2001-02 BKM vs. Ohio State -- Quotes
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U-M Head Coach Tommy Amaker

On the game ... "I am proud of our team and the seniors. They played with a lot of energy and effort tonight. We were concerned when Ohio State jumped out to that early lead but we were able to come back and turn it around. It was very difficult to defend them. Their outside perimeter guys were able to dribble drive and then pass it off when our help came over. We had a lot of chances to put some game pressure of them. Give them credit for handling the pressure and answering us when they needed to. I thought the real dagger was Brian Brown's bucket in the last minute."

On looking ahead to next season ... "It is hard to think about next year already. We had a tough season but we really laid it on the line tonight. I think that gives a great place to start for next year. We say that after every game you are going to either be laughing or crying. There were a lot of guys with a lot of tears in that locker room. To give that kind of effort and still come up short is very disappointing and I think our players feel that. That is a great first step for this program."

On the team's play in the tournament ... "We talked about playing Northwestern and Ohio State. We had played them tough in the regular season so we thought we had a good chance to come in and perform. That gave us a real shot in the arm. We preached about playing to win vs. playing not to lose and the kids responded to that. Despite the loss, I feel that we ended the season well. I feel good about taking forward from this point."

On players stepping up ... "LaVell Blanchard was tremendous. He was outstanding on the offensive end for us. He showed the life and the spirit of a big-time player. He really carried us yesterday and tonight on offense. I hope we can build from that for next year. The younger kids also responded really well in this environment. To win last night like we did and then to lose tonight will help them grow. Ohio State made solid plays when they needed them and hopefully we will be in that position in the near future."

On Ohio State's early lead ... "We were concerned when they jumped out to the 15-2 lead early. Our kids responded well and showed a lot of life and spirit. We did not have a lot of recovery time with playing just last night but we made some plays when we needed them. We got into a little foul trouble, especially in the first half with Leon Jones picking up his third. Mike Gotfredson really stepped up for us when that happened. This is an opportunity for us to get better. We can hold our heads high with this performance. We represented ourselves and our university well."

Senior Center Chris Young

On the team's effort ... "I definitely think it was our best group effort of the season. Every guy who stepped on the floor, whether it was for 30 seconds or 40 minutes, laid it all on the line. We did the little things and that shows a lot."

On the halftime adjustments ... "We picked up the defensive intensity. We started the game well but were giving up a lot of layups and three-pointers. We knew that if we wanted a chance to win we would have to step it up on the defensive end."

On the difference at the tournament and during the season ... "It was like we had our backs against the wall. We wanted to show some pride and show everyone in the conference that we can play."

Senior Guard Leon Jones

On the halftime adjustments ... "We had to stop their penetration and stay in front of them. We also needed to keep them off of the offensive glass and stop their second shots."

On his foul trouble ... "It was very tough when I picked up my third foul. I was not playing very smart. Mike Gotfredson did a great job in stepping up. I am very proud of him.

On the tournament ... "We really came together as a team. That can happen when you are in the position of facing your last game. It was like we had a new season to compete in. I am very proud of all my teammates."

On the difference in the tournament ... "We played a lot of the top teams very tough in the regular season. We competed hard in the conference. We had our chances tonight but we could not convert on them."

Junior Forward LaVell Blanchard

On the team's performance ... "I am happy with the performance except for the result. We played hard with a lot of energy and enthusiasm."

On what Coach Amaker said at halftime ... "He told us that we needed to play hard. This was our last game of the season. It was either win or go home. We played hard but just couldn't get the win."


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