We laid everything on the line. We just did not play smart in some stretches and it really hurt us. If we can take that into next game and not lay down for even one possession we should be okay."

Illinois Head Coach Bill Self

On his team's adjustments after Michigan took the lead early ... "I don't think we played as poorly early on as they played well. They made a lot of shots and were really comfortable, so we just changed defenses and tried to keep them off balance. We got fortunate enough that a couple poor possessions for Michigan led into baskets for us."

On Brian Cook's performance ... "Brian did carry us early. We shot too many perimeter shots once again early, although we shot it too quick. We really didn't have much of a low-post presence other than Brian. I though Brian played without question his best game of the year."

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