2005-06 BKM vs. Illinois -- Postgame Quotes

Michigan coach Tommy Amaker

On the game on the glass ... "We did get it done; Graham Brown with 10, [reaching] double figures in rebounds. For us as a team effort to be able to out-rebound this team [was big]. We talked about finishing every possession - especially at the defensive end - with a good block-out and trying to get long rebounds, chasing things down. I just think we had a great team effort out there in many, many different areas. But cleaning the glass, getting those big defensive boards, those stops, allowing us to get down in transition [helped in the win]. We shot the ball pretty well tonight from three, and certainly - obviously - Daniel Horton was just absolutely marvelous."

On Daniel Horton carrying the team ... "Well, he did. He willed us to this victory, he willed the balls in the basket. He is an amazing player with that and the incredible confidence that he has in himself and in all of these kind of tight, big-game situations."

On Illinois being the highest-ranked opponent he has ever beaten at Michigan ... "I didn't think of that and obviously we are going to try to let it soak in a little bit here this evening, but we're right back with preparation with this coming weekend with the Buckeyes down in Columbus and we realize how good they are. But we're certainly going to enjoy it today."

U-M Senior Guard Daniel Horton

On his career-high night ... "It felt good. I give a lot of credit to my teammates for finding me when I was open. I felt like I was wide open for a lot of those shots and that I should make it whether it was tonight or any other night. I just had a lot more focus tonight, my teammates kept finding me, and I was making shots."

On the win's impact towards Michigan's goals ... "We know we have to finish strong, and in order to achieve some of our goals in these next two games we know we have to finish strong, including tonight. That was our mindset. We took a step towards doing that tonight."

U-M Senior Forward Graham Brown

On his defensive effort ... "I tried to play my usual game and hit the glass as hard as I could. I think our team really needed some defensive rebounds. The last couple of game we have not rebounded quite well enough and tonight we did. When we played at Champaign those guys came out and hit the glass hard, and I think that was a key to our loss. Tonight, I came out and tried to hit the glass hard and fortunately we won the game."

On Coach Amaker's defensive advice towards the end of the game ... "[Coach Amaker] said just to get on their shooters. They have great shooters, especially Dee Brown, and they can shoot the lights out. We just made sure we got on their shooters and tried to box out with the rebound. You have got to finish it off with a rebound."

U-M Freshman Guard Jerret Smith

On his first game after mononucleosis ... "[Mononucleosis] motivated me too, but I want to give 110 percent for the seniors on this team because they have worked so hard for four years. I wanted to give 110 percent because it is their time now. Plus I have got that hunger since I have been off the court for awhile and I really wanted to be out there."

On whether it was a must-win game ... "Every game is a big win for us. We are going to focus on Illinois right now, and next we are going to focus on Ohio State. We cannot go by one particular game in the season. We have got Ohio State coming up and that is the most important game of the year. Illinois is a great team and they played their stuff, but we came out with them."

Illinois coach Bruce Weber

On defending Daniel Horton ... "I thought Chester (Frazier) might have bothered him the most, but when Chester is in there, we probably don't play as well offensively. Chester at least battled him. I don't think our other guys battled him. Horton just got in one of those grooves and got going. Everything he threw up it looked like it was going in and you were surprised when he missed. He mixed in the threes with getting to the basket. The start of the second half was the key to the game. Our awareness and communication was poor and we let them get three or four wide open threes. When that happens, you give a team a chance to make a run and we could never recover. They rose up and we didn't do the things we needed to."

On the remainder of Illinois' schedule ... "It is tough. This three out of four is tough. It is there, you can't do anything about it and right now we have to worry about Iowa. We are going to have to play at a high lever. We have to play like they did tonight. If we don't, it is going to be a long finish to the Big Ten."

Illinois Senior Forward James Augustine

On the game ... "We just have to hang in there. Obviously I'm upset that we lost. We have been emphasizing that we have to just play each game one at a time. Coach told us to leave all the emotions and the loss here."

On the play of Daniel Horton ... "He played great and made the big plays. He did what a senior is supposed to do and he played well."

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